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Old May 26th, 2007, 05:18 AM   #661
Tri-ring
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Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
I know you'd need a more expensive design. The station has two (large and small) sunk shafts between the two directional rail tunnels. The platforms were sequentially mined, from the central shaft, with a single primary entry/exit point at the surface. Here's a graphic of what's being constructed:

http://www.soundtransit.org/x1715.xml

Now, all of this has to be ADA compliant: Wheelchair accessibility is required: There must be elevators to plaform level. So if your two tunnels are together (with the platforms on the outside edge rather than an inside), you'd have two choices: Either you'd have to have elevators all the way to the surface on both sides of the tunnels, or you'd have to have some passengers transfer between two elevators (so you had only one shaft going to the surface). Both possibilities would require significantly larger and likely non-cylindrical excavation at a significant depth in poor conditions.

Separating the two tunnels at the station allows for easier transfers between one direction and the other, and much simpler and cheaper access to the surface. In addition, I suspect that having to distribute the weight of the soil above the tunnel across two tunnel diameters instead of one would reduce the overall structural integrity of the rail tunnel. That's just speculation - but the station design problems are not.
My impression of the present design is that it was developed through constrains using the single burrowing machine. The additional connecting shafts will be expensive to dig since those will not be using the shield burrowing machine. There will probably be more maintance vertical shafts that are not specified within the drawing.
I also noticed that the operators are not anticipating any large usership for this station since leadway to the platform is limited to elevators.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 06:22 AM   #662
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Baltimore isn't seeing a growth boom like Seattle and Portland have been. That's rather an apples to oranges comparison. ...
The Baltimore-Washington corridor is also booming. A major revival is underway in sections of downtown Baltimore, especially around the harbor. When I visited last summer, the Fells Point area seemed to be one big construction site. This was in sharp contrast to the section of Howard Street along which the light rail line runs. My impression is that light rail has been a mixed blessing for Howard Street. The southbound traffic lane and much of the on-street parking has been eliminated to make room for the light rail tracks.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #663
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Again: The joints between the SkyTrain bridge (and others) and the ramps leading to them move more than the joints between the I-90 bridge floating section and the fixed section. This is a non-issue - it's a strawman argument used by anti-transit groups in the area. There is a Sound Transit study to this effect. There's no new technology or research required here.
Not all those raising concerns regarding the implementation of light rail on the floating bridge can be dismissed as "anti-transit groups". The following is an article that appeared in the Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...ransit24m.html

Friday, March 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Panel raises concerns over I-90 bridge light rail

By Mike Lindblom
Seattle Times staff reporter

If light rail is built on the Interstate 90 floating bridge, service would have to be halted during especially strong windstorms, a panel of experts has cautioned Sound Transit.

The weight of the trains, combined with wind-whipped waves, could strain the floating bridge near its limit, the panel said. Such a storm is likely to hit Lake Washington less than once a year.

Sound Transit wants to extend service to Bellevue by replacing today's freeway express lanes with tracks across the lake.

Light rail has never been built on a floating bridge.

The report Thursday, by an eight-member panel of mostly out-of-state transportation experts, raises several questions about operating light rail on the bridge.

State transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald on Thursday called the experts' review "a yellow flag at this point. I think it's likelier to turn green than red."

He predicted there would be times when trains might not be able to cross the bridge, "but that's going to be very occasional, and straightforward to manage."

Sound Transit remains confident in its plans because of a test last year that showed the bridge could handle train traffic, with some modifications.

In September, flatbed trucks loaded with concrete blocks and steel were driven back and forth while instruments measured the impact.

To make the bridge buoyant enough to carry the four-car, 296-ton trains, some concrete would have to be removed, or replaced with lightweight polymers, and the decking would have to be strengthened.

The panel raised questions about the bridge's stability near shore, where sloping freeway sections meet the deck of the floating bridge, at either side of Lake Washington. Tests indicated a worst-case up-and-down motion of 10 inches, and sideways motion of nearly 5 inches. "Panel members are not yet clear how well the light-rail operations will work on this segment of the corridor," the panel said in a letter submitted to Sound Transit.

Sound Transit is now studying how cable-supported bridges, including Vancouver's SkyTrain bridge across the Fraser River, behave with trains aboard, said spokesman Geoff Patrick. He said rail lines run on some bridges that flex more than I-90 would.

