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Re: [carfree_cities] Seattle monorail

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  • Mark Watson
    Some proponents of new Seattle monorails say that the guideways & supports can be much thinner nowadays. That may be true. But if not, or if the question is
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 3, 2000
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      Some proponents of new Seattle monorails say that the guideways & supports
      can be much thinner nowadays. That may be true. But if not, or if the
      question is changed to elevated vs. at-grade trams (not necessarily separate
      ROW); then I think these drawings support Mr. Crawford's opinion.
      http://www.octa.net/centerlinesims1.asp [click 'Next' in lower right
      corner]

      http://www.anime.net/~roba/wheel/monorail1.jpg

      Chicago's dark streets below the 'L' are another example

      Mark

      From: J.H. Crawford <postmaster@c...>
      Date: Wed Nov 1, 2000 10:01pm
      Subject: Re: Re: Seattle monorail.

      Any notion that elevated transportation systems do not impair the quality of
      urban life is plain and simply nuts. Even if the things are COMPLETELY
      silent, they're still ugly and intrusive. No way, I say.


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      mark_a_watson@... Seattle, WA, USA
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    • J.H. Crawford
      ... (of the unpleasant space beneath elevated transport systems) Let s remember that Boston is spending more than $13 BILLION to put an overhead freeway
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 4, 2000
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        Mark Watson said:

        >Chicago's dark streets below the 'L' are another example

        (of the unpleasant space beneath elevated transport systems)

        Let's remember that Boston is spending more than $13 BILLION
        to put an overhead freeway underground. Carfree Cities has a
        picture of an elevated station in New York, seen from underneath.
        Nobody in his right mind would want one of these things in his
        neighborhood.



        ###

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        postmaster@... Carfree.com
      • Todd J. Binkley
        Every urban elevated rail system I ve seen is indeed rather ugly. The worst part (assuming noise was controlled) is all that dark, dreary, useless space under
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 4, 2000
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          Every urban elevated rail system I've seen is indeed rather ugly. The
          worst part (assuming noise was controlled) is all that dark, dreary,
          useless space under the tracks. This could in theory be mitigated by
          putting the tracks on top of the four-story, contiguous buildings lining
          Main street. This wouldn't be my first choice, and would probably be
          more expensive than digging tunnels in some existing areas. But imagine
          building a carfree 'reference district' on a site that was slated to
          include an extension of an existing elevated monorail system. If the
          piers and track were built first, then four-storey buildings were built
          under and around the rail infrastructure, as part of an integrated
          design that would conceal it from view of pedestrians below, then the
          only place it would be visible would be between buildings where it
          spanned cross streets. These bridges would be high enough to permit
          light beneath them, and could be incorporated into
          aesthetically-pleasing design elements such as arched 'city gate'-like
          structures, as well as fully-enclosed building space with 'sottoportego'
          below. The view from up there might be nice, and might contribute to
          that process of cognitively mapping the urban microcosm in which one
          lives (see pattern 62, HIGH PLACES, in Alexander's, 'A Pattern
          Language').

          -T.J.
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... One problem here: acoustic isolation of the tracks from the buildings may turn out to be an almost insurmountable problem. The tracks would have to bridge
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 4, 2000
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            >Every urban elevated rail system I've seen is indeed rather ugly. The
            >worst part (assuming noise was controlled) is all that dark, dreary,
            >useless space under the tracks. This could in theory be mitigated by
            >putting the tracks on top of the four-story, contiguous buildings lining
            >Main street. This wouldn't be my first choice, and would probably be
            >more expensive than digging tunnels in some existing areas. But imagine
            >building a carfree 'reference district' on a site that was slated to
            >include an extension of an existing elevated monorail system. If the
            >piers and track were built first, then four-storey buildings were built
            >under and around the rail infrastructure, as part of an integrated
            >design that would conceal it from view of pedestrians below, then the
            >only place it would be visible would be between buildings where it
            >spanned cross streets. These bridges would be high enough to permit
            >light beneath them, and could be incorporated into
            >aesthetically-pleasing design elements such as arched 'city gate'-like
            >structures, as well as fully-enclosed building space with 'sottoportego'
            >below. The view from up there might be nice, and might contribute to
            >that process of cognitively mapping the urban microcosm in which one
            >lives (see pattern 62, HIGH PLACES, in Alexander's, 'A Pattern
            >Language').

