Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Let’s look at some of the big stories of the year locally:
1. Construction started on not one, not two, not three, but four rail lines within a few short months. While many cities are still trying just to get rail off the ground, the Wasatch Front is quickly moving to having an outstanding rail system.
2. The opening of the Front Runner Commuter rail line and the extension of TRAX to Central Station. While in any other year this would rate as the news story, it took a back seat to the groundbreaking that took place this year.
On the national side there is so many stories that can be included I will just include the ones I think as most important:
1. Funding for transit projects were approved in multiple locations despite the state of the economy. This includes what could be America’s first high speed rail line in California if the Governor doesn’t steel the money for highways.
2. Opening of the Phoenix light rail system was also big news that just happened last week. Phoenix is a very auto oriented city so seeing it finally get its light rail system is a major victory to sensible transportation planning.
3. On a negative note, we lost one of the few US based rail car construction companies. Colorado Railcar shut down operations just last week after an extended period of financial problems. Colorado Railcar built excellent rail cars for such trains as the Rocky Mountaineer and was the only manufacturer of US spec DMU units. Hopefully
2009 will probably be a quiet year on the local front. While construction will continue on our new light and commuter rail lines, we only have the ground breaking of the Draper extension to look forward to in the New Year.
Meanwhile on the national front, we will see if the new administration will be anything different than the ones that came before it. So far we are not seeing many positive signs but by this time next year we will have a clear picture of what is to come.
Happy New Year to all my readers.
Monday, December 29, 2008
How walking, streetcars (trams), and bicycles will play an important roll in the future. We need to change our priorities to build our future.
Economy has builders eyeing a return to rental apartments
Interesting perspective on the rental laws in British Columbia and comparing them to the rather landlord friendly laws here in Utah.
From the Denver Infill Blog comes:
Lessons from Detroit
What lessons can be learned from the problems of Detroit? Detroit is the ultimate example of what happens when the urban core is abandoned in favor of automobile suburbs.
Both sides of my family comes from the Detroit area so I can attest to all the problems that Detroit has and it can be largely contributed to the abandonment of the urban core.
From the Xing Columbus Blog:
Should a building built in a car dependent area be able to get LEED certification? Currently the answer is yes, but should it be?
From the Trains for America Blog:
Seattle Times: A coming rennaisance for intercity rail?
State politicians talking about HSR, but still directing stimulus towards roads
As I have stated before, I will believe we will have change in the philosophy in transportation when I see it happen. Too often there is more talk and little action.
From the Overhead Wire blog:
Prop 13 Hangover
Prop 13 which cut property taxes to existing homeowners has some unintended consequences which is discussed in those post.
Replay 10.16.07: Vienna's Ringstrasse
Great information about how Vienna's multi-modal transportation network is put together in the downtown area.
Who’s Really Footing the Bill for Roads?
From the Seattle Transit Blog:
Colorado Railcar Gone: What is next?
Colorado Railcar who was the only builder of DMU's in the United States that built an FRA compliant self propelled rail vehicle has shut down operations.
Thank God For Walkable Neighborhoods
Especially when you live in Seattle and it gets on of its infrequent snow falls that shut down streets and highways.
From the Light Rail AZ Blog:
A "Grand" Opening, indeed
Yes, another Meca to the automobile has fallen to light rail. Phoenix opened their first light rail line last weekend with an estimated 90,000 people ridding that first day. Now maybe Phoenix can start rebuilding their downtown area and make it more livable.
From the Jacksonville Transit Blog:
PHOENIX GETS IT - FLORIDA DOESN'T
While Phoenix gets its light rail system up and running many cities in Florida are still behind the 8 ball.
From the Intermodality Blog:
A new streetcar era?
Explains the difference between streetcars and light rail.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Utah wants a bite of stimulus cash
FrontRunner gets more riders when it snows
Utah is ready with a list of needs stimulus money could meet
States, cities seek stimulus funds
Monday, December 22, 2008
Construction progress continues on the West Valley TRAX Line. To keep business and traffic impacts to a minimum and for management and planning purposes, this five-mile project has been separated into seven construction “reaches,” or segments. The map below shows each construction reach in a different color, starting with Reach 1 in light green on the south end of the project and ending with Reach 7 in dark green on the north end.
Construction will resume in all reaches on January 5th. Please feel free to call the hotline at 1-888-800-8854 if you have concerns during the holiday break.
A description of what is happening in each area is listed below. If you need further construction information, please call our toll-free 24-hour hotline at (888) 800-8854.
Reach Description: Reach 1 is the area along
Current Construction: TRAX construction is taking place in conjunction with UTA’s bus rapid transit project on
Other work taking place includes, third party utility relocations along
Upcoming Construction: Construction is scheduled to begin on 2700 West from 3500 South to 3100 South during December. This work will mainly include utility relocations and will proceed along the side of the roadway. Impacts to motorists should be minimal. As we get closer to construction, we will meet with all residents to discuss how to minimize impacts.
