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DART D2 Subway

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TNWE
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 14 May 2020 10:17

muncien wrote:
TNWE wrote:
Parker Road wrote: I'm not against D2 at all, but I've come to realize it's a "regional" fix for a "local" problem.


...
Recall that the original D2 plan had a tunnel branch east of Metro Center leading to a station at the Convention center that would have served this exact purpose, but idiots on here and at the public meetings acted like it was the dumbest idea DART ever had because "the tunnel doesn't go anywhere!!!" and DART staff didn't care enough to explain or defend the value of a terminus station to people who've never given even a moment's thought to how a train system operates (hint- trains can and do terminate in the middle of downtowns all over the world).


While I am not generally opposed to the idea of having terminus stations in downtown, I was vehemently opposed to DART's D2 terminus proposal. Having lived in Europe for years and utilized countless such stations, they are typically at the HUB of the city core and that is where most get on and off to access the city. They are beneficial in the fact that you have less pressure to find your train boarding time as there are numerous services at the station and your train will typically sit there for ten mins or so prior to leaving and you can always board early and get situation.
DART's proposal was to put it at the convention center and hotel. A place where six our of seven days any given week, is dead. You can't create a hub out of nothing... and therefore having a majority of inbound and outbound passengers boarding at neighboring satellite stations negates nearly all benefits of the terminus. Instead, it appeared to be a poorly disguised attempt to support (via massive tax $) an already tax $ heavy investment that was the convention center hotel. But instead of boosting the hotel (who does that with transit???), it would have been another massively empty boondoggle that the city is noted for.
Such a station under EMC would be far more beneficial. Or, deferring D2 and the terminus idea altogether until some game changer development like the previously proposed Smart District would make more sense.


In general, the CC Hotel area is pretty dead, sure, but in that case there was still the penultimate stop at Metro Center, where you could interchange with any other bus or LRT line- It's not like they were proposing a terminus in the middle of the Trinity Forest. For the sake of argument let's say that CC stub tunnel was just used for layover track and turning trains around - that makes Metro Center the terminus and it meets all the requirements of a good downtown endpoint.

My problem was with the people at the various planning meetings who couldn't fathom the idea of a train turning around (like they do hundreds of times a day at Parker Road, North Carrolton, DFW, Westmoreland, UNT-Dallas, and Rowlett). Everyone rightly complains about the LRT system being a downtown-centric hub and spoke model, but it's even worse than that - because every line is designed to run through downtown, they can't raise capacity to meet demand on any given spoke without also raising capacity on an opposite spoke that doesn't need the capacity (They do occasionally take SB Red Line trains out of service at Cedars, but that doesn't address the transit mall capacity issue).

Making a capital investment that enables real operational cost savings has a clear ROI, unlike the pie in the sky ridership and TOD projections that usually drive DART's major capital investment proposals. A subway station at Commerce street doesn't generate any new riders (all the AT&T employees are happy to walk from Akard), but makes D2 massively more expensive. The sooner DART builds the infrastructure that allows them to optimize frequency by spoke, the sooner they'll get their operational (i.e. ongoing) costs under control. So far, all their capital projects have steadily added to operational costs as more route miles require more trains and drivers, with no way to constrain added capacity to a single spoke from downtown.

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Tucy
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Tucy » 14 May 2020 13:27

TNWE wrote:
Parker Road wrote: I'm not against D2 at all, but I've come to realize it's a "regional" fix for a "local" problem.


It's not even a *good* fix for the regional problem. The underlying motivation for D2 is that they can't add any more trains on any line because the current transit mall has capacity for 4 lines each at a 15 minute headway. The reason DART needs to add capacity is packed rush-period trains on the Red and Orange line between Downtown <-> Parker Road and the Green Line between Downtown <-> North Carrollton. With the current design, every train into downtown must exit the opposite side, so every additional AM train you add to handle Parker Road <-> Downtown crowds will run largely empty from Downtown <-> Westmoreland as it's going against the flow of commuters. Leaving aside track capacity issues, that's a hugely wasteful use of rolling stock and train operators.

The better solution would be to build underground terminus stations at the East and West Transit Centers (with accommodation for thru-running in the future) and have additional rush-hour trains from the Northwest and North Central lines terminate at those respective stations, then turn back to make additional rush-hour runs. Existing bus services or a future streetcar could connect both of those termini to the general vicinity of the Commerce Street station/Discovery District for far cheaper than the central tunnel section between Metro center and East TC, and when there's sufficient demand for more service outside of rush hour both north and south of downtown, DART can complete that central section and start running thru trains.


Better yet, build surface terminus stations at the east and west ends. Same result/massively lower cost.

