Omaha Alternatives Analysis

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Busguy2010
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:26 am

A convenient commute is less than 30 minutes and no bus is going to get you from Gretna or Elkhorn to Downtown in 30 minutes. BRT will serve Dodge street just fine since it is the most traveled route. Other BRT lines will serve the most traveled routes such as Center out to Aksarben, 30th up to MCC, NW radial to Benson, and 24th to South Omaha. If you understand the bus system you will see that this is the ultimate scope of BRT. Any further out and you will have to consider other modes of transportation,

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:40 am

daveoma wrote: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).


Transit that serves the outlying area could still be beneficial to the reverse commuter. Someone who lives in eastern Omaha but works somewhere out west.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Stargazer » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:11 pm

Nice video... forgive me if it's already been posted here, I hadn't seen it until now.

For the 'mass transit obsessed' ;)

[BBvideo 560,340]https://vimeo.com/99346185[/BBvideo]

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby JDJase » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:35 pm

Here's an interesting article on how Houston redid it's bus routes to make it much more useful to more people without spending more money.

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/18/8056039/ho ... eimagining" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby skinzfan23 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:25 pm

Stargazer wrote:Nice video... forgive me if it's already been posted here, I hadn't seen it until now.

For the 'mass transit obsessed' ;)

[BBvideo 560,340]https://vimeo.com/99346185[/BBvideo]

That is a very cool video.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby bigredmed » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:47 pm

JDJase wrote:Here's an interesting article on how Houston redid it's bus routes to make it much more useful to more people without spending more money.

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/18/8056039/ho ... eimagining" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Interesting graphic. I wonder how they make it.

The need for buses to go places can be met to an extent with combinations of express buses and circulators that reliably connect at a handful (read <5) connection points with the express buses penetrating the city.
Take Dodge. Starting at Village Pointe, and going from there to 132nd non-stop, and from there to the Westroads non-stop, then to the Cross-roads, then to MTC, then to Downtown. Turn around and repeat. From these points, circulators going north and/or south depending on market demand could easily link the city into a functional grid allowing a person to get on 1 circulator, go to an express stop, get on the express and go east or west as needed.

Our system and the new changes coming in May leave huge chunks of the city (like realistically, all of Millard, Ralston, the Boystown area, and Westside with little or no service and that available is of limited utility. These are the areas that seem to vote republican (just saying). Maybe the absence of service is part of why the voters in these areas tend to be less excited about big government?

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Midwestern » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:34 pm

bigredmed wrote:
JDJase wrote:Here's an interesting article on how Houston redid it's bus routes to make it much more useful to more people without spending more money.

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/18/8056039/ho ... eimagining" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Interesting graphic.  I wonder how they make it.

The need for buses to go places can be met to an extent with combinations of express buses and circulators that reliably connect at a handful (read <5) connection points with the express buses penetrating the city.  
Take Dodge.  Starting at Village Pointe, and going from there to 132nd non-stop, and from there to the Westroads non-stop, then to the Cross-roads, then to MTC, then to Downtown.  Turn around and repeat.  From these points, circulators going north and/or south depending on market demand could easily link the city into a functional grid allowing a person to get on 1 circulator, go to an express stop, get on the express and go east or west as needed.

Our system and the new changes coming in May leave huge chunks of the city (like realistically, all of Millard, Ralston, the Boystown area, and Westside with little or no service and that available is of limited utility.  These are the areas that seem to vote republican (just saying).  Maybe the absence of service is part of why the voters in these areas tend to be less excited about big government?


The real way to convince people in far west Omaha to actually use a bus would be a BRT with a dedicated lane on Dodge that would be able to get them in and out of the core quickly as opposed to having to wait in rush-hour traffic. Without the advantage of quicker travel time vs. using a car, I honestly don't see most west Omahans using the bus. There's no way there wouldn't be a huge outcry at a proposal for a dedicated BRT lane on Dodge... so it's a bit of a dilemma.

I think the express buses + circulators idea is at least worth a shot. It can't cost that terribly much in the grand scheme of things to get that situated and give that a go.

I could also see express buses going toward Streetcar stations being a successful way of doing things.

