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Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

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Matt777
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Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Matt777 » 05 Jun 2018 23:13

I put together this map as a fun fantasy project to show how our transportation system could look if we invested in an extensive streetcar network, similar to how Dallas was before the streetcar lines got ripped out.

This plan links up with existing DART stations in strategic areas and covers most urban areas of Dallas pretty well, including areas prime for redevelopment and density increases. The line stretching from Love Field through Downtown and to the Convention Center and HSR Station would be especially useful, also linking the Perot Museum and enhanced AT&T global HQ. An additional Riverfront Blvd. Line covering the areas abutting the Trinity and the Design District too could be built once that area starts redeveloping. It would be impressive to see this map overlayed on exiting DART rail, streetcar, and TRE lines!

I envision these to be modern streetcars that are zippy and fast, with quick stops times of less than 30 seconds at each stop and technologically advanced to allow for prioritized passage through intersections.

Please note, this is a very rough plan and I'm no Google Maps editing expert. I'm sure there are massive logistical and financial hurdles to overcome to make something like this work. IMHO, it would completely change our city and turbocharge economic development and increase property value, especially if Amazon located HQ2 in the urban core.

MAP LINK:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dgjNN ... sp=sharing


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PonyUp13
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby PonyUp13 » 06 Jun 2018 00:22

Legit - love the fantasy map. I played around with something like this but nowhere as detailed.

I like the crosstown you did from Fair Park to Cityplace/Oak Lawn and the connections to DART stations. Almost missed the Village Spur! It would be pretty incredible with MATA and OCS then you’ve got a streetcar going almost every direct from downtown.

I would add to your fantasy a Victory/Design district spur splitting off at Olive/Field which then in downtown follows along Main and the goes southeast towards the Farmers Market. That and a line from HSR to Medical District via Riverfront to support the future growth along the Trinity. We can dream right :)

I really wish there was a funding mechanism or political will to do something like this because I think it would completely transform inner Dallas

DPatel304
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby DPatel304 » 06 Jun 2018 00:27

This is an awesome looking system, and covers pretty much everything from what I can see, nice work!

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northsouth
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby northsouth » 06 Jun 2018 02:16

Ooh, cool. I make a lot of maps like this (as well as long-gone streetcar systems), so of course I have a vision for the Dallas Streetcar network: https://drive.google.com/open?id=18R-rd ... sp=sharing

And as a companion map, one for Fort Worth: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1JzXWg ... sp=sharing

Mine's admittedly more focused on areas that are already developed/developing, but yours does a good job of serving residential areas. Interesting to see where they line up or differ.

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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 06 Jun 2018 08:44

I would like to throw in the ring; what is too long for streetcar route vs a rail line? MATA isn't near as long as some of the routes you propose. I am asking since I don't know the industry thoughts online system length and MATA may not be too long according to industry standards but I have to wonder if a route by a streetcar from Love to Downtown is troublesome or if a route lets say from Love to the Cedars or Love to lets say Bishop Arts would start to affect the routes effectiveness in some way. We know buses can go for miles just fine but there is an art to route length and complexity that affect routes overall success. A spaghetti route that weaves all over tends to have fewer riders than a straighter simple route that gets your cross town for example in a more A to B pattern.

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Matt777
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Matt777 » 06 Jun 2018 08:59

cowboyeagle05 wrote:I would like to throw in the ring; what is too long for streetcar route vs a rail line? MATA isn't near as long as some of the routes you propose. I am asking since I don't know the industry thoughts online system length and MATA may not be too long according to industry standards but I have to wonder if a route by a streetcar from Love to Downtown is troublesome or if a route lets say from Love to the Cedars or Love to lets say Bishop Arts would start to affect the routes effectiveness in some way. We know buses can go for miles just fine but there is an art to route length and complexity that affect routes overall success. A spaghetti route that weaves all over tends to have fewer riders than a straighter simple route that gets your cross town for example in a more A to B pattern.