And this is assuming that there are capacity issues that need to be addressed. I'm skeptical. I keep seeing references to overcrowded rail cars, but the ridership numbers just don't reflect any significant overcrowding; certainly not to any extent that won't be more than addressed by the completion of the conversion to 3-car trains throughout the red and orange lines.

I hear about overcrowded trains from Parker Road. DART runs 6 trains per hour during peak times. With 3-car trains and with capacity (per DART policy) of 165 per car, they have capacity for 2970 passengers in one hour (at the manufacturer's stated capacity of 279 per car, there's room for 5022 people per hour). In 2019, only 3295 people boarded at Parker Road in an average DAY. DART's trains, at their policy capacity, can handle the entire day's ridership in about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Parker Road » 15 May 2020 14:17

"Crowdedness" is definitely a subjective term that depends on the context of the system.

At least when I think about trains "from Parker Road," that really implies trains on the entire North Central corridor (north of Mockingbird) rather than from Parker Road specifically. As has been mentioned by several of us on this thread DART serves a regional/commuter rail purpose using LRT vehicles, and this is especially the case once you get further away from the core. The 2018 reference book shows about 15,000 average weekday boardings in this section, which is about on par with other regional/commuter oriented rail lines in the US. Nowhere near the amount of a busy local rapid transit line like in many cities. However, commuters and longer-distance regional travelers probably need more space on the train than, say, an urban traveler only going a few stops on a metro, tram, or local bus.

Anecdotally, rush hour trains along the corridor are reasonably busy—often standing room only, but not packed to the gills. I haven't had personal experience on other commuter lines at peak times to see if the situations are similar, but from the limited things I've read online this description seems to match other regional lines with similar ridership. Extra capacity for the sake of more frequent service along the outer corridors would be great for DART and invite ridership, not to mention lightening the crush on the downtown transit tracks, but there really isn't anywhere in the Metroplex where anything needs to be done to reduce heavy passenger loads.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 18 May 2020 15:40

Parker Road wrote:"Crowdedness" is definitely a subjective term that depends on the context of the system.

At least when I think about trains "from Parker Road," that really implies trains on the entire North Central corridor (north of Mockingbird) rather than from Parker Road specifically. As has been mentioned by several of us on this thread DART serves a regional/commuter rail purpose using LRT vehicles, and this is especially the case once you get further away from the core. The 2018 reference book shows about 15,000 average weekday boardings in this section, which is about on par with other regional/commuter oriented rail lines in the US. Nowhere near the amount of a busy local rapid transit line like in many cities. However, commuters and longer-distance regional travelers probably need more space on the train than, say, an urban traveler only going a few stops on a metro, tram, or local bus.

Anecdotally, rush hour trains along the corridor are reasonably busy—often standing room only, but not packed to the gills. I haven't had personal experience on other commuter lines at peak times to see if the situations are similar, but from the limited things I've read online this description seems to match other regional lines with similar ridership. Extra capacity for the sake of more frequent service along the outer corridors would be great for DART and invite ridership, not to mention lightening the crush on the downtown transit tracks, but there really isn't anywhere in the Metroplex where anything needs to be done to reduce heavy passenger loads.


Yes- when I say Parker Road, I mean the entire corridor. Regardless of whether the extra trains are meant to ease crowding, or just increase frequency, there's no benefit to running every single train *through* downtown when the rush-hour ridership patterns are so heavily weighted to the northern part of the metroplex. All things being equal, I'd rather DART use their budget to run extra services on the parts of the line that are standing-room only in at least one direction, as opposed to running almost every train end-to-end. In the case of the Red Line, it takes 2.5 hours with layovers to cover 1 roundtrip (meaning 10 trains are required to run a 15 min frequency). It would be about 90 minutes roundtrip from Parker Road to a downtown terminus, meaning you could double frequency/capacity on the Red Line north of downtown by only adding 6 trains.

They sort of already do this via the Orange Line, but it suffers from the same problem- packed from Parker Road to Downtown, then empty all the way to DFW airport. On the return trip it might fill up some between Bachman and Downtown, but the Green Line typically runs 3 car trains during the peaks, so there's generally more capacity along the NW corridor in the first place. It's still a 3.5 hour roundtrip, with the train running mostly empty probably 2/3rds of that time. "Deadheading" is a necessary evil, but DART's current operations seem to maximize the amount of time peak capacity is running empty.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby electricron » 19 May 2020 00:26

TNWE wrote:Yes- when I say Parker Road, I mean the entire corridor. Regardless of whether the extra trains are meant to ease crowding, or just increase frequency, there's no benefit to running every single train *through* downtown when the rush-hour ridership patterns are so heavily weighted to the northern part of the metroplex. All things being equal, I'd rather DART use their budget to run extra services on the parts of the line that are standing-room only in at least one direction, as opposed to running almost every train end-to-end. In the case of the Red Line, it takes 2.5 hours with layovers to cover 1 roundtrip (meaning 10 trains are required to run a 15 min frequency). It would be about 90 minutes roundtrip from Parker Road to a downtown terminus, meaning you could double frequency/capacity on the Red Line north of downtown by only adding 6 trains.