            One problem here: acoustic isolation of the tracks from the buildings
            may turn out to be an almost insurmountable problem. The tracks would
            have to bridge the buildings, resting at regular intervals on piers
            that were completely isolated from the adjacent buildings. All possible,
            but difficult, I think. If we ever get working maglev at a price
            we can afford, the situation might be different--there's no wheel noise.

            A further advantage of underground systems is that they are totally
            unaffected by weather, excepting only floods.




            ###

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            postmaster@... Carfree.com
          • Ronald Dawson
            ... Of what you wrote it reminds me of the New York Central Railroad s West Side Line on Manhattan. http://www.railroad.net/nyc/westside.html
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 4, 2000
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              Todd J. Binkley wrote:


              >Every urban elevated rail system I've seen is indeed rather ugly. The
              >worst part (assuming noise was controlled) is all that dark, dreary,
              >useless space under the tracks. This could in theory be mitigated by
              >putting the tracks on top of the four-story, contiguous buildings lining
              >Main street. This wouldn't be my first choice, and would probably be
              >more expensive than digging tunnels in some existing areas. But imagine
              >building a carfree 'reference district' on a site that was slated to
              >include an extension of an existing elevated monorail system. If the
              >piers and track were built first, then four-storey buildings were built
              >under and around the rail infrastructure, as part of an integrated
              >design that would conceal it from view of pedestrians below, then the
              >only place it would be visible would be between buildings where it
              >spanned cross streets. These bridges would be high enough to permit
              >light beneath them, and could be incorporated into
              >aesthetically-pleasing design elements such as arched 'city gate'-like
              >structures, as well as fully-enclosed building space with 'sottoportego'
              >below. The view from up there might be nice, and might contribute to
              >that process of cognitively mapping the urban microcosm in which one
              >lives (see pattern 62, HIGH PLACES, in Alexander's, 'A Pattern
              >Language').

              Of what you wrote it reminds me of the New York Central Railroad's West Side
              Line on Manhattan. http://www.railroad.net/nyc/westside.html
              http://bjr.acf.nyu.edu/railinfo/car-floats/nyc-lwsrrl.html

              Plus what happened in Vienna on where the old city wall use to be.
              http://www.uncanny.net/~wetzel/vienna.htm

              Here in Montreal, south of Central Station there is a long viaduct with
              buildings incorporated into the structure.
              http://www.emdx.qc.ca/rail/DeuxMontagnes/Tunnel/CarteDuTunnel.jpg
              http://www.emdx.qc.ca/rail/GareCentrale/
              A Central Station interior shot.
              http://montreal.cityvu.com/visions/vmtl2408.jpg
              This photo show our former commuter locomotives out on the viaduct.
              http://davesrailpix.railfan.net/odds/qu/htm/cn035.htm Dawson
            • Erik Rauch
              The Schwebebahn in the German city of Wuppertal, an overhead monorail, is a point of local pride. It was built 100 years ago and recently renovated. It carries
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 19, 2000
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                The Schwebebahn in the German city of Wuppertal, an overhead monorail,
                is a point of local pride. It was built 100 years ago and recently
                renovated. It carries 25 million passengers a year in a city with
                390,000 inhabitants. My recollection is that the space under it is not
                unpleasant, though it probably has the same noise problems as elevated
                trains.

                http://www.uni-wuppertal.de/wuppertal/schwebebahn
                In English: http://www.wsw-online.de/seiten/schwebebahn/english.html