The I-90 Homer Hadley Bridge (one of a floating pair) has been closed twice by high winds since it opened in 1989. It would have closed two more times if light rail existed, a state estimate said.

The load test assessed only the impacts on the bridge itself, not whether bridge motion would send a train off-track, said Patrick Clarke, floating-bridge design manager for the state Department of Transportation. He said it's up to Sound Transit's engineers to devise any special rail designs, or issue instructions to keep trains off the bridge during very high winds.

John Niles of the Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives, which opposes rail transit for Seattle, compares the wind scenario to other obstacles, such as the mudslides that sometimes cancel Sounder commuter trains from Everett. "The mythology of the always-open [trackway] is being blown away by all this. Here's another example. It won't be worry-free."

The panel wants more details before drawing final conclusions, said the letter, signed by Chairman Michael Meyer, a professor of engineering at Georgia Tech.

The cross-lake route, including a tunnel into downtown Bellevue, is currently estimated at $1.7 billion to $2 billion, not counting trains and inflation, but design is very preliminary.

Local elected officials considered placing the project on the ballot this year, as part of a multi-billion-dollar regional transit and roads package, but state lawmakers delayed the public vote until 2007.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or [email protected]
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #664
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
My impression of the present design is that it was developed through constrains using the single burrowing machine. The additional connecting shafts will be expensive to dig since those will not be using the shield burrowing machine. There will probably be more maintance vertical shafts that are not specified within the drawing.
I also noticed that the operators are not anticipating any large usership for this station since leadway to the platform is limited to elevators.
Most of the connecting shafts have already been dug using SEM - Sequential Excavation Mining. Basically, they mine in slices to keep the soil stable, and use spraycrete to hold up the walls.

There are only the two vertical shafts - very little maintenance will be required. You're looking at a ~4300ft tunnel, so ventilation is provided simply by moving the trains - full time vents are not required.

The elevators are significantly higher capacity than any reasonable stairway/escalator system at that depth (165ft). There are four, and each are high capacity, with 25 second open-to-open (doors start closing to doors finish opening) times, as I understand it. It's over 100pp/m delivered each direction, even counting significant passenger congestion. That hill doesn't allow for very high buildings, either - again, it's all glacial till, so you have to do a lot of work to build large structures. Even then, the station will serve capacity for >100 years, even if Seattle grows pretty dramatically.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #665
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Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
The Baltimore-Washington corridor is also booming. A major revival is underway in sections of downtown Baltimore, especially around the harbor. When I visited last summer, the Fells Point area seemed to be one big construction site. This was in sharp contrast to the section of Howard Street along which the light rail line runs. My impression is that light rail has been a mixed blessing for Howard Street. The southbound traffic lane and much of the on-street parking has been eliminated to make room for the light rail tracks.
I am mistaken, then!

Okay, why isn't the light rail helping cause a boom? Is there restrictive zoning? Was there a significant failure to create better pedestrian access?
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:21 AM   #666
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In my own understanding, DC metro area is losing population to the suburbs or West Coast. I have been to East coast few times in my lifetime, I almost never seen any new developments at all... It is seen like they're not experiencing same type of growth as well as we are right now with the City of Seattle.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #667
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Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Not all those raising concerns regarding the implementation of light rail on the floating bridge can be dismissed as "anti-transit groups". The following is an article that appeared in the Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...ransit24m.html

Friday, March 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Panel raises concerns over I-90 bridge light rail

By Mike Lindblom
Seattle Times staff reporter

If light rail is built on the Interstate 90 floating bridge, service would have to be halted during especially strong windstorms, a panel of experts has cautioned Sound Transit.

The weight of the trains, combined with wind-whipped waves, could strain the floating bridge near its limit, the panel said. Such a storm is likely to hit Lake Washington less than once a year.

Sound Transit wants to extend service to Bellevue by replacing today's freeway express lanes with tracks across the lake.

Light rail has never been built on a floating bridge.

The report Thursday, by an eight-member panel of mostly out-of-state transportation experts, raises several questions about operating light rail on the bridge.

State transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald on Thursday called the experts' review "a yellow flag at this point. I think it's likelier to turn green than red."

He predicted there would be times when trains might not be able to cross the bridge, "but that's going to be very occasional, and straightforward to manage."

Sound Transit remains confident in its plans because of a test last year that showed the bridge could handle train traffic, with some modifications.

In September, flatbed trucks loaded with concrete blocks and steel were driven back and forth while instruments measured the impact.