They sort of already do this via the Orange Line, but it suffers from the same problem- packed from Parker Road to Downtown, then empty all the way to DFW airport. On the return trip it might fill up some between Bachman and Downtown, but the Green Line typically runs 3 car trains during the peaks, so there's generally more capacity along the NW corridor in the first place. It's still a 3.5 hour roundtrip, with the train running mostly empty probably 2/3rds of that time. "Deadheading" is a necessary evil, but DART's current operations seem to maximize the amount of time peak capacity is running empty.

DART is presently lengthening all the Blue and Red line platforms to accommodate 3 SLRV trains - just like the Green line. When this work is complete, there should be a 50% increase in capacity for each and every train during rush hours, as long as DART uses the 3rd vehicle. I doubt they really need a 100% increase in capacity considering they are already doubling the number of trains on this corridor with Orange line trains intermixed with Red line trains.

As for shortening the runs of the Red line trains, a pocket track is needed, or a spur off the mainline so the trains can turn around. A pocket track exists just prior to the spur to the south train yard south of Cedars does not shortening the Red line much, and every train turned is one less train servicing West Dallas. Doing so will cause a greater mess in the scheduling of trains than leaving things as they are.

As a reminder where DART has pocket tracks, there are just a few on the system. Green south at Lawnview, Green and Orange north at Bachman, Blue line north at LBJ/Skillman, Red line north at LBJ/Central, Red and Blue south just before spur to maintenance shops.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby northsouth » 19 May 2020 18:40

electricron wrote:As a reminder where DART has pocket tracks, there are just a few on the system. Green south at Lawnview, Green and Orange north at Bachman, Blue line north at LBJ/Skillman, Red line north at LBJ/Central, Red and Blue south just before spur to maintenance shops.


There is also one just north of Victory.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby electricron » 20 May 2020 08:19

northsouth wrote:
electricron wrote:As a reminder where DART has pocket tracks, there are just a few on the system. Green south at Lawnview, Green and Orange north at Bachman, Blue line north at LBJ/Skillman, Red line north at LBJ/Central, Red and Blue south just before spur to maintenance shops.


There is also one just north of Victory.

Thanks for the additional pocket track location.

Additionally, I might need to explain why a pocket track is needed. So the train driver/operator/engineer can have the time to walk the length of the train between the cabs on either end of the train and have the time needed to properly turn off one cab and turn on and test the other cab - while not blocking the main lines.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 20 May 2020 12:30

electricron wrote:
northsouth wrote:
electricron wrote:As a reminder where DART has pocket tracks, there are just a few on the system. Green south at Lawnview, Green and Orange north at Bachman, Blue line north at LBJ/Skillman, Red line north at LBJ/Central, Red and Blue south just before spur to maintenance shops.


There is also one just north of Victory.

Thanks for the additional pocket track location.

Additionally, I might need to explain why a pocket track is needed. So the train driver/operator/engineer can have the time to walk the length of the train between the cabs on either end of the train and have the time needed to properly turn off one cab and turn on and test the other cab - while not blocking the main lines.


Pocket tracks aren't strictly necessary for turning a train - almost every station has crossover rails, so as long as there's a back up driver ready at the platform and next train isn't due for more than ~10 mins, it's possible to turn a train at the platform (plus the signaling/ATP will prevent a following train from entering an occupied platform or blocking a crossover).

The primary purpose of a pocket track is for "warm" storage of stock near a station, for example the Victory pocket track stores the trains that will operate post-event Red/Blue Special trains so they don't have to deadhead & reverse trains from the yard near fair park - they can pull empty trains into the platform at Victory, then continue to their Red/Blue line termini. The LBJ Central pocket track stores extra trains during the transition in and out of the peak frequency, rather than having to deadhead everything back to the NWROF or CROF. The LBJ pocket is also used to turn some Orange Line off peak trains, but only because layover times are inconsistent and they don't want delays to cascade. Finally, any movement on to non-revenue track (which includes pocket tracks) requires DART Police/security to clear the train for safety reasons, which is at least as time-consuming as the operator changing cabs.

