Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
helsinki
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby helsinki » October 15th, 2014, 11:00 am

FISHMANPET wrote:I believe the intention would be to use that clear an cars in the driving lane :D

Also I think this may be the best pictoral evidence of why shared lane streetcars are bad:
Image
It's a funny image, but also misleading in the current context. Accidents dramatically slow all modes of transportation. If there was a wrecked car sitting in the middle of Nicollet, I doubt the buses would be on time either.

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Nathan
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Nathan » October 15th, 2014, 12:43 pm

Yeah, and what is the percentage of times per trip that that actually happens. In the times I've been to TO I've not seen one delayed. I'm sure the pictures on the internet of nay sayers like to make it out like a large issue, but I feel like in reality it isn't. Does that happen any more often than a bus breaks down? I see them pulled over on the shoulder all the time, same amount of delay and frustration to riders.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby FISHMANPET » October 15th, 2014, 12:50 pm

In the above example there's plenty of room on the road for a bus to go around the damaged car, but the streetcar doesn't have that option. If a bus breaks down it can pull over and a relief bus (Metro Transit has them on standby) can come and pick up the passengers and be on their way. With a broken down Streetcar (which is probably going to happen less often than a broken down bus) you have to tow the streetcar all the way to a maintenance bay or something.

At least we're not doing side running (right, we're not planning side running are we?) where assholes who can't park stop streetcars all the time.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby HiawathaGuy » October 15th, 2014, 1:01 pm

For reference, Portland has had 10 injury accidents over the past 2 years, non fatal on their 14.7 miles of track.
Found that info from an article written about Atlanta's 2.7 mile route testing rolling stock this summer.
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/at ... ety/nfqHB/

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Nathan
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Nathan » October 15th, 2014, 1:10 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:In the above example there's plenty of room on the road for a bus to go around the damaged car, but the streetcar doesn't have that option. If a bus breaks down it can pull over and a relief bus (Metro Transit has them on standby) can come and pick up the passengers and be on their way. With a broken down Streetcar (which is probably going to happen less often than a broken down bus) you have to tow the streetcar all the way to a maintenance bay or something.

At least we're not doing side running (right, we're not planning side running are we?) where assholes who can't park stop streetcars all the time.
But... can't a relief bus still come for the passengers when a street car breaks down the same way they do for the light rail? Or if a car is stuck in front of the street car? You've still proven that the only difference is that a bus can go around a car in the rare instance one breaks down in front of it. And I feel like busses break down more often than that sort of accident will occur.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby FISHMANPET » October 15th, 2014, 1:27 pm

But subsequent streetcars will also be stuck behind the broken one, whereas a bus could go around. But streetcars breaking down will be a rare occurrence.

I'll say I've been on exactly 1 bus there was an accident on the road where the bus had to pull around that a streetcar would have been unable to avoid. I've never been on a bus that's broken down. Anecdotally [ ;) ] traffic blocking the path is infinitely more likely.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby twincitizen » October 15th, 2014, 1:31 pm

Nathan wrote:I feel like busses break down more often than that sort of accident will occur.
Statistically, I don't know if that would hold up. Metro Transit has a very high reliability, especially when you factor in that all buses used on the route today are newer hybrid models. Accidents/breakdowns by passenger cars almost certainly have to be more common (statistically speaking).

The good thing is that Metro Transit has a bus garage not far away (Nicollet & 31st). Hopefully, they'd have a tow truck there that could move broken down vehicles (of any type), in addition to service dispatched from the streetcar maintenance facility in NE.

Anecdotally, I've been on at least one bus that got stuck in the snow... it's probably safe to say that won't ever be a problem for the streetcar. They typically run frequently enough throughout the day to keep the tracks clear. The only way things could get bad is if a massive snowfall came down very quickly between 2am and 5am.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby talindsay » October 15th, 2014, 2:58 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:But subsequent streetcars will also be stuck behind the broken one, whereas a bus could go around. But streetcars breaking down will be a rare occurrence.

I'll say I've been on exactly 1 bus there was an accident on the road where the bus had to pull around that a streetcar would have been unable to avoid. I've never been on a bus that's broken down. Anecdotally [ ;) ] traffic blocking the path is infinitely more likely.
Well, as long as they don't do side running, they can place crossovers periodically so later streetcars can get around. But again, rare occurrence.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby lordmoke » October 15th, 2014, 3:03 pm

Let's just make it legal for streetcars to push immobilized vehicles out of their way. Problem solved.

This would also have hilarious consequences for improperly parked cars.

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Nick
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Nick » October 15th, 2014, 3:06 pm


IllogicalJake
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby IllogicalJake » October 15th, 2014, 3:07 pm

A wrecked vehicle can still usually be moved from the tracks fairly quickly and easily, can't it? I mean, I know it's not instant, but would the delay really be more than 10-20 minutes?

I'd really be interested in knowing what Portland or anywhere else does in this situation instead of trying to formulate a new plan from scratch.
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby grant1simons2 » October 15th, 2014, 3:12 pm

Exactly, what if a car stalled on the tracks next to Nicollet station? Yes buses can get around it but what about the light rail?

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Nick
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Nick » October 15th, 2014, 3:14 pm

Even ten minutes is a lot at rush hour what with the lights and bunching and all. But I'd be more worried about everyday stupidity and cars misjudging space, etc. than the occasional crash.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Tom H. » October 15th, 2014, 3:16 pm

Ok, so there's one failure pathology in which buses respond better than streetcars. Streetcars also have many advantages over buses. Focusing so single-mindedly on car blockages seems a little disingenuous.

Why didn't we make these arguments when the street grids were being co-opted by freeways? "Now a single jackknifed semi could stop all auto traffic for miles!"

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby talindsay » October 15th, 2014, 3:24 pm

Tom H. wrote:Why didn't we make these arguments when the street grids were being co-opted by freeways? "Now a single jackknifed semi could stop all auto traffic for miles!"
Because most of us weren't of age yet.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Silophant » October 15th, 2014, 3:27 pm

Hell, my parents weren't of age yet!

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby lordmoke » October 15th, 2014, 3:31 pm

Wouldn't adding crossovers every few blocks enable trains to "go around" stalled vehicles?

It would just result in slight delays to ensure to trains didn't collide head on, no? Am I missing something?

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby EOst » October 15th, 2014, 5:53 pm

Disadvantage of rails: very occasionally something blocks them.

Advantages of rails: smooth, energy-efficient, level, predictable path, easy maintenance.

Isn't this factored into everyone's thinking by now?

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby FISHMANPET » October 15th, 2014, 7:59 pm

And putting the rails in mixed traffic removes some of the smoothness (stop and go traffic is not going to be as smooth as riding on the Blue or Green line) and I'm not so sure that maintaining tracks embedded in the road is going to be easier to maintain than ballasted or turf track.

(though probably easier to maintain than this:)

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby EOst » October 15th, 2014, 8:06 pm

The smoothness isn't just the acceleration and deceleration, it's the smooth surface of the rails, it's the lack of weaving from side to side as buses often do, etc.


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