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Old March 17th, 2012, 01:11 AM   #1
Mister Nifty
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Outside the box which, as it stands now, is at the center of DFW airport

In order to make the Trinity Railway Express really work while killing numerous birds with one stone as well, DFW airport itself needs to build a serious air teminal along the commuter railway line (neither D.A.R.T. in the Dallas area nor "The T" in the Fort Worth area should do it). This line I am speaking about is presently located to the south of the 32 square mile airport behemoth. It needs to be manned with everything necessary just like a real air terminal so that passengers can go straight from the "railway" air terminal on shuttles to an area inside the security net so they can go straight to their planes. This will increase passengers by giving people incentive to use the train while, by way of removing a lot of steps in the tedious process, bringing the station far closer to the airport than it is today.
As the present DFW station functions along the Trinity Railway Express line, it does very little to help but, after passengers have arrived, to offer shuttles for them to travel on in order so that they can then further stand in long lines at the present "highway" air terminals located at the center of the airport (which is how those should be thought of).
This is another idea in a long line of them perpetuated by me in order to get the whole metropolitan area to think about the airport differently. As it stands now, the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth care more about making millions of dollars by marketing DFW airport as a huge mall where passengers can get off for a few moments, use the bathroom, and then buy a few knickknacks before reboarding (whoopie!) instead of billions the whole metropolitan area could be making. In comparison to the importance of DFW as being an airport city like no other (in a class by itself), the numbers of planes that fly into it and the number of passengers on board each is about as significant as the numbers of flies buzzing around a dead horse.
In thinking about how DFW airport should be marketed, the Dallas - Fort Worth area needs to stop bickering amongst themselves and start thinking about how the international airports in Houston and in Denver don't want it to be marketed.
What is their worst fears when considering DFW airport? If it were marketed more as an Airport city and less as a huge shopping mall, it would take away huge amounts of business from Houston and Denver while improving the economy of the whole Dallas - Fort Worth area substantially.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 05:02 AM   #2
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Great idea...let me know how it works for other cities.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 02:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by WesTexas View Post
Great idea...let me know how it works for other cities.

The other cities make the same mistake of carrying the train passengers all the way into the main terminals located at the center of the airport which further clutters up the whole system. But DFW airport is different the way it sits just to the north but right smack dab in the middle of the Trinity Railway Express with the commuter line extending from this point to the two major bookend terminals, with both serving as the beginning and ending of the line, both seperated by a distance of forty miles, and both in the major cities of Dallas (Reunion Station) and Fort Worth (T & P station). To make rail work better, DFW airport should build a centerpiece railway to air terminal connected by dedicated lanes to the main airport to be used to transport air passengers and their baggage past all the hideous security so they can go straight to their planes.
In my opinion, Dart needs to quit building any more light rail along the Orange line and instead work with DFW airport to build a major rail to air terminal somewhere close to the Las Colinas Urban area (downtown Las Colinas).
Another rail to air terminal would also be built in the future northwest of DFW for the Cotton commuter line which is expected to stretch southwest of Fort Worth, travel northeast through its downtown, and then proceed further at this angle past the airport proceeding far into the North Dallas area.
I wouldn't make the same mistake of running any of the rail lines into the center of DFW airport. Such a tendency is just a waste of tax money while, in the end, such pie in the sky doesn't work. Come on! Why get on a train if you don't have to? Now, if I could bypass the nonsense at the main terminal by using the rail, I would have reason to do it.
In other words, what I'm saying here, if this plan were actually implemented, DFW airport wouldn't need to build that many more terminals at the center of the airport. Instead, most of the major expansions in the future would be happening right outside of the airport with the building of major rail to air terminals (all set up with their own ticket counters, baggage collection points, homeland security measures, and so on).
No, the jets wouldn't be able to pull up to the rail air terminals. New terminals would indeed need to be built in the future to accomadate new aircraft.

http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/stations.html

Notice how DFW airport is located directly to the north of and at the halfway point of the Trinity Railway Express commuter line between the major cities of Fort Worth and Dallas?

Last edited by Mister Nifty; March 21st, 2012 at 03:47 AM.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:53 AM   #4
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It's still a substantial distance from the actual airport. The TRE and and DART bus station in downtown Irving is a good 10 minute drive away from the airport.

I would like to see a Orange line hub north of DFW airport, which ends the line. Perhaps merging it with FW transit would make another viable option to increase ridership.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 01:02 AM   #5
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It's still a substantial distance from the actual airport. The TRE and and DART bus station in downtown Irving is a good 10 minute drive away from the airport.

