Omaha Alternatives Analysis

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Busguy2010
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:20 pm

iamjacobm wrote:I had seen 45 to 30 mins mentioned before.


The 2 takes 40 minutes right now, so if that's what they were referencing that would make the BRT 24 minutes. That doesn't sound particularly realistic to me, unless there were to be BRT lanes all the way.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:49 pm

There will be 1.5 miles of "semi-exclusive guideway" which I assume means it will be like KC's line and you can only be in the BRT lane if you are making a right turn. Also between two queue jumps, signal priority and being able to pay before you board should cut time a little bit.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Garrett » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:13 pm

The Omaha Alternative Analysis Twitter page posted this article. It's a pretty good read.

http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2014 ... ng-cities/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby skinzfan23 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:29 pm

Thanks for posting. One of the points I found interesting:
Perhaps most impressive have been Calgary’s parking policies. For decades, the municipal government has managed parking supply downtown, in part by directly owning a huge proportion of the spaces. The city has also limited the number of spaces allowed to be built in the center. In 1981, the city had 25 million square feet of offices downtown and 33,000 parking spaces (1,320 parking spaces per million square feet), but today, it has more than 40 million square feet of offices (and more under construction) and 47,000 spaces (1,175 spaces per million square feet, an 11 percent reduction). The limitations on the number of parking spaces has resulted in an expensive parking market; the city has the second-highest parking rates in the Americas, after New York City.


People in Omaha would never go for this. I hear people that I work with downtown always saying they don't come back downtown once they go home or on the weekends because there is no place to park. People are so lazy. They won't even park and walk 5-6 blocks to their destination. A few people I work with in the Landmark building actually pay $7/day to park in the adjoining garage rather than parking in free parking (Omaha Park 4 lot at 11th and Jackson) and walking or taking the free shuttle the 5 blocks to work. Until this mentality changes, we unfortunately won't come anywhere close to what Calgary has to offer.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby bigredmed » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:00 pm

All these infrastructure changes exist in the shadow of the past. Anyone who lived downtown in the 90's remembers the list of cool sounding places in downtown and remembers that they all shut down at 2:30. I would be one of those that paid to park. I would remember the shuttle that made it's last run at 5 and the rain/snow that I had to put up with due to me not getting out of work till 5:15.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby skinzfan23 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:03 pm

I just think its so stupid because the company is paying for your parking in the other lot and its not exactly like you have to walk through a barren wasteland. You just walk 5 blocks through the Old Market in our case. I just couldn't justify spending $7 each day and you can't leave for lunch or you have to pay again or find street parking.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:29 pm

Some things like long drive times into the core(Omaha isn't a 20 min city anymore) and having a lot of city controlled parking downtown is very similar to Omaha. I bet park and rides around 144th and I-80 and Village Pointe would be popular. As the article states through if we continue to build massive garages funded by the city there will never be that demand for other options.

As far as Omaha's culture of parking at the front door, that will be harder to change. I think it has loosed a little, but there are still those people that will circle the Old Market until they get a spot. That just blows my mind, they could of parked two blocks away and walked there quicker than it took them to park. Maybe that practice would change if we had an urban streetcar to help moving around the core without walking.

Also this will never be popular, but lets extend meter hours. Lots of missed revenue and it may invite other parking practices. Either extended hours/higher prices in the "boundaries" of the Old Market and have the free parking further away. It would encourage and benefit those willing to walk a few blocks and those who want to park at the front door would probably be willing to pay a buck or two to do it.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby skinzfan23 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:39 pm

iamjacobm wrote:  Maybe that practice would change if we had an urban streetcar to help moving around the core without walking.


I would love to see that. We have taken the stadium circulator for the CWS, which is a bus, but at 25 cents/person you can park further away and be taken right to the front entrance. A very small price to pay for convenience. The other nice thing is after an event you go back to your car and it doesn't take 25 min to get out of a lot.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:44 pm

skinzfan23 wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:  Maybe that practice would change if we had an urban streetcar to help moving around the core without walking.


I would love to see that.  We have taken the stadium circulator for the CWS, which is a bus, but at 25 cents/person you can park further away and be taken right to the front entrance.  A very small price to pay for convenience.  The other nice thing is after an event you go back to your car and it doesn't take 25 min to get out of a lot.


