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#1 johnfwd

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

This Star-Telegram news report by Gordon Dickson is about some residents of the Mistletoe neighborhood southwest of downtown not wanting a train station located there because it may increase motor vehicular traffic congestion. I have mixed opinions about this. On the one hand, Mistletoe is an historical area and maybe a train station would "besmirch" the environs. I guess the site is zoned for this purpose? On the other hand, I agree with Mayor Price that the TEX Rail project needs to get moving along, and where to build stations necessarily shouldn't be an obstacle to progress. After all, most all our neighborhoods suffer more or less from auto traffic these days.

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#2 Joshw

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:10 AM

Can someone explain why there would be more traffic in the actual neighborhood? This seems like a kneejerk response that isn't well thought out, on the neighbors side of things.

#3 brownjd

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:25 AM

Can someone explain why there would be more traffic in the actual neighborhood? This seems like a kneejerk response that isn't well thought out, on the neighbors side of things.


I think the concern is that as people enter/exit the parking lot, they would travel east/west on Mistletoe to Forest Park. You might argue that this is a destination stop, not a park and ride which would lessen the traffic impact. I think they are studying the expected ridership data with the T to try to answer that question.

#4 RD Milhollin

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:09 AM

Can someone explain why there would be more traffic in the actual neighborhood? This seems like a kneejerk response that isn't well thought out, on the neighbors side of things.


I would hope that the Fort Worth T could stage buses to meet arriving trains so that residents using the train for commuting or travel to the airport would not feel that they needed to drive a few blocks to the parking lot. If they can't do this, that would be a good reason to have DART take over the whole project. The connections in Dallas, at least in my meager experience with them, are relatively seamless.

#5 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:11 AM


Can someone explain why there would be more traffic in the actual neighborhood? This seems like a kneejerk response that isn't well thought out, on the neighbors side of things.


I think the concern is that as people enter/exit the parking lot, they would travel east/west on Mistletoe to Forest Park. You might argue that this is a destination stop, not a park and ride which would lessen the traffic impact. I think they are studying the expected ridership data with the T to try to answer that question.



This may be slightly besides the point, but there seems to be a prevailing view in Fort Worth (at least on the part of many public officials and outspoken residents) that any and all rail transit is in every respect commuter rail, and by "commuter rail" it is meant COMMUTER rail (i.e. its sole purpose is to pick up workers at or near where they live and to drop them off at or near where they work). This certainly seemed to influence much of the design and current operation of the TRE ("No real need to operate all that much after 5:00pm or on Sundays for that matter, since nobody's going to work and therefore would have no reason to ride a commuter rail system; and of course there's certainly no reason to operate on a holiday like the 4th of July - why would anyone want to travel by rail between Fort Worth and dallas on that day? No one has to work that day." Or so the thinking seems to go). Any other form of transit that doesn't fit in this mold is looked upon as a wasteful toy (i.e. streetcar), but that's a whole other matter. This also seems to be the logic behind viewing the potential for every stop along the way to serve as a park-and-ride as opposed to a destination in and of itself (i.e. TOD) or as a way of supporting those who would rather leave their car at home and simply walk to and from transit stops and around the neighborhoods that surround them.

The ideal isn't so much to have a place to warehouse your car for a day while you head off to work (while reading a newspaper or kindle instead of screaming obscenities at the person in the more slowly moving steel box in front of you), but to have a form of transit that stitches together the major employment/recreation/dining/cultural centers of the city in a way that allows people to cut the car out of the equation. Of course, doing this requires surrounding these transit stops with enjoyable walkable neighborhoods as opposed to parking lots capable of supporting a WalMart. I wonder if the discussion were framed more in terms of the integration of transit with well-designed neighborhoods rather than in terms of the ability of these stations to support as high a load of commuters to and from work as possible if people/neighborhoods would be more receptive to them. It's an honest question.

#6 Electricron

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:36 AM


Can someone explain why there would be more traffic in the actual neighborhood? This seems like a kneejerk response that isn't well thought out, on the neighbors side of things.


I think the concern is that as people enter/exit the parking lot, they would travel east/west on Mistletoe to Forest Park. You might argue that this is a destination stop, not a park and ride which would lessen the traffic impact. I think they are studying the expected ridership data with the T to try to answer that question.