All I know is that something significant needs to be tried. No more waiting. No more studies.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby guitarguy » Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:47 am

To be fair most of those areas with no services are where most well to do people live and given the choice of going to work in their personal luxury car vs an uncomfortable bus with other people is a no brainier for people with money.

Fact is Omaha was designed really well for efficient travel by car and it's only now we see Omaha getting large enough to start thinking of mass transit options. So to everyone who knows how to avoid the congested areas by cutting through neighborhoods what is the incentive to change their lives and use BRT? Not much really.. all of the best mass transit systems in the world were built when the need/demand was critical and they really did need to build something that could handle the demand needed. It will be many years before Omaha reaches that status though.

If Omaha ever does build true mass transit I'm skeptical if it would get anymore use than it does now unless it's a route from DT to Westroads. Omaha is a smaller big city.. where quality of life is king and population numbers and doing comparable things to bigger cities doesn't matter to most people living here. This is what Omaha is and always will be.. So along with Omaha's growth will come solutions but definitely the most affordable solution and never anything lavish like light rail etc.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:21 pm

And we have to believe that the streetcars of Omaha's past have shaped what we have now. Omaha's core is what it is because of those lines, and Omaha's is what it is because of the abandonment of those lines. I think we would be wise to go back to that and build some kind of permanent transportation that builds upon what once was. We are investing in our established areas. I think in 10 years there will be less outcry about serving the suburbs because there's a shift happening and people are moving back to the older parts of the city.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:30 pm

guitarguy wrote:If Omaha ever does build true mass transit I'm skeptical if it would get anymore use than it does now unless it's a route from DT to Westroads. Omaha is a smaller big city.. where quality of life is king and population numbers and doing comparable things to bigger cities doesn't matter to most people living here. This is what Omaha is and always will be.. So along with Omaha's growth will come solutions but definitely the most affordable solution and never anything lavish like light rail etc.


I would completely disagree with this. I've always gotten the sense that Omaha has an inferiority complex where it wants to become a larger city and to be thought of as one. Maybe not a Chicago, but at least a Kansas City.

The key is to make transit something people want to ride. For example, in the Chicago area the suburban bus system (we have both a city bus system (CTA) and a suburban bus system (Pace)) has been rolling out a "bus-on-shoulder" program. It's an express bus that takes people from a couple park and ride locations in the outer southwest suburbs into downtown Chicago and is allowed to travel on the inside shoulder of I-55 when traffic is heavy. The buses used are long distance coach style with leather seats, reading lights, foot rests, WiFi, etc. So it's quicker than driving, is very pleasant to ride on, and allows you to use your commute to mess around on mobile devices. Since implementing the program, the two express routes that run along I-55 have seen ridership increases of 71% and 294% over a two year period.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby guitarguy » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:29 pm

Really the biggest cities can easily pull of these transit issues because its part of the fabric of the city already and unlike Omaha you're not trying to change the mindset and day to day lives of anyone. It's especially hard to convince the Citizens of Omaha that its a good decision to use their tax dollars to build something most would agree isn't on the top of the list of priorities. Most people of Omaha have never experienced ( and its a few years off still ) the kind of traffic thats spawns mass transit infrastructure.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby bigredmed » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:29 pm

guitarguy wrote:Really the biggest cities can easily pull of these transit issues because its part of the fabric of the city already and unlike Omaha you're not trying to change the mindset and day to day lives of anyone. It's especially hard to convince the Citizens of Omaha that its a good decision to use their tax dollars to build something most would agree isn't on the top of the list of priorities. Most people of Omaha have never experienced ( and its a few years off still ) the kind of traffic thats spawns mass transit infrastructure.


Except that our larger employers like UNMC are already eagerly trying to get it's employees to take mass transit to work. The cost of parking is prohibitive. The campus has been surveying staff and developing concepts. That said, much of Omaha has no meaningful mass transit connection to UNMC.