I use those all the time for the CWS. Heck my normal practice is the park in the Old Market(free or pay for an hour or two if it is an early game) and take the bus down to the stadium. Usually they aren't too full when you head to the game b/c the crowd shows up at different times, but the busses after the game are PACKED. If North Downtown or Shamrock were up and going I could see a bus circulator doing well even w/o the CWS happening.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby skinzfan23 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:53 pm

That's what we do too. We usually park near the Old Market and then take the bus over. Once the game is done we usually just walk back over to the Old Market since there are quite a few other people doing that as well. That is the one time of the year you can see people actually walking all over downtown. I love it. Maybe its because there are events going on and a lot more people, but people don't seem afraid to walk then. Or it could be that those are the visitors to the city and they are willing to walk.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby guy4omaha » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:17 pm

iamjacobm wrote:. . .  I bet park and rides around 144th and I-80 and Village Pointe would be popular.


Maybe I didn't understand the context of your post but you do know there are Park and Rides at both Village Point and FNB at 144th and Dodge for Metro's Route 92? I have been using the Village Point PNR since its inception about 5 years ago. Most days it's a full bus with riders standing other than the first bus at 6am or the last busses west 5:15 and 5:45 pm which are less full.

Agree that adding one at I-80 and 144th would be great.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:09 pm

guy4omaha wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:. . .  I bet park and rides around 144th and I-80 and Village Pointe would be popular.


Maybe I didn't understand the context of your post but you do know there are Park and Rides at both Village Point and FNB at 144th and Dodge for Metro's Route 92? I have been using the Village Point PNR since its inception about 5 years ago. Most days it's a full bus with riders standing other than the first bus at 6am or the last busses west 5:15 and 5:45 pm which are less full.

Agree that adding one at I-80 and 144th would be great.


I was getting at a rail situation. I know the busses do quite well for the park and ride. I am just figuring that rail could do even better.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby daveoma » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:07 am

iamjacobm wrote:Some things like long drive times into the core(Omaha isn't a 20 min city anymore) and having a lot of city controlled parking downtown is very similar to Omaha.  I bet park and rides around 144th and I-80 and Village Pointe would be popular.  As the article states through if we continue to build massive garages funded by the city there will never be that demand for other options.

As far as Omaha's culture of parking at the front door, that will be harder to change.  I think it has loosed a little, but there are still those people that will circle the Old Market until they get a spot.  That just blows my mind, they could of parked two blocks away and walked there quicker than it took them to park.  Maybe that practice would change if we had an urban streetcar to help moving around the core without walking.

Also this will never be popular, but lets extend meter hours.  Lots of missed revenue and it may invite other parking practices.  Either extended hours/higher prices in the "boundaries" of the Old Market and have the free parking further away.  It would encourage and benefit those willing to walk a few blocks and those who want to park at the front door would probably be willing to pay a buck or two to do it.


I totally agree regarding the increased parking meters in the evenings and the weekends. People WILL pay to park there. If not, then they'll park a ways away and walk. Those people who complain about parking in DTO won't go there anyway. Let's make the area friendlier to pedestrians and add revenue to the city coffers.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:53 pm

Image

Looks like the line will stay on Dodge instead of jumping over to Harney or Farnam.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Seth » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:24 pm

If they can build this BRT with dedicated lanes, it could really make a difference. Stopped in traffic at 84th and watching the bus sail by at 40mph would sure motivate me to park at Westroads and take the bus the next day.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby DanielBeattyDA » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:47 pm

Seth wrote:If they can build this BRT with dedicated lanes, it could really make a difference.  Stopped in traffic at 84th and watching the bus sail by at 40mph would sure motivate me to park at Westroads and take the bus the next day.


No thanks. I don't see why we would need to force bad traffic issues to persuade people to use mass transit.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Midwestern » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:54 pm

If someone lives in a suburban area far out from the core of the city and didn't want to have the possibility of having to have some of their taxes go toward public transportation improvements to the core, then they certainly could/should have moved to Sarpy County. They moved within the city limits of a city with a big central business district that is the core of a larger metropolitan area. Don't wanna pay for improvements to that city's core (which is what drives the economy of the entire metro area)? Then they shouldn't live within Omaha. That's just how it goes when you live in a big city. And it's not like plenty of tax money hasn't been spent on road improvements and additions out in the suburbs. The Dodge Expressway certainly comes to mind as a very expensive example.