Rosedale is just one large city block further north. Even if TexRail built the station at Misletoe on the southeast corner, they could close Misletoe crossing to vehicle traffic, keeping it open for pedestrian traffic only. Which wouldn't be necessary if the station was built just north of Rosedale. We're only talking about a difference in the location of the station of 600 feet at most. Presently, Rosedale crosses over the FWWR tracks using a viaduct, so pedestrian access would be difficult with the station located there. Which is one of many reasons TexRail is looking at using this property at Mistletoe instead. A train station would work at either location, but one at Mistletoe would be closer to walk by 600 feet for most of the residences in this neighborhood.
The closest example I can find with similar pedestrian and street access to the Rosedale station location would be the Lake Highlands station in Dallas with the light rail line going under the Walnut Hill viaduct over White Rock Creek. Not unworkable, but not the easiest of access either.
Whichever location TexRail chooses, I'm very happy they are asking the neighborhood which one they prefer. After all, it will be this neighborhoods station. I really don't think the hospital district on the east side of the tracks cares, as they will have a circulator bus service to this station anyways.

#7 heinzrx

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:05 PM

On the other hand, I agree with Mayor Price that the TEX Rail project needs to get moving along, and where to build stations necessarily shouldn't be an obstacle to progress. After all, most all our neighborhoods suffer more or less from auto traffic these days.

http://www.star-tele...adlines-default


John, after your campaign to have Forest Park Blvd. put on a "road diet" I'm a bit surprised to hear you say this. :laugh:

I live fairly close (within 2 blocks) to the proposed Mistletoe location so I do have personal concerns about noise pollution, traffic and potential associated decline in residential property values in the immediate vicinity.

To me, this issue seems somewhat similar to the apartment construction issue facing some Berkely residents. If I'm not mistaken, it sounds like the apartment developer is willing to work with Berkely to minimize impact and I would hope that the city (and medical district) show Mistletoe Heights residents the same type of consideration in deciding on the rail station.

The commuter rail station should NOT be located based on criteria such as:
-- It's the cheapest solution
-- It's the quickest solution

For me, the question comes down to "Which station location make the most sense to most users?".

I would speculate that the majority of rail patrons getting on or off at this stop would be going to or leaving from the medical district. If that's the case then the station should be located as conveniently (not necessarily centrally) as possible for the majority of medical district employees/clients/patients. The presence of the hotel at Midtown (with plans for a second hotel I believe?) might suggest that many of the hotel occupants could be staying there for medical-related reasons. That in itself might support Midtown as the preferred location.

Based on where I live, I would prefer the Midtown location so as to minimize impact to Mistletoe residents in terms of noise pollution. I think the Midtown development itself would benefit from this location, spurring some retail/restaurant development.

By the way, does anybody know if the city has begun negotiations with the railroad for use of the tracks?

Heinz

#8 brownjd

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

John, after your campaign to have Forest Park Blvd. put on a "road diet" I'm a bit surprised to hear you say this. :laugh:

I live fairly close (within 2 blocks) to the proposed Mistletoe location so I do have personal concerns about noise pollution, traffic and potential associated decline in residential property values in the immediate vicinity.

To me, this issue seems somewhat similar to the apartment construction issue facing some Berkely residents. If I'm not mistaken, it sounds like the apartment developer is willing to work with Berkely to minimize impact and I would hope that the city (and medical district) show Mistletoe Heights residents the same type of consideration in deciding on the rail station.

The commuter rail station should NOT be located based on criteria such as:
-- It's the cheapest solution
-- It's the quickest solution

For me, the question comes down to "Which station location make the most sense to most users?".

I would speculate that the majority of rail patrons getting on or off at this stop would be going to or leaving from the medical district. If that's the case then the station should be located as conveniently (not necessarily centrally) as possible for the majority of medical district employees/clients/patients. The presence of the hotel at Midtown (with plans for a second hotel I believe?) might suggest that many of the hotel occupants could be staying there for medical-related reasons. That in itself might support Midtown as the preferred location.

Based on where I live, I would prefer the Midtown location so as to minimize impact to Mistletoe residents in terms of noise pollution. I think the Midtown development itself would benefit from this location, spurring some retail/restaurant development.

By the way, does anybody know if the city has begun negotiations with the railroad for use of the tracks?

Heinz


I don't have a dog in the fight (at least on TEX Rail, FP is another matter), but here's what I know.

The T and Baylor will not move forward with the Mistletoe station without the neighborhood's support.
Mistletoe's traffic committee has been very involved with the city and the T to figure out the issues important to the neighborhood.
The Midtown site is way worse from an accessibility and interconnection standpoint. The hotel is a non factor, because there is a tract of land in between that cannot be bought or developed.
Pedestrian accessibility to the Rosedale site sucks.
All residents in the neighborhood are receiving ballots in the mail with a flyer documenting the proposal and the pros/cons. I think they're having a neighborhood meeting to count the ballots.

As a Berkeley resident, I would totally be in favor of a stop next to my neighborhood. The ability to hop on in my neighborhood and get off at the airport would be awesome.

#9 renamerusk

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:11 AM

The ideal isn't so much to have a place to warehouse your car for a day while you head off to work (while reading a newspaper or kindle instead of screaming obscenities at the person in the more slowly moving steel box in front of you), but to have a form of transit that stitches together the major employment/recreation/dining/cultural centers of the city in a way that allows people to cut the car out of the equation.