Bachman Station is unique in that it's not so much a pocket track as an extra track & platform at the station that allows for the Orange Line to operate as a "shuttle" between Bachman & DFW. That way the train can lay over without blocking the mainline operation, but still allow passengers to board at their leisure (e.g. to avoid the weather). DART can also use the central track as a "pocket" to clear the train of passengers and turn around, but that's only required if it's being taken out of service.

If Union & Pearl stations had a similar 3-track layout, DART could add rush hour capacity to Downtown, without adding more trains to the transit mall. There are definitely space constraints near Pearl, but I think there's adequate space near Union Station - they'd just need to take out the parking spots facing the NB Dart platform to add another track.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby electricron » 20 May 2020 23:55

TNWE wrote:Pocket tracks aren't strictly necessary for turning a train - almost every station has crossover rails, so as long as there's a back up driver ready at the platform and next train isn't due for more than ~10 mins, it's possible to turn a train at the platform (plus the signaling/ATP will prevent a following train from entering an occupied platform or blocking a crossover).

The primary purpose of a pocket track is for "warm" storage of stock near a station, for example the Victory pocket track stores the trains that will operate post-event Red/Blue Special trains so they don't have to deadhead & reverse trains from the yard near fair park - they can pull empty trains into the platform at Victory, then continue to their Red/Blue line termini. The LBJ Central pocket track stores extra trains during the transition in and out of the peak frequency, rather than having to deadhead everything back to the NWROF or CROF. The LBJ pocket is also used to turn some Orange Line off peak trains, but only because layover times are inconsistent and they don't want delays to cascade. Finally, any movement on to non-revenue track (which includes pocket tracks) requires DART Police/security to clear the train for safety reasons, which is at least as time-consuming as the operator changing cabs.

Bachman Station is unique in that it's not so much a pocket track as an extra track & platform at the station that allows for the Orange Line to operate as a "shuttle" between Bachman & DFW. That way the train can lay over without blocking the mainline operation, but still allow passengers to board at their leisure (e.g. to avoid the weather). DART can also use the central track as a "pocket" to clear the train of passengers and turn around, but that's only required if it's being taken out of service.

If Union & Pearl stations had a similar 3-track layout, DART could add rush hour capacity to Downtown, without adding more trains to the transit mall. There are definitely space constraints near Pearl, but I think there's adequate space near Union Station - they'd just need to take out the parking spots facing the NB Dart platform to add another track.

DART does not own the Union Station building, the City does and it leases it out to several entities that want parking spaces for their employees. DART could gain control of the property needed to run that extra track through eminent domain process, but I doubt the City would roll over. The City controls 8 of the 15 DART board members - and a heavy handed eminent domain attempt by DART would probably lead to 8 DART board members being immediately fired and replaced by the City at its next council meeting. :shock:

Whereas it is true trains can be turned without a pocket track, they would have to be turned on a mainline track. Crossover track switches are not placed between every station. The crossover tracks are located to allow single track operations with the trains moving normally, not with a train remaining stationary for the time needed to properly turn a train. With 20 minute headways on each color line, there is already 2 trains (one in each direction) every 20 minutes - averaging a train once every 10 minutes over a single track. After the color lines merge (at Bachman, 8th and Corinth, and Mockingbird, a single track line within these boundaries would average a train every 5 minutes. A single track line with 4 color lines in operation would average a train every 2.5 minutes. And that's during non-rush hour operations. There isn't 10 minutes between the trains on single track operations except where only one color train runs. Nearer downtown, after color lines merge, pocket tracks are needed - and guess where many of those pocket tracks are located? During rush hours single track operations will always have a potential for operational delays, no matter where or when.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 21 May 2020 11:04

electricron wrote:DART does not own the Union Station building, the City does and it leases it out to several entities that want parking spaces for their employees. DART could gain control of the property needed to run that extra track through eminent domain process, but I doubt the City would roll over. The City controls 8 of the 15 DART board members - and a heavy handed eminent domain attempt by DART would probably lead to 8 DART board members being immediately fired and replaced by the City at its next council meeting. :shock:


I don't particularly care for any of the DART board members appointed by the city of Dallas, so that would be a win-win from my perspective! :lol:

On a serious note, having to find an alternate location for 20-30 parking spots is several orders of magnitude cheaper than the current iteration of D2. If the financial realities mean DART and the City of Dallas have to choose between living with the status quo for the next 10+ years or making a relatively modest investment to add a 3rd track & platform at Union Station (to allow Green/Orange trains from the NE to turn around) and in the vicinity of Pearl (to allow Red trains from the North to turn around), I think the city might find a way to convey a row of parking spots to DART. That would address capacity & frequency concerns on the outer sections of the lines without adding to the transit mall congestion, and there would still be thru trains running on all lines if someone on a terminating train needed to go to Akard or St Paul as their final destination.