As for a rapid bus line, I would rather see it be put on Harney or possibly Farnam, because those would be much more conducive to pedestrian activity. And it could spur further development. Unfortunately Dodge is going to remain a pseudo-freeway for decades to come at the very least.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Dundeemaha » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:06 pm

DanielBeattyDA wrote:No thanks.   I don't see why we would need to force bad traffic issues to persuade people to use mass transit.

The point isn't to force bad traffic issues, those force themselves on us. The point is to provide alternatives via effective transit. We don't have unlimited space or money so car traffic will have less lanes if we want to provide effective BRT service.

There are trade offs for every decision we make, the trade off for the big cheap lot on 190th street is the commute.


We're spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to build and expand streets further out to Western Douglas County/Omaha. If this really happens with BRT dedicated lanes it will be one of the very few times that Omaha has chosen not to degrade property values in the urban core at the expense of commute times for West Omaha.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:09 pm

Don't expect dedicated lanes west of 72nd. If the line does end up on Dodge the whole I think the only dedicated lane might be east of 480.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby S33 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:15 pm

Dundeemaha wrote:
DanielBeattyDA wrote:No thanks.   I don't see why we would need to force bad traffic issues to persuade people to use mass transit.

The point isn't to force bad traffic issues, those force themselves on us. The point is to provide alternatives via effective transit. We don't have unlimited space or money so car traffic will have less lanes if we want to provide effective BRT service.

There are trade offs for every decision we make, the trade off for the big cheap lot on 190th street is the commute.


We're spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to build and expand streets further out to Western Douglas County/Omaha. If this really happens with BRT dedicated lanes it will be one of the very few times that Omaha has chosen not to degrade property values in the urban core at the expense of commute times for West Omaha.

I think the point is that by decreasing lanes for autos, you're creating a new problem while trying to solve one. We are stuck with what we've built now, and a BRT line to west Omaha is not going to relieve traffic conditions on any level which justifies decreasing traffic lanes on our arterial roadways.

There's gotta be an alternative way.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby 2Adam29 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:27 am

I don't know that that route is finalized, it looks like it would have the buses run into oncoming traffic on dodge to get downtown from 30th.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby cdub » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:51 am

BRT belongs on dodge. Its the main street and goes farther west than Harney or Farnam. Those will be great for an urban circulator (streetcar) if we get there. The BRT that will get built here wont do much for development, but the circulator would. Also, the only place there is much chance of dedicated lanes is downtown. Unfortunately, there isnt the space most of the way along Dodge.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby S33 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:59 am

How much of an eyesore would it be to elevate it?
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Coyote » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:52 am

S33 wrote:How much of an eyesore would it be to elevate it?

Eyesore or cost? Just add $1 Billion .
There was an article I think that was posted here about a city in Australia that elevated a new transport system...
Image

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Louie » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:57 am

2Adam29 wrote:I don't know that that route is finalized, it looks like it would have the buses run into oncoming traffic on dodge to get downtown from 30th.

That seems a bit dangerous.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:13 am

Louie wrote:
2Adam29 wrote:I don't know that that route is finalized, it looks like it would have the buses run into oncoming traffic on dodge to get downtown from 30th.

That seems a bit dangerous.


Contra flow bus lane is an easy fix.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Seth » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:50 pm

Dundeemaha wrote:
DanielBeattyDA wrote:No thanks.   I don't see why we would need to force bad traffic issues to persuade people to use mass transit.

The point isn't to force bad traffic issues, those force themselves on us. The point is to provide alternatives via effective transit. We don't have unlimited space or money so car traffic will have less lanes if we want to provide effective BRT service.

There are trade offs for every decision we make, the trade off for the big cheap lot on 190th street is the commute.


We're spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to build and expand streets further out to Western Douglas County/Omaha. If this really happens with BRT dedicated lanes it will be one of the very few times that Omaha has chosen not to degrade property values in the urban core at the expense of commute times for West Omaha.


Exactly. You can move far more people in a dedicated bus lane than you can in single-occupancy cars.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby DanielBeattyDA » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:50 pm

That may be true, but it doesn't mean the solution is to forcibly cause worse traffic in order to get people to maybe try mass transit.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby daveoma » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:14 pm

Midwestern wrote:If someone lives in a suburban area far out from the core of the city and didn't want to have the possibility of having to have some of their taxes go toward public transportation improvements to the core, then they certainly could/should have moved to Sarpy County. They moved within the city limits of a city with a big central business district that is the core of a larger metropolitan area. Don't wanna pay for improvements to that city's core (which is what drives the economy of the entire metro area)? Then they shouldn't live within Omaha. That's just how it goes when you live in a big city. And it's not like plenty of tax money hasn't been spent on road improvements and additions out in the suburbs. The Dodge Expressway certainly comes to mind as a very expensive example.

