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Thread: Streetcar

  1. #151

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    I couldn't find any pictures, a friend was telling me that the San Diego streetcar actually traverses through their convention center thus providing direct disenbarkment and entry within the building itself.
    How convenient. That way the convention goer doesn't even ever interact with the street environs surrounding the convention center. He/she can just go from airport to hotel via cab, and ride the rail into the meeting. Maybe we can even put restaurants inside the thing so that they don't have to leave it EVER, not even to eat.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    How convenient. That way the convention goer doesn't even ever interact with the street environs surrounding the convention center. He/she can just go from airport to hotel via cab, and ride the rail into the meeting. Maybe we can even put restaurants inside the thing so that they don't have to leave it EVER, not even to eat.
    VERY good point. Makes me think of how great we thought the tunnels were in the '70s.
    Visitor Question at 12 Noon on a weekday: Where's the....uh....like....you know....the people????
    A: Oh, they're underground.
    Visitor: Oh, huh. Bustling place you have here.

  3. #153

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

    Well you know they're going to try and have a full-blown food court in the convention center. That's a trend that convention centers today feature restaurants, much like how they're putting one or two inside the Ford Center.

    What if we had the food court in the park instead? Convention goers would have to cross the street and walk 500 feet or so into the park and find vendors. Or better idea: Put the center across the boulevard from Bricktown. Bricktown would be your food court, and LB would see some infill...

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    ...Maybe we can even put restaurants inside the thing so that they don't have to leave it EVER, not even to eat.
    Think they are proposing to do just that...retail, restaurants etc (fairly certain I read an article towards the end of the campaign that indicated that).

    Also, Disney World's Monorail runs thru the Contemporary Hotel (as opposed to a stop outside).

    Just about any sort of planning (project 180, streetcars etc) they could learn a lot from the way Disney has done things. From a design point there was an excellent coffee table book several years ago "The Art of Walt Disney" that showed the amount of detail and careful thought put into such mundane things as trash cans (everything "fit" into the areas "theme"). Along those lines, maybe opposition to a spoke going thru historical neighborhoods (which as pointed out had streetcars), instead (strictly from an asthetic point) they resembled classic streetcars.

  5. #155

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

    I agree on the amount of detail that goes into aesthetics at Disney. The problem though is that Disney is a term I and others have used to criticize Lower Bricktown and other new urbanist projects in other cities. Downtowns aren't supposed to be spotless and immaculate. They're supposed to be vibrant, gritty, lively, and busy.

  6. #156

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    I agree on the amount of detail that goes into aesthetics at Disney. The problem though is that Disney is a term I and others have used to criticize Lower Bricktown and other new urbanist projects in other cities. Downtowns aren't supposed to be spotless and immaculate. They're supposed to be vibrant, gritty, lively, and busy.
    I do think that Disney's attention to detail is worth noting although I, too, dislike the make-believe feeling.

    And details that can make an area really inviting and people oriented need not necessarily cost a fortune either.

  7. #157

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

    Denver:



    Source



    Source

  8. #158

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

    See here's the thing: Other cities are making mistakes. Urban planning is not an exact science. It has not been completely revolutionized to the point where everyone all of a sudden realizes the mistakes and doesn't make them anymore. Mistakes are still going to be made. I strongly believe this is where Denver and San Diego have made a mistake.

    San Diego's overall convention facility is a bit overkill in my opinion. It shadows over the vicinity and its architecture is so futuristic that it's almost not even tasteful. It sort of turns avant garde into holy crap guard your eyes.

  9. #159

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

    I think the Denver CC looks pretty cool.

  10. #160

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

    The site is great from a pedestrian standpoint, as the front just comes right up to the street. It's just a minor flaw that the LRT going through the convention center means that pedestrians may not take advantage of the great pedestrian access.

