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Cleveland Rapid Rail Construction Projects (Non-Service Issues)

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"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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If your interested in some data, demographic, land-use information about the station there is this E. 34th/E. 79th Stations Transit Services Alternatives Analysis presentation from 2015. 

  • Average weekday ridership: 155

Link: http://www.riderta.com/sites/default/files/pdf/presentations/2015-02-03E34_E79.pdf

 

In various studies or planning done by RTA have they every consider "moving" the station to Woodland/Buckeye? The  Blue/Green line station is under half a mile away, so it would only result in cutting semi-redundant high capacity service. There seems to  be more ridership and TOD potential at Woodland/Buckeye with its proximity to Fairfax, more developable land in the immediate proximity and its placement along more prominent corridors. It would move it closer to E105th/Quincy,  but I think it still enough distance between stations. A buckeye/Woodland station would cost more than the $10 million they are spending on E79th, but they would get a better return on investment. 

 

Who know though, the Opportunity Corridor might change the area a lot bringing in new light industry/warehousing developments and jobs. Also there are some very interesting plans for developemnt in the E79th street corridor. 

 

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The Euclid Corridor Improvement Project that led to the construction of the Healthline also included relocating several East Side Red Line stations: moving East 120th/Euclid to Mayfield/Little Italy, East 79th to East 89th/Buckeye and East 34th/Campus to East 30th or East 9th. Public support existed only for moving East 120th. Public opposition was raised to block moving the other two. All Aboard Ohio supported the Euclid Corridor Improvement Project plans for station relocations.

 

But when RTA and the city of Cleveland agreed to pursue transit oriented development for the East 79th Corridor, AAO dropped its advocacy for the East 89th-Buckeye station. There is no place for TOD at East 34th/Campus, so AAO considers that station investment ill-advised. But it could be enhanced by improving pedestrian safety in that area and extending the E-Line trolley to the station. The station was used a little better when the old Loop bus served it.

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"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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2 minutes ago, Enginerd said:

@KJP, are you aware of plans for an intermodal transit center to be built at the end of the blue line? I haven’t seen discussions anywhere that I can remember.

 

Yes, it was one of the interim alternatives for extending the Blue Line. See below....

 

Warrensville ITSm.jpg

Edited by KJP
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"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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5 minutes ago, KJP said:

 

Yes, it was one of the interim alternatives for extending the Blue Line. See below....

 

Warrensville ITSm.jpg


Ah! There it is, thank you! Construction is slated to start the summer of 2021, but I hadn’t heard about it yet.

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Just now, Enginerd said:


Ah! There it is, thank you! Construction is slated to start the summer of 2021, but I hadn’t heard about it yet.

 

What? I hadn't heard a peep about that. It's a nearly $50 million peep, so it would be pretty hard to miss hearing!


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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4 minutes ago, Mendo said:

Made all the less likely since GCRTA (or Shaker?) gave away the right of way to extend the blue line through that intersection.

 

They can still extend to it. The right of way hasn't been lost. And even if it has, the Blue Line tracks can follow their way through the Van Aken District's streets like a streetcar to get to the intersection of Warrensville/Chagrin.

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"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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26 minutes ago, B767PILOT said:

Was there not once an idea to run commuter rail along N&S tracks out to Lakewood, Rocky River and Bay Village?  Ive been away too long but I seem to recall that

They went from double-tracked to single tracked along that corridor, which I would assume make that more difficult

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2 hours ago, bjk said:

They went from double-tracked to single tracked along that corridor, which I would assume make that more difficult

 

Only if they were trying to run fairly frequently. If they ran a lightweight diesel rail car (technically called a diesel multiple unit or DMU) or a dual propulsion union (DPU) on the Red line tracks as far west as West Boulevard then ran on the Norfolk Southern tracks west of there, there would be 8.4 miles of single-track operation on the 15.7 miles of route between the Cuyahoga County line and Tower City. And if RTA joined forces with Lorain County Transit to operate into Lorain County, the next section of double track starts 2.7 miles into Lorain County at SR 83 and continues for 5.7 miles to Sheffield Lake.  From there to downtown Lorain is another 2.9 miles of single track but the last half-mile of it could be double-tracked into the Lorain Station. A schedule with trains running as frequently as every 30 minutes in both directions during rush hour could be accommodated with the existing mainline track segments.

Edited by KJP
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20 hours ago, KJP said:

 

Only if they were trying to run fairly frequently. If they ran a lightweight diesel rail car (technically called a diesel multiple unit or DMU) or a dual propulsion union (DPU) on the Red line tracks as far west as West Boulevard then ran on the Norfolk Southern tracks west of there, there would be 8.4 miles of single-track operation on the 15.7 miles of route between the Cuyahoga County line and Tower City. And if RTA joined forces with Lorain County Transit to operate into Lorain County, the next section of double track starts 2.7 miles into Lorain County at SR 83 and continues for 5.7 miles to Sheffield Lake.  From there to downtown Lorain is another 2.9 miles of single track but the last half-mile of it could be double-tracked into the Lorain Station. A schedule with trains running as frequently as every 30 minutes in both directions during rush hour could be accommodated with the existing mainline track segments.

Is there no political will to do this?  This sound like something very feasible and affordable

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21 hours ago, KJP said:

 

. A schedule with trains running as frequently as every 30 minutes in both directions during rush hour could be accommodated with the existing mainline track segments.

 

Would that be possible while still allowing the long freight trains too?

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On 11/21/2019 at 2:31 PM, bjk said:

 

Would that be possible while still allowing the long freight trains too?

