Denver RTD Transit System

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
mattaudio
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby mattaudio » November 17th, 2014, 9:35 am

I love how digs on SWLRT 3A pop up by so many people in so many places. Love!

MNdible
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby MNdible » November 17th, 2014, 11:29 am

I love how inexpensive it is to build hypothetical transit lines that haven't been designed.

nate
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby nate » November 18th, 2014, 8:41 am

TroyGBiv wrote:The smartest thing that Denver did was put a complete plan together and make solid recommendations for each route.... Then they worked with all of the metro counties to get buy-in to fund the entire system without significant interruption... turning transit planning and LRT into a constantly growing living part of the Denver landscape. I have lived here all my life except when I lived north of Denver. They never had the kind of money that the Twin Cities have and continues to have... but they knew best practices was a thorough planning process. We are fighting multiple lawsuits over a train over a creek that already has trains running over it... when the same additional spending would have run the SWLRT through Uptown, Lyn-Lake and up Nicollet creating much higher ridership potential... I support our LRT system but have been really disappointed by a couple of these major hiccups...
I'm jealous of the planning that Denver has in place, but I have to wonder if they took the path of least resistance on all these lines in the name of getting them done quickly. Our routes take longer to design and build and are more expensive BUT I'd argue they serve the area more effectively, as evidenced by ridership numbers.

Imagine a Green Line that went through the Dinkytown Greenway and the rail yards in St Paul before terminating at the back of Union Depot. Or a Blue Line that didn't serve either airport terminal directly via a subway, but required a shuttle bus from a satellite station. Or a Southwest Line that simply followed the ROW of 394 and 169. Or a Bottineau line that completely skipped the most transit-dependent neighborhood in the state in favor of a bunch of stops in parks. (Oh wait :oops: )

The point being, our process isn't perfect, but our lines have a higher upside than Denver's. Just a thought.

mattaudio
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby mattaudio » November 18th, 2014, 8:54 am

Very true.

VAStationDude
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby VAStationDude » November 18th, 2014, 9:36 am

Only Minneapolis based urbanists have a fairy wand that magically makes light rail feasible in narrow row and allows for fantastically cheap tunneling.

If you can't recognize the differences between Penn Avenue and University and airport tunneling and Eat Street tunneling you're lying to yourself, dumb or just like writing self righteous stuff on the internet.

mattaudio
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby mattaudio » November 18th, 2014, 9:57 am

Only defenders of the status quo think that right of way for movement or storage of motor vehicles must remain under all circumstances.

VAStationDude
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby VAStationDude » November 18th, 2014, 6:41 pm

Personally I prefer what can be accomplished in the real world. Political issues aside, the Green Line and Blue Line extensions are good routes and their detractors gloss over the negatives of their preferred alternatives. That's my just my opinion, man. Maybe I should just stop responding to the same complaint I've read fifty times a week for the last five years.

Not ignoring political problems, suburbanites aren't going to vote against their own interests. Despite what imaginers of big things have convinced their gaggle of bots, it ain't happening.

mattaudio
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby mattaudio » November 18th, 2014, 7:27 pm

It's not a matter of what we prefer, it's a matter of what we can afford. The sprawlscape land use will collapse primarily because of financial constraints, not because all suburbanites will suddenly see the light.

EOst
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby EOst » November 18th, 2014, 7:36 pm

Can't wait to watch this exact conversation happen again. :lol:

VAStationDude
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby VAStationDude » November 18th, 2014, 8:32 pm

Okey. If you want champion a guy who wrote poor indebted Millennials would benefit from tight money and higher interest rates, fine. If you want to worship a guy who believes governments could not absorb significant increases to a relatively small part of their overall budgets, fine. If you won't believe the federal government could invent money out of thin air to address any infrastructure repairs, fine. Personally, I don't listen to obvious morons.

