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Old July 7th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #261
Slartibartfas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Signal priority can wreck road traffic and multiply congestion if the light rail has a lot of train traffic, something (fortunately!) that authorities can't get away with in Houston.
It doesn't wreck car traffic, merely reduce its capacity a bit. Depending on the specifics. For truly high priority roads, one could either make exceptions or invest into upgrade by grade separated crossing.

The point is that the capacity and feasibility of the light rail would almost certainly improve considerably more than the road features would be hampered by such a measure. Thats would most people who are stuck in the traffic planning of the 1960's refuse to consider.

What you might be right however is that authorities in Houston might not get away with somewhat favourable traffic light control for light rails. After all we are speaking of one of the large American cities that experienced the hardest opposition from various sides against the very existence of rail based transit as such. The transit is becoming a real option again, the more this die hard opposition will suffer however.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 09:35 PM   #262
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Signal priority can wreck road traffic and multiply congestion if the light rail has a lot of train traffic, something (fortunately!) that authorities can't get away with in Houston.
They can't get away with that in any of the redneck or petrodollar hillbilly suburbs like League City, Springs or Alvin, but the Houston municipality is different altogether.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 01:15 AM   #263
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Light rail all depends on the platforms and traffic lights. If demand justifies you can give high enough priority to trains that they do not even have to stop anymore at crossings but just always get their way of right already in time. A light rail can be upgraded to very substantial capacities if need be.
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Signal priority can wreck road traffic and multiply congestion if the light rail has a lot of train traffic, something (fortunately!) that authorities can't get away with in Houston.

What parts of the metro light rail would hypothetical question concern?

Obviously it's all mostly at grade, but what major intersections would cause congestion without grade separation, either for the train or the traffic if it's got signal priority?

Before the rail on main street it was a giant bus cluster**** anyways, with the intermittant, sometimes unenforced bus lanes being on the right. And technically you could never turn left in half those places even before the tracks went in the middle. It was never fun being on main or fannin.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 06:09 AM   #264
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Thanks for the picture updates diablo
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Old July 11th, 2012, 03:27 AM   #265
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Whereabouts in Houston do traffic jams happen, because most of the photos shared in this thread reveal barely any street activity?
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Old July 11th, 2012, 03:56 AM   #266
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Whereabouts in Houston do traffic jams happen, because most of the photos shared in this thread reveal barely any street activity?
That's because the lines that are now under construction go mostly through residential areas.

If you were to look at either Downtown, the Texas Medical Center, along Westheimer and Richmond, and the Galleria area, not to mention the various freeways you can notice plenty of traffic and "street activity".
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Old July 11th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #267
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Freeway activity trumping street activity? hmmm...

I've never known streets possessing closed traffic lanes to still be so free of traffic ... swift search of Utube for Houston street traffic jams is yielding nothing either
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Old July 11th, 2012, 08:32 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
That's because the lines that are now under construction go mostly through residential areas.

If you were to look at either Downtown, the Texas Medical Center, along Westheimer and Richmond, and the Galleria area, not to mention the various freeways you can notice plenty of traffic and "street activity".
I'm surprised that Westheimer hasn't been considered for a rail line.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 03:12 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
I'm surprised that Westheimer hasn't been considered for a rail line.
I think that is because of right of way and roadway width issues which prevent a rail line from being built there in the first place without massive opposition.

Even the Richmond line despite being much wider to accomodate the light rail ROW, has attracted opposition from NIMBY's and business owners who have a fear about lost street access and loss of parking spaces.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 10:25 AM   #270
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It's sad that a seemingly majority of people in Texas do not want to improve their cities with urban rail. Happy to see that Houston is at least making an effort to get urban rail up and running.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 08:26 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post


It's sad that a seemingly majority of people in Texas do not want to improve their cities with urban rail. Happy to see that Houston is at least making an effort to get urban rail up and running.
It's more like a small group of people that are delaying construction of the line at this point. According to recent surveys most Houston residents actually support further expansion of the light rail and overall transit system.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #272
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That's good, looks like power goes to the minority vote? Interesting.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 05:48 AM   #273
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Thought some of you might find this to be interesting.

Here is a powerpoint presentation that mentions plans for Washington Avenue to get it's own streetcar or light rail line along with putting the existing freight rail line into a trench along with adding bike paths along the corridor.

Transportation Master Plan
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Old July 26th, 2012, 06:33 AM   #274
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It's sad that a seemingly majority of people in Texas do not want to improve their cities with urban rail. Happy to see that Houston is at least making an effort to get urban rail up and running.
I don't agree. Dallas now has the largest LRT network in the nation and continues to grow and Houston is about to open a slew of new lines. Austin even has that small commuter/LRT Metrorail line.