I envision the streetcar as intracity travel versus cross city travel (which is what DART currently does). I don't expect most people will be using the entire length of these lines for their travel needs, but this network would fill a need of getting people AROUND the urban areas of Dallas, not just TO the urban areas of Dallas (which is what DART does now, ie Plano to Downtown but then not AROUND the core).

As I said before, technology could be used to give these modern, quick streetcars the right of way at intersections to avoid stopping time. I would expect them to travel about as fast as a car would, plus stop times. The driving time from Love Field to One Main Place on the route shown is 20 minutes, and ~19 stops. At a generous 30 seconds for each stop, this clocks in at 29.5 minutes from Love Field Terminal to the center of Downtown. I don't think any visitors to Dallas would flinch at that.

What this plan does enable is for people living in the urban core to truly be able to get between neighborhoods without a car. It's not necessarily going to make it quicker to travel around the core versus a car, but it makes it perfectly possible to get around without a car (and little to no bus usage needed). Residential and commercial development along these lines would also grow to meet the everyday needs of residents so they don't need their cars to get essentials because they can pop over a few streetcar stops and get what they need.

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exelone31
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby exelone31 » 06 Jun 2018 09:02

Awesome thread and great map! I love the single solitary "Finish Knox Station" point. I've always dreamed of someone prying up an old piece of plywood to uncovered a grand underground station.

Would it be feasible for the city to trial something like this with a bus before committing to a streetcar system? I feel like that's kind of the idea of the D Link, but have heard those are pretty unreliable to this point.

In addition, they could use this sweet "rail bus" that I found on the Google. Perhaps having a bus that looks like a train would reduce some of the stigma of using mass transit with exposed rubber tires.
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muncien
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby muncien » 06 Jun 2018 09:12

exelone31 wrote:Awesome thread and great map! I love the single solitary "Finish Knox Station" point. I've always dreamed of someone prying up an old piece of plywood to uncovered a grand underground station.

Would it be feasible for the city to trial something like this with a bus before committing to a streetcar system? I feel like that's kind of the idea of the D Link, but have heard those are pretty unreliable to this point.

In addition, they could use this sweet "rail bus" that I found on the Google. Perhaps having a bus that looks like a train would reduce some of the stigma of using mass transit with exposed rubber tires.


So glad you posted this... I was thinking the exact same thing.
The problem with streetcars is the considerable capital required to build the necessary guide ways, which then restrict them significantly. If you aren't using overhead wires to power them (god, I hope we don't), than there really is no real reason to have tracks.
The problem with traditional buses, is that they're... well, buses. Traditional buses are terrible in almost every way.
But, when you dedicate lanes for them, plop down some 'stations', use hybrid vehicles like the ones above, signal prioritization, and market them as 'transit lines', they thrive! LA's Metro did this in several areas, and those 'lines' are extremely effective.
I would be much more in favor of this than traditional streetcars.
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Matt777
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Matt777 » 06 Jun 2018 09:31

Trump wants to spend money on infrastructure. Might as well milk him for federal dollars so he can have something to put his name/ego to. Create a shovel ready plan, show how population increases will gridlock Dallas roads without more investment in public transit, and see what happens.

At the same time, find ways to reduce costs for streetcar development. Maybe partner with a Chinese company. That could affect federal funding or not, considering our current president's concern for needing to create jobs in China.

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Matt777
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Matt777 » 06 Jun 2018 14:08

Portland built their streetcar system for an inflation adjusted $16.5 million per mile, but some cities have spent up to $50 million per mile. I will use $30 million per mile as a middle ground for Dallas, considering our terrain is flat and we have some streetcar know-how and an established transit line. I also will use 30 miles as a generous estimate of how long this starter system would be (the lines in blue).

30 miles x $30 million/mile = $900 million. Less than $1 billion.

The Cotton Belt Line, a useless silly endeavor to placate suburban city leaders who have never stepped foot on a train in their lives outside of the tram on their Las Vegas bundle vacations, is going to cost AT LEAST $1.1 BILLION.

It's not that we don't have the money to build a useful and effective transit system. It's that we have transit and city leaders who have different priorities not connected to transit effectiveness.