  11. #161

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

    Quote Originally Posted by rcjunkie View Post
    Not sure where your neighborhood is, but I know that on N. Youngs Blvd., just S. of NW 23rd, there's still a small section of tracks in the pavement.
    I live in Crestwood, at the intersection of Miller Ave, and NW 16th. I LOVE riding my bike through the neighborhoods following the old routes, and I do know the tracks that you are referring to, in the intersection of NW 19th and Youngs, I shed a metaphorical tear every time my wheels pass over them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    I think that there are a lot of great ideas going around here. I loved EBAH's account of how much he/she would appreciate actually bringing the streetcar back to the neighborhoods it once traveled through. I can also appreciate the perspective that we SHOULD have a stop at OCU Law, the Boathouses, etc.. it should go through Bricktown, Devon should have a stop, etc etc..

    So many good ideas.

    Let's focus on an organic system that covers downtown. Just downtown. Nothing else. If it stops through Bricktown and past Devon and creates some really cool opportunities along Automobile Alley, that's great. But we just need a starter system with this 6 miles. No doubt that we have a big big downtown area to cover, including a lot of areas we never would have considered downtown a few years ago. Let's just cover as much and try and have an organic system approach with this first step.

    It's good that we have so many good ideas. Let's also make plans for a Phase 2 that can include a second loop that goes further out, to Classen and down to the Boathouses, and maybe the State Capitol.. but unfortunately those things are undoubtedly located too far out from the center of the action for us to include in the 6 mile segment.

    But by all means, let's make plans to include these things with street car further down the road..
    Oh I couldn't agree more. I realize that this should be a "starter set" and and that keeping it a quickly moving centralized loop. I will be thrilled as long as it can effectively link Capital Complex, Medical Center, and CBD together. I think that this will prove vital to building a real retail and dining district adjacent to the CBD. The idea of large amounts of workers in all three of those enormous employment centers all having direct access to the shops and eateries in Midtown, Film Row, Automobile Alley, etc. just makes my mind race. Also, the shoppers/diners coming in would be on foot, making them MUCH more likely to make unexpected stops (WOW shops in OKC actually getting foot traffic, like on actual feet). To me at this time, it is mostly about getting the thousands of workers (and their wallets) in to downtown, for lunch, happy hours, and on into the evenings, as well as bringing the now somewhat sequestered Bricktown/inner downtown convention visitors, tourists, business travelers, sports fans, and general entertainment seekers into parts of downtown that currently feel a bit outside of walkability (previously mentioned districts). Which brings me to another question, in other communities with downtown circulators, how late do these things run? Will they be there for me at last call?

    Oh, and I am male...

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

    Quote Originally Posted by flintysooner View Post
    I do think that Disney's attention to detail is worth noting although I, too, dislike the make-believe feeling.

    And details that can make an area really inviting and people oriented need not necessarily cost a fortune either.
    Don't get me wrong, there are some drawbacks to the Disney approach (make believe, too anti-septic). Am am just saying no matter what you are talking about, be it Mass Trans, design of streets, walkways, lighting, buildings, and even something as mundane as a trash can, every thing "fits".

    Unfortunately we will never know exactly how a planned City would have looked like Disney style. EPCOT was to be that realization but after Walt's death, the Company went another way and used the name to put on another theme park. EPCOT stood for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. It was to be a fully planned functioning city. There was even a model of it at one point on display in Tomorrowland (think it was a part of the People Mover ride). If memory serves, it was a multiple spoke and wheel layout (as opposed to the typical grid).

    I was a Disney fanatic as a kid and lived in the Disney World area during my high school/college days. Had season passes and practically lived there. Definitely spoiled when it comes to other theme parks as a result. When Disney builds a indoor mountain roller coaster attraction, they sent there designers half-way around the world to do research, then they built the thing 360 degrees. They didn't just take pictures and make sketches of what the native village at the base of the mountain looked like, but they purchased artifacts to use in the attraction. When Six Flags did it, they built a corrogated steel building to house the coaster and painted a mural on the side.