But if the city of Dallas stomps their feet and continues with their "D2 or bust" posturing, it will be pretty clear that this 5+ year D2 saga was never actually about transit capacity or mobility, just appeasing a few unelected bureaucrats and activists who want to play SimCity with someone else's money.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 27 May 2020 14:48

To give the city council credit we are all playing SimCity with other peoples money. This whole forum is people with priorities, values and goals and desires playing a life long game of SimCity. Some more self beneficial than others. Every part of the bureaucracy is a multi level SimCity game.

For those who love SimCity but want something more up to date try City Skylines. I am addicted to designing my own parks, streets, neighborhood transit systems, street light configurations, road types. The game is so granular most people would laugh at you for caring that much about how many lanes there are and if they have bikes lanes, bus lanes or not. There is a reason I went to college for city planning.
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell”

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 08 Jun 2020 12:23

cowboyeagle05 wrote:To give the city council credit we are all playing SimCity with other peoples money. This whole forum is people with priorities, values and goals and desires playing a life long game of SimCity. Some more self beneficial than others. Every part of the bureaucracy is a multi level SimCity game.

For those who love SimCity but want something more up to date try City Skylines. I am addicted to designing my own parks, streets, neighborhood transit systems, street light configurations, road types. The game is so granular most people would laugh at you for caring that much about how many lanes there are and if they have bikes lanes, bus lanes or not. There is a reason I went to college for city planning.


City simulation games are a fun distraction, but they vastly oversimplify urban development. There's no mandatory public hearings or comment window, you can demolish any structure instantly and for a very nominal cost, and the cost of public infrastructure in those games is miniscule relative to the property tax revenue your city generates. Even the relative prices of roads, water pipes, and light rail are wildly out of sync with reality.

That type of design creates a lot of armchair urbanists who think it's just as easy to "build rail" in the real world, and the only reason we aren't is because some shadowy cabal of GM executives and greedy republicans are embezzling city funds or whatever insane conspiracy theories are currently in vogue among the D Mag crowd. The reality is that every major city has to choose between a few "signature" projects or a lot of unglamorous, but necessary things like sewer upgrades and road repair.

If the City of Dallas had to pay the extra $500 million cost of the D2 subway themselves, it would be dead on arrival, because there's no way they could cover the cost *and* maintain adequate city services. Instead, a tiny cluster of people living in 2 city council districts want the other 13 districts of Dallas + the other DART member cities to be on the hook for their toy subway. As I made abundantly clear upthread, all of the capacity/bottleneck concerns that made D2 "necessary" can be addressed by a set of much cheaper modifications to existing infrastructure to create a true hub-and-spoke system (where additional capacity only needs to be added to the segments where there is demand), rather than the current system where 4 lines all happen to intersect downtown and the imbalanced demand means lots of trains running mostly empty for 3/4 of each roundtrip. Hence, "Playing SimCity with other people's money." Irving, Plano, Richardson, and Addison have repeatedly paid up when they wanted modifications to rail projects that specifically benefitted their city goals and vision. It's time Dallas learns to do the same...

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby CTroyMathis » 08 Jun 2020 16:37


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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 09 Jun 2020 09:30

But where would the caterers, wedding guests and bride and groom park?
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell”

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 09 Jun 2020 13:18

Thanks for sharing, CTroy- I hadn't seen those concepts before, but that's basically what I had in mind.

cowboyeagle05 wrote:But where would the caterers, wedding guests and bride and groom park?


I know you're joking, but I always find it funny that some of the most vocally pro-transit/urbanization and anti-car folks will oppose alternate transit/urban dev proposals (i.e. ones they don't stand to profit from) by concern trolling about the traffic impacts (at-grade D2) and loss of parking (developing surface lots downtown before any discussion of tearing out 345). They'll openly muse about civil and criminal penalties for developers whose grand plans stalled out after completing the parking garage, but god forbid the city enact policies that make it uneconomical to squat on huge tracts of downtown land with a pay & display lot, that would be unjust encroachment on the free market (that they openly disdain, unless it's their developer friends getting paid).

That's the sort of dishonest, activist mindset that's taken over the "New Urbanism" movement- pretend to believe whatever you have to believe at a given point in time in order to get your way, then surround themselves with supporters who will unquestioningly nod along with their wildly inconsistent positions.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby CTroyMathis » 10 Jun 2020 11:02

Anytime TNWE.

