Buses vs Rail and Cars vs Transit

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
go4guy
Foshay Tower
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby go4guy » May 9th, 2016, 6:24 pm

Should clarify, in the winter.

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MN Fats
Union Depot
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby MN Fats » May 9th, 2016, 8:34 pm

go4guy wrote:Completely agree. If i was single and worked downtown, i would be more likely to use the bus. But if I had a wife and kids at home, I would not want to waste that extra time on a bus when I could be with my family.
Single people also hate wasting time.

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Tiller
Foshay Tower
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby Tiller » May 9th, 2016, 11:44 pm

MN Fats wrote:
go4guy wrote:Completely agree. If i was single and worked downtown, i would be more likely to use the bus. But if I had a wife and kids at home, I would not want to waste that extra time on a bus when I could be with my family.
Single people also hate wasting time.
Single person here, can confirm. Transit is pretty great since I can do things I couldn't do behind the wheel.
(there are things you can't do during either, of course.)

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby amiller92 » May 10th, 2016, 8:33 am

go4guy wrote:People commuting from the suburbs aren't going to take away 2 hours with their family each day so they can ride the bus downtown instead of driving. Not gonna happen.
No, but they, or future people who have the same job, may chose to live closer to work, or live where transit is a more viable option.

We talking about change the incentives on the margin. As they currently exist, it is faster and cheaper (as long as you ignore un-priced externalities and assign little value to your time), to live far away and drive your own car to work. Those incentives are objectively terrible for all sorts of reasons.
Last edited by amiller92 on May 10th, 2016, 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Silophant
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby Silophant » May 10th, 2016, 8:43 am

go4guy wrote:People commuting from the suburbs aren't going to take away 2 hours with their family each day so they can ride the bus downtown instead of driving. Not gonna happen.
I don't have any personal experience, not owning a wedding ring, but I can assure you that well over 90% of my suburban-dwelling, family-having coworkers do, in fact, ride the bus downtown instead of driving. Crazy what happens when your employer subsidizes a Metropass instead of providing free parking.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby mattaudio » May 10th, 2016, 8:47 am

go4guy wrote:With regards to Rochester, the ramps they do have are always filled. During the week, nights, weekends. They are needed, otherwise people wouldn't have anywhere to park.
The official parking study Rochester conducted a few years back, of which I have a copy, disagrees.

acs
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby acs » May 10th, 2016, 11:34 am

I don't know why this is still a debate. Downtowns car commute mode share is under 50%. The bulk of that is made up by mass transit. People love express buses and LRT.

UrsusUrbanicus
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby UrsusUrbanicus » May 10th, 2016, 1:12 pm

go4guy wrote:My wife and I go out to eat a lot in downtown Rochester. It is simple and easy to park in a ramp near the bars and restaurants. If we had to park 5 blocks away or take a bus, you can bet we would stay home instead.
If you mean five literal city blocks on Rochester's 14-to-the-mile grid, that's 0.7 miles, round-trip -- 15 minutes (assuming no mobility-related health issues). Wouldn't a 15-minute walk-and-talk with your wife -- during which you could discover a new shop or restaurant, experience a variety of interesting sights and sounds, and meet new people -- count as a positive rather than a negative? When the question is abstracted from the driving/parking context, you might very well say yes. This sort of affirmative, intentional "step back" and analysis, on a mass scale, may very well help cut through the 60+ years of active cultural (and governmental!) promotion of auto-centric development patterns that have made Drive Right Up a default assumption.

J2K
Metrodome
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby J2K » May 10th, 2016, 4:06 pm

Why walk anywhere when you can drive a car? Walking sucks. I love my cars and enjoy driving them. This isn't Europe people - it's Minneapolis and people like to drive around here. Get over it. :roll:

grant1simons2
IDS Center
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby grant1simons2 » May 10th, 2016, 4:11 pm

I would like to disagree with that. Driving in Minneapolis sucks, which is why I walk, bike and take transit everywhere. People here like doing that and want a walkable/clean city. Get over it.

J2K
Metrodome
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby J2K » May 10th, 2016, 4:57 pm

I ain't got time for that.

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Tiller
Foshay Tower
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby Tiller » May 10th, 2016, 9:16 pm

*snark alert*

go4guy
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby go4guy » May 11th, 2016, 4:19 pm

When I come to town, I drive downtown and never have a problem with traffic. I then park in a ramp, and spend all my money downtown except when I take the Light Rail to the U for a game. So you can have your driving and transit. They can work together.

contrast
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby contrast » May 11th, 2016, 11:24 pm

The key to transportation (including downtown parking) is options which gives people the flexibility to choose the most effective and cost efficient solution for any given situation. Some times I take LRT, other times I take the bus, other times I drive. All of them are based on a number of factors for any given day. Many days time is the most important variable- for example, if it is one of my days to pick up any kids that get sick at school and you need to pick them up within an hour in the middle of the day and buses are only running every 20 minutes, that likely will just not work, or for other times, day care pick up, it is common that late charges are $1/minute per child. So if the bus takes 15 minutes longer than driving, you have to back that out of productive work time or pay very steep penalties if you cut it too close. Or if you drop little kids off at a day care that is not within a block or two of your home, then you are already in your car, so it would rarely be more efficient (from a time perspective) to drive back home to drop the car, then walk to the bus stop.

But when I am not dropping kids at daycare in the morning, on sick call during the day or have pick ups in the afternoon, then the bus works really well for me and I use it. Everyone's schedules, commitments, lives are different with different demands.

