Comments on 2016 SLC Master Transit Plan
This study is incomplete due to the fact that it ignores the financial constraints of reality. A professional plan would recognize and plan for realistic financial restraints and at least prioritize the projects so that the most expensive project is not given priority automatically when other projects are more effective at encouraging mass transit ridership.
The SLC Master Transit Plan should focus on high frequency neighborhood bus service first, then night extended service, then weekend and holiday service. A fully functional and robust neighborhood bus service with low emission vehicles will encourage ridership increases and personal vehicle travel better than the most expensive rail project possible. In addition, all bus stops should show real time information on when the next bus arrives and the one after that.
In addition, there should be a better outreach for elderly mass transit riders. They are usually less constrained by time, jobs and other time contingent issues and therefore would be more amenable to taking mass transit. They do drive! They can be more easily convinced to get out of their cars and use mass transit better than younger drivers. The HIVE pass should consider a 50% discount $20 a month HIVE pass. But again, it needs a better high frequency neighborhood bus service expansion at the same time to gain the most ridership.
A downtown (100-200 E. Streetcar) will require $100 million in local funding (according to the RTP) which should be more appropriately used for better neighborhood bus service.
The Plan also ignores the financial reality that a BRT will cost $15/mile while an enhanced bus will cost less than a tenth of that. It can be even cheaper if the regular buses are fitted with intersection traffic light priority systems so they don't have to wait for three light cycles to get through an intersection.
I am disappointed that several BRT projects are listed that are on routes of less frequency than 15 minutes. A BRT should only be considered if there is a 30% time savings and 15 minute buses are full.
Again, without considering financial constraints (the Federal Government is not a bottomless barrel of money), the SLC Master Transit Plan Draft is not realistic.
Intersection and traffic light management would be the most cost effective and quickest way to reduce air pollution caused by congestion. The UDOT Wavetronix system can be modified and controlled to help this effort. Priority should be given to this item in the plan with coordination with UTA to fit buses that operate in congested roadways with a priority traffic light system.
The Plan says "Providing transit with priority lanes on high-ridership corridors supports investments in frequent service. Where sufficient right-of-way is available in these corridors, dedicating part of the right-of-way to transit is justified based on transit’s higher person-carrying capacity. Transit lanes also allow buses to bypass congested areas, making bus travel times
shorter and more reliable." But that ignores the efficiency of personal vehicle travel and it would increase pollution. No road diets or dedicated transit lanes should be considered without a thorough carbon footprint analysis (of pollution). Dedicated roadways DO NOT carry as many passengers per hour as cars. In addition, roadways for personal vehicles per hour cost is low compared to dedicated mass transit lanes.
The proposed Foothill BRT from 100 South is not very cost effective. There are very well used and efficient mass transit corridors within a couple of blocks. Except for 700 East, there is practically no interference in the 200 South bus travel. I doubt that 100 S. BRT could provide a faster time to the UofU unless the downtown lights are set to recognize buses or be set to provide for constant 30mph to the east consistently (to the west in the afternoon). And then the regular bus is just as fast and a tenth of the cost of a BRT.
SLC should discourage local funding of the $70 million bus garage at the UTA HQ. The money should be, could be, would be better used to fund expanded neighborhood bus service and especially later night service since SLC is attempting to focus on the late night cultural amenities of downtown SLC. In addition, the secondary transit hubs decrease the need for a "big ass" garage.
Community shuttles may sound nice but the UofU has had a problem getting riders and SLC should work on how to get riders before creating community shuttles. The Yalecrest shuttle had about 9 riders a day!
I am confused about the cost of tier 1 and 2 without any limits.
I appreciate the suggestion on a 600 North bus and the 1300 South and 900 South potential buses. But again, rail lines take away from expanding bus service and until a robust bus service is restored, rail should not be considered. The 200 West suggestion may be more cost effective if the Green Line TRAX went on 200 West to the airport and saved 5-10 minutes in the process. Think about a line from the airport to the Salt Palace! The 400 W. BRT is on a road with single family homes. A dedicated roadway line should not be considered next to single family homes unless you convince the homeowners ahead of time that they should rezone to higher density and increase their taxes. 300 West is the street that needs more frequent bus service. The commuter specials that only stop every mile or so are more appropriate than the BRT. The black line between the UofU and the airport (in this plan - note that the RTP has the black line going from the U to the central station via 400 South) would require spending 6-10 million or more and would not increase ridership.
