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Old October 3rd, 2006, 11:28 AM   #141
Jean Luc
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Another reason might be that residents of affluent areas are sometimes opposed to new rail lines as they fear that it might allow easy access to the area for poor inner city people who they fear will then commit crimes like burgulary etc. During the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 I read in the paper that some residents of Cobb County, which adjoins this city, were opposed to the extension of the MARTA rail system into their area for this very reason. Apparently some people had bumper stickers on their cars that said "Come to Cobb to rob".

Subway construction is very expensive too, due to the tunnelling and underground excavation for stations that is required. The building of LA's very modest subway system (the red line) went way over budget and as a result new subway construction was put on hold I believe. The money spent could have built much more light rail or busways etc.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 11:35 AM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc View Post
Another reason might be that residents of affluent areas are sometimes opposed to new rail lines as they fear that it might allow easy access to the area for poor inner city people who they fear will then commit crimes like burgulary etc. During the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 I read in the paper that some residents of Cobb County, which adjoins this city, were opposed to the extension of the MARTA rail system into their area for this very reason. Apparently some people had bumper stickers on their cars that said "Come to Cobb to rob".

Subway construction is very expensive too, due to the tunnelling and underground excavation for stations that is required. The building of LA's very modest subway system (the red line) went way over budget and as a result new subway construction was put on hold I believe. The money spent could have built much more light rail or busways etc.
Aren't public metro buses also easy access for inner city people to enter affluent areas?

As for LA, it's metro system do travel through the poor neighbourhoods like Watts or Compton.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 12:10 PM   #143
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 12:13 PM   #144
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Aren't public metro buses also easy access for inner city people to enter affluent areas?

As for LA, it's metro system do travel through the poor neighbourhoods like Watts or Compton.
True. I wasn't necessarily agreeing with their views, though. I was just stating that as one reason why new subways or other urban rail lines might not get built, as I distinctly remember reading about the Atlanta situation in the paper.

Maybe U.S. cities are just too spread out for subways to have any noticeable effect on traffic congestion and air pollution. The multitude of journeys made on an average working day, each with its' own starting and ending point, would be impossible to cater for with a subway system unless an enormous and extensive one was built, which would simply be too expensive to contemplate. A cheaper and more cost-effective way to cater to suburb-to-suburb trips would be to have an extensive bus system like that of Toronto, Canada, as I outlined in this post: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...08&postcount=2

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Old October 3rd, 2006, 04:09 PM   #145
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First, there's the money factor. The US is much less willing to pour money into infrastructure, and a subway is a very expen sive thing, particularly when building in an area where tunneling is not easy.

Secondly, and I think more importantly, the US has a strong self-sufficiency mentality (thake that as you will). Many people feel that the public should pay for as little as tthey can, and let people pay their own way. And that pretty well means cars, as the vehicle is privately owned, the operator is the passenger so no public employees, the only public part of it is the higway itself, and that is pretty basic.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:18 PM   #146
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I think that US cities, especially suburbs, are not densely populated enough to support a cost-effective large subway-network. Most suburban areas are just too large to build such a network. It would cost too much to be effective i think.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #147
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Quote:
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I think that US cities, especially suburbs, are not densely populated enough to support a cost-effective large subway-network. Most suburban areas are just too large to build such a network. It would cost too much to be effective i think.
Subways aren't needed in most US cities especially suburbs. But The Bay Area and some east coast and midwest cities have commuter rail networks that connect the city centre to the suburbs.

Because of the rising gas prices in the US, commuting is becoming a popular option especially with the Park & Ride concept. What they do, they drive their car from their home and park their car right near the station. Then take the train to work. Alot of train stations provide multistory carparks where you can park your car the whole day. An example is the Metropark station in New Jersey.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:37 AM   #148
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It's because of cost and NIMBYs...building a metro in a major city is very expensive, and with Americans taking their cars everywhere, it isn't worth it financially...

Thats why, and it sucks...but when gas gets too expensive (it will happen), the cities that didn't invest as much as others will be feeling the heat...
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Old October 4th, 2006, 08:13 AM   #149
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Quote:
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It's because of cost and NIMBYs...building a metro in a major city is very expensive, and with Americans taking their cars everywhere, it isn't worth it financially...

Thats why, and it sucks...but when gas gets too expensive (it will happen), the cities that didn't invest as much as others will be feeling the heat...
But don't they have commuter rail services in Hartford? Because there are those who live in Conneticut but work in Manhattan and they travel by train.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #150
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There seems to be a revival in light rail in many cities. Heavy rail is too expensive to build especially with inadequate ridership.

Even with expensive gas prices, many suburban communities are not built to provide choice for people to switch to public transport. They bite the bullet and reduce spending elsewhere.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 08:35 AM   #151
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In the U.S. it seems like everything is too spread out to have effective intercity rail transportation. If I want to stop at the hardware store, grocery store, my bank and the barber shop the most feasible way for me to hit all those spots in a reasonable time is with my car since I doubt there would be a rail network extensive enough to cover all those bases.

