Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (and Streetcars!).

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby lmdramos » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:46 pm

I'm sure if it were to be successful it would expand west. No need to expand all the way out west to start.

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Garrett
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Garrett » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:37 pm

bigredmed wrote:So what are people who have committed the dasdardly deed of living west of the westroads going to get out of this?  Tax bills?  The soothing sensation that services in west Omaha are getting cut left and right, but we are going to drop $180M on east Omaha's new fancy busses and streetcars.  

What are the people in north or south Omaha going to do for transport?  What are the businesses on Vinton going to get from this?


What services are getting cut in West Omaha? heck, what services have EVER been cut in West Omaha? And no one forced people to live in West Omaha, and no one is forcing people to still live there today. When people bought their homes there, they made the conscious choice to live in a suburban environment. And part of that environment tends to be the rejection of mass transit in favor of the car. If you want to use this system so badly, ok, then move to where it is feasible for these systems to exist.

And your second point is moot. This is hopefully just the beginning of a wider system of better transit, but right now, this is the best way to start because it hits pretty much all of the economic cores of the city. It even mentions in the article how they intend to expand off of this system.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:09 pm

Westroads is pretty far out and 180 Million is not bad at all.

But I've always had concerns about a BRT and Streetcar being on the same street. Such as what happens if a BRT bus gets stuck behind a streetcar. I'm sure its something they've thought about.

This is a great place to start.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Stargazer » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:12 am

Uh yeah bigredmed... what did we spend on the West Dodge expressway bridge alone?? well in excess of $100 million.. for little more than a mile stretch.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby bigredmed » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:52 am

Stargazer wrote:Uh yeah bigredmed... what did we spend on the West Dodge expressway bridge alone??  well in excess of $100 million.. for little more than a mile stretch.


Lots of people in the area opposed the thing for a variety of reasons. It was not built to enhance the area it bypassed. It was built to connect far west and Fremont to the core via high speed road.

The point is that this plan again fails to consider any place west of 90th in the plan at any stage. In the future, what ever service gets added won't be an organic and interlocking part of a whole, but rather some tacked on thing that will "work" (if all parts connect in some fortunate way), and potential users will not use it after they or their friends get stuck at some part instead of going where they need.

As for services being cut, consider that there was several swimming pools that were closed in old Millard and in the 120th and Center area. That the pool in Deerridge was converted into a glorified baby pool, so it's use has slid in kids over 6, and adults. Consider the libraries. Remember that when the pools were closed, the previous mayor simply told the working class people living there, that they were rich and could just take their kids to the country club instead.

A bus plan that does not have organic plans to expand should be opposed because we know from past and current experience that tacked on afterthoughts fail more than succeed.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby HR Paperstacks » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:50 am

So Westroads isn't west of 90th?

And how about the water park at Zorinski?

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Dundeemaha » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:02 am

This does not go past 680 for the same reason they recommended BRT instead of light rail . You fit your transit investment to the density and structure around it.

Since the last major investment in east and central Omaha's transit how many hundreds of millions have been spent on expanding sewer systems, roads, turning 2 lane roads into 4 lane. None of that benefited east, central, north, or south Omaha. But we are a part of a community and this is a logical starting point for an effective transit system. Something Omaha has not had for at least 60 years.

It does not connect every neighborhood in Omaha but that is not a reason to do nothing.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Garrett » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:49 am

bigredmed wrote:
Stargazer wrote:Uh yeah bigredmed... what did we spend on the West Dodge expressway bridge alone??  well in excess of $100 million.. for little more than a mile stretch.


Lots of people in the area opposed the thing for a variety of reasons.  It was not built to enhance the area it bypassed.  It was built to connect far west and Fremont to the core via high speed road.  

The point is that this plan again fails to consider any place west of 90th in the plan at any stage.  In the future, what ever service gets added won't be an organic and interlocking part of a whole, but rather some tacked on thing that will "work" (if all parts connect in some fortunate way), and potential users will not use it after they or their friends get stuck at some part instead of going where they need.

As for services being cut, consider that there was several swimming pools that were closed in old Millard and in the 120th and Center area.  That the pool in Deerridge was converted into a glorified baby pool, so it's use has slid in kids over 6, and adults.  Consider the libraries.  Remember that when the pools were closed, the previous mayor simply told the working class people living there, that they were rich and could just take their kids to the country club instead.

A bus plan that does not have organic plans to expand should be opposed because we know from past and current experience that tacked on afterthoughts fail more than succeed.


I understand some of your concerns,but they're still not incredibly valid in this discussion. As for the services cut, I would hardly call a few pools being closed services being cut left and right. And even then, those services were being cut across the city, in the height of the recession, 4 years ago, by a completely different mayor. And by the train of logic you have used here before, why should the city be funding those pools? If there were demand, wouldn't the private market build pools?