"Tell it like it is (or the way it should be)".

Keep Fort Worth folksy

#10 Joshw

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:50 AM


The ideal isn't so much to have a place to warehouse your car for a day while you head off to work (while reading a newspaper or kindle instead of screaming obscenities at the person in the more slowly moving steel box in front of you), but to have a form of transit that stitches together the major employment/recreation/dining/cultural centers of the city in a way that allows people to cut the car out of the equation.


"Tell it like it is (or the way it should be)".

Keep Fort Worth folksy


Exactly.

If it's not a park and ride, then I would say that the only additional traffic would be mainly buses and people walking. If it was a park and ride, it'd be a different thing.

#11 cberen1

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:33 AM

If it's not a park and ride, then I would say that the only additional traffic would be mainly buses and people walking. If it was a park and ride, it'd be a different thing.


I'm not sure I understand. How does one get from his house to the station? Will a bus come get me? Do I have to take a cab? What is this "walk" thing you refer to? :smwink:

#12 Volare

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:11 AM

Sounds like the neighborhood meeting didn't go well:

http://www.star-tele...ighborhood.html

#13 Joshw

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:21 PM

Yikes.

#14 JBB

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:25 PM

This quote from the original article in the first post in this thread made me chuckle:

"The idea that a train would come into a historical neighborhood is so far-fetched I just can't believe it,"

Really? I bet there were some railroad guys about a hundred years ago that said to each other, "The idea that someone would build a neighborhood next to that rail line is so far-fetched I just can't believe it."

And I hate to upset the lady even more, but trains were coming into her historical neighborhood long before she moved there 5 years ago.

#15 heinzrx

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

And I hate to upset the lady even more, but trains were coming into her historical neighborhood long before she moved there 5 years ago.


Just as a comparison, Forest Park Blvd. was a busy street long before many of the current residents moved into the Berkely and Mistletoe neighborhoods. And yet their push for a "road diet" gets everybody all giddy over the notion of forcing commuters out of their neighborhoods so the bicyclists, children and pedestrians pushing baby strollers will be safer.

Yes, those train tracks were there a long time ago. But there's never been near as much train traffic as there's about to be. And the fact is that locomotives accelerating and braking are louder than locomotives cruising through. And those locomotives spew a lot more pollution when accelerating as opposed to cruising by.

I'm not necessarily against the station being in Mistletoe, but I would like to hear concerns addressed before it's approved. Instead it sounds like things are being glossed over.

Why can a bus only get within 750 feet of the tracks at the Midtown location? Can that be fixed by extending some pavement?

Why can't there be an elevator for handicapped people? What do they do when they park in a multi-level parking garage? Hmmmm... maybe they use an elevator.

What's the deal about the mysterious tract of land at Midtown "that cannot be bought or developed"? Who owns it? Did anybody contact them? Is it a habitat for an endangered species? Or does chef Tim Love have dibs on that property too?

Those are some arguments I keep hearing against the Midtown location but I don't hear proposed solutions for how those obstacles might be overcome, aside from just abandoning that location.

Doesn't it just make sense to put a public transportation facility at a commercial site that has hotels, medical office space, a bank, and eventually some retail/restaurant tenants as opposed to a residential site? Wouldn't that help maximize the ridership of the train?

Am I crazy? (rhetorical question -- don't answer it)

I really am open to either location but I just want to be convinced that the right location is chosen for the right reasons. I'm sure neither site is perfect.

And it's really sad that Mistletoe Heights is portrayed as a bunch of bullies. On the other hand, the one traffic committee meeting I did attend recently was kind of like the one described in the article. I'm glad I wasn't able to attend!

Heinz

#16 brownjd

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:08 PM

Just as a comparison, Forest Park Blvd. was a busy street long before many of the current residents moved into the Berkely and Mistletoe neighborhoods. And yet their push for a "road diet" gets everybody all giddy over the notion of forcing commuters out of their neighborhoods so the bicyclists, children and pedestrians pushing baby strollers will be safer.


Minor correction Heinz: Just as a comparison, Forest Park Blvd. was a busy street long before many of the current residents moved into the Berkely and Mistletoe neighborhoods. And yet their push for a "road diet" gets everybody all giddy over the notion of forcing commuters out of their neighborhoods to slow down so the bicyclists, children and pedestrians pushing baby strollers will be safer.

#17 heinzrx

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

I heard it stated more than once at the traffic meeting I attended that one of the goals of the road diet was to get commuters to use alternate routes such as University or 8th St. Your goal may be to get traffic to slow down and that's fine. Somehow you chose to live near that roadway and we all have to make it right for you. You phrase it as "trying to make it safer for everyone". But I find it a bit "elitist" to force unwanted commuters into alternate routes and make them someone else's problem. Then turn around and say that others should just blindly welcome a train station near their house.

