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Old May 3rd, 2015, 01:13 PM   #1
alessio88
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MISC | Tramways, an occasion of urban improvement: before and after

Dear forumers, often the realization of new tramways lines becomes an opportunity of urban redevelopment (wether in the city centers or the peripheries), i was searching for some pictures to show the "before" and "after" of that redevelopment, as in this example (even though this is only a render):

Before


After


(pictures picked from http://www.academyofurbanism.org.uk/...ategic-vision/ )

Would you have another real similar examples?

Thanks to all
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Old May 4th, 2015, 02:21 PM   #2
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Not sure if i would call this an improvement.
This seems like a narrow busy street which has it's space eaten by a tram, while the pedestrians are packed to a narrow sidewalk. The sidewalks are very busy and the tram passes too closely to it which in practice means a lot of people crossing the tram rails, which is a potentially dangerous situation reducing the tram speed to a crawl.
In this picture i would prefer 2 car lanes + 1 bus lane and wider sidewalks (and a bike lane optionally).
In the 21st century rail transport should be separated (either in central reservation in wide streets, or underground). If you want to be green use an electrical or hydrogen bus.
Other than a pretty picture, not very practical.

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Old May 4th, 2015, 06:28 PM   #3
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The gov prefers to build a Environmentally Friendly Linkage System instead.
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Old May 4th, 2015, 08:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb.2 View Post

Not sure if i would call this an improvement.
This seems like a narrow busy street which has it's space eaten by a tram, while the pedestrians are packed to a narrow sidewalk. The sidewalks are very busy and the tram passes too closely to it which in practice means a lot of people crossing the tram rails, which is a potentially dangerous situation reducing the tram speed to a crawl.
In this picture i would prefer 2 car lanes + 1 bus lane and wider sidewalks (and a bike lane optionally).
In the 21st century rail transport should be separated (either in central reservation in wide streets, or underground). If you want to be green use an electrical or hydrogen bus.
Other than a pretty picture, not very practical.
Buses can use the tram lane, as in Antwerp. I would suggest to narrow down to 1 lane for private cars, larger sidewalks and cycle path...2 lanes for private cars is still way too much. Of course, 30km/h should be mandatory for cars and 50 km/h for trams/buses. That's what I would call an improvement...
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Old May 4th, 2015, 09:11 PM   #5
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I believe these are the kind of images you are looking for:




http://www.origo.hu/foto/20110912-el...elujitasa.html
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Old May 5th, 2015, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RawLee View Post
I believe these are the kind of images you are looking for:
Yes!
Exactly what i was searching for, thank you!!
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Old May 5th, 2015, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb.2 View Post
This seems like a narrow busy street which has it's space eaten by a tram, while the pedestrians are packed to a narrow sidewalk. The sidewalks are very busy and the tram passes too closely to it which in practice means a lot of people crossing the tram rails, which is a potentially dangerous situation reducing the tram speed to a crawl


In amsterdam, for example, trams and pedestrians coexist peacefully without incidents. Of course, tramways can't run in that streets at high speeds, but in the city centers i think this is the best solution to discourage the use of private cars
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Old May 5th, 2015, 11:30 PM   #8
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Nice, France

Avenue Jean Médecin

Before:


Intermediate:


After:


Place Massena

Before:


After:
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Old May 6th, 2015, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAronymous View Post
Nice, France
Thanks!!
I think in France there are the best examples of urban redevelopment made by tramways
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Old May 8th, 2015, 01:06 AM   #10
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France really does the nicest looking tram lines, but I hate to say it but I am a bit disappointed by that picture from the Avenue Jean Médecin. It's not bad, don't get me wrong, but it looks a bit boring. If they had plastered the road, and especially the tramway, this would look so much nicer and more interesting (and would have been more expensive as well of course)

I know, this is complaining at a very high level of course.