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Nick
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby Nick » November 18th, 2014, 9:47 pm

"This jig is up any day now," Nick said confidently, in 2006.

mullen
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby mullen » November 19th, 2014, 12:02 pm

the only advantage i see for Denver is the aforementioned dedicated funding source. i don't like rail routes running down highways or adjacent. although one could argue the blue line essentially runs adjacent a highway.
Denver's airport is too far away from the city center. i don't care ostentatious it is. our rail link to our airport is nearly perfect, save for the distance from the main station. and then one can be downtown in short order. that isn't pulled off so easily in many cities.

and it's unfortuante we have slipped back into the tired rural vs. metro rhetoric. it might win elections but it's not a way to govern. our transit system will fall back unless we avoid having to go begging at the state legislature every year. so Denver beats us there.

a_tribe_called_chris
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby a_tribe_called_chris » December 3rd, 2014, 10:15 am

I would disagree with the overall sentiment on this board. RTD’s bus system runs much better than Metro Transit since their roads actually go across the entire metro for the most part. Taking a bus from suburb to suburb is rather difficult to do around the MSP metro unless you want to transfer downtown.
The funding source is much better as well. Metro Denver passed a dedicated tax that mixed highway expansion and transit improvements. They needed buy in from both suburban and urban tax payers. I would love to see that work in MSP.
With the complaints against running LRT down freeways what exactly do you think is the difference between that and most of the Blue Line’s Hiawatha routing? It may not be a true freeway but it isn’t much different either.
Metro Transit is better than many other cities but I don’t really think that our lines are more successful than Denver’s system at this point. The Green Line has been the best success story but currently we have 2 lines. Additionally, the RTD lines are looking to increase density and ridership for the sustained growth of the region. Denver is still in a very strong growth cycle and development is high.
Meanwhile, Metro Transit is dealing with another lawsuit to get the SWLRT going and Bottineau is still a few years away from ground breaking.
Overall, I am happy in MSP but let’s not fool ourselves and pretend we are not being outdone…so Metro Denver has: legal cannabis, better weather, dedicated transit funding but no lakes. All in all, both MSP and DEN are 2 of the best places to live in the USA based on QOL and Employment prospects.
http://www.confluence-denver.com/devnew ... 20414.aspx
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/06/ ... st/373222/

a_tribe_called_chris
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Re: Public Transit News and Happenings

Postby a_tribe_called_chris » December 3rd, 2014, 10:38 am

Tcmetro wrote:A couple days late, but I guess I'll pile on the Denver transit hate ;)

225 Line: Currently a pretty much useless line, an extension through Aurora and up to the East Line is underway. That being said, the line will not serve the big medical complex on Colfax, and will instead operate around it. I'm not too sure how popular a suburb-to-suburb LRT line will be, but there aren't many paradigms in the US.


The other issue is that Denver has completely ignored the inner city neighborhoods in favor of fast, cheap rail connections to the suburbs. The main streets of Colfax, Broadway, Federal, Colorado, etc are seeing marginal, if any improvements. E Colfax might get a BRT service, with a peak-only bus lane. Cherry Creek, which is kinda like the "Uptown" of Denver (someone correct me if I'm wrong) isn't planned to see any improvements.

As for the rail situation, a lot of it is already moving quite fast, and there isn't really any good way to change the lines to service the inner city. Hopefully a downtown LRT loop connecting the Union Station branch to the Stout/California branch (perhaps along 19th?) could improve the operation of the LRT lines and provide a better connection for the commuter rail lines.

--

In any case, it seems to me that the Twin Cities are doing a much better job than Denver, despite having fewer rail lines. Hiawatha and Central are high performers, Rush Line and Riverview will be pretty decent as well, Southwest, Bottineau, and Gateway are more Denver-esque, but will probably perform decently as well. We also have a much better bus system than Denver, and our SIP and Arterial BRT plans are much more aggressive at bus expansion than Denver's plans.
From RTD's fact page-
The I-225 Rail Line is a 10.5-mile light rail line within the city of Aurora that will provide key regional connections to the East and Southeast rail lines. It is part of FasTracks, RTD's voter-approved plan passed in November 2004 to expand transit service across the Denver metro region.

It will provide connectivity to major activity centers like the Aurora City Center, Anschutz/Fitzsimons Medical Center and Denver International Airport through a transfer at Peoria to the East Rail Line.