And what's with the pessimism regarding the future expansion? Things like this aren't just done randomly to screw people over. They are planned and every expansion in the future will be planned too, but we need a backbone first. This is a great start that connects Omaha's largest business and educational centers. I would say the Bike Share program is a great example of a project which started small and has expanded well over the past several years.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby S33 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:44 pm

Why the |expletive| is this even still an argument? It's a simple mathematical equation. The less homes and businesses (or tax-paying entities) within a square mile of area, the higher per-capita costs to provide livable neighborhoods complete with all city services (including transportation) for those residents, and the need expand the burden of expense on to residents in other areas of the city. At this time, other than perhaps in property values, suburban residents rely on the more dense areas of the city to help fund their city services, so I'm not entirely sure why anyone would be up in arms about an investment like this in urban areas.

But I will say that any transportation plans designed only to carry individual commuters, should have a reasonable estimation of ROI in a city like Omaha, and pay for itself. Because busses and light rail do not support commercial traffic and interstate commerce, it's my opinion that they should be held to a different standard in that respect.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby S33 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:46 pm

Garrett wrote: I would say the Bike Share program is a great example of a project which started small and has expanded well over the past several years.
The bike share program is lame, it's a novelty, and does nothing really but fill a teeny tiny niche, and I guess it's kind of "cute" in a "let's feel like we live in a big city" kind of way.

But I commend you on the rest of your points, and would agree.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Garrett » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:16 pm

S33 wrote:
Garrett wrote: I would say the Bike Share program is a great example of a project which started small and has expanded well over the past several years.
The bike share program is lame, it's a novelty, and does nothing really but fill a teeny tiny niche, and I guess it's kind of "cute" in a "let's feel like we live in a big city" kind of way.

But I commend you on the rest of your points, and would agree.


That's kinda the point I wanted to make. If the bikeshare, something so small and nichy, can succeed, a mass transit system accessible to thousands of people could thrive and expand in this city.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:05 pm

For once we are on a streetsblog post for something good.

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/04/24/omaha-gets-serious-about-transit/

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:19 pm

Massive amount of information on this page. A bunch of pdf's to look at.

http://www.ometro.com/tiger

This the the pdf with the most info.
http://s3.amazonaws.com/omaha-metro/resources/758/2014_TIGER_web.pdf

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:16 pm

For instance this is the proposed street layout for the Farnam leg of the route,
Image

Kind of hard to see, but it basically would create one less lane heading west while the lane headed east would be a mass transit only lane. Says this will save a lane on Harney for the proposed cycle track.

This pdf gives a good glimpse of what Farnam could look like http://s3.amazonaws.com/omaha-metro/resources/747/Examples_of_Technical_Feasibility.pdf

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby 2Adam29 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:52 am

iamjacobm wrote:Massive amount of information on this page.  A bunch of pdf's to look at.

http://www.ometro.com/tiger

This the the pdf with the most info.
http://s3.amazonaws.com/omaha-metro/resources/758/2014_TIGER_web.pdf


wow! That's some kind of rendering of Midtown Crossing on that cover page of the second link. Woulda been cool had they ended up looking that way.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:21 pm

When they can show they've put so much thought into it as to put together a map that detailed, you know its real. Along with the TIGER application, its not a pipe dream anymore. The only thing that could kill it at this point is those who can't see the benefit and would potentially vote it down. Would this be the kind of thing that would go to vote?

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:05 pm

Busguy2010 wrote:When they can show they've put so much thought into it as to put together a map that detailed, you know its real.  Along with the TIGER application, its not a pipe dream anymore.  The only thing that could kill it at this point is those who can't see the benefit and would potentially vote it down.  Would this be the kind of thing that would go to vote?


From what I read if we get the TIGER funds the BRT will be fully funded. Streetcar is going to have to find more money.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby ShawJ » Thu May 01, 2014 7:15 pm

iamjacobm wrote:For instance this is the proposed street layout for the Farnam leg of the route,
Image


Looks great. Obviously I hope the streetcar portion comes to fruition, but simply getting the BRT underway will be a huge asset to the city.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Thu May 01, 2014 7:19 pm

ShawJ wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:For instance this is the proposed street layout for the Farnam leg of the route,
Image


Looks great. Obviously I hope the streetcar portion comes to fruition, but simply getting the BRT underway will be a huge asset to the city.


Also apparently the BRT stops along the portion of the possible streetcar would be built in a way to be 100% compatible with the streetcar if that ends up coming later down the line.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Fri May 02, 2014 12:19 am

Wow, I can't believe I just now realized this... With the contra-flow alignment, it completely eliminates the risk or unknowingly turning in front of a transit vehicle. Since transit would exclusively be moving in the opposite direction of automobile traffic, there's no chance a motorist would have to look into their rear view mirror before crossing the transit lane. Automobile/transit accidents happen all the time in Houston because their light rail is oriented in the middle of a bi-directional street.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Wed May 21, 2014 11:05 am

In the latest 10 mins with the mayor she sounded very positive and pretty enthusiastic about both the BRT and "urban circulator" as she wants it to be called. Said a $1.5 million study is moving forward to study the streetcar further.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:46 am

http://omahaalternativesanalysis.org/resources/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Final summary.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Dundeemaha » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:53 am

When you look at the chart from those documents about where Omaha sits compared to other cities in per capita spending. It's no surprise to find us near the very bottom of this list as well: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/how- ... stacks-up/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; with only Oklahoma City and Tulsa of comparable size with worse transit figures.