    Am basically opposed to the way naming rights are currently done (selling rights to a building that they don't own). Disney has the corporate tie-in stuff down to a science. They have corporate sponsorhip all over the parks (they could easily pay for everything themselves, but offset costs through these deals). The primary difference between the way Disney does it and the way Naming Rights are sold, is the name of the attraction is decided by Disney, they just sell the sponsorship rights to it. No need to change the name of the ride every time a sponsor ship changes, just the sponsorship signage. For example, it wasn't Kodak's It's a Small World, it was It's a Small World sponsored by Kodak. Just think, how many different names has the Ballpark had now? 3 different names (same sponsor) but since the company kept changing it's name, the Ballpark's name kept changing too (most just call it "The Brick")

    Mayor Cornett even expressed a similar thought back when he was a councilman and voted AGAINST the Ford naming rights. He stated he didn't have anything against Ford, he just thought the name of the Arena should be promoting Oklahoma City and not some corporation.

    But to get back to the subject, there are a lot of lessons (good & bad) can be learned from looking Disney's way.

  13. #163

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    I think the Denver CC looks pretty cool.
    It's extremely nice but more than OKC would be ready for I think. I just hope they have the forethought to build the new center in such a way it can be expanded later on if/when warranted. One of the really nice features of the Denver center is a 6000 seat theater in the round for more intimate concerts or lectures.

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

    BTW

    In the Denver pic above, what is the large (scale in comparison to the cars etc) shadowy figure (Bear?) just to the left of center that looks like it is leaning against the glass and peering in?

  15. #165

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry OKC View Post
    BTW

    In the Denver pic above, what is the large (scale in comparison to the cars etc) shadowy figure (Bear?) just to the left of center that looks like it is leaning against the glass and peering in?
    Big arse bear. Kinda kewl actually.

  16. #166

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    How convenient. That way the convention goer doesn't even ever interact with the street environs surrounding the convention center. He/she can just go from airport to hotel via cab, and ride the rail into the meeting. Maybe we can even put restaurants inside the thing so that they don't have to leave it EVER, not even to eat.
    I think that this is a very important discussion. There are some things to keep in mind so that we "frame" the discussion accurately.

    Streetcars will have the reverse effect with conventioneers. In theory, having it literally interface with a new convention center would have the reverse effect of isolating people. They are designed for short trips to expand the walking range of a pedestrian. Right now, you might have people walk to Bricktown from Cox or two blocks to other areas.

    What the streetcar will do is better connect Bricktown but also distribute the "load" of people over a larger area thus expanding the positive experience of the visitor while also expanding the economic impact of that person to shops, restaurants, and stores not in the convention district.

    So really, if a commuter system were installed from the airport directly, it becomes a "convenience" express device while the streetcar counteracts that isolation. It is important to differentiate the two.

    In my own experiences, I take a cab from the airport or transit where possible and do not stop at places along the way anyways. I don't know about other people.

  17. Default Conservatives and Transit

    With the MAPS 3 vote decided in the affirmative, the issue is at least partially resolved for now. But it will come back when it's time to lauch regional rail in earnest or expand the starter streetcar system.

    Monday, December 14th at 2:00 pm Oklahoma City time there is an interesting webcast discussion entitled Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation scheduled.

  18. #168

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    I think that this is a very important discussion. There are some things to keep in mind so that we "frame" the discussion accurately.

    Streetcars will have the reverse effect with conventioneers. In theory, having it literally interface with a new convention center would have the reverse effect of isolating people. They are designed for short trips to expand the walking range of a pedestrian. Right now, you might have people walk to Bricktown from Cox or two blocks to other areas.

    What the streetcar will do is better connect Bricktown but also distribute the "load" of people over a larger area thus expanding the positive experience of the visitor while also expanding the economic impact of that person to shops, restaurants, and stores not in the convention district.

    So really, if a commuter system were installed from the airport directly, it becomes a "convenience" express device while the streetcar counteracts that isolation. It is important to differentiate the two.

    In my own experiences, I take a cab from the airport or transit where possible and do not stop at places along the way anyways. I don't know about other people.
    I agree with you on airport-to-hotel travel. I think though my point was just warning against this idea of a convention center where you can do it all, for lack of a better term off the top of my head. I agree with the C2S talkers in that it's a shame that convention centers are seen as "dead space" that's only in use during conventions. And I agree that something needs to be done about that. However you don't fix that by loading it down with bells and whistles on the INTERIOR. You fix that by loading it down with bells and whistles on the EXTERIOR. That doesn't mean a plaza, either. Plazas are the scourge of urban planning in my opinion.