As for a rapid bus line, I would rather see it be put on Harney or possibly Farnam, because those would be much more conducive to pedestrian activity. And it could spur further development. Unfortunately Dodge is going to remain a pseudo-freeway for decades to come at the very least.


I agree with everything you said!

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby bigredmed » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:20 pm

daveoma wrote:
Midwestern wrote:If someone lives in a suburban area far out from the core of the city and didn't want to have the possibility of having to have some of their taxes go toward public transportation improvements to the core, then they certainly could/should have moved to Sarpy County. They moved within the city limits of a city with a big central business district that is the core of a larger metropolitan area. Don't wanna pay for improvements to that city's core (which is what drives the economy of the entire metro area)? Then they shouldn't live within Omaha. That's just how it goes when you live in a big city. And it's not like plenty of tax money hasn't been spent on road improvements and additions out in the suburbs. The Dodge Expressway certainly comes to mind as a very expensive example.

As for a rapid bus line, I would rather see it be put on Harney or possibly Farnam, because those would be much more conducive to pedestrian activity. And it could spur further development. Unfortunately Dodge is going to remain a pseudo-freeway for decades to come at the very least.


I agree with everything you said!

Short sighted.

This is the thinking that has damaged urban centers like St Louis and to an extent KC (though not as bad).

You act like this, and families move to LaVista and Gretna. Great for them, not so much for Omaha.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Louie » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:42 pm

bigredmed wrote:
daveoma wrote:
Midwestern wrote:If someone lives in a suburban area far out from the core of the city and didn't want to have the possibility of having to have some of their taxes go toward public transportation improvements to the core, then they certainly could/should have moved to Sarpy County. They moved within the city limits of a city with a big central business district that is the core of a larger metropolitan area. Don't wanna pay for improvements to that city's core (which is what drives the economy of the entire metro area)? Then they shouldn't live within Omaha. That's just how it goes when you live in a big city. And it's not like plenty of tax money hasn't been spent on road improvements and additions out in the suburbs. The Dodge Expressway certainly comes to mind as a very expensive example.

As for a rapid bus line, I would rather see it be put on Harney or possibly Farnam, because those would be much more conducive to pedestrian activity. And it could spur further development. Unfortunately Dodge is going to remain a pseudo-freeway for decades to come at the very least.


Short sighted.

This is the thinking that has damaged urban centers like St Louis and to an extent KC (though not as bad).

You act like this, and families move to LaVista and Gretna.  Great for them, not so much for Omaha.

Maybe people are also moving to the burbs because of the lack of necessary infrastructure in the core?

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:44 pm

bigredmed wrote:
daveoma wrote:
Midwestern wrote:If someone lives in a suburban area far out from the core of the city and didn't want to have the possibility of having to have some of their taxes go toward public transportation improvements to the core, then they certainly could/should have moved to Sarpy County. They moved within the city limits of a city with a big central business district that is the core of a larger metropolitan area. Don't wanna pay for improvements to that city's core (which is what drives the economy of the entire metro area)? Then they shouldn't live within Omaha. That's just how it goes when you live in a big city. And it's not like plenty of tax money hasn't been spent on road improvements and additions out in the suburbs. The Dodge Expressway certainly comes to mind as a very expensive example.

As for a rapid bus line, I would rather see it be put on Harney or possibly Farnam, because those would be much more conducive to pedestrian activity. And it could spur further development. Unfortunately Dodge is going to remain a pseudo-freeway for decades to come at the very least.


I agree with everything you said!

Short sighted.

This is the thinking that has damaged urban centers like St Louis and to an extent KC (though not as bad).

You act like this, and families move to LaVista and Gretna.  Great for them, not so much for Omaha.


Meh, not necessarily short sighted. That kind of implies that the people who live in Omaha are doing so as a favor to the city more than they want to actually live there. If people in Elkhorn move to Papillion because they oppose the city spending money on transit projects in the core, it effectively reduces the amount of people within city limits who would vote down or have any weight against solid mass transit proposals. You build effective, appealing mass transit, TODs, etc, the city becomes more more appealing to people and companies and the don't-tax-me Elkhornians who leave should be counterbalanced.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby bigredmed » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:51 am

If you look at cities that have pursued that path, you see where you are incorrect.