To make the bridge buoyant enough to carry the four-car, 296-ton trains, some concrete would have to be removed, or replaced with lightweight polymers, and the decking would have to be strengthened.

The panel raised questions about the bridge's stability near shore, where sloping freeway sections meet the deck of the floating bridge, at either side of Lake Washington. Tests indicated a worst-case up-and-down motion of 10 inches, and sideways motion of nearly 5 inches. "Panel members are not yet clear how well the light-rail operations will work on this segment of the corridor," the panel said in a letter submitted to Sound Transit.

Sound Transit is now studying how cable-supported bridges, including Vancouver's SkyTrain bridge across the Fraser River, behave with trains aboard, said spokesman Geoff Patrick. He said rail lines run on some bridges that flex more than I-90 would.

The I-90 Homer Hadley Bridge (one of a floating pair) has been closed twice by high winds since it opened in 1989. It would have closed two more times if light rail existed, a state estimate said.

The load test assessed only the impacts on the bridge itself, not whether bridge motion would send a train off-track, said Patrick Clarke, floating-bridge design manager for the state Department of Transportation. He said it's up to Sound Transit's engineers to devise any special rail designs, or issue instructions to keep trains off the bridge during very high winds.

John Niles of the Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives, which opposes rail transit for Seattle, compares the wind scenario to other obstacles, such as the mudslides that sometimes cancel Sounder commuter trains from Everett. "The mythology of the always-open [trackway] is being blown away by all this. Here's another example. It won't be worry-free."

The panel wants more details before drawing final conclusions, said the letter, signed by Chairman Michael Meyer, a professor of engineering at Georgia Tech.

The cross-lake route, including a tunnel into downtown Bellevue, is currently estimated at $1.7 billion to $2 billion, not counting trains and inflation, but design is very preliminary.

Local elected officials considered placing the project on the ballot this year, as part of a multi-billion-dollar regional transit and roads package, but state lawmakers delayed the public vote until 2007.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or [email protected]
That article was written over a year ago. Design has progressed significantly since then, more testing has been done, and Lindblom has remained pretty steadily cranky about mass transit. Note that the piece says "at the time" ST was studying the behavior of the SkyTrain bridge - that study showed that 90 moves a lot less. This makes sense - the skytrain bridge is in the air, where wind can really move it around. The surface of lake washington is pretty much just flat, even when there are waves. It's the middle of the floating bridge that torques, not the ends.

Note that the article doesn't talk much about the "panel of experts" - who commissioned them, etc - but John Niles (if Lindblom means to imply he's on that panel) is certainly not an expert. He's ideologically opposed to transit. There are several engineers in the area who consistenly come out with insane claims about rail systems that create FUD.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #668
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Originally Posted by CrazyAboutCities View Post
In my own understanding, DC metro area is losing population to the suburbs or West Coast. I have been to East coast few times in my lifetime, I almost never seen any new developments at all... It is seen like they're not experiencing same type of growth as well as we are right now with the City of Seattle.
Yeah, that's kind of where I was coming from. But it does sound like there's some issue going on with this corridor in Baltimore. Maybe they don't run the thing often enough, or keep it clean? There are really basic things that we regard as no-brainers that they simply might not have budgeted enough for. Maybe it doesn't stop in good locations. Maybe it doesn't connect the dead region to a booming region.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:33 AM   #669
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Yeah, that's kind of where I was coming from. But it does sound like there's some issue going on with this corridor in Baltimore. Maybe they don't run the thing often enough, or keep it clean? There are really basic things that we regard as no-brainers that they simply might not have budgeted enough for. Maybe it doesn't stop in good locations. Maybe it doesn't connect the dead region to a booming region.
Possibly so. Maybe developers might don't think these neighborhoods that light rail pass by is great real estate investment on this moments? Or... Maybe the developers already purchased the properties/bulidings and waiting for right time to redevelop it?
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Old May 26th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #670
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http://archives.seattletimes.nwsourc...&date=20070525
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Proposed light-rail extension heading for ballot

By Mike Lindblom

Seattle Times transportation reporter

The numbers might be enough to make voters dizzy: a full 50 miles of light rail, to be built over 20 years, at a long-term cost of $23 billion.

Sound Transit is betting that when citizens say they want light rail, they mean it.

The agency's governing board Thursday approved asking voters in November to extend the system south to Tacoma, east to Overlake and north to 164th Street Southwest at Ash Way in Snohomish County.

