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7036Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview 2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)

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  • Mike Harrington
    Mar 10, 2004
      There is an important difference between New Orleans and Houston. In
      New Orleans, the car stops are two blocks apart, whereas in Houston
      they come to about a kilometer apart. So Houston's express
      streetcars are moving faster than the New Orleans cars since they
      don't stop at most intersections. The faster speed and limited stops
      of Houston's light rail with more connecting shuttle bus lines is
      appropriate to a city of its size.

      Most of that connecting bus system has been put on hold until the
      completion of the study we've just read. I think the expanded bus
      connections with the wholesale rerouting of bus lines into Wheeler,
      Downtown Transit Center, and Tx. Medical Center stations, will happen
      either this month or April. Houston Metro has a total fleet of 1200
      buses. When the rerouting occurs the trams will go from every 12 to
      every 6 minutes during the day, the same as New Orleans. I think
      they will remain every 12 minutes at night, however. The line runs
      out of downtown from 4:42 AM to 12:42 AM Monday through Saturday, and
      5:42 to 12:42 on Sundays.

      There's another important difference. The Houston car stops are also
      unlike New Orleans in that they are raised platforms affording more
      protection for waiting passengers from dangerous drivers, the same as
      we're seeing on the northside line opening for service in Portland
      this May.

      Driving, jogging or cycling on Houston streetcar tracks stands a good
      chance of getting you a ticket from Metro police. Houston's not as
      laid back as New Orleans, which doesn't have Houston's traffic

      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Hohmeister"
      <mdh6214@g...> wrote:
      > This reminds me of New Orleans, where the streetcars of an era past
      not only cross
      > streets, but travel in the same lanes as vehicles. In the Garden
      District, I have seen people
      > riding bicycles and jogging on the streetcar tracks--knowing, of
      course, to get out of the
      > way if they see a streetcar coming. Does anyone have New Orleans
      accident figures?
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