    You know how sometimes you see a building and you don't know what's in it? Like some old churches have been converted to shops or lofts, or the old houses along NW 23rd or NW 9th that have been restored into trendy boutiques.. what if we designed a convention center that built on the Columbus center, that looked like and interacted with the street just like any Bricktown or A-Alley block but was in fact, actually a convention center. That's where I think the solution to the convention center problem lies, is in masking the typical superblock structure as something else. Unfortunately the best most cities have been able to come up with is just more "starchitecture."

    "Hey, how do we make this superblock structure fit in with goals of urbanism and sustainability?"
    "I know, let's just have NORMAN FOSTER design it! That'll solve it all.."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    what if we designed a convention center that built on the Columbus center, that looked like and interacted with the street just like any Bricktown or A-Alley block but was in fact, actually a convention center. That's where I think the solution to the convention center problem lies, is in masking the typical superblock structure as something else.
    This is a really valuable concept. Luckily we have a decade to mold how this issue is perceived by government officials and hopefully such a superblock-breaking design can prevail.

  20. #170

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

    Ah I see. I thought we were talking about transit. Lol. The only way this convention center won't end up being a big box and create vast walking distances of nothing is to "wrap" it with shops, stores, or housing. Let's use space wisely and give someone a reason to walk on the sidewalk in front of it.

  21. #171

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

    I was at the streetcar conference in Fort Worth on Friday. Rick Cain, Larry Hopper, and myself went down there to represent the city. It was a very enjoyable event.

    One of the most striking things I heard came from the former Mayor of Charlotte. He was talking about new schools that Charlotte had built and how he wished that the development of the light rail should have interefaced with the school in lieu of school buses.

    I got to thinking about this. I guess older children use the subway in New York. It probably helps develop independence. It occurred to me that we still are two years off before we start on the downtown school. Why not consider interfacing it with the streetcar?

  22. #172

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    Ah I see. I thought we were talking about transit. Lol. The only way this convention center won't end up being a big box and create vast walking distances of nothing is to "wrap" it with shops, stores, or housing. Let's use space wisely and give someone a reason to walk on the sidewalk in front of it.
    I agree with you. I think transit was a point I made but I didn't really mean it to detract from the overall theme I was just trying to convey. I still think that putting a streetcar route going through the center as opposed to on the streetfront, so as to draw the convention goers out, would be a mistake that could worsen the effect of a convention fortress..

  23. #173

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    I agree with you. I think transit was a point I made but I didn't really mean it to detract from the overall theme I was just trying to convey. I still think that putting a streetcar route going through the center as opposed to on the streetfront, so as to draw the convention goers out, would be a mistake that could worsen the effect of a convention fortress..
    My opinion is that many people are overthinking this process. There is no one perfect desicion on the planning of the convention center. I have been to various convention centers around the country and I was never greatly influenced by any of the things being discussed as to what I would want to do after arriving as to seeing other parts of the area or how I would get there.

  24. #174

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    My opinion is that many people are overthinking this process. There is no one perfect desicion on the planning of the convention center. I have been to various convention centers around the country and I was never greatly influenced by any of the things being discussed as to what I would want to do after arriving as to seeing other parts of the area or how I would get there.
    I haven't been to a convention in a long while so things may well be different now.

    But I remember going to one in LA and being told by several people to wait on the buses to return us to our hotel rather than taking a taxi and for certain to not even think about walking which would have been pretty far.

    A great contrast was one I attended just prior to that in Salt Lake City where I was able to just wander around the entire area around the center.

    But as I look back over the time when I was attending conventions I am surprised by how few actually amount to much in my memory.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    My opinion is that many people are overthinking this process. There is no one perfect desicion on the planning of the convention center. I have been to various convention centers around the country and I was never greatly influenced by any of the things being discussed as to what I would want to do after arriving as to seeing other parts of the area or how I would get there.
    Agreed, I go to 10 a year and with the exception of any in Vegas, the general location around the convention had zero influence on my decisions to go or on my decisions on what to do recreationally while I was at a convention.

    And yes, this includes 2 that happen right here in OKC, one usually at the Biltmore and the other at the Cox center.

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