The following is an excerpt from the Mistletoe Heights March newsletter. The author is on our traffic comittee...

"... eastbound motorists back up nearly to Jerome at evening rush hour, while Julie and I sip wine on our porch and ridicule them for not living closer to work. I sometimes park my cars in the street, three feet from the curb and right up to Forest Park, just to slow traffic. I push my yard cart into the middle of Mistletoe while I mow the lawn; cars sometimes run it down. My daughter learned how to ride her bike in our backyard, not out in the street. And remember those “Slow Down!” kitty crossing signs? I had the biggest one, the one with blood in its eyes, until someone stole it."

If this is how our traffic committee thinks then I become highly skeptical of their agenda and begin to question their motives. God forbid your child can't learn to ride their bike on a public roadway. The HORROR!

I still haven't heard any attempt at solving the issues with the Midtown location for the train station instead of foisting it on Mistletoe Heights.

#18 renamerusk

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:40 PM


If it's not a park and ride, then I would say that the only additional traffic would be mainly buses and people walking. If it was a park and ride, it'd be a different thing.


I'm not sure I understand. How does one get from his house to the station? Will a bus come get me? Do I have to take a cab? What is this "walk" thing you refer to? :smwink:



Perhaps a "Kiss and Ride" design at stations that have a limited amount of space and that are located in congested neighborhoods. I believe a sea of parked cars may become an opportunity for mischief or vandalism; and a large surface parking area will generate unfavorable amounts of security lighting affecting the solitude that many cherish about their neighborhood. MARTA (Atlanta) addresses this issue by implementing K+R at some of its train stations. Click and Scroll down the text:


Park and ride - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

#19 brownjd

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:13 PM

I heard it stated more than once at the traffic meeting I attended that one of the goals of the road diet was to get commuters to use alternate routes such as University or 8th St. Your goal may be to get traffic to slow down and that's fine. Somehow you chose to live near that roadway and we all have to make it right for you. You phrase it as "trying to make it safer for everyone". But I find it a bit "elitist" to force unwanted commuters into alternate routes and make them someone else's problem. Then turn around and say that others should just blindly welcome a train station near their house.


Bitter.

As it turns out, roads that have undergone a road diet carry the same number of vehicles as they did prior to the conversion. When I first started investigating the idea, I expected there to be a diversion of traffic to other streets. I still maintain that 8th Avenue and University are far better commuter streets (and designated commercial delivery routes), but all evidence points to almost identical average daily vehicle volumes after a road diet. So bottom line, traffic would not be diverted; it would just slow down. Win for everyone.

Regarding the train stop, Berkeley has already stated that we will back Mistletoe whichever way you vote. I'm not saying you should do anything. What I said is that I'd love to have a TEX Rail stop near Berkeley. If you guys vote it down, I'll be the first lobbying for it next to my neighborhood. How's that for elitist?

The following is an excerpt from the Mistletoe Heights March newsletter. The author is on our traffic comittee...

"... eastbound motorists back up nearly to Jerome at evening rush hour, while Julie and I sip wine on our porch and ridicule them for not living closer to work. I sometimes park my cars in the street, three feet from the curb and right up to Forest Park, just to slow traffic. I push my yard cart into the middle of Mistletoe while I mow the lawn; cars sometimes run it down. My daughter learned how to ride her bike in our backyard, not out in the street. And remember those “Slow Down!” kitty crossing signs? I had the biggest one, the one with blood in its eyes, until someone stole it."

If this is how our traffic committee thinks then I become highly skeptical of their agenda and begin to question their motives. God forbid your child can't learn to ride their bike on a public roadway. The HORROR!


Sounds like this person cares about traffic. Perhaps he should form a committee. Oh wait...

#20 cberen1

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:10 AM

Actually, a station on the South side of the Park Place railroad crossing would be awesome.

#21 Joshw

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:08 PM

Actually, a station on the South side of the Park Place railroad crossing would be awesome.


Originally thats what I thought all the construction around Park Place was what they were doing. I don't seeing them being okay with that so close to the school, and I don't think that is the same line? I could be wrong.

#22 brownjd

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:11 PM


Actually, a station on the South side of the Park Place railroad crossing would be awesome.


Originally thats what I thought all the construction around Park Place was what they were doing. I don't seeing them being okay with that so close to the school, and I don't think that is the same line? I could be wrong.


Nope, that's just the rebuilding of Park Place to Near Southside standards. There's a rendering of the final plan on the wall in Old Neighborhood Grill.

