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Old January 13th, 2015, 12:48 AM   #1481
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The new modern 'redcar' is a fantastic looking tribute to it's predecessor. Bring it on!
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Old January 13th, 2015, 01:24 AM   #1482
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Well, it does appear that "walking distance" in Los Angeles is a much shorter unit of measurement than it is in the rest of the country.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 08:16 AM   #1483
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Curiously, "walking distance" in Los Angeles is quite similar to East Millinocket, Maine.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 08:22 PM   #1484
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
Well, it does appear that "walking distance" in Los Angeles is a much shorter unit of measurement than it is in the rest of the country.
Didn't you read? city blocks are larger.

You know fellas, every time a friend or family visits LA for the first time, I always take them to DT on Metro. We get off at Union Station, do Olvera St., walk to City Hall, up to the Cathedral, then to Disney Concert Hall, next to Bunker Hill, Grand Central Market, etc. etc. then for lunch...Clifton's. (hope they're open again)

If you're a regular persona, and not a world sprinter, it takes it out of you.

But if you just get out of the Red Line and go to one place, walking distance, then fine. I don't do just one thing in a day. I don't think the regular public transportation user does too.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 08:47 PM   #1485
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Quote:
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If you're a regular persona, and not a world sprinter, it takes it out of you.
Under 2 miles with several breaks?

I know (from experience) that LA is hot during the summer, but you've got breaks from that heat.

And it's not like there's not buses you can use if you can't walk that distance.

Not to mention hiking in the (hotter) mountains, people thinking nothing of walking those sorts of distances at Magic Mountain, Universal Studios or Disneyland.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 09:41 PM   #1486
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Quote:
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You know fellas, every time a fiend or family visits LA
If I had a fiend visit Los Angeles, I am not sure I would want to spend time with him/her.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 11:16 PM   #1487
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Quote:
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START VIDEO AT 1:20

LA's last remaining working Pacific Electric Red Car in the Port of Los Angeles.

(beautiful)
It looks fantastic!

But I would want to live near one - I just couldn't bear listening to that loud foghorn over and over and over again every 5-10 minutes I hope that they would use a bell if any new Red Cars are built. And shouldn't need to ring it every time for a couple of times it crosses any intersection.
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Old January 16th, 2015, 06:23 AM   #1488
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I'm not sure that fog horn is original. I do believe the originals had bells. Let me look. Meanwhile...here's another great video.



Quote:
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If I had a fiend visit Los Angeles, I am not sure I would want to spend time with him/her.
Typo. I multitask and sometimes I miss some. But you understand, I think.

Last edited by Kenni; January 16th, 2015 at 06:36 AM.
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Old January 16th, 2015, 12:45 PM   #1489
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I asked it already in the Atlanta thread, but I still don't get it what this US love affair with one-way streetcar loops is all about. Is it really merely about sacrificing usability for supposed coverage maximation?

Is it really so hard to produce two-way streetcar options? Or is it simply unwanted?
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Old January 16th, 2015, 12:58 PM   #1490
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city blocks in the cbd are often times not very wide,
So they would have to:
-block general purpose lanes
-have just a 1 way street
-make a block pedestrian-only like martin place in Sydney (just with a tram) but that would be unthinkable.
also it makes the network larger on a map, which could increase property prices in a larger area
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Old January 16th, 2015, 06:54 PM   #1491
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Sorry, I don't buy those above reasons, except the latter. There are numerous new streetcar systems in Europe, especially in France and they are basically almost all devoid of meaningful loops and one way stations. Given how the streetscape and the dimensions are definitely a lot more challenging there, than in LA, it makes you wonder how they manage to evade these loops while in the US they seem to be almost the norm.

The last argument is also an example of fooling people and not a true advantage. What matters for network coverage is a two way connectivity. Therefore the true network coverage area is only where the distance to stops in both directions are available. With this loop design, this proper network coverage area is actually a lot smaller than with a double track corridor.

For tourist systems, such one way loops might be indeed a working option. But then it is just that, a tourist attraction, not a serious means of transit. I think this question needs to be clarified. Is it supposed to be some tourist/real estate gimmick only? Or should it be more?
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Old January 16th, 2015, 07:37 PM   #1492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
... these loops while in the US they seem to be almost the norm.
...
This isn't actually true: if you consider only existing and u/c regular transit streetcar lines, you'll find that Charlotte, Detroit, New Orleans (Loyola Ave. and soon to be Rampart St./Saint Claude Ave.) Kansas City (except one stop), Salt Lake City and Washington have only double track routes, as well as San Francisco MUNI and Philly's SEPTA (but these are from previous streetcar generations)
Tucson presents only a short stretch with opposite direction running in parallel streets, while in Dallas, Seattle and Portland there's a mixed situation - in the first two cities the existing line uses separate corridors, while the new line will have a double track route; in Portland the map show a 60/40 majority for separate ways.

The only proper (or perhaps I should say improper ) loops are in Atlanta and Cincinnati, and maybe in Los Angeles in the future.
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Old January 16th, 2015, 08:29 PM   #1493
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I don't know all the systems indeed. So maybe its not the norm and I stand corrected, but there are at least a number of examples for what I was talking about.

