jarvismj

Greenville Transit

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Well, the Red line downtown is the one that will that was my earlier idea of a streetcar/street running LRT that has stops every few blocks. I did cut back on the number of stops on the second map. In fact, several days ago I used a google map to scribble out my idea, with a tunnel on the red line going to the Bilo Ctr, but because that would be a big cost no no, I ran it out, and right now, the idea is to have the line go north on Main and turn right onto Elford. And I think that the only underground station downtown would be Broad St. Granted, the tunnel will be a bit long(my guess is about 3/4 to about 1 mile)but it will really spur development where we want it to happen. I could guess that lofts and condos would double in value if there was a station within 1/4 mile. So, um, I think it will work. If anyone here has riden on DART in Dallas, or MetroRail in Houston, the downtown portions have street stops even two to three blocks, so I'm pretty sure that as long as we leave the places for future stations, both suburban and urban, people would hold an interest in it.

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The T in Boston has frequent stops in its above-ground "stations" as well.

I think we could get by with the three stops downtown that Spartan mentioned, but I also think that the stops you proposed are doable.

I would really like to have some underground portions. I think that is obviously the best use of space, but I wonder if that will ever happen in Greenville.

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If any light rail happens downtown, I sure hope that it's all underground. Nothing looks tackier than the supports of a above ground track. :sick: It provides a dark feel and all of the ones that i've seen are a bit trashy looking IMO. Anyway, our downtown has too much class and elegance to have this above ground. Now, in the suburbs, do what you want, it doesn't matter.

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Most likely they will be ground level tracks. Tunnel building is enormously expensive and only warranted in the most dense of places. Also, most light rail stations are simple stands and not complete facilities as you would see with heavy rail subways. Again this reduces the cost. Ticketing is done on the honor system with spot checks by transit police to make sure you have paid to get onto the train.

Here is a concept of a downtown station in Charlotte. I believe they have since been updated, but the idea is still there on how LRT integrates with a downtown.

6thstreet.jpg

You can see the rest in this post.

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Wow! this is great stuff! Nice job on the maps jarvisj3. :thumbsup:

What are the chances that anything like this would ever materialize? I know Greenville ended up with a grant a few months ago earmarked for LRT, but it surely can't be enough to put a dent in a project of this magnitude.

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Wow! this is great stuff! Nice job on the maps jarvisj3. :thumbsup:

What are the chances that anything like this would ever materialize? I know Greenville ended up with a grant a few months ago earmarked for LRT, but it surely can't be enough to put a dent in a project of this magnitude.

I'd say the chances of light rail coming to Greenville in the near future are nil. Cities that have it all have (i) large employment bases concentrated in certain areas (generally in downtowns), (ii) really bad traffic and (iii) strong business and governmental leadership in favor of it. Greenville has none of these. I had lunch a few days ago with the head of a transit authority of a city that has a light rail system already and he said that you generally need about 100,000 jobs in a downtown area to provide enough ridership to support a few light rail lines. Greenville just doesn't have that, and probably won't for a long time.

If I were an activist in Greenville, I'd focus on changing zoning laws to shift even more development downtown, and I'd also focus on improving GTA. Once downtown increases dramatically in size, then better mass transit could be considered.

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Based on the things you said, csedwards, light rail in Greenville doesn't seem to be in the near future. I'm not disagreeing with you, because your points are the most logical ones. But to play devil's advocate:

-if light rail isn't a reasonable possibility, why would we have been given a grant earmarked for LRT?

-why would there be discussion about it, by city leaders and and an article in the Greenville News?

Also, there are a few reasons why I think city leaders might try to make it happen despite the things you mentioned:

-Greenville is being progressive by discussing/planning/implementing light rail now BEFORE traffic becomes horrible

-Greenville is thinking about the environment and pollution concerns now, especially given smog issues we've had as well as the air quality ratings from the government

I don't know if it will ever happen here. Part of me thinks it never will be needed. Another part of me thinks the city is growing enough and leaders are proactive enough to make it happen and sell residents on its value. I want it, but not at the expense of quality of life.