The Quarles lumberyard is under contract to some apartment developers. An ideal side for a transit stop would be due south from there between the apartments and windsor. It would have direct access to 8th avenue, negating a lot of the traffic nuisance issues.

The north side of Park Place where Trinity Coatings is located is apparently priced in the stratosphere, so I'd expect it to go a medical use eventually. That would be the spot across from Lily B.

#23 Electricron

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:23 PM

When playing the game of proposing another station site, look for straight and level tracks. Station platforms don't like curve tracks nor uphill or downhill grades.. I'm not going to suggest slightly curvy or hilly tracks make it an impossible station site, just that they cause headaches and extra money to make them work. Also, look at avoiding impacting industrial sidings. Industries can move, but they will cost FWTA far more to move than residential or empty lots. There's a reason why FWTA has mainly chosen vacant lots for proposed station locations after all. Any property along the FWWR right-of-way might be proposed to be turned into a station, but there's only a few that are really acceptable.

#24 renamerusk

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

Why can a bus only get within 750 feet of the tracks at the Midtown location? Can that be fixed by extending some pavement?......Why can't there be an elevator for handicapped people? What do they do when they park in a multi-level parking garage? Hmmmm... maybe they use an elevator.......What's the deal about the mysterious tract of land at Midtown "that cannot be bought or developed"? Who owns it? Did anybody contact them? Is it a habitat for an endangered species? Or does chef Tim Love have dibs on that property too?.....

Those are some arguments I keep hearing against the Midtown location but I don't hear proposed solutions for how those obstacles might be overcome, aside from just abandoning that location.


I believe you have some legitimate questions. It seems that The T prefers a sprawling surface parking lot as a solution for every locale without giving you guys good answers. Here is a suggestion: Why not go vertical at the Midtown area site by constructing a multi level parking garage and deck above the tracks on land adjacent to 13th Avenue with elevators and escalators to the subterranean track platform below?

I believe that a garage structure is well within line to similar land use in the Midtown and /western sector of the Medical District and would have far less of a footprint than would a sprawling surface lot built in the affected neighborhoods.

#25 AndyN

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:08 PM

Vertical costs money. There doesn't seem to be a lot of excess of that for this project.
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#26 Electricron

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:25 PM

Vertical costs money. There doesn't seem to be a lot of excess of that for this project.


Where have you ever seen a free parking garage structure? Vertical does cost more money, and always comes with a parking fee.

There's already a surface parking plot behind Baylor Hospital reachable from N.Enderly Place or from Leslie Street. The new train station parking lot could be accessed from Leslie Street from the east, vs from Mistletoe from the north.

I can't believe a new parking lot for a train station one block north (across a street) of an existing surface parking lot is causing so much fuss.

#27 AndyN

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:36 PM

Who said anything about free? Did you read my post?
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#28 Electricron

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:23 AM

Who said anything about free? Did you read my post?

Now you're being argumentative. Here I'm agreeing with you in principle and you're challenging me?
All I wanted to do was point out that structured parking is never free. What has this web site turned into, Andy N against everybody?

#29 ron4Life

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

Calm down my forum friends, hahahaha... You know what I really thought this discussion was about TEX Rail project? But I assume parking has something to do with this venture, oh well..

#30 RD Milhollin

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:48 AM

The S-T transportation blog reports that the planned TEXRail station at 23rd and Decatur Rd. adjacent to the Stockyards is not going to work out. I always wondered how they would get the passenger trains across two or three sets of freight tracks so that it could reach a station, and then cross back over one set of tracks to ride the tracks downtown. This sort of plan never sounded very safe to me. An alternative plan identified is north of there, north of 28th Street. This would serve the neighborhood better would not serve the Stockyards area very well.

http://www.star-tele...adlines-default

Perhaps a better solution to all these identified problems would be to build a station on the elevated hill once home to the Swift and Armour meat packing plants, and construct elevated tracks from the FWWR going toward the Airport and to the BNSF tracks going downtown. This viaduct would not be inexpensive, but would take the passenger tracks over the heavy freight traffic in that area, provide a productive use for the former factories on the hill which could become an anchor for modern urban multi-use development there, and the station would be positioned to serve a future north-south commuter rail route (to Alliance area and Denton).

#31 NSFW

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

My 1st post!


I personally believe the NE.23rd/Decatur Ave. location would be better for a few reasons, easy access to the Trinity Trail, the Stockyards and road ways.

Trinity Trails and Stockyards access needs no explanation.

Road way. 28th St. is already congested enough. Don't need to make it worse. By having the station at 23rd/Decatur will allow users to take various routes, including Brennan, 23rd, Samuels, and 28th.

Adrian


#32 renamerusk

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:50 PM

.... I always wondered how they would get the passenger trains across two or three sets of freight tracks so that it could reach a station, and then cross back over one set of tracks to ride the tracks downtown. This sort of plan never sounded very safe to me. An alternative plan identified is north of there, north of 28th Street. This would serve the neighborhood better would not serve the Stockyards area very well.

