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My First Comment On The Urban Rail Scoping Study

Just left at this address. No time for more on this yet. In short, Red River is a wash compared to Manor unless dedicated lane - both don't have a ton of traffic today but might down the road. Shared lane sucks whereever you run it, but it sucks more on Congress where traffic would already kill the thing if it existed today.

IF this thing gets dedicated lanes in the core, it can eventually grow into the kind of system we should have had in 2000 and 2004. But that's a big IF. Without dedicated lanes on Congress, this thing will be a ridership-losing disaster. You need to spend more time talking to folks who understand how to get drivers out of their cars, not new urbanists who gave up their cars a long time ago.

Thinking "because it's rail people will automatically ride" is what got the Red Line such a black-eye for rail in our region. Don't make the same stupid mistake yet again.

- Mike Dahmus
Urban Transportation Commission (2000-2005)
Only Pro-Rail Guy Who Was Right On The Red Line

This entry was posted in the following categories: 2008 Light Rail , Austin , Don't Hurt Us Mr. Krusee, We'll Do Whatever You Want , I Told You So , PS: I am not a crackpot , Transit in Austin , Transportation

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Comments

I'm frustrated that they won't commit to dedicate lanes at least on Congress from 11th to 1st street. It would even better if they would have them on the Guadalupe/Lavaca and San Jacinto/Trinity sections as well. It seems like it wouldn’t be that hard. Most of these areas have street parking. If they were willing to remove the spots they could have dedicate lanes with losing a lane to traffic. I also don’t understand why San Antonio is even involved, I guess they’re reserving the Guadalupe section near UT for the BRT.

re: "Red River is a wash compared to Manor unless dedicated lane"

Commenting very late on this, but I wanted to type my thoughts out on Red River vs. Manor and couldn't think of a better place to do it...

Originally, I was an opponent of switching the route from Manor to Red River. However, the more I think about it... the more sense it makes.

1) Red River would be less disruptive to cyclists. Fewer people bike on Red River (north of Dean Keeton) than Manor. Adding rail to Manor would not likely replace bike lanes, but it would make for a slightly more dangerous ride... since you'd have to cross rail lines when the bike lane is blocked (a daily occurrence on Manor).

2) I know the Red Line is crap... and the urban rail project shouldn't concern itself with making connections to the Red Line... but, all else being equal, a Red Line station at Hancock Center makes more sense than a transfer-only station at Manor, given its proximity to the MLK Station.

3) I also understand that there's a possibility for park and ride at the Hancock Center. That could generate some riders for urban rail, particularly on nights and weekends (if it runs nights and weekends).

4) Red River would pass St Davids and come somewhat close to Concordia... though, maybe not close enough. Manor doesn't have comparable employers/destinations.

All that said, I think I'd tip back to Manor if I discovered that the Red River route would never reach Mueller. For now they're saying it would... eventually.

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