People are motivated to take it, but not if a 20 min drive turns into a 2 hour trek.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby GetUrban » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:58 pm

Realistically, right now the only people you are going to get to ride mass transit in Omaha are those who live within walking distance of a route. Commute times just aren't long enough in Omaha yet for a "park and ride" scenario to work, since it would add at least 20 mins. to your round trip commute time going to and from the Park & ride location and then probably at least another 40 min. round trip on mass transit. And then you still may not be close enough to your work place. Transferring more than two times probably won't cut it either. I'm not saying that we shouldn't try to improve mass transit in Omaha and try a BRT line, just don't expect miracles.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Seth » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:15 pm

Busguy2010 wrote:And we have to believe that the streetcars of Omaha's past have shaped what we have now.  Omaha's core is what it is because of those lines, and Omaha's is what it is because of the abandonment of those lines.


That's absolutely true. I've been doing a bit of research on the history of my subdivision and neighborhood lately, and nearly every real estate listing from that era(around 1910) lists proximity and number of nearby "car lines" (i.e. streetcar routes) prominently. When large swaths of Omaha were being built out in the teens and twenties, daily commuting was still largely done by streetcar.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:12 pm

ModeShift is having a coffee chat about the streetcar Friday morning.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:08 pm

Open house on Aug 13th.

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Omaha’s first BRT system is being developed for Dodge Street along an eight mile corridor connecting downtown and the Westroads Mall. The eastbound BRT between 31st Street and 10th Street will operate in a transit-only contraflow lane along Dodge. The BRT will have 25 to 27 stations with upgraded common amenities such as near-level boarding, covered waiting areas, real time arrival displays, pre-boarding fare payment equipment, bicycle parking, and landscaping.


Like that portion a lot. Dodge doesn't need 4 lanes downtown anyways and this will also keep the bus off of the S turn.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby skinzfan23 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:32 pm

Looks great so far.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby MTO » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:00 pm

Better throw in an iOS app with live arrival times and Pay.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby U R my Helix » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:58 pm

As long as we are ripping up all of the streets for the sewer separation project why don't we just get the used Chunnel machine and put this street car / train below ground. Heck we can use all of the excess water in tube #2 and sell it to Kansas.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby U R my Helix » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:50 pm

We should think bigger on the transit issue. lets run it all the way to Lincoln.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:03 pm

Three station designs being considered.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Dundeemaha » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:04 am

Wow, these are terrible. What a complete failure.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:15 am

Those are all complete %&@# but out of those please the 2nd one! The first one is tiny, and the third one is just... Who even designed these?
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:20 am

Dundeemaha wrote:Wow, these are terrible. What a complete failure.


There is a place for public comment online. At the open house there was a lot of discussion about how these would work in times of poor weather. The officials there said they are looking at making a strong brand for the BRT as well as making stations useable. Also said things about wanting to enhance the community by design and function rather than a shell station like KC. These will have level boarding, prepay stations, bike racks, system maps and they are looking at 5 B-Cycle stations integrated.

They did say the systems all seem modular so they could be easily enlarged at more major stations and be kept smaller where there is less space to work.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:44 am

Other details mentioned.

1.5 miles of dedicated lane from MTC to 10th EB. WB will be bus and right turn only. Signal priority is included. Que jumps are being considered at 72nd and 90th, still figuring out if they can make it work with the limited space.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:46 am

iamjacobm wrote:Que jumps are being considered at 72nd and 90th, still figuring out if they can make it work with the limited space.


Those would be the only intersections with que jumps?
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:47 am

I'm trying to figure out how they are going to make it work between 31st and 68th there they don't have much room for dedicated lanes and que jumps.
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby MTO » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:13 am

iamjacobm wrote:
Dundeemaha wrote:Wow, these are terrible. What a complete failure.


There is a place for public comment online. At the open house there was a lot of discussion about how these would work in times of poor weather. The officials there said they are looking at making a strong brand for the BRT as well as making stations useable. Also said things about wanting to enhance the community by design and function rather than a shell station like KC. These will have level boarding, prepay stations, bike racks, system maps and they are looking at 5 B-Cycle stations integrated.

They did say the systems all seem modular so they could be easily enlarged at more major stations and be kept smaller where there is less space to work.


Are the white people included?
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Garrett » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:09 pm

Something relevant: Job distribution in Omaha.