Perhaps a better solution to all these identified problems would be to build a station on the elevated hill once home to the Swift and Armour meat packing plants, and construct elevated tracks from the FWWR going toward the Airport and to the BNSF tracks going downtown. This viaduct would not be inexpensive, but would take the passenger tracks over the heavy freight traffic in that area, provide a productive use for the former factories on the hill which could become an anchor for modern urban multi-use development there, and the station would be positioned to serve a future north-south commuter rail route (to Alliance area and Denton).


As to your first remarks, it aptly demonstrates the ineptitude of the current administration in place at the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) and that is being kind.

And to your brilliant solution, I agree wholeheartedly. BTW, a similar solution has already been constructed and is now in use by the TRE through the Irving Area.

Keep Fort Worth folksy

#33 RD Milhollin

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:21 PM

My 1st post!


Welcome to the FW Forum NSFW

I personally believe the NE.23rd/Decatur Ave. location would be better for a few reasons, easy access to the Trinity Trail, the Stockyards and road ways.


Although the passage is almost hidden in other, partially extraneous copy, it does say that "The original choice for a site in north Fort Worth is not working out, and the agency is seeking a new one", and "In 2008, when the T began putting together its draft environmental document for TEX Rail, the original plan was to serve the Stockyards area by placing a station at Decatur Avenue and 23rd Street, near a salvage yard and collision center. But a costly and time-consuming environmental cleanup involving spilled oil and fuel may be required for that area."

The years of slack environmental regulation and enforcement in Fort Worth come back again to bite the proverbial backside. This will no doubt repeat itself in the future, next time with the pincushion geology resulting from gas drilling. As for the train station, it seems that placing the polluted soil under an impervious cap of asphalt or concrete would answer concerns about runoff and upper soil contamination for the time being, but the article says that the job for the transportation people is instead to find a new site (and presumably leave the polluted site unmitigated). A station to the south would serve the TRV "Cat Island", but development there appears years away. It would also be too close to the 9th Street Station (ITC) to make good train sense. North of the alternative site (adjacent to 28th and Decatur) the tracks turn sharply to the Northeast and head toward another proposed station near Beach Street (nothing there, an unrealized industrial development). The only open area that would seem suitable for a commuter train station is right at the beginning of the Hodge Station yard, not a good place for dependable commuter service due to the freight activities there.

Access to the station I "proposed" would be improved if the viaduct carrying the tracks connecting to the FWWR line could be constructed to carry a couple of traffic lanes (and a bikeway to safely connect Stockyards to future rail-side trail). This roadway could connect Nichols Street (and 28th St.) to Niles City Blvd (reconfigured to accommodate two-way traffic) and 23rd St. This new local arterial would help local commuters access the station without getting stuck in the tourist district, but still allow visitors to access the tourist area from the station without having to drive there. The parking capacity saved could be used to provide space for rain users...

#34 AndyN

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:08 PM

As to your first remarks, it aptly demonstrates the ineptitude of the current administration in place at the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) and that is being kind.

And to your brilliant solution, I agree wholeheartedly. BTW, a similar solution has already been constructed and is now in use by the TRE through the Irving Area.

Keep Fort Worth folksy



I think we need to pull the reins in here a little bit on maligning the T. The administration does not draw up the plans, the design is contracted to experienced consulting engineers and there are multiple layers of involvement from the FRA, the NCTCOG, the freight railroads and other interested parties. In the plans that I have seen, there is no drastic crossing of 1 commuter rail track over 3 freight railroads that would be anything like a typical 4 way road intersection, and there is no additional freight line to cross when leaving the station.

When the line leaves the intermodal station at 9th and Jones, it crosses under two of the freight roads just past the Tindall Warehouse Tunnel. It would join the third freight line at Purina Junction to move north. At this point, it is the easternmost rail line and all the other crossings are grade separated so I definitely think some of you are talking without knowing the realities of the situation.

As for the suggestion of combining with DART, what do you think that will accomplish? DART has had their own failures and the only reason they have so much more rail on the ground is because they have a lot more money coming in for transit than Fort Worth does. If you want better transportation in Fort Worth, find more money. I guarantee you joining DART will not bring any of the Dallas money to Tarrant County, their citizens wouldn't stand for it. Tarrant County would get less attention, in my opinion, than more.
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#35 renamerusk

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

I think we need to pull the reins in here a little bit on maligning the T.....As for the suggestion of combining with DART, what do you think that will accomplish? DART has had their own failures and the only reason they have so much more rail on the ground is because they have a lot more money coming in for transit than Fort Worth does. If you want better transportation in Fort Worth, find more money. I guarantee you joining DART will not bring any of the Dallas money to Tarrant County, their citizens wouldn't stand for it. Tarrant County would get less attention, in my opinion, than more.