The transit plan will be paired with a regional highway proposal as a single ballot question in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties, where sluggish commutes are a perennial irritant.

Sound Transit proposes a sales-tax increase of a nickel for every $10 purchase, or $125 a year for the average household. For the highways, sales taxes would increase a penny per $10 purchase, or $25 a year per household, and a car-tab tax would add $80 per $10,000 of vehicle value, or $68 for the average car.

The campaign has begun.

Standing in front of a shiny railcar Thursday, transit-board members stressed that light rail offers reliable travel times instead of the crapshoot of driving.

"People will get to spend more time with their families instead of staring at brake lights at 5:45 in the morning," said Tacoma City Councilwoman and board member Julie Anderson. Microsoft has said it will help the "yes" campaign.

Meanwhile, the pro-roads Eastside Transportation Association has aired radio ads that criticize spending so much money to provide transit for a fraction of travelers. Michael Ennis of the conservative Washington Policy Center says: "Sound Transit is not really going to relieve traffic congestion."

The Sierra Club likely will oppose the "Roads & Transit" measure because new highway lanes would worsen global warming, said local chairman Michael O'Brien.

A rail line under construction from downtown Seattle to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is to open in late 2009, and Sound Transit says it can afford to tunnel north to Husky Stadium without the ballot measure.

In this year's ballot measure, Sound Transit's share amounts to $23 billion in year-of-expenditure dollars through 2027, plus additional debt payments for 30 more years. The agency on Thursday announced a figure of $10.8 billion, in 2006 dollars, which excludes inflation, financing, operations, overhead and cash reserves.

The highway side is worth $14 billion total, or $9 billion excluding inflation, cash reserves and financing.

On Thursday, the final highway plan is due from the Regional Transportation Investment District, made up of county council members. The big question is whether they will yield to environmentalists' demands to drop a proposed Cross-Base Highway in south Pierce County.

The Cross-Base Highway would link Interstate 5 to the booming Spanaway area, with an east-west route between the Fort Lewis Military Reservation and the McChord Air Force Base. Opponents say a new highway there would damage marshes and oak prairies.

The three county councils would each need to approve the roads package.

Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, who chairs Sound Transit, said that if Cross-Base is removed, he'll veto the highway plan, and perhaps resign as transit-board chair to campaign against the entire ballot measure.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #671
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I am mistaken, then!

Okay, why isn't the light rail helping cause a boom? Is there restrictive zoning? Was there a significant failure to create better pedestrian access?
Why isn't light rail helping cause a boom along Howard Street in Baltimore? That's a good question! The most obvious complicating factor for development is that motor vehicle access has been impeded. The southbound traffic lane has been eliminated along with much of the on-street parking to make room for the light rail tracks. The customers might be able to come by rail but how do the businesses take deliveries of supplies when there is no place for a delivery truck to park?

Having lived in a transit dependent state in a large city, I can tell you from first hand experience that rail transit is great for commuting to work or school and is great for going out in the evening for entertainment. It is lousy for shopping. If you are buying groceries or outfitting an apartment, it is very awkward to use transit. Fumbling for fare cards while carrying large bulky items is no fun and the other passengers don't appreciate your stuff blocking the aisle. During the period that I didn't have a car, I was basically limited to a radius of a few blocks for all of my shopping.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #672
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In my own understanding, DC metro area is losing population to the suburbs or West Coast. I have been to East coast few times in my lifetime, I almost never seen any new developments at all... It is seen like they're not experiencing same type of growth as well as we are right now with the City of Seattle.
Baltimore-Washington Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area Population
1980 Census: 5,792,589
1990 Census: 6,727,050 (16.1% Increase)
2000 Census: 7,608,070 (13.1% Increase)
2005 Estimate: 8,168,795 (7.4% Increase in 5 Years)
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Old May 26th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #673
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...

Note that the article doesn't talk much about the "panel of experts" - who commissioned them, etc - but John Niles (if Lindblom means to imply he's on that panel) is certainly not an expert. He's ideologically opposed to transit. There are several engineers in the area who consistenly come out with insane claims about rail systems that create FUD.
The article about potential problems with operating light rail on the floating bridge does name one member of the review panel as "Chairman Michael Meyer, a professor of engineering at Georgia Tech." A blurb about Dr. Meyer can be found at the following link < http://www.ce.gatech.edu/~mm39/ >. I would be hesitant to dismiss him as an anti-transit hack.