Those totally open loops are probably what you refer here and that is really an extreme form. Slim loop arrangements where the two one way tracks are kept no more than one block apart from each other are much more functional. But I think also such a setting reduces the functionality of the system, compared to a single corridor double track design.

If such a loop is just the core of a longer corridor I guess this can be an acceptable issue but if this is supposed to be merely a last mile connector what use should it be, if it doesn't connect you, or only in one direction while in the other direction you'd be faster by merely walking it all alone?

PS:
The Tucson system looks like it is indeed a nice and functional system. The loop part is kept to an acceptable minimum. Why can't the LA streetcar look more like that?
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Old January 16th, 2015, 10:00 PM   #1494
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I totally agree with your criticism; in my previous post I only pointed out that this kind of arrangement is far from be the norm, on the contrary is kind of rare even in USA, at least for urban streetcars.
In the end, I think the true reason behind separate track choice is both maximizing the coverage area (from a real estate oriented perspective) and minimizing the impact on traffic flow (from a car oriented perspective), but it's a matter of context that those projects don't look extravagant to US people:
  • one way street pattern is very common in city cores;
  • streetcar lines are largely perceived as unrelated to mass transit;
  • short central section in which inbound track is a single block away from the outbound one is relatively present in LRT/Metro system (where are however at the same more justifiable and less detrimental);
  • so called "downtown circulators" - short one-way bus routes that cover few block with high headway in central districts - are widespread throughout the country (so this scheme does have some real usefulness, after all).
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Old January 16th, 2015, 10:36 PM   #1495
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Quote:
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Is it supposed to be some tourist/real estate gimmick only?
Yes. Which is why I don't understand why the "rail fans" are on board. This tourist trolley is a whole separate type of fetish.

Now we can all put on our conductor hats and go back to playing with our model railroads. Choo choo!
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Old January 16th, 2015, 11:08 PM   #1496
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In the end, I think the true reason behind separate track choice is both maximizing the coverage area (from a real estate oriented perspective) and minimizing the impact on traffic flow (from a car oriented perspective), but it's a matter of context that those projects don't look extravagant to US people: ...
These look like some good points indeed but I think you also listed the key problem. If people don't consider it part of real transit, then, why spend transit money on it? (or where does the money come from?)

In the end I think LA is wasting a great chance of establishing a mid capacity mode of transit for short to middle distances. Streetcars could connect Downtown and the surrounding most central neighbourhoods with each other. The distances between stops should be somewhere between those of light rail and busses. streetcars would do a great service as connector to high priority transit with the very locations people want to go to + those locations with each other. Of course this would have to be both ways not just monodirectional. And it should be also clear that this will have some impact on road traffic. If you don't dare to touch the car traffic arrangements, you can't build a meaningful streetcar system.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 12:02 AM   #1497
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Sorry, I don't buy those above reasons, except the latter. There are numerous new streetcar systems in Europe, especially in France and they are basically almost all devoid of meaningful loops and one way stations. Given how the streetscape and the dimensions are definitely a lot more challenging there, than in LA, it makes you wonder how they manage to evade these loops while in the US they seem to be almost the norm.

The last argument is also an example of fooling people and not a true advantage. What matters for network coverage is a two way connectivity. Therefore the true network coverage area is only where the distance to stops in both directions are available. With this loop design, this proper network coverage area is actually a lot smaller than with a double track corridor.

For tourist systems, such one way loops might be indeed a working option. But then it is just that, a tourist attraction, not a serious means of transit. I think this question needs to be clarified. Is it supposed to be some tourist/real estate gimmick only? Or should it be more?
I don't see them as a serious means of transport (here). Since they announced it, the LA project to me has always seemed to be for the tourists. LA gets 45-50 Million tourists a year.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 12:58 AM   #1498
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The LA case is unfortunately a huge waste of money. It extends about two miles and basically connects three visitor areas (Staples Center, Broadway, Music Center) that are frequented by tourists and within walking distance of each other. There are already several subway lines in the area, which are quite good.

Unfortunately, the design is very plain with nothing to attract tourists, contrasted to the SF cable cars or "old fashioned" trolleys found in some private shopping and entertainment developments. These can be part of the entertainment for families at conventions or tourist activities.

Moreover, downtown is a very dense and crowded area where new transit should go underground. The jam of buses on the main streets downtown is already very bad and very noisy. There is a reason that very large cities (NY, London, Paris, etc.) took out at-grade rail transit a century ago.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 04:12 AM   #1499
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I'll admit that there may be a need to more closely examine the routing in downtown LA. However, this is supposed to be the core of a larger network. I suspect that they may be trying to start too many routes at once.

That said, the base route does closely resemble numerous bus and streetcar routes in Philadelphia and Manhattan. One way loops like this DO exist, and have existed on stable routes for decades in these cities, carrying quite respectable loads. While there may be some need for tweaking, the basic concept is quite sound.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 06:43 AM   #1500
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http://www.ipernity.com/doc/expo-line/

Pix of the Expo Line under construction dated 01/07/2015.

Lots of cool pix, updates by Alan weeks.
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