I really like the Hungarian redevelopment. It looks great.
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Old May 8th, 2015, 01:16 AM   #11
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I was hesitant to use that third picture, because the car makes it look like the roadway is still there. But that's not the case. It's a pedestrian mall now. Don't know what you mean by plastered, but the pavement is made of dimension stone(I'm thinking granite?), not asphalt. And with all the people and buildings there, trust me it gets really really busy, it's good that they gave the pavement a clean look.
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Old May 8th, 2015, 08:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb.2 View Post

Not sure if i would call this an improvement.
This seems like a narrow busy street which has it's space eaten by a tram, while the pedestrians are packed to a narrow sidewalk. The sidewalks are very busy and the tram passes too closely to it which in practice means a lot of people crossing the tram rails, which is a potentially dangerous situation reducing the tram speed to a crawl.
In this picture i would prefer 2 car lanes + 1 bus lane and wider sidewalks (and a bike lane optionally).
In the 21st century rail transport should be separated (either in central reservation in wide streets, or underground). If you want to be green use an electrical or hydrogen bus.
Other than a pretty picture, not very practical.
Even though your observation is actually correct - the whole picture seems rather busy, packed and a bit impractical -, nevertheless the concluding remarks you derive are groundless at all, since the premises from which you start are wrong:
  • buses need a lot more space, so a single curbside bus lane is almost as wide as the double track (3,5 m + buffers versus 5÷5,5 m exclusive tram ROW) > replacing tram rails with a single way bus lane means, at best, 75 cm extra for each sidewalk and surely no room for bicycles;
  • tramcars carry a lot more passengers than buses, even with the same vehicle length > replacing tram with bus means you need trice or more vehicles/hour passing through the reserved lane;
  • electrical buses* are unfit for heavy duty service and hydrogen buses are yet experimental > replacing tram with bus means being fair toward sidewalks, since this way pedestrians from both side can benefit from the same share of closely provided exhaust gas and noise;
  • unlike where capacity and/or speed are important (main corridors and far outer stretch), in the urban core public transport confronts with clogged car flows and parking lack > reserved lanes with side fence (or a low hedge), few crossroads and priority at traffic lights is enough in order to assure a more than adequate commercial speed (between 18 and 26 km/h);
  • very wide roads (maybe with disused railway ROW or central island in which accommodate tracks without any sacrifice for cars) are uncommon and building tunnels/elevated ways is expensive (from four to ten times and more than a surface modern tramway) > restricting rail transit to those circumstances mean only few route and a PT network which heavily relies on buses, thus a car-based urban transport.
I'm well aware that in some countries there's an ideological US-like parting between LRT and streetcar (although reality is somewhat more nuanced than theory), with the former conceived as a metro-wannabe almost evicted from streets and the latter seen as an “urban toy” which progresses at an ultra-low pace, left defenseless in the middle of all the other traffic. But this isn't mandatory: European cities, in particular the French ones, show us trams well attuned in a lot of different context that testify how versatile and urban-friendly is this transit system: affordable to built, catching and worthwhile for users and good for urban environment, life quality and public health.

Watching the first post of this thread, I think planners didn't make a bad choice, but merely overdid: it's obvious that you can't get a double track tramway, two car lane, wide sidewalks ad even a line of threes where now there's non more than three not particularly wide car lane.
A good solution could be keep a single lane for private cars (as Klausenburg suggested) or, if it's really impossible reducing car section, a one-way single track (with the other way in the nearest parallel street). Both designs (unlike your advice) are really “green” and able to assure enough surplus for widened sidewalks, a track-side protection (pedestrian safety & enhanced tram performances) and a bike path: this is (IMHO) what we can truly label as “an improvement”.

* I'm speaking about battery powered buses - and other boondoggles, good only for who's silly enough to pay for the privilege of being a guinea pig -. Of course there are also trolleybuses, which are a well established and reliable technology with lower operating costs and longer lifespan than buses; however they need an overhead system, expensive to build and maintain, that is more complex and obtrusive compared to the tram one; purchasing each one takes thrice the money required for a standard bus and they’re perceived as “bad” as buses by users and investors. Besides, they have the same capacity issues, so their best use field are cities “too small” for a tram line and routes (primarily hilly, since their better energy efficiency) where there's some patronage, but not enough to justify tramways: seeing the photo, I'm pretty confident it's not the case.
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Old May 8th, 2015, 10:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAronymous View Post
I was hesitant to use that third picture, because the car makes it look like the roadway is still there. But that's not the case. It's a pedestrian mall now. Don't know what you mean by plastered, but the pavement is made of dimension stone(I'm thinking granite?), not asphalt. And with all the people and buildings there, trust me it gets really really busy, it's good that they gave the pavement a clean look.
Oh is it? Then I was mistaken. It is sometimes hard to say from an image. But the tracks are covered with asphalt, aren't they?
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Old May 9th, 2015, 05:09 AM   #14
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Some exemple of improvement with the extention of the T3 in Paris.