The more I really contemplate life the universe and everything, I'd leave it to muni Dallas to cover the D2 area w/streetcar consists. I said it a decade ago. I understand it's not pretty, but, why not make a new color to do a loop downtown/fair park/the cedars via yes, the train yard. It's not going to be fast, but, possibly useful. More on that another time and why. But, express to DFW (or anywhere) isn't really going to happen, but, using Union as mentioned is a rather good alternative to D2. We're going to have to either get out of the strict color coding of lines only and add numbers to them, or just add more colors to keep it clear. It doesn't change the number of trains rolling at any given time, it just makes it easy to know this next train goes to x and not y. You're at Union, the new purple takes you to Fair Park for a transfer far faster than going through DT mall. Additionally, you're there and next train is red, 5 minutes. You look at sked and see transfer at W.E. is another 10 min. What if yellow (yes, i know DART doesn't want to use this color, but, hear it out) saved at least 15 min when it comes in and goes back northwest.

D2 is like the D-Link only on a very much larger scale. It doesn't/didn't know it's real full true purpose - the D-Link was originally supposed to mimic streetcar lines and not full on ineffective loops w/terrible signage that tried to cover everything with only one or two runs. A lot hasn't ever been reported in local news about that.*

Is it development or is it really transit gridlock relief. I'd like to think it's relief, but, I really think if municipal Dallas takes care of that internally w/the streetcar plan (yes money money money, but, we can talk later about that) that's been around for ages now and contracts DART to do what they do to run it, a focus by DART w/o D2 could really laser down on practical things less glamorous. Kind of like municipal taking care of traffic lights that are older than many people and not water resistant, for instance. With the silver line u/c I guess sorta, lets pull back and maintain and improve. A field day is long overdue for so many basics, we don't need to claim the most this or that when it comes to rail miles - that is a bullet point at best on a powerpoint no one wants to look at anyway. We need it to organically be said one day: wow, this city works again. And, yes, this definitely includes the bus. BRT even, e.g. NW HWY. Whatever is found to be useful is game on. Addison could've been fine with a bus rapid transit. I would've been fine say being in northern Garland, getting myself to wherever the silver line ends up not terribly far away, and, getting on a sleek BRT line to go to Addison or points west far faster than LRT config or the Beltline buses. It really would've been fine. But, no, a town the size of a small Dallas neighborhood that also doesn't have a train or good bus service will be covered. Although, I do like the east-west coverage, it just wasn't so necessary to go rail this time. And, if anything, Carrollton wins everything regardless.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby CTroyMathis » 10 Jun 2020 12:59

Addendum: I do think LRT redundancy would be very nice, but, at all cost isn't necessarily the solution. I think a streetcar network can do what it does at it's level of capacity which is currently separate from our LRT regional system, however, at some point we do need to just run a damn line somewhere outside the Pacific/Bryan corridor (and not worry about new TOD potential) to at least have options for the hub/spoke system and the most basic malfunction at wyes such as signal problems, or, whatever. I'll take a surface model if that's what we can afford in a given near future year. Ciudad de Dallas can fork over subway funds someday to accommodate subterre alterations when/if necessary on their own.

Just don't sell it like it's going to create ridership numbers or development opportunities, that might happen organically or not. Sell it to those of us who ride everyday and just want to get to a and b without delay, posthaste even. Buses too. Funny thing about downtown is that it's largely already a TOD and HOD. Don't sell dev potential downtown, every player knows it's already there. Sell the fact that one oopsie at a switch won't destroy the whole current central area hub/spoke without a secondary line in place (w/wye upgrades) and require buses that don't come in sufficient quantities at rush hour to handle the people needing the bus bridge without it. Getting rained on for an hour waiting for unicorn bus bridges sucks. But, previously mentioned alternatives upthread should work as well. At the very least in the interim, until we see an uptick in ridership. Even ridership is a whole ball of if this then that.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 10 Jun 2020 15:13

CTroyMathis wrote:The more I really contemplate life the universe and everything, I'd leave it to muni Dallas to cover the D2 area w/streetcar consists. I said it a decade ago. I understand it's not pretty, but, why not make a new color to do a loop downtown/fair park/the cedars via yes, the train yard. It's not going to be fast, but, possibly useful. More on that another time and why. But, express to DFW (or anywhere) isn't really going to happen, but, using Union as mentioned is a rather good alternative to D2. We're going to have to either get out of the strict color coding of lines only and add numbers to them, or just add more colors to keep it clear. It doesn't change the number of trains rolling at any given time, it just makes it easy to know this next train goes to x and not y. You're at Union, the new purple takes you to Fair Park for a transfer far faster than going through DT mall. Additionally, you're there and next train is red, 5 minutes. You look at sked and see transfer at W.E. is another 10 min. What if yellow (yes, i know DART doesn't want to use this color, but, hear it out) saved at least 15 min when it comes in and goes back northwest.