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Also, there are a few reasons why I think city leaders might try to make it happen despite the things you mentioned:

-Greenville is being progressive by discussing/planning/implementing light rail now BEFORE traffic becomes horrible

-Greenville is thinking about the environment and pollution concerns now, especially given smog issues we've had as well as the air quality ratings from the government

:thumbsup:

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:thumbsup:

I am glad that there is some funding for light rail. I'm also glad that people are thinking about it and that business and government leaders are discussing it. I just think that it won't happen in Greenville anytime soon.

Keep in mind that Greenville, like other cities of its size in the US, used to have a system of trolleys, interurban trains, and long-distance trains coming through it. The train system started declining in the 1920s, when car use became widespread, and fell apart after World War II, when suburban development took off. If Greenville had the conditions that supported transit back then, it could now. But the conditions included things that we don't have these days- such as a downtown that included most all office, retail and cultural activity and low car use.

I would love to have a city that consisted of a very vibrant downtown- with maybe 75% of the region's office space and even 50% of its retail space- and low car use. Those kinds of conditions can be made again, but it would be extremely difficult; development patterns these days don't work that way. Focus on getting office and retail space back downtown. Greenville's downtown has about 45-50% of the county's office space in it, and maybe 10% of the city's retail/restaurant space. Focus on changing zoning laws and providing incentives to spur a lot more development downtown. Also focus on changing housing patterns so that people live in places that are transit-friendly. Then once that's done, it will be a lot easier to get light rail in place. I'm glad Greenville is thinking ahead about transit, but getting conditions changed so that Greenville would be a transit-oriented town will take a lot of work.

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I am glad that there is some funding for light rail. I'm also glad that people are thinking about it and that business and government leaders are discussing it. I just think that it won't happen in Greenville anytime soon.

Keep in mind that Greenville, like other cities of its size in the US, used to have a system of trolleys, interurban trains, and long-distance trains coming through it. The train system started declining in the 1920s, when car use became widespread, and fell apart after World War II, when suburban development took off. If Greenville had the conditions that supported transit back then, it could now. But the conditions included things that we don't have these days- such as a downtown that included most all office, retail and cultural activity and low car use.

I would love to have a city that consisted of a very vibrant downtown- with maybe 75% of the region's office space and even 50% of its retail space- and low car use. Those kinds of conditions can be made again, but it would be extremely difficult; development patterns these days don't work that way. Focus on getting office and retail space back downtown. Greenville's downtown has about 45-50% of the county's office space in it, and maybe 10% of the city's retail/restaurant space. Focus on changing zoning laws and providing incentives to spur a lot more development downtown. Also focus on changing housing patterns so that people live in places that are transit-friendly. Then once that's done, it will be a lot easier to get light rail in place. I'm glad Greenville is thinking ahead about transit, but getting conditions changed so that Greenville would be a transit-oriented town will take a lot of work.

Don't get offended, but most of your posts seem to be negative against Greenville's progress. If area leaders see it happening who are you to say it won't? They can make anything happen. Greenville has done a lot that people said it wouldn't do.

Edited by motonenterprises

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At this point in time, I don't really see the need fro LRT in the area, although the new developments that are geared toward a "Town Center" layout may increase the demand. If you think about it, those type of developments are laid out to reduce the need for automobiles. The mindset of those living within would be different from most others in the area who depend so much on their cars. With that, to connect these areas to each other and downtown would reinforce that mindset.

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At this point in time, I don't really see the need fro LRT in the area, although the new developments that are geared toward a "Town Center" layout may increase the demand. If you think about it, those type of developments are laid out to reduce the need for automobiles. The mindset of those living within would be different from most others in the area who depend so much on their cars. With that, to connect these areas to each other and downtown would reinforce that mindset.

I agree completely.

I didn't mean to come across as negative (not offended at all). I am hugely supportive of mass transit. I hope Greenville gets a light rail system again one day, along with commuter trains and fast and frequent intercity trains. But I just think that people need to be focusing on things such as building a bigger downtown largely for commercial uses, along with some residential uses, and promoting new urbanist developments largely for residential uses in the rest of the metropolitan area. In time, Greenville will become a viable candidate for light rail if it steers growth in a transit-friendly way. Greenville could easily become the Portland of the Southeast; its downtown is already highly regarded. Town center-type developments in place of typical sprawl are a great idea and are much needed.