The key thing is that we must continue to invest in options: more bike lanes, better walking infrastructure, more LRT, BRT, improved streets and freeways- its a cohesive system that matters. As BRT improves, then hopefully there will be more areas where the bus is time competitive with autos which makes a huge difference, but the key will always be options. For the metro to collectively save time and money in transportation, all parts of the system must continue to become more effective and efficient so everyone can continue to choose the best option available, not just avoid the worst option (which could be very expensive downtown parking, poor bus service, grid locked streets, unsafe bike routes etc). -This should never be viewed as a zero sum game!

DanPatchToget
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Buses vs Rail and Cars vs Transit

Postby DanPatchToget » May 12th, 2016, 11:46 am

I've walked in numerous European cities and to me it feels like walking in downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul. But if we're talking outer ring suburbs then absolutely there is a night and day difference in pedestrian and bike friendliness. I feel safer biking in Minneapolis than my home town of Bloomington.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 12th, 2016, 12:24 pm

contrast wrote:But when I am not dropping kids at daycare in the morning, on sick call during the day or have pick ups in the afternoon, then the bus works really well for me and I use it. Everyone's schedules, commitments, lives are different with different demands.
We really tried to find a daycare within an easy walk of my house, but couldn't. We live at 36th and Hennepin (basically), so our main N-S buses are the 6 and 4. Our daycare is at Nicollet and Franklin, meaning it's at least a transfer (6/4 -> 17 or 2, or worse, 23 ->18) or a long walk before/after a bus ride. And even then, neither me or my wife are right at work (wife is downtown Mpls, 25 minute walk from daycare, I'm dt St Paul, another bus ride to catch the 94). And yet, we make it work, with easily a 50%+ share of one of us making it work by taking the kid to daycare by bus or bike. And it could be higher if I weren't so damn lazy many mornings.

I say all this as a preface to the fact that people make a lot of excuses for why they can't do something (especially once they made a conscious choice to live far from where they work, etc), and that the number of people in our metro with the type of scenarios people generally trot out for why they can't bike or take the bus is actually not that high. For example, most adults don't have kids in the house, let alone kids of the age that require pickup/dropoff (or, the number of kids that make doing bike/bus truly difficult). And, for the ones that do, there are many who make the slightly easier choice to drive every day rather than even just doing the bus/bike thing a couple times a week (or, one parent doing it, etc). And our transportation policies and pricing have catered to this demand, rather than trying to mitigate or manage it via all sorts of methods we don't use.
contrast wrote:This should never be viewed as a zero sum game!
...which leads me to this. I'd like to stand on this side of the argument, and I know posters like Monte have talked about how certain details (like signal timing, etc) don't have to be zero-sum for peds v bikes v transit v cars. But, really, it's not true in the general sense. Our rights of way, especially in cities, are constrained. We're not knocking down buildings en masse to widen streets anymore. So we can only fit so many things in 60, 80, 100 feet of right of way. In some cases, sure, we can squeeze a bike lane in and not take parking or sidewalk or thru-lanes away because we wastefully set the curbs 35 years ago to give drivers 14' lanes. In most cases, there's always a tradeoff. And more generally speaking, there is a zero-sum tradeoff when talking how we choose and build types of infrastructure. I'm not as good at writing as other people, so check this piece out. The key takeaway:
The construction of the I-88 employment corridor in DuPage County, for example, represented an expansion of the choice set of people able to drive, in the sense that it allowed people to move farther from the city, and therefore consume more land (ie, have bigger homes and yards), while still commuting to a Chicago region job. But it meaningfully restricted the choice set of people who did not drive, who found that a rapidly declining share of the region’s employment was accessible without a car. The construction of I-88 itself—and just as importantly, the vast network of wide, high-speed arterial streets through DuPage and suburban Cook County—created options that led to sorting that put many Chicagoans at a severe disadvantage.

It seems likely that this sort of dynamic, in which a policy that opens up a new choice leads to sorting that makes some people worse off, is particularly relevant in situations with lots of dense networks and resource-sharing that depends on those networks. In other words, cities.
Anyway, just my 2cents.

froggie
Rice Park
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Re: Buses vs Rail and Cars vs Transit

Postby froggie » May 13th, 2016, 7:08 pm

grant1simons2 wrote:I would like to disagree with that. Driving in Minneapolis sucks, which is why I walk, bike and take transit everywhere. People here like doing that and want a walkable/clean city. Get over it.
I'm not the person you were disagreeing with, but I would like to counter-disagree with your notion that driving in Minneapolis sucks. It really isn't that bad.

mplsjaromir
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Buses vs Rail and Cars vs Transit

Postby mplsjaromir » June 27th, 2016, 10:18 am

Interesting article regarding the genesis of BRT.

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article ... -oil-lobby

I do not agree with the entire premise, but the history is neat!

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Buses vs Rail and Cars vs Transit

Postby talindsay » July 13th, 2016, 9:01 am

From that article: "BRT is the bus you get when you don’t get a train."

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Sacrelicio
Union Depot
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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby Sacrelicio » July 13th, 2016, 10:28 am

amiller92 wrote:We should be done designing downtown for suburbanites. They don't come. Just look at how many opening parking spaces there are during evenings and weekends.
I grew up in the western suburbs during the 1980s and 1990s when it was more appealing to cars, and no one ever wanted to go downtown if they could avoid it. A Metrodome trip or another special event a couple times a year maybe. Why would they? There wasn't much to see or do, it still wasn't that easy to drive down there, and it just wasn't that interesting or pleasant, despite the ample parking and car oriented streetscape. Now downtown is booming with non-parking ramp amenities and people seem to be interested again. Anyone who doesn't want to visit a city isn't going to be drawn by huge parking ramps and fast one ways.


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