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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 8:02 am
by David Greene
EOst is correct. In addition, it was built and operated by private companies but construction was funded by the cities.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 8:16 am
by mattaudio
EOst wrote:
mattaudio wrote:It was built by private companies because we had not yet built urban freeways with the expectation that everyone get a car?
I think he's referring to the fact that they were frequently built to relatively undeveloped areas as a way to spur development. The borough of Queens, for example, largely didn't exist when a lot of the trains there were built.
Absolutely, they were "pedestrian accelerators." They were successful because these new areas did not have to cater to the car, awful zoning codes, car-centric federal underwriting standards, etc nor were they served by massively subsidized competing infrastructure (urban freeways).

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 8:20 am
by EOst
It was also a time when single-lot construction was economically feasible, which it isn't now. We underestimate the importance of that; the ability of a lot of different developers to fill in an area piecemeal was a major impetus to the rapid dense growth of late 19th and early 20th century cities.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 8:24 am
by mattaudio
Yes, which is why we need to undo all the government regulation that is a handout to large-scale developers at the expense of the small-scale and incremental developments that made our cities dense and vibrant a century ago.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 8:32 am
by RailBaronYarr
David Greene wrote:EOst is correct. In addition, it was built and operated by private companies but construction was funded by the cities.
Well, elevated lines and streetcars were funded by private companies prior to underground service, and my understanding was that the first underground lines that opened from 1904 to the early teens (? running of memory of blog posts) were also funded by the private companies. After consolidation of said companies somewhat forced the city's hand in regulation, the companies agreed to have new construction funded by the city in exchange for fare regulation (among other things, like the transit companies paving streets for their competition, cars). The city creating its own transit agency operating at cost, competition from cars (subsidized by road widenings), and fare caps strangling transit profitability all led to the city taking ownership of the entire system (and dismantling some legacy rapid lines, mostly elevated ones). So, it's a bit more complicated than that..

I guess the compromise in ideology is that there needs to be balance between the existing place's ability to support a major transit investment at day 1 (ie not running it to corn fields or super stroads) vs the ability of a place to grow thanks to the investment and service (and potentially repay at least a portion of the capital costs through land value capture, which isn't even discussed as a possibility since we rely on federal funds, sales taxes, and state money - none of which are directly related to the link between land use and transportation). I wouldn't necessarily want an LRT line to be running at full vehicle and operational capacity at day 1, so there needs to be room for the "economic development" piece, but I also wouldn't want to bank on an entire village sprouting up (the risk of value capture being put squarely on the taxpayers).

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 8:37 am
by EOst
mattaudio wrote:Yes, which is why we need to undo all the government regulation that is a handout to large-scale developers at the expense of the small-scale and incremental developments that made our cities dense and vibrant a century ago.
Like the decent wages and minimum safety standards? Because those are what really drive up building costs, not car minimums or anything like that. Buildings were dirt-cheap to build a century ago because they treated the workers and the residents like dirt.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 8:43 am
by HoratioRincewind
grant1simons2 wrote:So what happens from here? Besides the lawsuits and yelling
As David Greene said, the lawsuits are basically a moot point. The EIS process is a federal one, and the municipal consent a state one, and they do not intersect, and in the municipal consent legislation there is no explicit connection between the successful conclusion of the EIS and municipal consent.

The residents of Kenilworth can throw all the money they want at this lawsuit, but literally every dollar would be better spent in landscaping.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 8:45 am
by mattaudio

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 9:02 am
by RailBaronYarr
EOst wrote:
mattaudio wrote:Yes, which is why we need to undo all the government regulation that is a handout to large-scale developers at the expense of the small-scale and incremental developments that made our cities dense and vibrant a century ago.
Like the decent wages and minimum safety standards? Because those are what really drive up building costs, not car minimums or anything like that. Buildings were dirt-cheap to build a century ago because they treated the workers and the residents like dirt.
I mean, you're right in some respects. We shouldn't ascribe zero value to certain regulations (safety standards, ADA requirements) that certainly do increase costs and prices. But 1) the increase in wages as a % of construction costs has to be at least somewhat (mostly?) balanced by the increase in productivity and drop in materials costs over time, and 2) ignoring parking minimums, lot regulations, height limits, etc effect on construction costs per unit seems odd. They're not trivial and definitely tip the scale toward larger lot development.

Regardless, we should try to steer this back to SWLRT specific stuff.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 9:04 am
by HoratioRincewind
RailBaronYarr wrote:Regardless, we should try to steer this back to SWLRT specific stuff.
Because arguing about urban theory is way easier than actually operating in the defined limits of reality.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 9:15 am
by mattaudio
Being constrained by assumed limits of reality = apologizing for the status quo.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 10:14 am
by HoratioRincewind
mattaudio wrote:Being constrained by reality = actually doing stuff instead of fantasizing on the internet.
ftfy

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 10:24 am
by mattaudio
Yes, it's a good thing people on urbanmsp are never involved in local planning irl, because they are just too idealist to get anything done.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 11:49 am
by grant1simons2
This sounds like hell for the city and for everyone. Seriously. I'd lose control at this point and start telling everyone to go away.
“We are all looking forward to a lawsuit,” said Mary Pattock, a leader of the group LRT Done Right. “We have the law on our side.”
“They think the planning and decision-making is getting ahead of the environmental review,” said Johnson, who said he expects a decision this week on whether to file suit against the city.
I hope we have some very smart people doing the EIS that will give out data that is accurate. What pollution can a light rail give anyways? Noise pollution? Weight of the train? Construction? All things that happen when you decide to do a teardown and rebuild of your million dollar near lakefront home?

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 11:55 am
by FISHMANPET
The "Environment" in EIS isn't just pollution, it's about the built environment too. Destroying Rondo to build I94 would have (hopefully) scored very low on the EIS for all the destruction of those neighborhoods.

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like its one of those tiny little secrets of planning, what that E actually stands for.

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 11:57 am
by grant1simons2
Oh thanks for the info! I never knew that. But still, I'm perfectly fine with a train running side by side with me on the Kenilworth trail, I mean on East bank the bike route is literally next to the track, no barrier, just elevation. There are no home destructions planned for the SWLRT correct?

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 11:58 am
by Silophant
What pollution can a light rail give anyways? Noise pollution? Weight of the train? Construction? All things that happen when you decide to do a teardown and rebuild of your million dollar near lakefront home?
Probably not much once it's running, but pollution during the construction process is a very real danger. Also "rebuilding a near lakefront home" does not equal "digging a tunnel right under the channel".

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 12:05 pm
by grant1simons2
Didn't they eliminate the tunnel?

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 12:06 pm
by grant1simons2
They're proposing to do so

Image

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 12:11 pm
by MNdible
They eliminated the northern tunnel. The southern tunnel is still in the plan.