Edited by csedwards72

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Don't get offended, but most of your posts seem to be negative against Greenville's progress. If area leaders see it happening who are you to say it won't? They can make anything happen. Greenville has done a lot that people said it wouldn't do.

And who are you to preach to the other members here? He made a very reasonable post about the realities of getting a light rail system off the ground. Read our rules again and stop attacking other forumers who express an opinion that you dont agree with.

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To be completely honest, with the way a majority of people in the upstate are in their "don't tax me for anything, ecspecially anything that will help others" attitude, it will be a cold day in hell before we see adequate mass transit in the upstate. Be it bus, light rail, commuter rail, hell, even HOV lanes, Greenvillians as a whole, with a small exception (UP members, etc) are a gluttonus bunch. It troubles me greatly to say this.

To be honest, I'd be estatic to have a bus system that went places in this city. I know that I'm thinking too much wishing that they'd run every 15 minutes, but what can I say. I'm a northern breed, and even if I have a car, I don't like to drive everywhere. I want an option. Lets take GTA to places like GSP, Simpsonville, Greer, Taylors, and several outlying Park and Rides. I think that what will happen is Greenville will become another Atlanta, just on a smaller scale, and in 25 years, our children will wish that we had planned better. The only thing we as a group who believe in this now can do is to speak up, and show others. I'm debating whether to send the map that I did to WYFF or Greenville News, or Link, or The Beat. Once the Acela comes through, it will prove that we needed some Proper Prior Planning.

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jarvisj3: You are a kindred spirit to the character, Steve, from the movie, "Singles," you know? :D

Don't lose sight of this dream. Don't lose faith. Yes, perhaps a majority of the citizens of the Upstate (and the South, en general) have that "don't tax me for anything, especially anything that will help others" attitude; however, it simply takes one person to have an idea, pitch that idea, and convince others that it's simply the right thing to do. :thumbsup:

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To be completely honest, with the way a majority of people in the upstate are in their "don't tax me for anything, ecspecially anything that will help others" attitude, it will be a cold day in hell before we see adequate mass transit in the upstate. Be it bus, light rail, commuter rail, hell, even HOV lanes, Greenvillians as a whole, with a small exception (UP members, etc) are a gluttonus bunch. It troubles me greatly to say this.

To be honest, I'd be estatic to have a bus system that went places in this city. I know that I'm thinking too much wishing that they'd run every 15 minutes, but what can I say. I'm a northern breed, and even if I have a car, I don't like to drive everywhere. I want an option. Lets take GTA to places like GSP, Simpsonville, Greer, Taylors, and several outlying Park and Rides. I think that what will happen is Greenville will become another Atlanta, just on a smaller scale, and in 25 years, our children will wish that we had planned better. The only thing we as a group who believe in this now can do is to speak up, and show others. I'm debating whether to send the map that I did to WYFF or Greenville News, or Link, or The Beat. Once the Acela comes through, it will prove that we needed some Proper Prior Planning.

I don't think it has anything to do with people being gluttonous. I think you will find that people in the south are just as generous, if not more generous, that people in other parts of the country. Being gluttonous, and not wanting to be unnecessarily taxed, are two VERY different things. The problem lies in the fact that taxation has been abused by the government - on all levels, but especially on the federal level - for years. People have been taxed to death and cannot see the benefit (for themselves OR society as a whole). The bottom line, at least as far as I'm concerned, is that taxation is fine as long as the money will be used wisely and properly. Not for someone's special interests that benefit very few people, not to try to balance the budget somewhere, but for something that benefits society in a meaningful way.

With that said, I would support a tax for light rail if I felt that we need it. Do I think we need it now? I don't know. I would need to see some data on how many people would need to ride it in order for it not to lose money. I would need to see where planned stations would be, and whether that seemed to benefit commuters and people going to other parts of the city. I would need to see some projections as to how long the construction process would take. I would want to see how light rail fit into the master plan for the Greenville area, as well as the upstate. I would also be interested in seeing how people felt about it, through some studies and samplings of area residents.