I would be very surprised if John Niles had been a member of the panel.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #674
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On Tacoma Light Rail connection to Central Link Light Rail: I was under the impression Tacoma's rail beddings were built to a higher standard than was strictly necessary for the weight of their cars in order to avoid having to rebuild them when Central Link connected.

Now, I don't think it's a bad thing to need to transfer in Tacoma; it's shaping up that Central Link is looking more like what might get called a mini-metro elsewhere and Tacoma Light Rail (and the First Hill streetcar) are acting more light what might get called trams in other places -- running primarily at grade and with traffic controls, even if in its own right-of-way.

Again, keeping these as separate systems is not a bad thing per se, but it's too bad Tacoma spent more than it probably had to to build the infrastructure.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #675
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Baltimore-Washington Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area Population
1980 Census: 5,792,589
1990 Census: 6,727,050 (16.1% Increase)
2000 Census: 7,608,070 (13.1% Increase)
2005 Estimate: 8,168,795 (7.4% Increase in 5 Years)
Where did you got that reference from?
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Old May 27th, 2007, 04:32 AM   #676
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Where did you got that reference from?
There are several websites that offer census data. I believe all the numbers stated in my previous post can be found on the following webpage:

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServe...search6b2a_sup

I dug a little deeper to find census data for Baltimore alone. What I found is very interesting:

City of Baltimore
1990: 736,014
2000: 651,154 (11.53% Decrease)

Baltimore Region (City of Baltimore plus Counties of Baltimore, Ann Arundel, Howard, Harford, and Carroll)
1990: 2,348,219
2000: 2,512,431 (6.99% Increase)

(Source: http://www.baltometro.org/content/view/198/0/ )

The Baltimore Metro opened in 1983, a serious overhaul of the commuter rail system began with the creation of MARC in 1984, and the light rail line opened in 1992. Despite these transit developments, the city has lost population while surrounding areas have gained population.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 05:24 AM   #677
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In regards to the issue of declining population, it is true that the east cost and "rust belt" are losing population to the "sun belt" and west coast, even some to the deep south. A negative inner-city growth factor will hamper revitalization if there is a transit line or not. More issues than transit need to be looked at to stem the outflow of people. Clearly, the Baltimore line isn't enough of an incentive, for its own technical reasons as well as the larger socio-economic patterns of the region.

The Seattle region is not experiencing this emigration. The population of the city as well as the suburbs are growing at a good clip. I don't have the exact data, but I do know the growth pressure is greater out here than in some east coast and "rust belt" cities. Because of this, new rail lines will have a much greater value out here.

My point is that the issue is much more complicated and goes way beyond having a line or not. Living in a region such as the northwest where much of the central city decline of the latter half of the 20th century did not happen makes it difficult to see/comprehend the vast disinvestment in and devalorization of the central city in other parts of the country.

And thanks for posting that article Backstrom, even though nobody really paid much attention to it. It's nothing new, but good to see the details getting out to the general mass public.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 05:47 AM   #678
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The point that may be overlooked in these population figures is most eastern cities do not have strong incentives to bring back growth in the inner city. A lot of this has to do with demographics, income-levels, and an infrastructure that is old and out of date. Until these issues are addressed, the decline of older eastern US cities will continue.

On the other hand, western cities are still young, and there is a desire to return to the inner city. In many cases, the lifestyle of these areas has not deteriorated as much as eastern cities (mainly due to age), and the appeal is much stronger.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #679
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
There are several websites that offer census data. I believe all the numbers stated in my previous post can be found on the following webpage:

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServe...search6b2a_sup

I dug a little deeper to find census data for Baltimore alone. What I found is very interesting:

City of Baltimore
1990: 736,014
2000: 651,154 (11.53% Decrease)

Baltimore Region (City of Baltimore plus Counties of Baltimore, Ann Arundel, Howard, Harford, and Carroll)
1990: 2,348,219
2000: 2,512,431 (6.99% Increase)

(Source: http://www.baltometro.org/content/view/198/0/ )

The Baltimore Metro opened in 1983, a serious overhaul of the commuter rail system began with the creation of MARC in 1984, and the light rail line opened in 1992. Despite these transit developments, the city has lost population while surrounding areas have gained population.
Thank you. That proved my point though. I know I said DC area... I meant both DC and Bailtmore. My apology for being unclear with my post.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #680
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Don't be so smug. A lot of the members of this forum must be too young to remember Seattle in the 1970's:

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