We want to thank the residents bordering
Traffic Impacts: Current impacts to motorists should be minimal; however, there will be minor lane restrictions as utility companies work along
Reach Description: Reach 2 is the area along 3100 South from
Current Construction: Construction has begun on the TRAX bridge over I-215 on the south side of 3100 South. The foundation work for this structure includes driving steel pile into the ground using a machine that may generate significant noise and vibration for local residents. To help alleviate impacts, pile driving activities will take place over the next few weeks and will be limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Construction will also include minor lane restrictions on I-215 periodically throughout the next couple of months.
Upcoming Construction: Construction will continue on the TRAX bridge over I-215 for the next several months. Utility work will also begin on 3100 South near The E Center and
Traffic Impacts: There will be some lane restrictions on I-215 as crews progress with bridge construction. We will work with the partnering agencies to notify travelling motorists about possible lane restrictions.
Reach Description: Reach 3 is the area along
Current Construction: Crews are currently working on a storm drain on the east side of
Upcoming Construction: Construction is anticipated to take place along
Traffic Impacts: Access to businesses is being maintained throughout this reach. Traffic is anticipated to switch again from the west side of
Please be mindful of workers and obey posted speed limits.
Reach Description: Reach 4 runs through the
Current Construction: The majority of construction on the West Valley Line has taken place on the east side of
Upcoming Construction: Sound wall installation in the
· The Crosstowne Trail along 2770 South just east of
Reach Description: Reach 5 will include construction along 1070 West in the
Current Construction: The majority of construction is taking place on 1070 West just north of Parkway Avenue, along with third party utility work. There will be some lane restrictions implemented. A joint trench for utilities and sewer line work is also taking place along 1070 West, as well as pile driving for a retaining wall.
Traffic Impacts: As construction proceeds, there will be some lane restrictions. However, we will maintain access at all times.
Reach Description: Reach 6 runs through the Union Pacific Railroad’s Roper Yard area. Although there are no businesses and residents, extensive coordination will take place with the Union Pacific Railroad to ensure that freight deliveries and other train travel will be maintained. Reach 6 will include an extensive bridging system that will enable TRAX to operate above ground, over other train traffic.
Current Construction: Crews have installed steel piles 120’ into the ground to form the main foundations for the aerial bridge that will carry TRAX over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Crews are currently pouring concrete to form the columns for the bridge. Utility work is also taking place.
Upcoming Construction: Coordination will continue with the Union Pacific Railroad to install utilities and bridge structures.
Traffic Impacts: Not applicable. This is a Union Pacific Railroad work area.
Reach Description: Reach 7 is the area where the West Valley Line will connect with the current North/South TRAX Line. Construction will take place along
Current Construction: Storm drain installation along
Upcoming Construction: The next phase of construction will begin near
Traffic Impacts: Access will be maintained at all times.
Access during Construction
UTA is committed to maintaining 24-hour access to all of the businesses and residences along the construction corridor. We will coordinate with businesses in cases where temporary access might be required.
Construction on the project is permitted to take place between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Additionally, specific activities may require different working hours depending upon the conditions and will be coordinated with city officials.
If you are interested in learning more about the construction project, please call our toll-free 24-hour hotline at (888) 800-8854.
For More Information
Timely and helpful information is available to assist business and residential communities as well as commuters and stakeholders.
If you have further questions not answered by this report or any comments regarding the project, please contact the toll-free 24-hour hotline at (888) 800-8854 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit UTA’s Web site at www.rideuta.com.
Construction is progressing on UTA’s FrontRunner South Provo to Salt Lake Commuter Rail line.
Below is the FrontRunner South quick construction update for December 13 - 19.
For a more comprehensive construction update, click here.
For more construction information please call our toll-free 24-hour hotline at (888) 800-8854.
Area 16 — Downtown
Work activities north of 3300 South have been deferred for the time being.
Fiber optic relocations along the eventual FrontRunner trackway in Area 16 between
There are currently no traffic impacts in this area.
Area 15 — 4500 South (Murray) to 7800 South (Midvale)
Significant progress has also been made with fiber optic relocations taking place in Area 15. Boring will take place at 5300 South the first week of January.
Murray-5300 South Station:
No station construction activities to report.
Area 14 — 7800 South (Midvale) to
Progress continues in Area 14 west of
Crews are also constructing a bridge adjacent to the current Union Pacific Railroad bridge at 144th South. Crews are preparing the substructure so they can pour concrete. We thank motorists in this area for their patience and support during construction in this area.
A temporary traffic light has been placed at 144th South and the
South Jordan/Sandy Station:
No station construction activities to report.