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Re: [carfree_cities] Seattle monorail

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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 1 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 2 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 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').

          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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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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