So, contrary to your post the map does show a stop at Colfax and also a at Fitzsimmons. The Aurora Metro Center has a station at the Aurora Mall (new name now) and also is an existing bus hub. This line actually seems to serve Aurora well and most importantly completes the link needed.

Also, the Metro Transit is not a far better bus system compared to RTD. I think quite the opposite would be the case. Sorry, but RTD has busses that actually run across the entire metro without having to transfer downtown. I do take issue with you relying on unrealized future enhancements to Metro Transit as automatically being better than what RTD currently has built or under construction.

I will say that Metro Transit is PLANNING to do many things right that will greatly improve our system and bring it close to the RTD but it still won’t be as good in my opinion.

FYI- I used both systems having moved here from Aurora back in 2003. When I first moved here one of the first things I noticed is how poorly the buses were routed for suburb to suburb transit based on the lack of a grid to the street design. Look at both metros on a map and the difference is obvious. In metro Denver you have continuous streets like Colfax, Alameda, Mississippi, Iliff/Evans that run East to West and they also have fairly regular bus service.

MNdible
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby MNdible » December 3rd, 2014, 10:45 am

I'm a big "don't bash the suburbs guy", but I'd argue that the quality of suburb-to-suburb service is way down the list of important metrics that I'd use to judge a transit system. It's notoriously difficult to provide effectively, and the fact that Denver is spending a bunch of money trying to provide it may help to explain why their per-mile ridership numbers are so weak.

a_tribe_called_chris
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby a_tribe_called_chris » December 3rd, 2014, 11:39 am

That is true, but overall it is still worth considering that both regions don’t have the majority of jobs located downtown. It is still a valid metric. The overall size and scope of the system in place in Denver is greater than what Metro Transit is operating. RTD has more Rail miles in place and you are likely right that this is leading to a lower per mile ridership.
When I judge a system and if it is better I look at can it take me where I want to go, are there many destinations connected, and so forth? Those are the criteria I am using to judge the system on.
Metro Transit is by no means horrible but I would not go and say it is better than RTD.
I work in DT Minneapolis and for me with the current setup LRT and Express buses work great. Now, if I worked in a suburban office park that story would not be the same.

Tcmetro
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby Tcmetro » December 3rd, 2014, 12:37 pm

The original proposal for the I-225 line was to operate through the medical campus, but was moved to operate along Fitzsimmons (easily a 15-20 min walk from most things) at the whim of the hospital.

My comments about the bus system here being superior to the bus system in Denver were much more related to the span of service and frequencies offered. Minneapolis has a handful of lines that operate every 7-10 minutes all day and quite a bit more in the 15-20 min frequency range. Denver's system has really good bus service on Colfax (5-10 min all day), there are a few others that have 15 min service and most local routes provide 30-60 min service, especially during weekends. I think Denver has an excellent route structure that is more common in Western cities that aren't as Downtown-centric, but the frequencies need to be better to complete the grid network which is heavily dependant on transferring lines.

My complaint about the express routes in Denver is that a transfer is forced from Express bus to shuttle bus at Union Station or Civic Center Station. The Marq/2 project here is a better implementation, as it allows suburban commuters to directly reach the main office places in the core.

In the grand scheme of things, the Denver rail network quite visibly ignores the inner city neighborhoods at the expense of fast suburban commuter trips. I'm less familiar with the Denver region, but it seems that they are going down the path of building transit that is cheap, not necessarily transit that serves dense neighborhoods. Certainly, this is partly due to the way that projects are considered for federal funds, but perhaps a better balance could be reached.

Here is an interesting concept I found about expanding inner city transit in Denver: http://www.denverinfill.com/streetcar/index.html

a_tribe_called_chris
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Re: Denver RTD Transit System

Postby a_tribe_called_chris » December 3rd, 2014, 2:43 pm

Tcmetro. Thanks for the reply. I have a much better understanding of your thoughts now.

The Marquette/2nd Ave BRT enhancement has been great for Minneapolis.


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