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Thread: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

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    Urban Pioneer is offline Platinum Member
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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Well, from what I have observed living over here, the traffic circle at 10th is much better solution from the 5 street intersection. I remember literally fearing for my life one time at the old intersection.

    Regarding streetcar though, having it go around a circle probably is a bit more than a small one can handle.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by CuatrodeMayo View Post
    I have worked right on the circle @ 10th & Walker for 2 years and have never witnessed an accident. Nor had I witnessed traffic backing up. But I have heard an occasional honk for ignorant drivers. =)
    The City even said when the removed them that they were dangerous (thus the odd statement when they decided to put some back in: "due to technology, they are much safer now".

    If they were dangerous before, what technology changed that? Its a traffic circle...

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    Well, from what I have observed living over here, the traffic circle at 10th is much better solution from the 5 street intersection. I remember literally fearing for my life one time at the old intersection.

    Regarding streetcar though, having it go around a circle probably is a bit more than a small one can handle.
    There is definitely a problem when you come to those multi street intersections (sometimes hard to tell which set of lights is yours). Maybe eliminate the 5th street? Diverting it into one of the other 4 before it gets there?

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    On the Bus Station subject, are we talking about the Greyhound Bus Station, the relatively new City Bus Station or both (when it comes to Streetcars and the Transit Hub)?

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    I am talking about the newer local bus (Metro Transit) terminal at Hudson/4th connecting with a future commuter rail/inter-modal hub. The location of such a hub is about to get underway and we should have the results early next year. Santa Fe Station will probably rank high on the list, but there is the possibility that a new facility may be proposed somewhere else. Presumably engineers will stick to the North/South corridor of the BNSF freight tracks.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    As for Greyhound, I have no real information on it other than COTPA has spoken about it possibly being incorporated into the new intermodal hub.

    Some cities incorporate such other transit companies into their hubs as paying tenants. The transit system my father worked for did such with their new hub during his tenure there.

    Quite frankly, I do not know what the data is on whether many of the people arriving on Greyhound rely on local transit to get them to a second destination or if most people are dropped off and picked up by friends, family, or cabs.

    I would say however that just like local bus service, Greyhound has become "stigmatized" over the years. It is possible that I isolating the commuter rail/bus system and connecting all of these things together via an attractive, modern, efficient streetcar will service better as a re-introduction of transit to the broader Oklahomacitian.

    It is easy to say that COTPA is not immediately up for disbanding the use of the somewhat new local multi-million dollar bus station, many people comment on what they see as a beautiful Art Deco bus station that Greyhound employs, and quite frankly, we may have a space issue at the new commuter hub and combining absolutely every single form of transit at one point may not make sense.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    Presumably engineers will stick to the North/South corridor of the BNSF freight tracks.
    One would hope.

    I have ridden a Greyhound bus twice in my life, while I was in college, and in both instances, it was a dismal experience. I'm not really sure what can be done to improve that, unless they were to institute express routes such as Oklahoma City-Dallas wtihout any stops in between. Maybe they already have something like that. I'm not sure Grand Central station as the hub would make it any more attractive to people. However, I do see linking city bus routes to the Greyhound station a good idea, as I suspect they would be utilized by people who ride the long-distance bus upon arrival. I would think, if space is a consideration for our new hub, that perhaps putting the Greyhound station adjacent to the city bus station might be a reasonable plan, and then linking those to the other hub via streetcar.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    I don't think that there is any room next to the local bus station for Greyhound. The absence of their use of the facility on Walker/Sheridan might make it quite a target for redevelopment. I would suspect that a few people on this forum might have a problem with that. lol

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Just a reminder of the final two "Lets Talk Transit" meetings tomorrow at City Hall Chambers. 11:30 AM and 6 PM. The email that I just received states that the meeting will include a presentation of three representational streetcar route concepts.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    This was just posted on the "Lets Talk Transit Website."