The last thing we need is to have light rail because it seems "cool" or makes us feel like a "big city" when in reality nobody would ride it after the newness of it all wears off. That would be a poor use of tax dollars, and I think an overwhelming majority of people in the upstate would be against it because they wouldn't want that to happen. If studies are done, and light rail seems feasible and necessary, then citizens could be educated as to the merits of having it. If, at that point, people didn't support it, I would be among the first to call them short-sighted and not very open-minded. Until then, I'm not going to criticize Greenville residents for being skeptical of something that might not be a necessary expense right now.

And this is coming from someone who is in the "Yankee category" (Yankee vs. Dixie quiz) and doesn't readily identify with Southern culture. :)

Edited by Greenville

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It is not about having it now, do we need it now, NO.

Will we ever, you better beleive it, and my opininon is better to get the ball rolling now rather than realizeing we need it when it is to late and too expensive.

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Well, btoy is right. We don't really need it now, but we will soon. And before you know it, it will be so damn expensive to purchase the ROW, we will end up kicking ourselves. Anyways, I did one last map, with the Blue Line a LRT from downtown to Fountain Inn, and extendable beyond that if the need be. The second will be the Green Line, from Clemson to Hillcrest in Spartanburg, utilizing the current NS ROW/trackage. This will be acomplished via commuter rail cars such as the ones in Chicago on Metra Electric, that conform to FRA standards, and can travel the speed of that line. Both lines will be electrified, with the Green line being of the same power standards that the Acela uses, and the rest of Amtrak Electric service utilizes. Again, not only is this PPP, but it will start the electrification of the line to Washington, DC. Anyways, I'm including several pics of Metra Electric, MBTA Commuter on the NEC, and of course, my map.

post-742-1132548126_thumb.jpg post-742-1132548148_thumb.jpg

post-742-1132548888_thumb.jpg post-742-1132548922_thumb.jpg

I don't know if this will work, but I'm going to link a file on my website, of the Acela in the Philadelphia area. It's only going about 100 in the clip, but I'm giddy thinking about it here in Greenville.

Amtrak Acela

And lastly, my map

post-742-1132548727_thumb.jpg

Edited by jarvisj3

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Just as an FYI. The current proposal to extend the high speed rail line from Charlotte to Atlanta, does not include Acela like trains as there are no plans to electrify the lines or build much new track. Instead there will be a diesel powered train which will operate at an average speed between CLT and ATL of about 70mph with a top speed of 90mph.

This line may be built some time after the one from Charlotte to DC is completed, hopefully in 2010. I'm not sure if the CLT-ATL portion will use the same trains as the ones going form CLT-DC as the average speed on that line is expected to be 110mph. The difference is that NC has been spending money for the last decade to improve it's tracks (which it owns) for higher speeds and they plan to build a new track through Virginia.

The instate NC portion already operates with a top speed of 79mph so they could transfer these trains to the CLT-ATL portion if they decide to build that line. On the other hand NC is planning to extend its state system to Asheville and Wilmington, so those trains may go there instead. If they used the higher speed trains on the CLT-ATL section, it would only save 4 minutes in travel due to the curves, elevation rises and other issues with the track in this portion.

I would expect that passengers will have to change to faster trains in CLT if they intend to continue on to the Northeast. The new proposal includes a new train station at the CLT airport which is where this would probably happen.

Edited by metro.m

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Such as Washington Street or McBee Avenue?

Or ... Maybe Parallel to Main Street (such as Laurens Street or Spring Street)?

Nothing wrong with thinking outside of the box.

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Hmm, interesting thought about running perpendicular to Main Street. So a line could run from the Bi-Lo Center, to the Zoo, then down Washington to where it hits Main? Is that what you guys are thinking?

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It doesn't have to go to the Bi-Lo center at all. It could be a block or two from it, thus generating more pedestrian traffic.

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