                --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@c...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Mark Watson said:
                >
                > >Chicago's dark streets below the 'L' are another example
                >
                > (of the unpleasant space beneath elevated transport systems)
                >
                > Let's remember that Boston is spending more than $13 BILLION
                > to put an overhead freeway underground. Carfree Cities has a
                > picture of an elevated station in New York, seen from underneath.
                > Nobody in his right mind would want one of these things in his
                > neighborhood.
                >
                >
                >
                > ###
                >
                > J.H. Crawford Carfree
                Cities
                > postmaster@c... Carfree.com
              • Ronald Dawson
                ... The Schwebebahn system in Wuppertal is an impressive thing, but also we have to remember that a lot of the ROW (right of way) is above a river. Dawson
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 19, 2000
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                  Erik Rauch wrote:
                  >The Schwebebahn in the German city of Wuppertal, an overhead monorail,
                  >is a point of local pride. It was built 100 years ago and recently
                  >renovated. It carries 25 million passengers a year in a city with
                  >390,000 inhabitants. My recollection is that the space under it is not
                  >unpleasant, though it probably has the same noise problems as elevated
                  >trains.
                  >
                  >http://www.uni-wuppertal.de/wuppertal/schwebebahn
                  >In English: http://www.wsw-online.de/seiten/schwebebahn/english.html

                  The Schwebebahn system in Wuppertal is an impressive thing, but also we have
                  to remember that a lot of the ROW (right of way) is above a river. Dawson

                  P.S. For some good photos of it, go to http://www.lightrail.co.uk/wsw/ .
                • J.H. Crawford
                  ... The rennovation may actually have been the cause of the only accident a year or two ago--one of the cars hit a maintenance platform, as I recall. The car
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 20, 2000
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                    Erik Rauch said:

                    >The Schwebebahn in the German city of Wuppertal, an overhead monorail,
                    >is a point of local pride. It was built 100 years ago and recently
                    >renovated. It carries 25 million passengers a year in a city with
                    >390,000 inhabitants. My recollection is that the space under it is not
                    >unpleasant, though it probably has the same noise problems as elevated
                    >trains.
                    >
                    >http://www.uni-wuppertal.de/wuppertal/schwebebahn
                    >In English: http://www.wsw-online.de/seiten/schwebebahn/english.html

                    The rennovation may actually have been the cause of the only
                    accident a year or two ago--one of the cars hit a maintenance
                    platform, as I recall. The car crashed into the canal below,
                    killing a couple of people as I recall.

                    The photos I've seen are not at all attractive. The thing is
                    built on large pylons that raise it fairly high above the canal
                    above which it runs, and the bridging between the pylons is
                    not particularly attractive, either. I'll bet it all makes
                    plenty of noise, too.

                    I stick by my guns: overhead systems are to be avoided.
                    I wouldn't be surprised if the canal is essentially no
                    longer used. I'd be interested to know if the canal could
                    be drained, the tracks set in the canal bed and then
                    covered over to make a greenbelt/bikeway/whatever. Then
                    all those ugly pylons could come down.




                    ###

                    J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                    postmaster@... Carfree.com
                  • Lanyon, Ryan
                    Wow, is that ever intrusive on the urban landscape! I wonder if it blocks sufficient amounts of sunlight to affect the ecosystems of the river? -RL
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 20, 2000
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                      Wow, is that ever intrusive on the urban landscape! I wonder if it blocks
                      sufficient amounts of sunlight to affect the ecosystems of the river?

                      -RL

                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: Ronald Dawson [SMTP:rdadddmd@...]
                      > Sent: Monday, November 20, 2000 12:35 AM
                      > To: carfree_cities@egroups.com
                      > Subject: RE: [carfree_cities] Re: Seattle monorail
                      >
                      > Erik Rauch wrote:
                      > >The Schwebebahn in the German city of Wuppertal, an overhead monorail,
                      > >is a point of local pride. It was built 100 years ago and recently
                      > >renovated. It carries 25 million passengers a year in a city with
                      > >390,000 inhabitants. My recollection is that the space under it is not
                      > >unpleasant, though it probably has the same noise problems as elevated
                      > >trains.
                      > >
                      > >http://www.uni-wuppertal.de/wuppertal/schwebebahn
                      > >In English: http://www.wsw-online.de/seiten/schwebebahn/english.html
                      >
                      > The Schwebebahn system in Wuppertal is an impressive thing, but also we
                      > have
                      > to remember that a lot of the ROW (right of way) is above a river.
                      > Dawson
                      >
                      > P.S. For some good photos of it, go to http://www.lightrail.co.uk/wsw/ .
                      >
                      >
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