As for going to work and home a high speed light rail system might work with park and ride but when I get to my destination I better have a quick way to get to my office once I leave my station. Try walking 10 blocks to work in the Texas heat after you leave your station. Your suit would be soaked with sweat.

I was on the phone with a girl I know in the U.K. and she heard me cursing the traffic on the freeway and she said "why don't you walk to work?"...I said "because it will probably take me half a day to walk to work and it's 98F outside."

Right now from my house the closest store is at least a 30 minute walk but if I hop in my car it's about 3 minutes away.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 09:04 AM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
In the U.S. it seems like everything is too spread out to have effective intercity rail transportation. If I want to stop at the hardware store, grocery store, my bank and the barber shop the most feasible way for me to hit all those spots in a reasonable time is with my car since I doubt there would be a rail network extensive enough to cover all those bases.

As for going to work and home a high speed light rail system might work with park and ride but when I get to my destination I better have a quick way to get to my office once I leave my station. Try walking 10 blocks to work in the Texas heat after you leave your station. Your suit would be soaked with sweat.

I was on the phone with a girl I know in the U.K. and she heard me cursing the traffic on the freeway and she said "why don't you walk to work?"...I said "because it will probably take me half a day to walk to work and it's 98F outside."

Right now from my house the closest store is at least a 30 minute walk but if I hop in my car it's about 3 minutes away.
Hey I was walking on a hot dry summer in The Strip from Vegas. The city has monorail and the deuce bus but I still walked!

And also alot of establishments are huge like the neighborhood Home Depot with it's huge parking lot.

True that alot of light rail are sprouting up in US cities particularly in the West Coast and the south
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #153
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But don't they have commuter rail services in Hartford? Because there are those who live in Conneticut but work in Manhattan and they travel by train.
Yes, Connecticut does have a large commuter rail network but Hartford does not...Metro North to Grand Central...

But it is only concentrated in New Haven and Fairfield Counties (mostly just NYC suburbs). Hartford is the only large city in the state not to have a commuter rail service...it sucks...

But, a commuter rail proposal to make Hartford connect to New Haven (with another connection to NYC) has been approved and will run in 2011...
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:12 PM   #154
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Metro North goes to New Haven, although there has been recent discussions of extending something to central Conneticut. The ride from New Haven to Grand Central is quite long - over an hour and a half.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 04:24 AM   #155
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Even though it is long, it seems to fill up fast...Metro North is overcrowded...

The commuter rail from Springfield, Mass to NYC, when completed, will take probably longer than just driving down there...
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Old October 7th, 2006, 06:14 AM   #156
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i think if you look at old pictures most US cities in the beginning of the last century had street car systems but were all pretty much destroyed in the advent of freeways

I watched this show about freeways on discovery once and they had this ideal of what they were, freeways, and how they would become these great things which to an extent they did but they never factored in the growth of cars

i think when subways etc could have been developed they used the money to make the freeways and interstates instead

plus i don't think many cities in the 1900's really had the populations to think of a subway - the period when most european cities and New York were or already had subways in place

most places seem to be putting in LRT now though
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Old October 28th, 2006, 06:14 AM   #157
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US metro rail lengths

I've tried to compile the lengths of US metro systems. I'm sure i've missed some, and if you find any of my numbers wrong let me know. These are all in km. I've excluded cummuter rail (altough the distinction gets tough sometimes)

New York.........368
Chicago...........173
DC..................170
San Francisco...152
Los Angeles......117
Boston.............101
San Diego.........82
Atlanta.............80
St. Louis...........73
Dallas...............72
Portland............70
Sacramento.......60
Baltimore...........45?
Pittsburgh..........40
Miami................36
Cleveland..........31?
Salt Lake City.....30
Denver..............25
M/SP................19
Houston............12

While it's clear New York is by far the biggest the differences between cities after that is less than i expected. (Chicago and DC is only 4km)

If anyone has expansion plans let me know too. I know for instance Dallas' will almost double in the next 10 years.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 06:35 AM   #158
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I think you should distinguish between full metro and light rail. You are treating all rail km as equal units. Street car and metros are two totally different beasts. For example, in your list, San Francisco is not that much bigger. However, I do not that Los Angeles is only slightly behind San Francisco in terms of route km as this table suggests, but actually rather far behind San Francisco. San Francisco has MUCH MUCH more km of full subway/metero than LA.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 08:57 PM   #159
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yeah but LA is pouring tons of money into building light rail. Its cheaper to build than metro and and works almost the same way.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 09:19 PM   #160
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^Not exactly, light rail does not have the same capacity as HRT does. LRT can also be run in different modes as well.
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