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TNWE
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby TNWE » 07 Jun 2018 11:31

Cool plan, and conceptually it covers all of the hot spots.

My main concern is the portion through lower Greenville- it's only one lane each way through there, so what happens if a car accident blocks the streetcar from running? Since LRT *crossing* streets at grade is a non-starter with most of the people on this board, isn't a single shared lane each direction similarly vulnerable?


Maybe if we junk a fully-underground D2 it would free up some cash to build a few of these lines ;)

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Matt777
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Matt777 » 07 Jun 2018 21:59

UPDATE: I added some Oak Cliff lines in Green, some of which is an extension of the existing Oak Cliff Streetcar Line. I also added in the existing DART Red and Blue Lines. This helps in seeing where the new streetcar lines would connect to the existing DART rail system. I still need to add the Orange and Green lines.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 08 Jun 2018 13:59

Matt777 wrote:UPDATE: I added some Oak Cliff lines in Green, some of which is an extension of the existing Oak Cliff Streetcar Line. I also added in the existing DART Red and Blue Lines. This helps in seeing where the new streetcar lines would connect to the existing DART rail system. I still need to add the Orange and Green lines.


What about the arboretum and White Rock lake? There definitely needs to be stop there.

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Matt777
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Matt777 » 09 Jun 2018 16:31

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:
Matt777 wrote:UPDATE: I added some Oak Cliff lines in Green, some of which is an extension of the existing Oak Cliff Streetcar Line. I also added in the existing DART Red and Blue Lines. This helps in seeing where the new streetcar lines would connect to the existing DART rail system. I still need to add the Orange and Green lines.


What about the arboretum and White Rock lake? There definitely needs to be stop there.


I thought about it, but the distance/time versus potential ridership on a streetcar all the way to the Arboretum seemed like it might not be such a good idea. Casa Linda, Casa View, Little Forest Hills, etc are just very low density areas. An express bus shuttle might do the trick for that area.

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electricron
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby electricron » 14 Jun 2018 01:23

You can still see where the old Dallas streetcars turned around even though any signs of the old tracks are long gone. Few, if any, streetcars reached as far out as Loop 12, for several reasons. That's where the city limits reached, and that was also the limit where streetcars provided a great service (elapsed time into downtown). Streetcars averaging 20 mph can only go so far in a half hour.

There's are also many reasons why streetcars were replaced by buses. amongst them was Dallas was growing beyond Loop 12. It's a little unrealistic to believe a modern streetcar could provide a great commuting service into downtown Dallas from as far as Loop 12. If you want to reinstate streetcars into central Dallas, I suggest limiting their reach to where the old streetcar systems turn around. These locations aren't hard to find.

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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 14 Jun 2018 08:26

^ I agree

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Matt777
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Matt777 » 14 Jun 2018 08:34

electricron wrote:You can still see where the old Dallas streetcars turned around even though any signs of the old tracks are long gone. Few, if any, streetcars reached as far out as Loop 12, for several reasons. That's where the city limits reached, and that was also the limit where streetcars provided a great service (elapsed time into downtown). Streetcars averaging 20 mph can only go so far in a half hour.

There's are also many reasons why streetcars were replaced by buses. amongst them was Dallas was growing beyond Loop 12. It's a little unrealistic to believe a modern streetcar could provide a great commuting service into downtown Dallas from as far as Loop 12. If you want to reinstate streetcars into central Dallas, I suggest limiting their reach to where the old streetcar systems turn around. These locations aren't hard to find.


True, but isn't that consistent with the plan I posted? None of the lines go past Loop 12, and only one gets near it (which is just a potential The Village connector line to Lover's DART rail station). The only streetcar line that gets even close is the Love Field line for obvious reasons, but I think that line would do wonders for the city and transit system and connect to Downtown in about 30 minutes or less.

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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 14 Jun 2018 10:29

Personally, I recommend the Love Field connector line go from the airport and connect to the West Village MATA and if possible crossover 75 to a City Place end of the line. From what I've seen successful modern streetcar routes are simple and don't weave long and complicated routes. They need to connect important dots of course but not overlap too much unless in a deep urban center like the CBD.