Who said anything about joining DART, certainly not me. Did you read my posts?

If you believe that the current administration at the FWTA is doing a great job, then you are entitle to your own opinion but not your own facts. Who ever is at charge at The T should be held accountable for the ongoing public uproar happening because of repeatedly poor decision making from TCU/Berry to Mistletoe/Medical and now to the Northside. The totality of these blunders dragged down, delay and potentially jeopardize federal funds which are needed for the eventual opening of a SWNE commuter line.
While all of this has being going on, you might reflect on this fact: Denton County Transit Authority (DCTA) was formed, a DCTA commuter line was planned, designed/engineered and put into operations earlier this year to serve Denton to Dallas commuters.

I do believe it is high time that Mayor Price consider putting more heat on The T; a step that she actually began to take earlier this Spring by voicing her displeasure publicly over The T's slow pace of getting anything done correctly and timely.

Keep Fort Worth folksy

#36 elpingüino

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:45 PM

Here is the DART passage in question:

I would hope that the Fort Worth T could stage buses to meet arriving trains so that residents using the train for commuting or travel to the airport would not feel that they needed to drive a few blocks to the parking lot. If they can't do this, that would be a good reason to have DART take over the whole project. The connections in Dallas, at least in my meager experience with them, are relatively seamless.



#37 AndyN

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:53 PM

Sorry Renamerusk, those comments were in reply to comments from multiple posters in this thread and comments in the Modern FW Streetcar Dead thread. The reply was not strictly directed at you. As someone involved with past DART projects and various other projects requiring public input and coordination, I have not seen anything yet that reeks of incompetence or poor decision making. The consultants chose the best sites, it's the nimbys who are dragging things out right now, and the lack of adequate funding is not helping matters.

DCTA had the money and an abandoned railroad right-of-way. Tex Rail does not have either.
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#38 renamerusk

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:38 PM

Sorry Renamerusk, those comments were in reply to comments from multiple posters in this thread and comments in the Modern FW Streetcar Dead thread. The reply was not strictly directed at you. As someone involved with past DART projects and various other projects requiring public input and coordination, I have not seen anything yet that reeks of incompetence or poor decision making. The consultants chose the best sites, it's the nimbys who are dragging things out right now, and the lack of adequate funding is not helping matters.

DCTA had the money and an abandoned railroad right-of-way. Tex Rail does not have either.


Thanks, Andy, I understand now.

#39 AndyN

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:47 AM

To follow up on the theme that the T is not completely incompetent, or maybe that the other agencies aren't that much better, Garl Latham has comments on the DCTA's shortcuts and mistakes in the comments section of the FWST:

Sleek new rail cars approved for Denton County commuter line

Check the comments section. Garl hopes that we do not make the same mistake on the TEX Rail Line.
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#40 AndyN

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:27 AM

Interesting to read Garl's blog. He suggests that the TEX Rail line is doomed to fail.

The Cotton Belt Conundrum
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#41 johnfwd

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:18 PM

An update on the Mistletoe Heights neighbors' reaction to plans for a TexRail station in their area, article by A. Lee Graham of the Fort Worth Business Press:

http://www.fwbusines...SubSectionID=55

#42 JBB

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:09 PM

Am I correct in understanding that the sound wall that they're getting wouldn't be there if station were built on the other side of Rosedale? That's probably a pretty good tradeoff to make some people happy.

I've said before, having lived next to train tracks with trains going by at 40-50 mph at all hours of the day and night in the past, that noise concerns are normally overblown. You get used to it way sooner than you think. The crossings on the stretch of track between Rosedale and Berry are perfect for quiet zones, so that should negate a lot of the issues with horn noise. All of that being said, this rail line has bigger issues than station placement, namely how to pay for it and all of the right-of-way problems.

#43 Doohickie

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 03:08 PM

Interesting to read Garl's blog. He suggests that the TEX Rail line is doomed to fail.

The Cotton Belt Conundrum

Too long, didn't read. I found this nugget:

No; as it now stands, the Cotton Belt service proposal is doomed to failure because it's been designed by politicians for political purposes.

Period.


But I don't know how that is different from anything else "big" that gets done around here. What makes TEXRail different?
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#44 renamerusk

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:59 PM

As earlier suggested in this blog, City Council beginning to seriously question leadership at Fort Worth Transportation Authority, aka,"The T"

Dallas Fort Worth traffic: Train station site approved for Fort Worth medical district over objections from Mistletoe Heights residents

#45 Electricron

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:45 AM

Also reported at http://www.star-tele...il-station.html
Councilmen Burns added that, more recently, T officials misled residents of Mistletoe Heights into thinking that the original station site at West Rosedale and 12th Avenue was still viable.