I would like to see a Orange line hub north of DFW airport, which ends the line. Perhaps merging it with FW transit would make another viable option to increase ridership.
But the unreal notion is out there that passengers will want to use the railway without an incentive to do so. If its going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build a line all the way into the heart of DFW airport while passengers still aren't going to use it regardless, then it would make sense to save all that money by building rail to air terminals outside of the airport. The "rail to air" terminals would still be part of the airport and not part of DART. That is the point. Stop thinking that the line has to travel all the way to the heart of the airport to be a part of it. It would be expanding in a different direction which would work to kill multiple birds with one stone. First off, more people would have reason to ride the trains. Second, it would releive the traffic going into the central (auto oriented) terminals. Third, it would revolutionize DFW airport by further accentuating its unique location at the center of the metropolitan area.
We have to stop thinking about DFW as a huge shopping mall where millions of faceless people get off for a few minutes to spend a few bucks, relieve themselves, before switching planes on their way to far flung destinations.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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I live in Richardson, and at present its about $50 in a cab to get home.

Isnt DART (orange line) going to build a station directly connected to the DFW people mover, though? Isnt that a good alternative to an actual air terminal?

I just flew into Tokyo Haneda and the monorail station sits immediately beyond baggage claim. It was freakishly handy.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 01:50 AM   #7
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I live in Richardson, and at present its about $50 in a cab to get home.

Isnt DART (orange line) going to build a station directly connected to the DFW people mover, though? Isnt that a good alternative to an actual air terminal?

I just flew into Tokyo Haneda and the monorail station sits immediately beyond baggage claim. It was freakishly handy.
Thats exactly what DFW and DART need to do. I think having a station off-site, like the one which Mister Nifty is referring to would make rail even more of an inconviencience than it already is for the area. I could envision the Orange line ending close to one of the DFW Remote parking sites, and having shuttle buses transport riders to and from the terminals, but it would just seem so much easier to have a single station right in the heart of the airport connected to the DFW people mover, getting passengers to where the need to be...
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Old March 27th, 2012, 08:40 PM   #8
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Be glad your train system is some what sufficient. Light rail is still pretty much a joke in Houston. True they are expanding the lines but to where? Dumpy neighborhoods where the people do not even travel in to downtown. But we have a freeway with 10 open lanes and 4 hov lanes and traffic still gets backed up. Im still praying one day they can figure out how to replace a hov lane with a train for people that actually commute from the suburbs to downtown.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:39 AM   #9
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Thats exactly what DFW and DART need to do. I think having a station off-site, like the one which Mister Nifty is referring to would make rail even more of an inconviencience than it already is for the area. I could envision the Orange line ending close to one of the DFW Remote parking sites, and having shuttle buses transport riders to and from the terminals, but it would just seem so much easier to have a single station right in the heart of the airport connected to the DFW people mover, getting passengers to where the need to be...
Running the train to the heart of the airport will not only cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but it will further clutter up the logistics of the present terminals. If DFW airport built rail-to-air terminals, expanding the size of the airport's district in the procress, and connected them by way of dedicated lanes, then, because all the infrastructure in the main terminals would exist in the rail-to-air terminals, the stations wouldn't seem that far away. No hassles parking. Get off the train, take care of all the nonsense at the rail expres air terminal concerning luggage and security and then go straight to your plane.
I am certain DART coiuld utilize the money saved from building the train stations outside of the airport for building such things as another (subway) line in downtown Dallas to relieve train traffic.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 05:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mister Nifty View Post
Running the train to the heart of the airport will not only cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but it will further clutter up the logistics of the present terminals. If DFW airport built rail-to-air terminals, expanding the size of the airport's district in the procress, and connected them by way of dedicated lanes, then, because all the infrastructure in the main terminals would exist in the rail-to-air terminals, the stations wouldn't seem that far away. No hassles parking. Get off the train, take care of all the nonsense at the rail expres air terminal concerning luggage and security and then go straight to your plane.
I am certain DART coiuld utilize the money saved from building the train stations outside of the airport for building such things as another (subway) line in downtown Dallas to relieve train traffic.
Can you expand a little more on the rail-to-air terminal idea? If you want the station off-sight then how could this achieve the most hassle free ride?
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Old March 30th, 2012, 03:56 AM   #11
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Can you expand a little more on the rail-to-air terminal idea? If you want the station off-sight then how could this achieve the most hassle free ride?
It is important to get this right. So, perhaps work should slow down until all involved can agree on the best solution to how to best serve DFW airport, which is the big magnet of the south and the primary economic engine to the whole North Texas metropolitan area. As DART, DFW airport, and the city of Irving needs to work out the best solution regarding the Orange Line, the cities of Grapevine and Fort Worth, also along with DART and DFW airport needs to work out the stations for the two commuter lines, one existing and the other still being planned, serving the airport from the north and south.
I just think the best solution is to serve DFW airport from its outside perimeter just as Reunion Station serves downtown Dallas from an outside location and ditto for the station in downtown Fort Worth.
The three lines serving DFW airport would run through an expanding district around DFW airport and would be connected by way of dedicated SUV like connections from each of the three rail-toair terminals to the heart of the airport ushering passengers past all the logistical infrastructure located within the main terminals free from the hassles of the security network, free from worrying about parking, and so on, straight to their planes if that option is their wish.