Having been all over the world, it really is amazing how uniquely...bad? the DART LRT system is, but more importantly, how set in stone the thinking is when it comes to what trains go where. It really does feel like (with the exception of one day a year for TX/OU), DART operates as if their target customer has lived and worked in the same place since 1998. All that hypothetical customer is concerned with is knowing that no matter what, if they get on a southbound train at White Rock, it will take them to their job near Akard downtown. Sure, lines have been added and extended, but this imaginary customer doesn't care - the only thing that will upset them enough to stop riding DART would be to get on a train at White Rock and find that it suddenly goes to South Oak Cliff via Deep Ellum, Fair Park, and the railyard. I'm not sure if it's organizational inertia, or some widely held opinion that the average DART rider is too stupid to read a map and figure out how to get from point A to point B, but compare that mindset to other rail transit systems of the world:

- NYC MTA can change the route your train is taking at the drop of a hat if a section of track is blocked, and should your destination be one of the bypassed stations, you're SOL
- London Underground changed the Circle line from a circle to a squiggly 9 shape about a decade ago to improve operational performance, but it means a trip from Kensington to Kings Cross requires changing trains. They also have multiple lines with numerous branches, and a given line may share track with 2-3 different lines at various points along its length, so you can't just hop on any train headed towards the city without risking a very long detour.
- San Jose VTA seemingly redraws their train maps every 2-3 years, and stations that were on one color line before are now on a different color line
- SF Muni has trains that literally change their line designation while traveling through the market street tunnel.
- Chicago took one leg of the Blue Line, routed it over Green Line tracks into the Loop, and turned it Pink

Clearly, successful transit systems have no problem decoupling "lines" from the physical track they historically ran on, and their riders were able to adapt to the changes. There's no reason why DART couldn't dual-track the line through the yard for a "D1.5" that enables certain rush-period trains to drop their inbound passengers at the existing transit mall stations, then run through the yard and back to their origin without touching the transit mall.

I45Tex
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby I45Tex » 16 Jun 2020 01:48

I like both Troy and TNWE's ideas. I realize DART really wants to get the Final EIS decision handed down for their preferred design to reroute Green and Orange through a new downtown tunnel project (two weeks are left on the public comment period for the supplemental draft EIS, or SDEIS, by the way!)

But if we just imagine that it's going to be awhile before they ever act on that design, it would be cheaper to get a little peak traffic flexibility by adding a flying junction [ -- those words are a URL link for anyone interested] from the NB Red Line to the current NB Green Line at the Northwest Junction (the wye behind the Holocaust Museum and Sixth Floor), where a protected surface southbound to southbound junction between them already exists -- if I've read the map correctly, being much less than a real railfan.

Instead of confusing anyone, DART would just add to the regular service map the official Purple Line route which does follow the desire line straight from DFW Airport to Love Field, Union Station and the Convention Center, by then proceeding to Cedars and through the railyard to MLK, Hatcher, Lawnview, Lake June and Buckner. For completists, regardless of what load balance it adds, there could be a yin to that yang. This would be a new Cerulean Line, peak-only, like the north part of the Orange is. Taking the Southeast Junction (the big wye at Routh and N. Good-Latimer) brings riders back and forth between Rowlett and UNT Dallas, of course not via the downtown transit mall but rather Deep Ellum, BUMC and Fair Park.

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 16 Jun 2020 13:56

CTroyMathis wrote:Sell it to those of us who ride everyday and just want to get to a and b without delay, posthaste even.


You left out "...or paying more than a tiny percent of the cost, either".

:D

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TNWE
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 16 Jun 2020 14:33

I45Tex wrote:But if we just imagine that it's going to be awhile before they ever act on that design, it would be cheaper to get a little peak traffic flexibility by adding a flying junction [ -- those words are a URL link for anyone interested] from the NB Red Line to the current NB Green Line at the Northwest Junction (the wye behind the Holocaust Museum and Sixth Floor), where a protected surface southbound to southbound junction between them already exists -- if I've read the map correctly, being much less than a real railfan.

You are correct about the existing junction between the southbound tracks of the Green/Orange and Red/Blue lines - there are also crossovers immediately on either side of that connection, so strictly speaking a flying junction that allows a conflict-free NB connection from Union Station to Victory isn't needed unless trains are scheduled at a high enough frequency that the NB and SB trains have to pass at that point. If the Purple Line is an hourly or half-hourly rush-only service I'm not sure the capital investment is necessary, so long as the schedule is appropriately sequenced so Purple line trains can traverse the single track section without holding up any other lines.