Which means Rosedale and 12th site no longer is viable. The only site left in the Medical District area is the Mistletoe site. There are no other alternatives.

As for City Council complaints FWTA hadn't already bought the Rosedale site earlier, what do they expect? I don't see the City offering to raise any funds for TexRail. It's not like FWTA already had all the funding needed to buy every piece of property they initially wanted in the bank years ago. They still don't have all the funding lined up to build TexRail. FWTA has been buying property piece by piece over the past few years as money has become available. They are just now buying property in the Medical District.

#46 Russ Graham

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:41 AM

FWTA has been buying property piece by piece over the past few years as money has become available.


Interesting - where does this money come from when it "becomes available"? And who decides how to spend it? Seems like the taxpayers should have some kind of a say in this.

All this money that the T is finding (maybe loose change dropped by bus riders?) should be spent on the current underfunded bus system, or returned to the city.

#47 Doohickie

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:42 AM

Strikes me as a bit of political theater on Mr. Burns part, taking advantage of the situation to garner sympathy from his constituents.



Or maybe I've grown too cynical.
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#48 Electricron

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:06 PM


FWTA has been buying property piece by piece over the past few years as money has become available.


Interesting - where does this money come from when it "becomes available"? And who decides how to spend it? Seems like the taxpayers should have some kind of a say in this.

All this money that the T is finding (maybe loose change dropped by bus riders?) should be spent on the current underfunded bus system, or returned to the city.


Taxpayers had a say when they voted to tax themselves a half cent sales tax. I assume the City Council approves every FWTA board member. So, taxpayers also have a say when they vote for every city council member.

FWTA has been using budget surpluses to buy TexRail property. Surpluses mainly coming from Grapevine sales taxes which doesn't have any bus service. Believe it or not, Grapevine taxpayers have already given over $50 Million into FWTA for TexRail.

#49 Russ Graham

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:20 PM

Strikes me as a bit of political theater on Mr. Burns part, taking advantage of the situation to garner sympathy from his constituents.

Or maybe I've grown too cynical.


I'm trying to picture this - Joel Burns as Mr. Burns from the Simpsons - tapping his fingers together, explaining to Smithers, "at last, something rotten has been forced upon the residents of my district. I'll take advantage by complaining about it." Then he cackles in anticipation at all the votes this is going to get him in the next election... "Now I know I can secure re-election and retain my vast powers!"

Or maybe you're right and you're too cynical.

#50 renamerusk

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 12:02 AM


Strikes me as a bit of political theater on Mr. Burns part, taking advantage of the situation to garner sympathy from his constituents.

Or maybe I've grown too cynical.


I'm trying to picture this - Joel Burns as Mr. Burns from the Simpsons - tapping his fingers together, explaining to Smithers, "at last, something rotten has been forced upon the residents of my district. I'll take advantage by complaining about it." Then he cackles in anticipation at all the votes this is going to get him in the next election... "Now I know I can secure re-election and retain my vast powers!"

Or maybe you're right and you're too cynical.


Making Council Joel Burns into a caricature is just flat out wrong. Mr. Burns has demonstrated an ability to lead and to be undaunted when voicing the concerns of not only his constituents but those of all our citizens when required; and it is for this, that in my estimation, Mr. Burns has among the highest approval ratings of all the current council members, if not the highest. Mayor Price was the first to express a growing frustration with the FWTA; and now Council Burns is doing the same.

One should question the FWTA about its vision. Without vision, FWTA did not proactively coordinate with the city so that the land that it needed would be set aside for a future rail corridor. Instead, FWTA said little or nothing while potential sites where developed for other purposes. Now compare their in actions with the approach and the vision taken by NTTA who clearly coordinated with the city to set aside the land it required for its Chisholm Trail Parkway with seemingly and flawless efficiency. Perhaps FWTA was negligently shortsighted or perhaps prior city councils were more anti-transit than we could have imagined and tied the hands of the FWTA; and likely both are true.

The FWTA insists upon vast surface parking for its rail stations. Compare what TRE ,under the vision of DART, did at its own medical center station. There is no surface parking; instead, passengers embark and disembark at a drop-off and pick-up platform. The station has a minimalist footprint. Such a similar solution would probably be a popular one if it was implemented at the Fort Worth Medical District station. FWTA could be

It appears that the current council is vastly more pro-transit than prior councils; and as such, is becoming more dissatisfied with FWTA being at best a mediocre transit authority. The FWTA's repeated blunders does little to enhance its image or gin up confidence. Both Price and Burns are demanding higher standards and performance coming out of FWTA; and if it cannot do better quickly, it is not unthinkable that the FWTA will have an infusion of new blood at its top levels.

Keep Fort Worth folksy




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