Dallas certainly doesn't have very good ridership but I think that is far more to do with it's current urban form than people not wanting rail.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 03:45 PM   #275
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Houston-Galveston passenger rail may be revived
By Harvey Rice
Updated 11:07 p.m., Monday, July 30, 2012
http://www.chron.com/news/houston-te...ed-3747946.php

GALVESTON - A Houston-to-Galveston passenger rail line postponed indefinitely after the economy hit bottom in 2009 is getting another chance, but it could be a decade or more before the first spike is driven.

The original plan called for a passenger line carrying 1,000 to 2,000 people per day to be in operation as early as this year, but a series of events starting with Hurricane Ike and the stock market crash in 2008 stalled the project.

"The impact of the economic downturn has taken its toll in so many ways," said Barry Goodman, whose consulting firm, Goodman Corp., is doing the planning. Goodman said the recession affected the rail project more than the storm.

Price tag balloons

The price tag had risen from an estimated $415 million in 2007 to $650 million, and local governments were unable to provide the 40 to 50 percent contribution typical for such projects, Goodman said.

Enthusiasm remains high for the plan among officials and residents in Galveston County's 13 cities, so Goodman Corp. is redrawing the plans to accommodate the new financial reality, said John Carrara, senior vice president.

The revamped plan calls for starting more modestly with expanded park-and-ride and express bus services in the Houston-Galveston corridor.

The more measured approach could provide immediate benefits, said Alan Clark, transportation planning director for the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

The council, which coordinates planning for local governments in the region, will consider making the Goodman Corp. plan part of the regional transportation plan, Clark said.

The first phase was completed this year with the opening of bus service, operated by local governments, from Galveston to a park-and-ride lot at the University of Texas Medical Branch's clinic in League City on Interstate 45, Carrara said. One of several other routes could be running by 2014 and another could be added each year, he said.

Details are being worked out for an express bus from Galveston to downtown Houston and another route to downtown Houston that would stop in Dickinson, Texas City and La Marque, he said.

Click here to read more .......
..
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Old July 31st, 2012, 10:13 PM   #276
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I don't know what it is but there is something more cool about taking a train than taking a bus. I hope they can get this rail project going. I'm not sure how many people commute from Galveston to Houston.

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I don't agree. Dallas now has the largest LRT network in the nation and continues to grow and Houston is about to open a slew of new lines. Austin even has that small commuter/LRT Metrorail line.

Dallas certainly doesn't have very good ridership but I think that is far more to do with it's current urban form than people not wanting rail.
The urban form doesn't help with the ridership levels. It's too sprawled out and the only solution I can think of is to add more rail lines.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 01:16 AM   #277
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I dunno, if you wanted to go to the beach it would be nice.

But you won't fill whole trains like that except for a few weekends during the summer. It has to also function as a commuter system.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 01:20 AM   #278
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Isn't Galveston circled with a massive seawall?
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Old August 1st, 2012, 03:13 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
I dunno, if you wanted to go to the beach it would be nice.

But you won't fill whole trains like that except for a few weekends during the summer. It has to also function as a commuter system.
The commuter rail won't just serve Galveston and Houston proper. There are also tons of towns, cities, and housing developments along the route such as Texas City, League City, Clear Lake, Webster, etc many of whom might just take the train if their job is located in Downtown or the TMC.

If the rail line has a frequency similar to the Metra system in Chicago or even the Trinity Rail Express in the DFW Metroplex, I can see this rail line being used alot aside from the weekend beach crowd.

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Isn't Galveston circled with a massive seawall?
Galveston itself is not circled with a massive seawall but the side facing the Gulf of Mexico does have a seawall, which is why Galveston was able to be flooded by storm surge from Hurricane Ike.

Last edited by diablo234; August 1st, 2012 at 03:19 PM.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 12:44 AM   #280
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UH, Metro come to terms on rail line route

Construction of a light-rail line that would cross University of Houston property can continue now that UH and Metro officials settled differences that threatened to delay the project.

UH announced in a statement Tuesday that university officials have agreed to allow the Metropolitan Transit Authority to start the next phase of construction of the southeast line along Wheeler Avenue. In exchange, Metro will address concerns involving access to UH's facilities.

The Metro board has agreed to pay $1.5 million to take the steps included in the agreement, according to spokesman Jerome Gray.

"We have worked diligently together to reach an agreement," UH President Renu Khator said in a statement. "We have come to a resolution that both the university and Metro are happy with and that is in the best interests of the community."

...
http://www.chron.com/news/houston-te...te-3751395.php
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