 

The freight trains would have to be rescheduled to the overnight hours. Those that can't be rescheduled would have to operate via Elyria and Berea.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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On 11/21/2019 at 1:39 PM, B767PILOT said:

Is there no political will to do this?  This sound like something very feasible and affordable

 

Yes, it is very feasible and affordable, especially on the capital cost side (less than $100 million to operate into Tower City), albeit less so on the operating cost side (probably $5 million to $10 million per year). But no appetite for it at RTA.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Right now I think GCRTA is focused on vehicle replacement and basic daily operations in the face of a huge budget deficit.  It's a shame too because westside extensions could actually increase system ridership with investment.

Edited by Frmr CLEder
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13 hours ago, KJP said:

 

Yes, it is very feasible and affordable, especially on the capital cost side (less than $100 million to operate into Tower City), albeit less so on the operating cost side (probably $5 million to $10 million per year). But no appetite for it at RTA.

This, to me, is one of those public infrastructure projects that begs to be completed.  A resurgent Cleveland in the next decade or so is going to need mass transport options to/from those NW lakeshore burbs and Loraine County.  Even 40 years ago those benefits were pretty self evident. Those NW burbs were then and are now a rich source of ridership

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They don't have an operating budget deficit but they do have a capital budget deficit. The rail vehicle replacements is actually RTA's second highest capital priority -- state of good repair of rail system infrastructure is their number 1 priority. So ODOT funded RTA's #1 priority at 100% and its #2 priority at 50%. RTA asked ODOT for $10 million per year over six years.

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"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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So the pendulum has finally begun to shift?  That's a good thing.

 

It sounds as though ODOT may be changing its perception and support of urban mass transit.  I wonder what has precipitated the change?

 

Historically it has provided more support for highways, freeways and interchanges vs railcars, buses and right-of-ways.

 

I thought RTA was considering fare hikes and service cuts to support an operational budget deficit...

Edited by Frmr CLEder

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During the last ODOT budget debate, I was part of a diverse coalition of organizations to make sure that if ODOT was going to get its gas tax increase only if we were going to get our transit funding increase. Our strength was that ODOT would not be able to get the support of Democratic lawmakers without a boost in transit funding. ODOT needed the Democratic lawmakers because far too many of the Republicans took a hard anti-tax increase position. So it was the moderate Republicans and Democrats who got the gas tax increase and the transit funding increase. 

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"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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10 minutes ago, KJP said:

During the last ODOT budget debate, I was part of a diverse coalition of organizations to make sure that if ODOT was going to get its gas tax increase only if we were going to get our transit funding increase. Our strength was that ODOT would not be able to get the support of Democratic lawmakers without a boost in transit funding. ODOT needed the Democratic lawmakers because far too many of the Republicans took a hard anti-tax increase position. So it was the moderate Republicans and Democrats who got the gas tax increase and the transit funding increase. 

Ken I have a question relating to possible capital improvements on the red line.

 

For more than 15 years I was a regular rider of the Shaker Rapid (4 out of 5 days a week) but for a variety of reasons (work location, needing a car more often during the day and parking attached to my building and paid by my employer) I pretty much stopped.  My entire life, very infrequent rider of the red line (maybe 20 times).

 

About two years ago I made a trip to Denver and took the red line from the airport to the University Circle/Cedar stop.  Probably first time in almost 15 years.  I was very disappointed in the ride and service for a number of reasons I won't get into (especially after having experienced the newer light rail line from the Denver airport the same day).  My most significant concern was the ride.  The car seemed to sway way more than I thought appropriate (even at slow speeds which unfortunately was way too often) and more than my experience with other systems.  Was this just my imagination?  I grant it could have been.  If not, is this a rolling stock issue or a track issue?

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A little bit of both, but I would put more of it on the track -- especially around the switches on the track and where drainage is an issue. Until two summers ago, about 40 percent of the rail system was under "slow orders" or restricted speed limits due to bad track. RTA has addressed a lot of the west-side problems but still some issues persist at switches (notably around the Central Rail Yards at East 55th and in/near Tower City station.

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"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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With the Blue Line extension, is there any development on this?  It seems to me that even though the area plan was approved, folks seem pretty happy with the existing configuration.  Besides with only three bus lines (5, 14, and 41) using the Van Aken-Warrensville station, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of demand for additional bus bay capacity.

Now I suppose if the line were the minimum segment of a future line running down Northfield, then the 0.3-mile extension would make a lot more sense.

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RTA is facing a $750 million state-of-good-repair backlog and is under great pressure to expand bus service to reach scattered suburban employers rather than concentrate more employers/housing/services around existing high-frequency transit especially rail. They don't have any money for expansion and there is no vision in the business community for TOD. Until something changes, the status quo is what we're stuck with. 

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On 12/27/2019 at 2:29 PM, KJP said:

RTA is facing a $750 million state-of-good-repair backlog and is under great pressure to expand bus service to reach scattered suburban employers rather than concentrate more employers/housing/services around existing high-frequency transit especially rail. They don't have any money for expansion and there is no vision in the business community for TOD. Until something changes, the status quo is what we're stuck with. 

 

It would seem rather than changing and entire transit system that our city and county leadership would be banding together to put incentives in place for employers to move back into the city.   

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10 hours ago, Cleburger said:

 

It would seem rather than changing and entire transit system that our city and county leadership would be banding together to put incentives in place for employers to move back into the city.   

 

City/county leadership often take their cues from the business community (IE Greater Cleveland Partnership). GCP would rather "run a few buses" to get labor resources to the thousands of unfilled jobs in the suburbs. To GCP, the rail system is siphoning off resources from being able to run the bus system. 

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"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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