BRT should not be considered on State St, 500 E or 900 E. An enhanced bus may make sense but the cost of a BRT does not make sense unless the density is significantly increased. And I can make a pretty good argument that very few will walk 4 blocks to catch a bus.
I am against anymore rail lines downtown because they require too much local funding that would be better used for better bus service and regular and safer wide bicycle lanes (not cycle tracks). The idea that we need a $200 million rail to the UofU on 100 South is very financially questionable.
All capital projects should be financially constrained and prioritized. If $20 million in local funding is available, we should not be starting $100 million projects. I disagree that we should spend more money on rail projects instead of spending money on affordable housing and getting the homeless off the street.
If only 10% time is saved and 15 minute bus service is not popular, a BRT should not be considered.
The proposed Redwood Rd and Foothill BRT should not be considered and an enhanced bus would make more sense. It would stop more often but still have the light priority. People would rather drive than walk 2 blocks. That should be drummed into this plans philosophy.
I disagree strongly with "The plan will support evolving capital recommendations from the Sugar House Streetcar project that would improve utility of the line, e.g., an extension to 1700 S (consistent with Regional Transportation Plan) with a connection to the 900 E FTN corridor. A future extension along 900 E could connect to TRAX service at 400 S." The RTP also has a high speed rail station at the airport and a canyon rail and tunnel system! I am against the RTP. The community, the City and the Sugar House neighborhood is against extending the so called streetcar/TRAX to the north. It may make sense (for only $5 million) to go to 1250 East through the Shopko block or Wilmington. But the residents and businesses of 1100 East do not want it and the City should not even think about removing the parking. Note to whoever put this in: the TRAX trains, Siemens S70, require 12 foot widths and two tracks on 1100 East will require taking all parking off the street. Good luck with that!
You say that you are neutral along with 2700 W, 5600 W BRT, Mountain Transportation System. I do think that 2700 W, 5600 W should have more frequent service. I am against a TRAX outer loop.
Please stop ignoring ADA. Putting bus stops more than one block away from the next hurts/affects ADA and seniors.
Note that pg 98 shows BRT downside, inefficient lane which increases congestion and pollution.
The Plan should recommend that UTA have real time signs on all bus stops to note when the next bus is coming. Do not pay the patent troll that says that they have the patent on it.
There are no minimum parking requirements in Transit Station Area districts: Within the “core” of Transit Station Area (TSA) districts, no minimum number of parking spaces is required for any use. Studies show that that will discourage transit ridership (Booz Allen Hamilton study that suggested -.03 standard due to ticket throughput limitations and parking lots full when fares are reduced).
I am against the suggestion from the Sugar House study that "require that all shared parking be “priced” in D1-D4, TSA, and G-MU districts via unbundling and direct pricing."
Instead of using the streetcar TRAX to encourage walkability and TOD, the only thing that is being built are apartments, not mixed use TODs! Despite "Encourage development of transit oriented development (TOD) through form-based codes and allowed increased density within a 10-minute walk of TRAX, streetcar and high-frequency bus routes (Salt Lake City Downtown Community Plan (2014)."
I do not recommend that you tell the single family home residents that they have to rezone to justify BRT and light rail in their neighborhoods. I will tell them that the light rail from your table is the threat.
This is from your table:
"Residential densities should be at least 10–12 households per acre for corridors that receive high-frequency transit investments and/or have more than 12–16 jobs per acre (see Figure 6-1).
lt rail = 12-24 households/acre or 16-32 jobs/acre
brt 10-15 households/acre and/or 12-20 jobs/acre
15 min bus 10-12+ households and/or 12-16 jobs
30 min bus 6-10 hh/acre and/or 8-12 jobes/acre
60 min bus 3-6 hh/acre, and/or 4+ jobs/acre"
I noted that a temporary parklet was created in the 21st and 21st business district under Salt Lake City’s pilot program. A permanent design is being developed for this location. pg 118/6-8. How much did businesses pay for the use and why isn't the Vue paying to put up tables in the pedestrian walkway?
I do not recommend that bus stops in residential areas have covers which encourage loitering and will attract homeless.
"A potential scenario where Route 220 would move from 100 S to N. Temple Street,
service to LDS Hospital by allowing Route 209 to be extended north
Potentially support future implementation of a downtown streetcar, which is planned
to run on 100 S between W. Temple Street and 500 E.
Some changes could be cost-neutral or reduce costs (as with N. Temple and 900 S), while
others may require additional operating cost and/or vehicles."
(BUT STREETCAR COST WAS NOT CONSIDERED)
George Chapman email@example.com