I certainly think a crosstown east to the west route would be a welcome addition south of Loop 12. I use the bus system so I know there are routes existing currently that do this but I would welcome the concrete nature of a modern streetcar that connects things horizontally.

I am also a big supporter of true rapid bus lines and would welcome something like that from Love Field into the city with more prominent stations rather than just a shadeless bench.

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Matt777
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Matt777 » 14 Jun 2018 13:05

cowboyeagle05 wrote:Personally, I recommend the Love Field connector line go from the airport and connect to the West Village MATA and if possible crossover 75 to a City Place end of the line. From what I've seen successful modern streetcar routes are simple and don't weave long and complicated routes. They need to connect important dots of course but not overlap too much unless in a deep urban center like the CBD.


I respectfully disagree. I think there needs to be a simple, one train option from Love Field to Downtown and the Convention Center. It needs to be sold to visitors as a simple, quick, no confusion way to get from Love to Downtown/CC. Get on, get off. Not "take this line to Cityplace (15-20 minutes), get off and find a little glass building where you can take stairs to an underground station, wait for X or X color of train, then take that for another 15-20 minutes and then get dropped off in a dark underground parking lot under the convention center, then find your way around the auto traffic to the convention center entrance or your hotel."

We already have a Love Field shuttle bus to train station to downtown transit link and it sucks hard.

Imagine getting off your plane, exiting into the main terminal area and following a sign that says " Direct Streetcar to Downtown & Convention Center- 28 minutes- Enter here." Much more useful, likely to be used, and something visitors will talk about being easy.

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electricron
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby electricron » 15 Jun 2018 01:02

Heading towards north Dallas, the only streetcar to reach farther north than Mockingbird Lane was on Hillcrest, presumedly to reach SMU. Other lines heading further north towards Denton and Sherman were interurban lines, not streetcar lines.

Here's a link to an old Dallas streetcar map dated 1925.
https://dartdallas.files.wordpress.com/ ... -large.png

The old interurban line following Denton Avenue ran pretty close to where DART's Green Line runs pass Love Field.

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PonyUp13
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby PonyUp13 » 15 Jun 2018 08:37

Wow - what a shame we threw that away.

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electricron
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby electricron » 16 Jun 2018 01:19

PonyUp13 wrote:Wow - what a shame we threw that away.

Yes, a real shame. Up until 1964, the bus/streetcar system(s) was/were privately owned and operated for a profit. Here's a Wiki page listing all of them; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_f ... _in_Dallas

Note that the City didn't purchase the Dallas Transit Company until 1964. By then the old streetcar system was gone for almost a decade.
Also note that the first two streetcar lines in Dallas ran on Main Street and San Jacinto Streets in downtown, in 1872. Should we be surprised that Main Street and San Jacinto Streets are still possibilities for Dallas streetcar expansion? Nope!

Electric powered streetcars were not introduced into Dallas until 1902.
So what propelled the first streetcars?
A mule often named Molly!

Think about it a little, how many old western movies have you seen with 4, 6 and up to 8 horses pulling a stagecoach? Well, a streetcars running in city streets on rails could be pulled by a single mule. Imagine the costs savings in feed alone.

And that's why streetcars lines didn't go far. A mule can only go so fast.

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Haretip
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Haretip » 19 Jun 2018 13:36

Dallas streetcars were double ended. They didn't turn around, they switched ends.

Dallas streetcar lines began electrifying in 1889, not long after Boston proved it successful on a large scale and a few months after the first electrification in Fort Worth.

Mules were used instead of horses in southern systems because they were more resilient in the heat.
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Tnexster
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Tnexster » 19 Jun 2018 21:41

Amazing that the streetcar line was that extensive back in 1925

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Fantasy DART Streetcar Expansion Map

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 20 Jun 2018 20:45

The road repair have exposed the old streetcar lines by founders park on Colorado. So beautiful. What a Shame.


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