Last edited by Mister Nifty; March 30th, 2012 at 11:33 PM. Reason: -
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Old March 30th, 2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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I live in Richardson, and at present its about $50 in a cab to get home.

Isnt DART (orange line) going to build a station directly connected to the DFW people mover, though? Isnt that a good alternative to an actual air terminal?

I just flew into Tokyo Haneda and the monorail station sits immediately beyond baggage claim. It was freakishly handy.
Japan is half the size of Texas with five times the population. I guess one of the points I'm trying to make is planned development in and around DFW airport, specifically in the Las Colinas urban area, doesn't need to wait for DART to connect to the terminals before getting on with their plans. As it could take the wishy washy agency until 2016 to finish the station at DFW airport, they should just consider the Orange line already connected and get on with the developments.
In other words, if the station fails to materialize because of unforseen corruption within DART, then the city of Irving and DFW airport can step in to build a rail-to-air station.
You know, DART doesn't stant for Dallas Rail Transit. It stands for "Dallas area." It doesn't seem fair that DART in the past was diligent and creative in expanding service to those cities that are part of DART with stations uniquely designed for the areas they were built, but then slow down, run out of money, and cut back on their efforts of putting in the unique museum-like designs once they get around to expanding into Las Colinas.
One could even suspect complicity and a conflict of interest going on. Even worse for the whole metropolitan area, DART has set back the idea of transit oriented developments by its own corruption.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #13
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Be glad your train system is some what sufficient. Light rail is still pretty much a joke in Houston. True they are expanding the lines but to where? Dumpy neighborhoods where the people do not even travel in to downtown. But we have a freeway with 10 open lanes and 4 hov lanes and traffic still gets backed up. Im still praying one day they can figure out how to replace a hov lane with a train for people that actually commute from the suburbs to downtown.
It didn't make sense to me to run the rail from downtown to the Texas Medical Center, two areas which were already developed. When planning the system, it was important to build momentum before the rail line aged to the extent it is no longer properly maintained, which is a point fast approaching. That improper maintenance always begins to happen when the transit agency reveals how it has been mismanaging itself (gee, such agencies are motherlodes for dispensing out unfathomable amounts of indirect social welfare). Once the city, state, and federal governments forgive them for their corruption, then the rail will no longer feel like it is a new and an ever expanding service. Maintenance will then get neglected. This is the point when it becomes all downhill. Next step, the lines will be deemed unsalvageable. The rails will then be stripped up to be sent as junk to China, getting pennies on the dollar, but making some city official millions.
In Houston, the true Midtown runs along Montrose Boulevard, to the west of the area that is called Midtown, between where it intersects with Herman Park / South Main to the south and Allen Parkway / Buffalo Bayou to the north. This would have been a better place to run a starter line to anchor the whole system.
As the area between downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center was already transitioned nicely connected by the straight corridors of Main Street and Fannin, running the starter line along here only served to clutter up what was already working. It would have been better to run a short line out along Allens Parkway or Memorial before bending it towards the south along Montrose. Once the line got to Richmond, it could bend west if that is wished, before continuing on towards the Texas Medical Center / Reliant Statium / Entertainment district.
That is what DART did with the line traveling towards the South-Southeast of downtown Dallas into Oak Cliff / the zoo. It travels directly south and then bends towards the west. In other words, Oak Cliff was already connected wonderfully by Viaducts so why run a line where infrastructure was already in place and working nicely?
Imagine today Main and Fannin uncluttered and the Metro line instead running to the west of it along Montrose?