    Final Streetcar Meeting to Recap Citizen Input Citizen-Based Route Options Will Be Displayed

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 26, 2010



    OKLAHOMA CITY – The final meeting in a public input process to determine where the modern streetcar might go in downtown Oklahoma City will take place Thursday, May 27 at City Hall. The community will have the option to attend an 11:30 a.m. or a 6 p.m. meeting with the same agenda.

    Throughout the past two months, the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority has sought citizen input through a series of public meetings and online forums to begin planning for the new public transit component in downtown Oklahoma City.

    The final meeting will review public input from previous meetings and several route options will be presented that were developed by meeting attendees throughout the process.

    Two online surveys were completed during the process and will also be discussed.

    • Citizens were asked to identify their top five route destinations and two suggested anchor points. A variety of responses were given, but when grouped into categories, the top destinations included: Bricktown, the Arts District, Ford Center, Convention Center, OKC Memorial, Midtown and the Oklahoma Health Center.

    • Citizens were asked the maximum distance they would walk to access the modern streetcar, 57% said 2-3 blocks, 36% said 4 or more blocks and 7% said 1 block.

    • Citizens also prioritized the principals most important to them when planning a route. The top two priorities were: Proximity to major employment sites/housing development/parking garages and community/ cultural facilities; and connections with current and future METRO Transit bus service and transit centers.

    The full results of the surveys can be seen online at Home | A Community Discussion on Oklahoma City's Modern Streetcar and Alternatives Analysis, Central Oklaho.

    An Alternatives Analysis Steering Committee made up of citizens is currently reviewing input from transit consultants, city planners and engineers about capital, operating costs and other infrastructure that must be considered, as well as to listening to input from the public about where they want to go. The input from the Let’s Talk Transit public discussion will be reviewed and considered by the Alternatives Analysis Steering Committee and the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board for their recommendation to the City Council.

    Background

    Included in MAPS 3, passed by Oklahoma City voters in December 2009, is approximately $130 million in funding for public transportation. The transit package includes approximately five track miles of downtown streetcar and a multimodal transit hub in downtown.

    This accelerated process is necessary to identify what streets the streetcar may travel and to coordinate the plan with Project 180, Oklahoma City’s downtown streetscape plan starting in May 2010. Through cooperative planning, the projects will minimize disruption due to construction and maximize cost savings.

    For more information or to provide input, visit Home | A Community Discussion on Oklahoma City's Modern Streetcar and Alternatives Analysis, Central Oklaho.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    I'm hearing some chatter about a lot of our concerns going unnoticed from the public forums..
    Gone to the ballpark. Go Tribe!

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    That has been suggested on Steve's blog. It is my guess that Doug is going to vent his suspicions about the process. He has been a vocal questioner of the process. What is funny, is that many of his concerns he has outlined in blog posts on the "Lets talk transit site."

    I have not seen these three designs that are being unveiled tomorrow. If he is the blogger, maybe he has.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    I wouldn't imagine that--I've never been shown anything in advance, although I am sure that you could email Mike and get any designs or routes that may be in the works. He's pretty willing to share anything he's got, it seems.
    Gone to the ballpark. Go Tribe!

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    That has been suggested on Steve's blog. It is my guess that Doug is going to vent his suspicions about the process. He has been a vocal questioner of the process. What is funny, is that many of his concerns he has outlined in blog posts on the "Lets talk transit site."

    I have not seen these three designs that are being unveiled tomorrow. If he is the blogger, maybe he has.
    Nice try Jeff.
    No, it's not Doug.
    But folks, keep a close eye on OKC Central. And those of you attending tomorrow's session, there may be some things not immediately obvious to you at the meetings, but are in the documents, that may surprise you... I look forward to reading about this tomorrow morning.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    I am sure that you could email Mike and get any designs or routes that may be in the works. He's pretty willing to share anything he's got, it seems.
    I have been very impressed by him. He seems to be a stellar guy who instills a great deal of confidence.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Folks, pay attention to those routes. Look at what they come out with tomorrow, and compare that to what you asked for.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Based on conversations I've had with Mike McAnelly and other COTPA consultants and employees, they're hesitant to create such routes in the first place because of the strong criticism awaiting any preliminary route that will likely not even closely resemble the final product.

