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Old June 7th, 2013, 05:44 PM   #101
spencer114
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That looks like a hard choice for y'all to make.

The blue route looks the best to me but it sucks to leave Columbia off of the route. By contrast, routes in VA are easy. There aren't so many small cities scattered everywhere (except for in the Valley, but they are so far removed from the Tidewater to DC route that their feelings aren't hurt that they are never mentioned in the HSR conversation).

Looks like there will be a lot of hurt feelings in GA and SC regardless of the route.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 07:38 PM   #102
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well....three of them go about 20 meters off the backside of my house. I live in Chamblee near the Marta station and there is no way another pair of tracks are going to fit into this corridor without going above or below grade. I would love to see this happen but it will be a challenge to bring to reality. I like the Athens corridor, connect the universities.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #103
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The blue route looks the best to me but it sucks to leave Columbia off of the route.
Columbia has to date been included in the long-term vision for the federally designated corridor stretching from Raleigh down to Savannah. The Connection to Atlanta is taking precedent due to Atlanta's role as a regional hub for the feds and to reach/alleviate the nation's busiest airport. Hasn't hurt that NC was already exploring connections between Charlotte and Raleigh on their own.
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Looks like there will be a lot of hurt feelings in GA and SC regardless of the route.
It's inevitable, but the good news I feel will be that when this becomes a working model it will demonstrate how true commuter rail service can become viable in the southeast once more. Then we can dream of a more expansive netowrk.
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I like the Athens corridor, connect the universities.
Atlanta is already too thick with Dawg fans as it is, the last thing we need to do is make it easier for them to visit from Athens!

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Old June 13th, 2013, 08:10 AM   #104
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NC Governor wants to block money for transit and other non-auto forms of transportation:

http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/06/12...cking-transit/
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Old July 29th, 2013, 09:16 PM   #105
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Maglev Train Proposed For Link From MARTA Station To Turner Field



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Huzzah! Plans are in the works to build a roughly $30 million maglev train from MARTA's Georgia State station to traffic-clogged Turner Field in the next couple of years, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. The Braves are partnering with a private, Marietta-based company that builds the futuristic people-movers to solve the team's faulty shuttle system. The transit project is considered essential; Braves officials call traffic congestion the primary hindrance to fan attendance. But first things first: The Braves must strike a new leasing agreement with the city before the current lease expires on Dec. 31, 2016. Talks are said to be moving along now.

The goal would be to open the one-mile maglev train system in time for the Bravos' 2015 season. Trips between the ballpark and MARTA would take less than two minutes, and each vehicle can transport 200 fans. Funding, as the newspaper reports, is expected to come from a third-party company based in Madrid.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 05:44 PM   #106
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If the Braves want to pay for it, great! If not then we need to find something that's a more graceful shift for passengers, and preferably as part of a broader effort to expand transit to more than just Turner Field.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 06:15 PM   #107
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If the Braves want to pay for it, great! If not then we need to find something that's a more graceful shift for passengers, and preferably as part of a broader effort to expand transit to more than just Turner Field.
Who eventually pays probably has a lot to do with whether that $30 million balloons into something far more expensive. If it can be done under budget, I don't see why the maglev couldn't someday be extended to the airport as an express to downtown...
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Old August 27th, 2013, 12:20 PM   #108
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These are a little old, but I did not see them posted. A few sketches of Raleigh's proposed Union Station.

image hosted on flickr

Aerial View by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Concourse View by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Street View by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Platform View by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

I guess my hope is that having Union Station will help spur light rail in Raleigh and commuter rail in the Triangle. Though the GOP will do everything in their power to stop it...
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Old August 27th, 2013, 05:09 PM   #109
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These are a little old, but I did not see them posted. A few sketches of Raleigh's proposed Union Station.

...