2008

2014

2008

2014

2008

2014

2008

2014

2008

2014
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Old May 14th, 2015, 09:56 PM   #15
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I actually think LRT should be uses to describe Monorail, Tram and traditional Light Rail.

I usually look down on LRT, as they tend to be low-capacity and are generally seen as an underinvestment.

LRT seems like something left to closed/zoned areas such as airports, parks, stations, etc... Or just for one/two stop interchange people movers.

However, one plan I do support is using trams as a total replacement for buses in urban areas, excluding traffic from the central core.
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Old May 14th, 2015, 11:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yak79 View Post
[LIST][*] buses need a lot more space, so a single curbside bus lane is almost as wide as the double track (3,5 m + buffers versus 5÷5,5 m exclusive tram ROW) > replacing tram rails with a single way bus lane means, at best, 75 cm extra for each sidewalk and surely no room for bicycles;[*]tramcars carry a lot more passengers than buses, even with the same vehicle length > replacing tram with bus means you need trice or more vehicles/hour passing through the reserved lane;[*]electrical buses* are unfit for heavy duty service and hydrogen buses are yet experimental > replacing tram with bus means being fair toward sidewalks, since this way pedestrians from both side can benefit from the same share of closely provided exhaust gas and noise;
I'm not defending buses here because it's true that trams have more capacity - but only if they're 30 metres or longer. Modern 100% low floor buses with multiple doors can now perform the same function as competently as a tram up to equivalent length and with the same capacity, e.g. 18 metre articulated or 25 metre double-articulated. Trams are best if you require the capacity of a 30 metre (or longer) vehicle along a corridor. Below that, the economics are questionable.

Re lane width, what you say is theoretically true but in many European cities now, buses are sharing tram lanes without any apparent problems. And these are usually traditional tram lanes, not ones newly built for this purpose.

Autonomous electric buses may be still developing but it is interesting that Hamburg for example (I think Vienna also) is planning to replace all diesel buses with electric by 2020. Autonomous battery power in trams is also progressing at a similar rate so there seems to be some optimism that the technology will produce good results this decade.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 01:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I'm not defending buses here because it's true that trams have more capacity - but only if they're 30 metres or longer. Modern 100% low floor buses with multiple doors can now perform the same function as competently as a tram up to equivalent length and with the same capacity, e.g. 18 metre articulated or 25 metre double-articulated. Trams are best if you require the capacity of a 30 metre (or longer) vehicle along a corridor. Below that, the economics are questionable. ...
I'm not speaking about cost, but mere capacity: even under 25 m (max bus length) tramcars can carry more passengers than equivalent buses. For instance, an average articulated 18 m European low-floor bus carries 150 passengers, almost the same as Naples Sirio by AnsaldoBreda, one of the shorter modern tram (20,2 m length, 155 pax), but the latter is bidirectional (=two cockpits) and narrower (2,30 m versus 2,5/2,6 m) due to local restraint; North American typical layout accommodates even less passengers (125/130 overall). There are two reasons underlying this, both related to the guide (tracks): the bogie shape gives more freedom in seats arrangement and the smother march allows the same comfort level with a lower seats ratio.
Moreover, if users number grows over nominal capacity (rated at 4 pax/m˛) in a bus, they start to feel like well packed sardines almost immediately, due to its poky internal space, while in a tramcar you can go up to 6 pax/m˛ keeping an tolerable situation on board.


Quote:
... Re lane width, what you say is theoretically true but in many European cities now, buses are sharing tram lanes without any apparent problems. And these are usually traditional tram lanes, not ones newly built for this purpose. ...
They do it because tram lanes are wide enough: it's possible to have/to build them this way, but not necessary. Rails presence gives trams an exact trajectory, unlike buses - even with the steadiest driver's hand -, so you can reduce the gap between parallel tracks till the point of leaving only 20÷25 cm clearance between two passing trams without affecting circulation: try to do the same with buses and you can see them slow down (and almost stop) every time they cross. Plus, buses have tighter turning radius, but larger swept paths than modern multiarticulated tramcars, so busways need definitely more room.


