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Old September 8th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #101
diablo234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
What other Sunbelt cities?
Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Dallas, etc you name it.

For the last two cities that I mentioned earlier they did not get light rail until the 90's-00's at the earliest.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 11:18 PM   #102
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I think cheaper light rail has some advantages over heavy rail in sprawling sunbelt cities. There's no reason why an LRT can't have sections which are underground or elevated, or have longer trains to carry more people.

The 80s were a different time.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:13 PM   #103
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In motor vehicle versus light rail collisions, the light rail train usually wins. In the case of dump truck versus light rail collisions, it is pretty much a draw.

http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2011...lide-downtown/

15 hurt as Metro train, dump truck collide downtown

By DALE LEZON and CAROL CHRISTIAN
Houston Chronicle

Metro police plan to issue a citation to a dump truck driver who allegedly ran a red light downtown Tuesday morning, resulting in a light-rail derailment that sent 15 people to area hospitals with minor injuries, officials said.

The driver, Paniagua Prisciliano Espino, was taken to a hospital after the accident at 9:15 a.m. at Main and Capitol Streets. Espino left the hospital before being treated and before Metro police could issue a citation, Metro spokesman Jerome Gray said.

The accident — this year’s 27th incident and first derailment — interrupted service for about three hours. Full service resumed about 1:30 p.m., Metro said.

Metro officials said the truck, headed west on Capitol, apparently ran a red light and was hit by the southbound train.

Espino told Metro police he couldn’t see that the light was red because the sun reflected on it. The train had a go-ahead signal, Metro said.

Espino, whose age was not available, had been hired to haul sand for a project related to construction of the East End light-rail line, Gray said. Espino was not directly hired by Houston Rapid Transit, primary contractor for three Metro light-rail lines now under construction, but by a firm working for a subcontractor, Gray said.

The damaged southbound car was removed at 12:30 p.m. and was being pushed to the rail operations center at the line’s south end near Fannin and Bellfort.

Thirteen passengers, the train operator and the dump truck driver were taken to St. Joseph Medical Center or Ben Taub General Hospital. They had bumps and bruises and other non-life threatening injuries, officials said.

The front of the train was damaged and the windshield was shattered. The crash knocked a portion of the train off the track.

The dump truck came to rest on the sidewalk a few feet from the glass front door of Ziggy’s Bar and Grill at 702 Main.
Some riders said they were jolted by the force of the impact. One man, who asked to be identified only as James, said he was standing up at the time of the collision. He was tossed about 15 feet and slammed to the floor.

“I saw stars,” he said. “At first, it was shock and awe.”

People in the restaurant were stunned when they heard the collision and then saw the truck careening toward the building.

The restaurant general manager, Jefferson Bryan, said he heard the impact and saw the truck veer toward the sidewalk, hit a fire hydrant and a heavy trash can on the corner. Then it nudged the glass door and rolled backwards. He said a customer and other workers were in the eatery and he told them to move away from the front door.

Jefferson said if the truck hadn’t hit the hydrant and trash can it may have crashed into the restaurant.

“I was just hoping it wouldn’t go through the window,” he said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ObSZ..._safety_mode=1


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature..._safety_mode=1


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0ll1..._safety_mode=1


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaVzw..._safety_mode=1
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #104
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Guy at 0:13 in the 2nd video probably needs to change pants
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Old October 13th, 2011, 07:17 AM   #105
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Some progress on the East End Line.









Photos courtesy of vegankris
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Old October 15th, 2011, 06:40 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
In motor vehicle versus light rail collisions, the light rail train usually wins. In the case of dump truck versus light rail collisions, it is pretty much a draw.
...
Shit happens. Luckily no one was killed in that accident. A dump truck crossing at red light could cause a lot more mess than that.

The story of the truck driver sounds kind of lame. If you can't identify the colour of the traffic light, you'd expect he at least looked hard at the crossing roads if the way is clear... obviously he didn't as a light rail hardly comes out of nowhere.
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Old October 15th, 2011, 10:07 PM   #107
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The actual public transit systems can not be viewed in a vacuum. In geographically large, relatively low density areas, it's just about impossible to construct a viable, functional rail network. The at-grade light rail lines are a good start given its circumstances.

There are talented planners in Houston. Unfortunately they have to contend with a large urban footprint that's constantly expanding to satiate the developer's need for a return on investment.
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Old October 15th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #108
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Quote:
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Luckily, the dump truck prevented the tram from becoming overly rogue ... in light of the key components of grade crossings in its network, is Houston rethinking its tram interiors
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Old October 16th, 2011, 01:32 AM   #109
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27 accidents this year? What the hell? Can't Houston install crossing gates instead of having a traffic light system instead? I would be afraid to ride that train!
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Old October 16th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #110
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27 accidents? can't authorities enforce the laws and punish the road criminals?

