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  1. #1

    Default Save The Rails rally!!!

    If you care anything about future light rail in this city, you should come to this rally! This really is the most realistic hope we have of moderately priced and the quickest/best option we have for light rail. Thanks to Istook and others, that chance is soon fading.

    OKC’s Union Station to host ‘Save the Rails’ rally

    By - 8/10/2007


    State and local officials and leaders announced today they will hold a “Save the Rails” rally tomorrow at Union Station, 300 SW 7th St.


    Aiming to bring awareness to the current railway system that could serve as a ready-made mass transit solution, State Senator Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma City), State Rep. Wallace Collins (D-Norman) and Tom Elmore, Executive Director of North American Transportation Institute are scheduled to speak along with Fannie Bates, candidate for Oklahoma County District 1 commissioner.


    Set to begin at 10 a.m., event planners want citizens to know the current Interstate 40 construction will pave over some of Oklahoma City’s rail infrastructure meaning that future light rail transportation would require rebuilding what now exists.


    “This event is an opportunity for the people of the state to speak up for responsible government, safe highways and badly needed alternatives to the automobile,” said Elmore in a statement. “Using the state’s unique 900-mile network of publicly owned rail lines, (Oklahoma City’s) Union Station is the only hope baby boomers and older Oklahomans have of seeing a comprehensive, regional rail transit system in our lifetimes.”


  2. #2

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Oops, now that I'm looking at the date, it appears it was Saturday. I hope they had decent attendance, did anyone go? This article must have been posted late in the day on Friday because I read the OKC Business several times on Friday. I really wish our local leaders and media would give more notice on things like this.

  3. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Is it not a lost cause at this point?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrown84 View Post
    Is it not a lost cause at this point?
    Far from it.

    But rallies are complete wastes of time anyhow.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Crap already. For those of you wanting to save the rail yard at Union Staion it is time to come up with plan B. The yard is going away.

  6. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Okay, so did the rally get any media attention at all?

  7. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Turnout was about 100, which they told me was more than they anticipated. Channels 4 and 25 sent camera crews, though I don't know if they aired anything.

    My own writeup:
    dustbury.com: More trains, less traffic

  8. #8

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    I saw a segment on KFOR.

  9. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    they should "Rally" for ODOT to change the freeway alignment a few yards so the rail yard can be saved.

    work all of the effort NOT against the freeway but FOR redesigning it JUST A LITTLE BIT so that EVERYONE WINS.

    This is called COMPROMISE!!!!
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Save the yard for what? It isn't in the right location.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    Save the yard for what? It isn't in the right location.
    What would the right location be? I think it's perfect. A hub need not be close to anything, it need only be somewhere where a lot of lines can intersect.

    Actually, a lot of new development would be able to happen near the hub. It could really be a great thing for that part of town.

  12. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    If the hub is located near the main destination point, say the CBD & Bricktown, then commuters only have to wait for and ride one train to get to the destination. If the hub is located somewhere that is not a major destination point, the commuters will have to wait for and ride the train to the hub, get off, then wait for and ride the second train to take them th e last few blocks to the major destination. From experience, switching trains is considerably less attractive than a non-stop, much like air travel.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    The area around the hub will pose a huge opportunity to developers to create a destination point. That'd be a lot cheaper than building a new hub and starting from scratch.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Yes, as Midtowner said and many other cities have proven, light rail generates almost instant development. The current Union Station is just a few blocks south of downtown. Keep in mind, this area may be part of downtown (still is IMO) in a few years. Especially if it was a hub, development would only come along more rapidly. One wouldn't have to take a train to the CBD or "Bricktown" which by the time we get rail hopefully won't be the only major draw in downtown. Heck, Midtown, Automobile Alley, and Arts District are drawing more people by the day already; just think about it in 5-10 years. If it is a hub, you can have electric cars or trolleys hub there as well and have pickup/dropoffs every 10 minutes or so to other parts of downtown. That is efficient. Look at other cities like Portland.

  15. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    My point is, although Union Station would be a great place for a rail hub, all is not lost if the station unusuable for for rail travel. The tracks in the vicinity of Santa Fe Station would work just fine for rail and ideally for a Multi-modal transit hub.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Look at what Denver did -- building a huge shopping district at their hub. This could easily be done in OKC. Lots of money to be made there!

    Developers need to start considering a "Plan B."

  17. #17

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    In Madrid, they once used a train station only for destinations south and east of the city, today its a mall and is a large transfer station from Madrid's Metro system to its urban and suburban rail system aka cercanias, the is obviously packed after work hours. I could see things working great if we used it as a transfer for suburban to light rail and there is potential for the area to be a shopping or another entertainment district if there would be another one.

  18. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    I agree metro, the city needs to push to build I-40 but save the rail yard.

    downtown will spread south once the freeway moves, and the Union Station would be the nucleus of the south downtown development, ala Denver as was said.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  19. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    I'm for I-40. If I have to pay a tax later to rebuild the rails, I'm ok with that....especially since they are so run down right now anyway. I would much rather have I-40 built the way it needs to be than to hold on to that yard.

    And what's to say that the location there is where the new hub should be? Personally, I don't think it should be downtown...there's too much development potential there to be taken up by a rail yard...I'd much rather see it elsewhere. Can you imagine 30 years from now and theres a big hole in the development where the rail yard is. It was fine 75 years ago or whenever it was built because it was a warehouse district....but it's not that anymore.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    The cost to rebuild the rails is nothing compared to what it's going to cost to acquire and prepare new land for the rail right of way. Currently, we already have most of that done. Sure, rail might need to be replaced, some of the bridges will definitely need to be redone, but otherwise, we're millions and millions of dollars ahead.

    I-40 can easily go somewhere else.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Great, another delay on I-40...

  22. Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    I would still much rather have I-40 finished on time than screw around with rail that may not even happen. When we build rail, even if it costs millions more, we won't have to be screwing around with current traffic and can plan it as we see fit on a blank slate. Downtown is just WAYYYY to valuable to have a rail yard...especially where it is now!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    I would still much rather have I-40 finished on time than screw around with rail that may not even happen. When we build rail, even if it costs millions more, we won't have to be screwing around with current traffic and can plan it as we see fit on a blank slate. Downtown is just WAYYYY to valuable to have a rail yard...especially where it is now!
    You assume that we can't have our downtown, keep the old rail yard, develop the adjacent area into something fantastic, and build I-40 somewhere else.

    Why are you making that assumption?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    I'd be fine with building I-40 somewhere else, but where? South of the Oklahoma River sounds better to me. Then we don't even have to mess with dropping the road bed below grade. But keeping it where it is is not desirable, IMO. The mayor sounds as if he's going to push for light rail as part of MAPS 3. And yet he has not come out against moving I-40. So why are the two mutually exclusive?

  25. #25

    Default Re: Save The Rails rally!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by betts View Post
    I'd be fine with building I-40 somewhere else, but where? South of the Oklahoma River sounds better to me. Then we don't even have to mess with dropping the road bed below grade. But keeping it where it is is not desirable, IMO. The mayor sounds as if he's going to push for light rail as part of MAPS 3. And yet he has not come out against moving I-40. So why are the two mutually exclusive?
    I agree with that.

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