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National Map:
http://www.robertmanduca.com/projects/jobs.html
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:18 pm

TitosBuritoBarn wrote:I'm trying to figure out how they are going to make it work between 31st and 68th there they don't have much room for dedicated lanes and que jumps.


Those were the only two they mentioned. They said the ROW is really tough to work around and they might end up making right turn lanes into a que jump option. 31st to 68th will simply run in shared traffic.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby HR Paperstacks » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:08 pm

One question I have is how are the buses going to go from MTC east onto Dodge where eastbound splits? It seems like they'd have to switch two lanes in a short distance. Or are they envisioning this with the new configuration (I think construction is set for 2018 or 2019)?

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby GRANDPASMUCKER » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:34 pm

In the paper today they said that people could look at this as "light rail on wheels." I don't know about that but I do look at this as a light way of wasting money instead of a huge way of wasting money like a real street car or light rail system would cost. The structures do look ugly but it dont matter they all will be destroyed, vandalized and ruined in a couple of years anyway. Those structures have to be built with concrete and steel or they would be destroyed in a year! We can't afford to have a cop stationed at all these stops and late at night in these tough ends of town those structures are going to be targets of the bad guys.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby MTO » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:45 pm

Stops on 50th and 42nd can we read into a future shift away from Saddle Creak being a major crossroads...
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Dundeemaha » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:48 pm

TitosBuritoBarn wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:Que jumps are being considered at 72nd and 90th, still figuring out if they can make it work with the limited space.


Those would be the only intersections with que jumps?


I wasn't at the meeting but the way I read that was at most those 2 intersections would have queue jumps. No others and maybe not even those.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:24 am

I have a solution to your vandlism problum. Cameras!!!
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby NeGoofyfoot » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:53 pm

iamjacobm wrote:Three station designs being considered.

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Long time follower but 1st time poster! I think these stations would be a major miss for Omaha If we went this route! As someone who lives a majority of their life without a car, I know that people WILL not use this if they have wait outside in the elements. I was in Guadalajara MX last year and used their BRT it was slick modern and convenient. There stations we enclosed air conditioned and attractive. Not sure why the powers that be think open air bus stops will improve anything!
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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby Busguy2010 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:10 am

Where could you find the room for that? Space is a huge obstacle and limit to the scope of this BRT. I agree that people aren't going to leave their cars to stand at a bus stop in 100 or 0 degree weather? There are certain stops along the route that could do it; like all the stops along west Dodge. Bt most of the system is limited.

I think it would be a great idea to build small mixed use buildings at stops and have a BRT station be in a bay of the building. For example, at 50th and Dodge, Kohll's pharmacy would be the space for the station.

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby NeGoofyfoot » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:58 am

Busguy2010 wrote:Where could you find the room for that? Space is a huge obstacle and limit to the scope of this BRT. I agree that people aren't going to leave their cars to stand at a bus stop in 100 or 0 degree weather? There are certain stops along the route that could do it; like all the stops along west Dodge. Bt most of the system is limited.

I think it would be a great idea to build small mixed use buildings at stops and have a BRT station be in a bay of the building. For example, at 50th and Dodge, Kohll's pharmacy would be the space for the station.


Not saying this should be duplicated exactly, but should be looked at in reference. It is just strange to me that in locales with much milder climates than Nebraska, they utilize enclosed stations, but here where we get extremes in both summer and winter it likely doesn't even cross anyone's mind. I get that they want to brand the BRT as fresh and modern, but people aren't going to ride it because the stations LOOK cool, if they are standing in the pouring rain, freezing cold or blustery wind...they will get in their car and drive in climate controlled comfort

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby NEDodger » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:43 pm

Busguy2010 wrote:Where could you find the room for that? Space is a huge obstacle and limit to the scope of this BRT.


Well, there IS that Dundee Theater that is unlikely to be finished.... :D

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Re: Omaha Alternatives Analysis

Postby MTO » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:43 pm

So the city plans on spending over one million on new stations/buses then taking away traffic lanes from commuters all while fighting with the tight buttholes cynics. And they think they'll be able to push through a rail circulator adjacent to the new beefed up buses?
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