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  • Bernie on News roundup: all caught upSome interesting facts in the series of articles Glenn linked to and with some follow-up research. The Siskiyou Pass was the original route between Black Butt CA and Eugene. The current route, the Natron Cutoff, was proposed by SP back in 1905 but for a number of reasons (like WWI) didn't open until 1927. Part of the reason for building it was a race by competing railroads to reach Bend Or and all the timber being harvested on the eastern side of the Cascades. By 1927 passenger rail was already in decline. The golden age of rail in the US...
  • Mike Orr on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsThe ones with long flashing "Don't Walk" seem to be the same ones that have countdown timers, which de facto compensate for it because you can tell whether you have enough seconds to cross.
  • asdf2 on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsThe root cause is that we have design guidelines called MUTCD, which are extremely car centric and require only very minimal standards for pedestrian access. All too often, traffic engineers give pedestrians the bare minimum to check the box, so they don't get sued if someone gets run over. Anything beyond that is seen as a waste of effort and/or unnecessary delay on cars. At signals, traffic engineers probably imagine a shorter walk signal meaning fewer cars needing to stop for pedestrians. They view pedestrians as obstacles that delay cars, and refuse to consider walking trips as actual trips. They...
  • J. Reddoch on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsIt also allows time for cars to turn right, as long as people obey the don't walk signal.
  • Bernie on News roundup: all caught upThanks Glenn, that's an interesting link. But it seems this is where we are stuck. The money to get to Medford with reasonable service doesn't pencil out unless it can be leveraged with connecting service to Redding. Switching trains in Medford (or anywhere) isn't appealing, especially if it's the middle of the night. 16 hours, which would require significant investment in the existing route has no payback... it's still too slow. Fortunately we have another option, the new electric GMC Hummer. The beauty is that with the off road capability we don't even need to maintain the highways.
  • Bernie on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsI said "something like a Bluetooth backup" because I know Bluetooth has very limited range. No idea what the best wireless technology would be but the old 2.4 GHz wireless internet has pretty good range and more than enough bandwidth. They could use whatever they have in the cab with receivers in each car. Something as simple as FRS would work. Or, "breaker breaker good buddies, we've had an equipment failure please remain on the train. A shuttle will be arriving for you shortly." And like I said, I'm really surprised there was no security or fare enforcement on the...
  • Jimmy James on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsFootball fans who took light rail to be more responsible by not driving drunk or not wasting space on I-5 were rewarded by getting stuck with other football fans in a tunnel. They got rewarded by being criticized by the public for leaving the train. Good publicity for Link. When they got out of that tunnel, were all of the escalators working? Will they drive next time?
  • Lazarus on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questions@Glen, Ya, I’m with you. It was probably more an issue with the coupling than with actual physical damage to the cable. Additionally, this was in the tunnel, and the tunnel is much more of a controlled environment than surface running segments. There just isn’t that much debris laying about in the tunnels, and incursion related damage is even less likely in a tunnel. That said, this was the Apple Cup, and the Cougs were in town. A lot of really strange and bizarre things happen when they are roaming about. I’m betting the investigation will show some issue with...
  • Lazarus on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questions@Nathan D, I have no idea what you are talking about. The tunnel lining is not built continually through the stations, is not demolished after the TBM passes, and the TBM is in fact stopped in the station for a significant period of time. I think where you might be getting confused is that the TBM moves itself forward by pushing on the lining it has already built. So in order for the TBM to get fully into the new station there is a short segment of lining required that is roughly equal to the length of the pressure shield....
  • Al S. on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsEvery signal should have unique logic. Maybe there is a hidden turning movement. Maybe there is an allowance for bicycle movement. Maybe the signal tech made a mistake. Maybe traffic moves so fast and heavy that allowing for longer time walking could be dangerous to a pedestrian crossing the street. It’s hard to say without knowing both where and what time of day (signal timings are set differently for different times of day).
  • Skylar on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsOne Bus Away is great for arrival/departure times and maps. Pantrograph is better for tracking specific buses, and also gives information on vehicle type and long-term reliability of a route.
  • Bernie on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsI think Jim's got it right. The timing is to allow the slowest person time to cross as long as they leave the curb when it still says WALK. If you see it flashing DON'T WALK that means hurry; solid DON'T WALK means RUN! As long as you're not crossing against the actual traffic signal I don't think you can be ticketed. Even then, if you're in a crosswalk I'm not sure any cop would write it up; like say there is zero traffic in the direction the light is green.
  • Cam Solomon on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsCool. Thought I saw something had happened to OBA, and my old link was dead. Thanks!
  • jonc on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsWhat are your standards for "best?" They all rely on the same system so I don't think you'll find any difference in accuracy. I like OneBusAway for its simplicity.
  • asdf2 on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsMost likely, it's just dumb, outdated software in the traffic signal controller. Maybe the green time fluctuates depending on the time of day, but the software requires the length of the walk signal to be fixed, regardless of the time of day. Maybe the cheap version of the software saves the city $10 in installing the traffic signal, and as long as pedestrians can eventually get across without getting run over, the value of their time is, to them, not even worth the $10.
  • Larry on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsI have a question about why at certain intersections, the crosswalk signal isn't aligned with the green light timing. For instance, at several intersections along 522, something like this happens: The green light for vehicles is 45 seconds. The walk signal is on for 10 seconds, then flashing don't walk for 15 seconds, then solid don't walk for 20 seconds. When it seems like it could have easily been walk signal for 30, flashing don't walk for 15 seconds, then the solid don't walk sign comes on at the same time as the yellow light for vehicles. Nearly doubling the...
  • Cam Solomon on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsWhat is the best real time bus app for Tacoma/ST/Seattle these days? Thanks!
  • Glenn in Portland on News roundup: all caught upHave either of you yet gotten to the several pages he wrote about one key being to use local feeder rail transit on the line, but you can’t do that in the USA as the equipment required isn’t legal here? One of several examples: https://zierke.com/shasta_route/pages/43transit.html
  • Tom Terrific on News roundup: all caught upBernie, even if the goal is "higher-speed rail", going through Medford is unacceptable. Assume just the base tunnel under Siskiyou, certainly the only thing that would be funded for H'erSR. Even if Oregon stumped up for a new physical plant between Willamette Junction (south Eugene) and the tunnel portal, the alignment would still be a twisty, up and down mess between Roseburg and Grants Pass. Trains would be squealing around one five degree curve after another. The Shasta Daylight, which made the OAK-PDX run in sixteen hours, skipped Medford, Roseburg and Grants Pass because otherwise it would have been the...
  • Jim Cusick on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsLet's go with the ventilation issue, hot sweaty drunk football fans needing ventilation I can understand. But wasn't there any responsible adult saying, wait for some instructions before we actually start walking somewhere? At least send a messenger up to the cab and get some idea in person.
  • Nathan D. on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsMy understanding is that it was a crush-loaded train - with the power out and no openable windows, opening the doors for ventilation after a few minutes makes sense to me.
  • Mike Orr on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsThe harrassment message is automatic; it's probably on a timer.
  • Jim Cusick on Weekend open thread: Experts answer COVID questionsAm I reading this timeline right? Only after 10 minutes people were opening the doors? Good God! It's a blessing that Link isn't a 3rd rail system! Dumbshit football fans.
  • Mike Orr on News roundup: all caught upSouth of Eugene I mean.