Last edited by Mister Nifty; March 30th, 2012 at 11:24 PM.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 11:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by diskojoe View Post
Be glad your train system is some what sufficient. Light rail is still pretty much a joke in Houston. True they are expanding the lines but to where? Dumpy neighborhoods where the people do not even travel in to downtown. But we have a freeway with 10 open lanes and 4 hov lanes and traffic still gets backed up. Im still praying one day they can figure out how to replace a hov lane with a train for people that actually commute from the suburbs to downtown.
It didn't make sense to me to run the rail from downtown to the Texas Medical Center, two areas which are already developed. When planning the system, it was important to build momentum before the rail line aged to the extent it is no longer properly maintained which is a point fast approaching. That improper maintenance always begins to happen when the transit agency reveals how it has been mismanaging itself (gee, such agencies are motherlodes for dispensing out unfathomable amounts of indirect social welfare). Once the city, state, and federal governments forgive them for their corruption, then the rail will no longer feel like it is a new and an ever expanding service. Maintenance will then get neglected. This is the point when it becomes all downhill. The lines will be deemed unsalvageable.
In Houston, the true Midtown runs along Montrose Boulevard to the north of the area that is called Midtown between where it intersects with Herman Park / South Main to the south and Allen Parkway / Buffalo Bayou to the north. This would have been a better place to run a line to anchor the whole system.
As the area between downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center was already transitioned nicely connected by the straight corridors of Main Street and Fannin, running the starter line along here only served to clutter up what was already working. It would have been better to run a short line out along Allens Parkway or Memorial and then bent it towards the south along Montrose. Once the line got to Richmond, it would bend west if that is wished, and then continued on towards the Texas Medical Center / Reliant Statium / Entertainment district.
That is what DART did with the line traveling towards the South-Southeast of downtown Dallas into Oak Cliff / the zoo. It travels directly south and then bends towards the west. In other words, Oak Cliff was already connected wonderfully by Viaducts so why run a line where infrastructure was already in place and working nicely?
Imagine today Main and Fannin uncluttered and the Metro line instead running to the west of it along Montrose?
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Old March 31st, 2012, 06:39 PM   #15
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DART and The T are going to build a shared station on the North end of the stadium. there will then be walkways and security into Terminal A and B. This station will also allow someone from DT Fort Worth to catch the T to DFW and then DART to DT Dallas. there will also be a station that ties in the Cotton Belt Line. The DFW People mover will not move, be changed or have anything done to it. It's just going to be a security walk way that connects the station to the 2 north Terminals.

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Old March 31st, 2012, 06:44 PM   #16
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Nifty, where are you from?
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Old April 1st, 2012, 04:34 AM   #17
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DART and The T are going to build a shared station on the North end of the stadium. there will then be walkways and security into Terminal A and B. This station will also allow someone from DT Fort Worth to catch the T to DFW and then DART to DT Dallas. there will also be a station that ties in the Cotton Belt Line. The DFW People mover will not move, be changed or have anything done to it. It's just going to be a security walk way that connects the station to the 2 north Terminals.

Just a little more information on the Cotton Belt Allignment, I was interested so I looked into it myself a little.

http://www.dart.org/CottonBeltPPP/cottonbeltppprfi.pdf

IF this does end up materializing, I could see a huge ridership potential for DART and it's partners. A E-W line would offer much more advantages than what Orange and Green Line offer to Carrollton and Irving respectively. However, DART would definitely need to get it's act together in terms of fundraising because these routes are already fairly well covered by bus-lines, but it would be fascinating to see this come to life. It would run literally 2 blocks from my house
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Old April 1st, 2012, 07:14 AM   #18
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Nifty, where are you from?
I was born and raised in Oak Cliff. Split time equally between living in the Dallas - Fort Worth area and the Houston area.
I can remember watching a movie at the theater in the Wynnwood shopping center when a boy. I've always thought Oak Cliff being a beautiful place was just my prejudiced opinion. Well, I was wrong. It wasn't just my prejudiced opinion.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 09:28 PM   #19
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It was beautiful. The way the city has let parts of Oak Cliff deteriorate is just sick.
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 07:06 PM   #20
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It was beautiful. The way the city has let parts of Oak Cliff deteriorate is just sick.
In regards to the loss of tree, lots of variables factor in like wind, drought, and disease. Politics, whether it be liberal and conservative, is the greatest danger.
The reason the Lakecliff area of Oak Cliff needs to be developed with a passion is to help save those far reaching parts of Oak Cliff no one thinks about. Like saving the Wynnwood shopping center and further reawakening Elmwood. Or perhaps that interesting bit of commercial at Claredon and S. Beckley might look appealing.
Preservationists themselves become a wall to preservation.
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