Do taxpayers have to pay for complicated systems due to morrons that think they are above laws and endanger innocent people.

Put red light cameras and use the revenues to improve transit systems!
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Old October 16th, 2011, 09:49 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigilamoroso View Post
27 accidents? can't authorities enforce the laws and punish the road criminals?

Do taxpayers have to pay for complicated systems due to morrons that think they are above laws and endanger innocent people.

Put red light cameras and use the revenues to improve transit systems!
Its Texas , they don't have many laws to begin with nor do they like that many...they got rid of there Red light cameras...
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Old October 16th, 2011, 10:12 PM   #112
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Just to be clear if a motorist is involved in an accident with a train they do recieve a citation.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 02:25 AM   #113
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Just to be clear if a motorist is involved in an accident with a train they do recieve a citation.
That's fine and dandy, but it doesn't mean shit to the average person seeing these crashes on the news and the news reporter says "The most dangerous light rail in the county" when they really should be saying "Houston has the most dangerous and inexperienced drivers around Light Rail in the county."

Citation or not, the rail around the US is looking bad because the train is always blamed.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 04:44 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by State of the Union View Post
That's fine and dandy, but it doesn't mean shit to the average person seeing these crashes on the news and the news reporter says "The most dangerous light rail in the county" when they really should be saying "Houston has the most dangerous and inexperienced drivers around Light Rail in the county."

Citation or not, the rail around the US is looking bad because the train is always blamed.
While there may be a problem with perception unless the average driver is running red lights or making illegal left turns then honestly they have nothing to worry about. I should also note that the Main Street Corridor had a high accident rate before the light rail was installed.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 01:14 PM   #115
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Shoulda been a subway.
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Old October 24th, 2011, 04:42 AM   #116
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Shoulda been a subway.
Yea, right. Funny how everyone thinks that there is Billions of dollars just lying around to spend on a subway....

For many cities like Houston, it's either At-grade Light Rail or nothing at all. It's certainly better than shitty BRT.
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Old October 24th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #117
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Elevated structures (rail, highways) are cheaper than tunnels, but it seems nobody wants elevated freeways or railways built anymore.
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Old October 24th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #118
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Shoulda been a subway.
From what I understand, it was going to be a subway in Houston when it was proposed back in the early 80's, but then a new mayor came in and scrapped the whole project, and put the money toward new freeway construction to the suburbs. He had a vested interest in doing this as he and his pals benefited from the new home construction made easier by the new freeways.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 02:11 AM   #119
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Unfortunately Houston and many of the supposedly capitalist places have effectively replaced actual urban planners with "planning" from the real estate industry. In simple terms, advocates for the common good have been replaced by policies which benefit a small number of rich developers.

It's not a lack of money. The costs of building sprawl, building the water pipes, electricity grid, sewer grid, roads and assorted servicing costs far outweigh the costs of higher densities and comprehensive public transit. But the money and decision making are concentrated in the hands of rich folks who just want to make even more money. And why would they spend money on things like public transit when they can get even wealthier from converting alfalfa fields into subdivisions and luring gullible yuppies into a life of mortgage debt, higher infrastructure servicing costs, longer commutes, etc?

Lately there's been a movement amongst developers to gentrify and redevelop cheap, former industrial land and/or ghetto public housing. It's better than the usual sprawl to nowhere, but it's still concentrating wealth in the hands of the real estate industry and allowing them to collect windfall profits on land price appreciation. And there's no to minimal investment in the public domain at any rate. No one talks about the dominance of a small number of developers, let alone talk about the inequity of a skewed real estate capital gains tax system.

The whole "market capitalist", free market knows best mindset has infiltrated both the real estate and finance industry (and these industries are closely related anyway.) Worse yet, the vested interests who promote market capitalism have effectively coopted the media and often academia into accepting their self-serving theories as gospel.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 02:25 AM   #120
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btw, I don't intend to concentrate on just Houston. The developer driven, hugely profitable, hugely inefficient sprawl development model occurs whenever the municipal planning departments have been deregulated out of existence.

Real estate developers and their lobbyists and bribe/lobbying/campaign contribution hungry politicians end up advocating for policies which serve the financial interests of the developers. Everything else is subordinate. Even Jane freaking Jacobs' name has been twisted to support "organic growth."
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