I45Tex wrote:Instead of confusing anyone, DART would just add to the regular service map the official Purple Line route which does follow the desire line straight from DFW Airport to Love Field, Union Station and the Convention Center, by then proceeding to Cedars and through the railyard to MLK, Hatcher, Lawnview, Lake June and Buckner. For completists, regardless of what load balance it adds, there could be a yin to that yang. This would be a new Cerulean Line, peak-only, like the north part of the Orange is. Taking the Southeast Junction (the big wye at Routh and N. Good-Latimer) brings riders back and forth between Rowlett and UNT Dallas, of course not via the downtown transit mall but rather Deep Ellum, BUMC and Fair Park.


I have my doubts about the daily ridership demand for a Cerulean line, but it could make a lot of sense for State Fair season (assuming COVID doesn't kill that off) where jam-packed Red/Orange/Blue line trains from the north empty out at Pearl and leave people scrapping for space on already-full Green Line trains headed to Fair Park. As long as DART puts up lots of signage and makes announcements reminding State Fair-bound passengers to change to a Cerulean line train at Cityplace (out of the oppressive sun) it would alleviate a lot of the crowding that occurs.

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby dfwcre8tive » 17 Jun 2020 00:57



Wow; forgot that I had drawn this years ago :)

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Redblock
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Redblock » 24 Jun 2020 23:30

Whatever plan DART settles on for D2, they have some grant money to plan TODs.

https://www.rtands.com/passenger/fta-fu ... -stations/

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TNWE
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 25 Jun 2020 10:15

Redblock wrote:Whatever plan DART settles on for D2, they have some grant money to plan TODs.

https://www.rtands.com/passenger/fta-fu ... -stations/


Seems like that money would be better spent on planning TOD at outlying stations surrounded by big parking lots, as opposed to in the already-developed environs around the proposed D2 stations.

If DART really needs help planning TOD along the D2 route, may I suggest:
[*]Museum Way - 20-30 story apartment building on the Perot museum Parking lot
[*]Metro Center - 5 story donut apartments with West End-type styling on the parking lot next to 7-11; midrise Hyatt Place hotel on the surface lot between Fox 4 and Renaissance tower
[*]Commerce - nothing to do here besides take credit for the Discovery District (that's what TOD planners do, right? Take credit for things that happened before the transit line ever existed?)
[*] CBD East - Build foundation/podium for future 50-70 story skyscraper over top of the DART station
[*]Live Oak - Rebuild/Restart the Citylights apartments damaged in the crane collapse, build a food truck park next to the tunnel portal

That took me like 5 minutes to think up - can I have my million dollar fee now? Or do I need to go find stock photo renderings of various buildings and photoshop them into images of those sites?

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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 25 Jun 2020 10:21

Its not that simple to earn your Million dollar fee. You have to look at property ownership, prices, market conditions, etc and then you create theoretical projects that fit within those models. A developer can then take this info make their own changes and propose development to DART. This also helps DART know whats realistic about the land they own at their stations when a developer shows up with a proposal. Whats interesting here is that with the suburban stations DART plopped down parking lots and everyone in city Hall's all over DFW said developers will come. Cut to now and many stations long envisioned surrounded by private development still remain as parking lots. Here DART is attempting to preemptively know what can actually be done on their land around new stations and send out that info to developers ahead of time.
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell”

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The_Overdog
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby The_Overdog » 25 Jun 2020 10:58

Seems like that money would be better spent on planning TOD at outlying stations surrounded by big parking lots, as opposed to in the already-developed environs around the proposed D2 stations.


A 'soft proposal' for selling city-owned land at a slight discount for affordable housing at the outlying Parker Road station was brought to Plano City Council and rejected a few weeks ago.

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TNWE
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Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 25 Jun 2020 13:01

cowboyeagle05 wrote:Its not that simple to earn your Million dollar fee. You have to look at property ownership, prices, market conditions, etc and then you create theoretical projects that fit within those models. A developer can then take this info make their own changes and propose development to DART. This also helps DART know whats realistic about the land they own at their stations when a developer shows up with a proposal. Whats interesting here is that with the suburban stations DART plopped down parking lots and everyone in city Hall's all over DFW said developers will come. Cut to now and many stations long envisioned surrounded by private development still remain as parking lots. Here DART is attempting to preemptively know what can actually be done on their land around new stations and send out that info to developers ahead of time.


In the case of Downtown, DART doesn't actually own land (besides the West Transfer center, which isn't going anywhere), so this supposed TOD planning is less about optimizing the value of DART property and more an exercise of attributing any present or future development to D2, so they'll be able to fall back "$XX Billion of Completed or Planned TOD along D2" on when little to no new ridership materializes as a result. That, and some urban planners get a $1 million no-bid contract.


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