    I am faaaaar more concerned with the route miles than the route itself. If they limit themselves to 6 miles, shame on them. They need to look past this $15-20 million/mile figure as a constant. That needs to be the variable, if you ask me, not the miles. They need to start with a route, not a cost. The miles needs to be the constant and the features and other bells and whistles that increase the cost need to be the variable if you ask me. It's easier to add or subtract a streetcar system feature than it is to just chop off or add a mile in case there's a surplus or shortage in the money budgeted toward the project.
    Gone to the ballpark. Go Tribe!

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Based on conversations I've had with Mike McAnelly and other COTPA consultants and employees, they're hesitant to create such routes in the first place because of the strong criticism awaiting any preliminary route that will likely not even closely resemble the final product.

    I am faaaaar more concerned with the route miles than the route itself. If they limit themselves to 6 miles, shame on them. They need to look past this $15-20 million/mile figure as a constant. That needs to be the variable, if you ask me, not the miles. They need to start with a route, not a cost. The miles needs to be the constant and the features and other bells and whistles that increase the cost need to be the variable if you ask me. It's easier to add or subtract a streetcar system feature than it is to just chop off or add a mile in case there's a surplus or shortage in the money budgeted toward the project.
    Spartan, your perspective sounds good but there's just not that much to cut from the type of streetcar being generally pursued. The reason this public input process has been expedited is because of Project 180. The Alternatives Analysis committee is looking "long-term" in how we would expand the system or interface it with compatible technology.

    The real risks here are not "finding the right balance" between existing urban fabric and the potential for creating density via our streetcar. The last thing that you want is this system not having solid ridership numbers that grow right out-of-the box.

    The real costs savings to be obtained are in the proper coordination between the Project 180 streetscape and the installation of the rail, power infrastructure, and utility location. Project 180 offers a huge opportunity to add more track miles through potential savings.

    The other huge cost variable is if we pursue a different type of streetcar other than is generally in use right now in the NW US- aka a streetcar powered by fossil fuels, catenary/overhead wire free, or some other unproven technology in the US. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't explore it, but we have to be judicious.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Jeff, what do you think we can save from coordination with Project 180? With the current $15-20 million/mile estimate equating to 6 miles or so, unless more MAPS 3 money or federal money can be allocated, 6 miles will not enable the system to serve the Oklahoma Health Center. We saw this time after time in the routes that were generated..

    "Yeah it looks nice, I just wish it would cover the medical area.." said a lot of the people. I think you HAVE to cover the health center, just because of the sheer number of high-income jobs and the urban growth potential that exists in that area and the opportunity to translate that into an entirely new downtown residential base (studies indicate current downtown residents primarily commute from suburb jobs). If you can't cover it, due to the undeveloped territory along the SW edge of the medical district I think you have to cut your losses and relegate the idea of a medical district spur to a potential 2020-2030 expansion, thus keeping the entire 6 mile streetcar system on one side of I-235. (There's just no point in going to Lincoln and 8th or whatever and stopping there.)

    Whatever we get, we'll be happy with. It's just right now is the time to vent concerns and complaints because we can still do something about it. If they don't focus on Broadway and Sheridan corridors, I will be massively disappointed in this. I don't know what to think of COTPA's bizarre preference of Robinson and "The Mythical Boulevard."
    Gone to the ballpark. Go Tribe!

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    I agree with Spartan about Robinson and the 'new boulevard' being bad ideas. However, Spartan, I somehow don't think we're going to end up with that. I'm fairly pleased with what I've seen of this process.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    That has been suggested on Steve's blog. It is my guess that Doug is going to vent his suspicions about the process. He has been a vocal questioner of the process. What is funny, is that many of his concerns he has outlined in blog posts on the "Lets talk transit site."