Quote:
... Autonomous electric buses may be still developing but it is interesting that Hamburg for example (I think Vienna also) is planning to replace all diesel buses with electric by 2020. Autonomous battery power in trams is also progressing at a similar rate so there seems to be some optimism that the technology will produce good results this decade.
Hamburg and other cities efforts are surely worthy, but they count as electric also serial-hybrid buses: this is by far the most efficient use for an internal combustion engine, but it's not stricto sensu pollution free.
Batteries are an old, well known technology and proved itself good for short section in an either bus or tram route, but aren't suitable for an intensive use (operative costs and reliability issues) and supercapacitors - that are actually progressing and promising - seems to fit better with tram features.
Lastly, despite a lot of enthusiasm hydrogen fuel cells bus/tram trials haven't had encouraging results so far.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 12:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I'm not speaking about cost,
But unfortunately cost very much comes into it. Buses have developed to be able to do the work of trams of up to about 20-24 metres - without the very expensive investment in infrastructure. The cost-benefit of a tramway must be related to providing capacity considerably greater than a bus system can provide.

Once you've invested in all that infrastructure, you need it to realise its maximum benefit and this will only be with bigger trams. Sure, you can start off with smaller trams if you think urban growth is going to require more capacity in future and thus having the infrastructure in place is justified because you can later put bigger trams on it.

If there is not going to be much growth though, it's senseless to build a tramway that moves no more people than buses. Some of the new "light rails" are in this category and they would have to be hoping that urban growth will eventually justify it. Meanwhile there are the maintenance costs ....

Don't tell me about bogie arrangements in trams! Some manufacturers have terrible seating solutions around bogies and there is often loss of numbers of seats. In low floor buses, the even pattern of seating is not usually interrupted by wheel-arches, just that some seats have to be elevated on platforms.

Electric buses - well:

http://zeeus.eu/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag1h...ature=youtu.be
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Old February 14th, 2016, 05:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyworks View Post
But unfortunately cost very much comes into it. Buses have developed to be able to do the work of trams of up to about 20-24 metres - without the very expensive investment in infrastructure. The cost-benefit of a tramway must be related to providing capacity considerably greater than a bus system can provide.

Once you've invested in all that infrastructure, you need it to realise its maximum benefit and this will only be with bigger trams. Sure, you can start off with smaller trams if you think urban growth is going to require more capacity in future and thus having the infrastructure in place is justified because you can later put bigger trams on it.

If there is not going to be much growth though, it's senseless to build a tramway that moves no more people than buses. Some of the new "light rails" are in this category and they would have to be hoping that urban growth will eventually justify it. Meanwhile there are the maintenance costs ....
Well, it's a common practice that you want to build a "core" or a skeleton of the public transportation system around a tramline.
It's also quite common that instead of several buslines with 20 12m/18m buses an hour (let's suppose 4 lines with 12' interval, which is independent to other lines) on the key fragment, a tramline offers only 12 trams an hour, though with a steady 5' interval (which is better than unorganized theoretical 3' but practical 1-2-8-1). The buslines may serve different parts os the city or simply feed the tram with passengers.

Please also don't forget that today's cost of energy needed to propel the vehicles (at least in Poland) is the same for a 30m tram (Pesa 120Na) and a 12m bus (Solaris Urbino 12), which makes trams extremely cost-efficient.
Typical subsides for the transport companies per km in Poland are 7-9 PL, when we take care of buses (up to 10 if only new articulated buses are being operated) and 12-15 PLN if trams are being considered (maintenance of the tracks and catenary not included), which makes a tramline cost the taxpayer approximately 1,5x as much as a busline.

Buses larger than 18,75m are much more costly, due to some stabilizers being critical to be installed. They also need a special permit as they are longer than the limit of the bus length in many countries (Poland is an example). Plus they often need some special infrastructure - their turning radius is a bit larger and they should not be driven rear without assistance(this doesn't happen often when being driven with passengers but it may be troubleshooting in depo and during maintenance)

To be honest, I consider the minimum frequency to make the tramline effective to be 10'.
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