StL has now been ringed by other suburbs that are full of people keeping their tax money out of the core. They are nice and have become effective industrial and commercial bases independent of StL. Look at KCMO's now infamous school district. Lots of failure (even worse than OPS), people voted by moving to KCKS,eventually, KCMO couldn't support functional schools and a federal judge forced the MO suburbs to pay taxes to KC schools even though they were out of the district. The effect? More people moved to KCKS. Overland Park and Shawnee Mission were dumpy backwaters, and they became hot areas. The outcome? Where are the industrial and large commercial investments in the KC area? KS or MO? Eventually, people who have options use them. People with options are called customers. People who want to make money put their businesses where the customers are. These communities change from little burbs to cities in their own right filled with people who feel no connection to the decaying urban core, and therefore simply cherry pick the carcass of the city.

Bloated urban construction projects that don't benefit the whole city or have unintended consequences, bite into the working capital of the city and add costs to future budgets. Costs that make the next need harder to meet, and push more people out.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby cdub » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:33 am

And if you avoid those urban improvements that the suburbanites dont want, youve accomplished the same thing. The core fails. Hmm, what a conundrum.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby RNcyanide » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:45 am

If the wheel tax and the restaurant tax didn't chase people out of town, I don't think fundraising for this should be a problem, other than the occasional eye-roll.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby bigredmed » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:28 am

The issue is this city's habit of looking at one part of the town and going buck wild on a Cadillac solution to their part of the problem, then having no resources to help the problem elsewhere. Set up a transit plan from Gretna and Ft Calhoun to the Old Market, and you get buy in. Focus all your chips on midtown and you leave the majority of the city unserved and the people there feel like tax slaves.

Moving out is relative. People have to be forced to move, but new people coming in, get sent out. ReLo people do this now with OPS. They stand on the eastern edge of Millard and advise their clients to look west. If they are doing it now for schools, how hard would it be for them to stand on Harrison and say "look south"?

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:14 pm

I would argue that people stay out of the STL urban core because they are afraid of it, not because MetroLink screwed them over. People will definitely move due to poor schools and school district policies. It has a larger effect on their lives personally. But taxes for things that they may never utilize? Not as often. Houston and Charlotte recently built light rail systems that are, right now, pretty small relative to the size of these very sprawly, suburban cities, and yet they continue to grow and prosper.

It would be incredibly poor urban planning to completely neglect parts of the city from transit. This BRT line, while they may not mention it right now, is likely a starter line for a more comprehensive transit service. Transit systems like this are always built in phases. It's not going to go to Gretna immediately.

ReLo people show you homes based on what you say you're looking for in a community. If someone says "I hate cities with currently uncomprehensive transit systems and paying taxes towards them", then yeah, I can imagine they'd take them to Sarpy. And they should, as I've argued. ...But who says that?
"Video game violence is not a new problem. Who could forget in the wake of SimCity how children everywhere took up urban planning." - Stephen Colbert

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby bigredmed » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:29 pm

Then market the BRT as step one of a bigger grid and show where the phase 2 and 3 plans are and where your financing for them stands and roll it out as exactly what you said, a comprehensive transit system and not what has been described. Basically a really cool transit system between downtown and UNO with a vague promise of westward connections sometime in the future, maybe.

Seriously, the people involved in this need to go to Millard and say our plan will connect point X in central Millard with the grid in Y manner and in Z time frame. This way people see their area benefiting. Right now, metro has such a back log of negativity towards it, that short of something like that, the rest of the city is justified in thinking as I did, that this is another TIF rip off of the taxpayers to grease a group of developers who will make Colombian drug lord money off the land on either side of the BRT line.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Coyote » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:39 am

Big changes in Omaha bus routes rev up: Later hours, expanded weekend service

Jordan Pascale: World-Herald staff writer wrote:Some routes have been added, changed or deleted, but the biggest difference will be more frequent buses, later night hours and more service on the weekends, said Curt Simon, Metro director.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby daveoma » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:46 am

Shouldn't the mass transit connect the most densely populated and most heavily traveled (tourist) areas of the city? Stop me if I'm wrong but most people I know who live on the fringes of the city do so at least partly because they prefer to work and play away from the city core. Therefore it seems to me that mass transit to Gretna and Elkhorn would not be utilized nearly as much as those who live near the city core (5 mile radius of downtown).


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