I guess my hope is that having Union Station will help spur light rail in Raleigh and commuter rail in the Triangle. Though the GOP will do everything in their power to stop it...
Having dealt with comparable debates here in GA I'm compelled to point out a suspiscion the issue is not something to which the GOP as a whole is inheritly opposed. Nationally the attacks are directed by the freight and auto industries that have more clout and $ in DC, so naturally Amtrak is the defacto whipping boy under the basic political principle that it's easier to make yourself look sexy by making the opponent look ugly. But in practical discussions with local leaders many understand and want transit options and have been very open when presented with realistic budgets. Thus the hard sell comes from the fact that rail is a major expense with mostly long-term returns, something any politician is slow to embrace. So in Georgia, at least, the GOP has deferred on the issue to whatever the DOT is suggesting is best. Hopefully the same can apply in NC.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:55 PM   #110
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That's an excellent point. From what I understand, the auto industry basically killed transit in many mid-size cities (replacing streetcar lines with buses). No doubt they'd like to keep it that way.

I am a little unrealistic with my expectations anyway. Raleigh is probably 30+ years away from light rail. The land use patterns in Raleigh, for the most part, cannot support light rail. A street car system within the next 10 years might be more realistic. It would be cool to see some of the old routes revived (Hillsborough St, New Bern Ave, Glenwood Ave, etc). They tore up the old tracks on Hillsborough St when they gave it its makeover, but they apparently considered the fact that it could be reconfigured for streetcar use in their new design.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 11:11 PM   #111
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just wanted to throw this out there... Discuss amongst yourselves.
http://charlotteeqv.com/images.html

City of Charlotte has partnered with Hines. 10 Blocks of development.
More pictures here. HOLY CRAP
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Old August 28th, 2013, 12:42 AM   #112
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Ok, the Charlotte station looks beautiful!! How likely is this to be built? Unlike the Raleigh plan, the trains actually enter the station too!

Is there another view of the Raleigh station? From that view the platform looks like an after thought. Does one really need to walk through the grass to get to the platform?
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Old August 28th, 2013, 03:18 AM   #113
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No walking on the grass, heh, they'll be a tunnel under the tracks to get to the other side.

I should add that the reason it seems so mundane is that they are repurposing the old Dillon Supply Co. building in the Warehouse District to serve as the station. I'm not sure this project would be possible, from a financial standpoint, if they didn't do this. This is also why the trains/tracks don't extend into the main concourse.



I'll also add a picture of the existing Raleigh Amtrak station. Yeah, it's a pretty big upgrade.



Ok, last edit. The rendering of Charlotte's station looks nice. Most riders in NC will benefit from both Raleigh and Charlotte's new stations, which is great. Raleigh-Charlotte is, not surprisingly, the most served route in the state.

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Old August 28th, 2013, 05:12 AM   #114
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Thanks for the info. It certainly makes more sense as a repurposed site!
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Old August 28th, 2013, 10:13 PM   #115
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Raleigh is probably 30+ years away from light rail. The land use patterns in Raleigh, for the most part, cannot support light rail. A street car system within the next 10 years might be more realistic. It would be cool to see some of the old routes revived (Hillsborough St, New Bern Ave, Glenwood Ave, etc). They tore up the old tracks on Hillsborough St when they gave it its makeover, but they apparently considered the fact that it could be reconfigured for streetcar use in their new design.
Recognition of the long-term demands and potential is key. By preserving some right of way now and fostering transit-oriented development they'll save money and it will prove vital in the evolution of urban spaces. Start with dedicated bus/streetcar lanes and then as demand increases rail can become an option in the same space.

It's amazing is how the human psyche views transit in contrast to most elected officials. Even with similar routes and schedules studies show people prefer riding rail instead of bus. Rail typically offers wider cabins, smoother rides and certainty of flow. Also helps to have such defined stations versus a seemingly anonymous array of bus stops. If more cities simply incorporated dedicated bus lanes and stations I imagine they'd see comparable support as with rail and could use that as a cheaper option that stil enables long-term rail potential.

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just wanted to throw this out there... Discuss amongst yourselves.
Interesting design for a station. Open and airy is certainly the trend, and the central clock as an homage to a bygone era is a nice touch. Certainly a fair design for the city to consider.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #116
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Could MARTA Expansion Propel North 'Burbs Explosion?