    I have not seen these three designs that are being unveiled tomorrow. If he is the blogger, maybe he has.
    I am one of 3 bloggers scheduled to blog tomorrow and I will be attending the evening session. Unless it's changed since I received a March 27 e-mail, the bloggers tomorrow's session are: Charifa Smith (morning), unspecified session - Nick Roberts & me. But I've not received any pre-session information ever during this process ... I get there and hear and see what unfolds just like everyone else does.

    So, I cannot anticipate what will occur tomorrow ... but I doubt that I'll be "venting" about the process even if I may still be "wondering" how, if at all, the process may have helped shape the final outcome. A question that I'll probably be asking is, "Please give one specific example of how the public input received during the Let's Talk Transit sessions has caused possible routes to be modified from those which were contemplated as possibilities before the Let's Talk Transit sessions began." Or something like that ... I probably need to do more work fine-tuning the question.

    Personally, I don't see myself as qualified to select routes, etc., and I'd really prefer that the same be done by experts in the field as I expect will actually be the case, and I'm quite content with that. Sure, it's been fun attending and participating ... but I do still have my doubts that what's been done is much more than parlor games for those who attended. Window dressing to evidence public input? Probably. But, even if so, does it matter? Probably not. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

    Either way, the Let's Talk Transit people have done a very good job in what they've done.

    And, lest we forget, keep in mind that these proceedings are well below the Maps Oversight Board and, ultimately, City Council, in the overall pecking order.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    I have been very impressed by him. He seems to be a stellar guy who instills a great deal of confidence.
    I concur. I am completely satisfied that Mike McAnelly knows his stuff and that we (the city) are in good hands with his expertise.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Folks, pay attention to those routes. Look at what they come out with tomorrow, and compare that to what you asked for.
    Ha ha. If you go back over the process and the routes proposed by the various "table" groups, you'll find that just about everything conceivable has been proposed by someone. What we see tomorrow will have to be radically strange if it does not match someone's view of possible routes, probably a blend of several, I'm guessing.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Nice try Jeff.
    No, it's not Doug.
    But folks, keep a close eye on OKC Central. And those of you attending tomorrow's session, there may be some things not immediately obvious to you at the meetings, but are in the documents, that may surprise you... I look forward to reading about this tomorrow morning.
    I don't understand what you mean to say. But I'll be there, blogging, at the evening session.

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    Default Re: The Modern Streetcar and Commuter Transit Project in MAPS 3 Progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Loudenback View Post
    I am one of 3 bloggers scheduled to blog tomorrow and I will be attending the evening session. Unless it's changed since I received a March 27 e-mail, the bloggers tomorrow's session are: Charifa Smith (morning), unspecified session - Nick Roberts & me. But I've not received any pre-session information ever during this process ... I get there and hear and see what unfolds just like everyone else does.

    So, I cannot anticipate what will occur tomorrow ... but I doubt that I'll be "venting" about the process even if I may still be "wondering" how, if at all, the process may have helped shape the final outcome. A question that I'll probably be asking is, "Please give one specific example of how the public input received during the Let's Talk Transit sessions has caused possible routes to be modified from those which were contemplated as possibilities before the Let's Talk Transit sessions began." Or something like that ... I probably need to do more work fine-tuning the question.

    Personally, I don't see myself as qualified to select routes, etc., and I'd really prefer that the same be done by experts in the field as I expect will actually be the case, and I'm quite content with that. Sure, it's been fun attending and participating ... but I do still have my doubts that what's been done is much more than parlor games for those who attended. Window dressing to evidence public input? Probably. But, even if so, does it matter? Probably not. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

    Either way, the Let's Talk Transit people have done a very good job in what they've done.
    So are we supposed to be at the evening meeting, I'm guessing?
    Gone to the ballpark. Go Tribe!

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