I'm somewhat hopeful that the bus route makeover and frequency improvements combined with BRT indicates an interest in increasing transit in Omaha. But I'm not going to hold my breath while we spent just over $113 million in 2013 on road "Operations & Maintenance" but people squawk about how a $30.5 milling project (including $18.6 million of federal money) with $1.3 million in annual operations cost is too expensive because it only benefits some Omahans.

P.S. That came out like more of a rant than I intended but I'm too tired to edit it.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby drsunu1994 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:46 am

What are the dates for this project???

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:27 pm

drsunu1994 wrote:What are the dates for this project???


Years more before anything happens. At best BRT construction would start late 2016 and the streetcar would be even later than that(if it ever happens which might be the case).

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:50 pm

City Council approved funds for phase 2 of the study.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Coyote » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:52 pm

iamjacobm wrote:City Council approved funds for phase 2 of the study.

I saw the second half of the news report for this, but didn't hear or remember what phase 2 included.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:09 pm

Coyote wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:City Council approved funds for phase 2 of the study.

I saw the second half of the news report for this, but didn't hear or remember what phase 2 included.


I think it is preliminary engineering and finding options for funding sources.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby cdub » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:45 am

talking heads got it wrong. Public hearing went off without a hitch but nothing was approved.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Dundeemaha » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:46 am

Feds poised to award $15 million grant to Metro for rapid transit line proposal

Metro transit, after a two-year study with the City of Omaha, had applied for an $18.6 million grant from the Transportation Department to help pay for the $31 million project.
The department sent advance notice of a $14.96 million grant award to Congress on Tuesday.


City Councilman Chris Jerram said Wednesday that he was hopeful that Omaha would be on the list when TIGER grants are officially announced in the next few days.


15 vs 18 million, how does that impact this going forward?

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:48 am

I have to imagine there are ways to bridge the gap. If we don't I assume that the red would want their money back.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:22 pm

The US Transportation Secretary is coming to Omaha to announce major transit funding. Assuming it will be the $15 million in TIGER funds released today.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Dundeemaha » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:54 am

Article on official announcement:

U.S. Transportation Department officially awards $15M grant to Metro for 'visionary' rapid transit project

The $15 million federal grant would pay a little less than half of the $31 million cost.
Metro transit has set aside about another $6 million in federal grants that it could apply to the project, Simon said. That leaves about $9 million for Metro to procure, including about a $6 million required local match.
To help meet the required local funding, Metro could use some of its cash reserves, raise private donations, borrow money and use bus fare revenue, Simon said.
It could use some of its annual federal funding to further close the gap.


The next step is to work with the City of Omaha on preliminary design and engineering, including environmental and traffic studies, to be followed by a final design phase.
Details on routes, buses and traffic lanes would be worked out in that process. Some bus rapid transit lines are physically separated from other traffic lanes, while others are set apart with paint.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby MTO » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:32 am

There's no way they could subtract a lane from dodge for this. I could see omaha just painting them but all this hoopla is basically for a little longer busses and bigger stops. BFD
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby GetUrban » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:38 pm

I'm not saying it's a good idea, but providing East/west "BRT only" lanes on Dodge that resulted in a greatly reduced commute time for riders, could greatly increase ridership. Otherwise, why ride the BRT when it takes the same amount of time to drive and park your car (if you have one)?

We should have built a subway long ago!

On a related note, north & south bound 72nd Street between Center and Maple seems to have become a real bottleneck, partly because the lights at the Dodge intersection are timed to let a boat-load of east-west traffic keep flowing.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Brad » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:43 pm

GetUrban wrote:We should have built a subway long ago!


Yes, and we still should...
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby skinzfan23 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:04 pm

GetUrban wrote:On a related note, north & south bound 72nd Street between Center and Maple seems to have become a real bottleneck, partly because the lights at the Dodge intersection are timed to let a boat-load of east-west traffic keep flowing.

I agree. 72nd is horrible to drive even when there isn't much traffic. The lights are not synchronized at all like they are on Dodge and some other streets. You can pretty much count on only being able to make 2-3 in a row when there is any traffic. Numerous times the light at Rose Blumkin Dr changes even when there aren't any cars waiting there.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Dundeemaha » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:10 pm

MTO wrote:There's no way they could subtract a lane from dodge for this. I could see omaha just painting them but all this hoopla is basically for a little longer busses and bigger stops. BFD


From the plans that are available on the oMetro writeup my impression was that the dedicated lanes would only be from UNMC to downtown and the Dodge / West Dodge section would only have signal priority.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:30 pm

If the BRT uses Harney and Farnam, it will be in mixed traffic all the way. Right now there's potential to have an east-bound bus only lane on Farnam from Turner Boulevard to 10th Street. So far that is the only stretch that will have a dedicated lane, if they choose to do it that way. It would be ideal.

An article from Metro said that the BRT would cut 16 minutes of in vehicle travel time but it didn't say what that was compared to.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:31 pm

I had seen 45 to 30 mins mentioned before.


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