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Way back in 2000, when the overhyped horrors of a Y2K meltdown were fading, about 195,000 people called the northern reaches of Fulton County home, up beyond the Chattahoochee River. About 75,000 housing units stood in that part of the county. Back then, those numbers led MARTA officials to conclude North Fulton was not dense enough to support a heavy rail extension beyond its recently completed Sandys Springs and North Springs stations. Times have changed. The conversation is turning back toward the possibility of branching mass transit — be it heavy rail, light rail or bus rapid transit — almost 12 miles up Ga. Highway 400, to Windward Parkway in Alpharetta, the Atlanta Business Chronicle has reported.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported last month that MARTA was considering extending transit service 11.9 miles from the North Springs station in Dunwoody to Alpharetta, with up to six new stations along the way. A public meeting, where officials hope to gather input about which mode of transit is preferable, is scheduled for Sept. 26. Either way, as the newspaper notes, paying for the extension with public money just ain't going to happen, so it's likely MARTA will be looking to partner with private investors.

The newspaper cited a recent market overview report by Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. that shows pretty staggering data about the growth of North Fulton since 2000. The population has swelled 27 percent and housing units by 30 percent.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 08:47 PM   #117
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Anyone doubting the potential for a fixed-path transit option in the northern 'burbs is sadly blind to how well the Sandy Springs/Perimeter stations have worked out. The only thing curious about it all is why they're not trying to be more aggressive in getting additional routes northward toward Cobb/Galleria, Buford, etc.

They really, really should split the rail from MARTA to give it a fresh identity devoid of the old stigma still permeating the bus system and to endow it a seperate funding mechanism.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 01:25 AM   #118
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Anyone doubting the potential for a fixed-path transit option in the northern 'burbs is sadly blind to how well the Sandy Springs/Perimeter stations have worked out. The only thing curious about it all is why they're not trying to be more aggressive in getting additional routes northward toward Cobb/Galleria, Buford, etc.

They really, really should split the rail from MARTA to give it a fresh identity devoid of the old stigma still permeating the bus system and to endow it a seperate funding mechanism.
Expansion has to be combined with aggressive upzoning along transit routes to foster ridership. A metro the size of Atlanta needs at least 1,000 miles of rail and subway. Getting such a comprehensive system financed would be very difficult but even the most ardent suburbanites have to be sick of driving on congested roads every day.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #119
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But in conventional times subway is all but a no-go. Extensive tunneling out of necessity, but that's it. Basically we're stuck in the classic US chicken/egg debate over the cost efficiency of rail under lower densities:

"Not dense enough. Rail's too expensive to maintain." ---> "Too dense. Rail's too expensive to develop."

Ideally what ATL and other cities need is a long-term plan mandating light rail as certain corridors are eventually redeveloped. Even if the trains aren't running install the rails so that the infrstaructure is in place when the density is right.

As to the upzoning, you're right but this needs to be coupled with quality of design and, most importantly, demonstrations of quality schools and parks within urban areas to entice new generations of urban residents. I've met plenty of families who can afford intown living but not private schools, and it's the lack of/perception of quality schools that sends them to the suburbs.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 10:23 PM   #120
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But in conventional times subway is all but a no-go. Extensive tunneling out of necessity, but that's it. Basically we're stuck in the classic US chicken/egg debate over the cost efficiency of rail under lower densities:

"Not dense enough. Rail's too expensive to maintain." ---> "Too dense. Rail's too expensive to develop."

Ideally what ATL and other cities need is a long-term plan mandating light rail as certain corridors are eventually redeveloped. Even if the trains aren't running install the rails so that the infrstaructure is in place when the density is right.

As to the upzoning, you're right but this needs to be coupled with quality of design and, most importantly, demonstrations of quality schools and parks within urban areas to entice new generations of urban residents. I've met plenty of families who can afford intown living but not private schools, and it's the lack of/perception of quality schools that sends them to the suburbs.
LA has found a way to fund subways, commuter and light rail and while the city has become much more dense, it's still an automobile city. Obviously the politics are different so it's really just a matter of political will. I wouldn't expect the city proper to attract many more families though. Few do. And densifying much more of city is just impossible since NIMBYs will derail such attempts. The key is in the 'burbs (unless of course, Atlanta annexes large areas) which have the bulk of the metro's population. The city's schools should absolutely improve but that doesn't necessarily correlate with any large influx of new families. The experience in Boston suggests that even with a housing boom with high quality developments and improved schools, families are not the ones moving in.
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