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  1. #1

    Default Q Line "Constructive Criticism"

    What do you think the Q Line needs to improve on in order to be an integral part of Detroit's transit system, as well as being a viable option compared to private autos/bus/car sharing?

    My top complaints-

    1. Run the damn cars. I sat in the baking sun for 25 minutes yesterday waiting for a Q Line to come. It was stopped (surprise!) at the Montcalm station (perhaps the most useless station on system). 5 or 6, not 2 or 3 cars need to be running. 15 minute max wait time- any more and you could drive the distance while waiting for the train.

    2. Signal Priority is a must. The train moves fast between lights but it gets really bogged down in Midtown/Downtown. It can keep up with the speed of traffic but this is useless unless it doesn't stop every three blocks for a red light.

    3. Turn Montcalm, Sibley, and Baltimore into "flag stops". People can surely figure out how to push the STOP button mounted along the train. No one gets on at these station anyway, and the driver can see them. It only stops now on the assumption that SOMEONE might be getting off.

    4. Plan for the future. Obviously, a plan for an extension must be locked in within a year. The obvious candidates- Belle Isle, Ferndale, or Corktown. Pick one and go with it so the public (and savvy real estate investors) can see the plan and digest it until the next RTA referendum. Also, it wouldn't hurt to see a plan for a cut and cover tunnel under GCP- watching trains try to maneuver from the right to left lane is hilarious.

    Let me know what the rest of the transit savvy populace thinks.

  2. #2
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    1. Agree.

    2. Isn't signal priority in the works?

    3. Thought the cars don't stop unless someone signals or someone waiting.

    4. E. Jefferson works for me. Michigan Ave. would be easy - 1.5 mile segment running from say Slow's to Campus Martius. Should be a relatively cheap segment to build. Would be an 'experiment' if building QLine would encourage development along the line.

  3. #3

    Default

    MSFan, thank you for starting this thread.

    1) I believe more cars are already on the way. I think there will be double the number by the end of the summer.

    2) Signal priority is in the works. If BRT ever does come, that will be one hell of an organizational task, to get all the tech working correctly.

    3) I haven't noticed if the cars stop when no one presses a button.

    4) Other segments should be built, but I think the Woodward line should be separate. I think it would make more sense for a Jefferson line to turn into the Michigan Avenue line, and have them cross paths with a Qline at Congress. But I would extend the Woodward Line as far as possible (all the way to Pontiac if it were up to me). One question: why does an expansion need to be locked in within a year? I highly doubt any firm expansions would be announced in that time frame.

    Some of my own points:
    1) The trains still have a plastic-y smell to them and it is unpleasant.
    2) Train I was on yesterday displayed "Montcalm Station" for the entire ride.
    3) I have seen people be somewhat confused about whether QLine station stops are also bus stops. Signage for both should be clearer.
    4) When paid rides are up and running, what is to prevent someone from just getting on and not paying?
    5) The train cars and station stops should have good downtown maps, with stations also having more detailed neighborhood maps. Similarly, People Mover maps should be updated in general, but specifically to include QLine stations.

    Perhaps the biggest threat to the QLine is a problem facing society at large: skinny jeans. They are awful. All these damn young-in's working downtown now wear them. The look bad on women, and are downright offensive on men. There must have been 20 of them on my train yesterday. I wanted to heave. They flatter no one, regardless of physique. THIS SCOURGE MUST END.

    Overall, I am liking the QLine. Has anyone seen ridership numbers yet?

  4. #4
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    Big question, for me, isn't the number of people wearing skinny jeans on the train but the number of people on the train yesterday.

    #4 (original). I have tried looking at a Google map and wonder if it is possible to run a streetcar up E. Jefferson and cross over and go up Michigan Ave. Not sure that is easy.

    I assume a Michigan Ave. line would be easy: It would 'dead end' near the Campus Martius station.

    An E. Jefferson station would end (where)? Would folks have to walk two blocks to Congress to transfer to the Woodward line??

    Would Woodward, E. Jefferson and Michigan Ave. have to be separate non-connected lines????

  5. #5

    Default

    1. frequency, frequency, frequency - at least 10 minutes but really should be between 5-8 minutes

    2. dedicated ROW - I'm shocked this wasn't done to begin with

    3. signal priority - this would speed up travel times

    4. regional smart card that works with SMART, DDOT, DPM, etc and also can accept other contactless payments (Apple Pay)

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    Big question, for me, isn't the number of people wearing skinny jeans on the train but the number of people on the train yesterday.

    #4 (original). I have tried looking at a Google map and wonder if it is possible to run a streetcar up E. Jefferson and cross over and go up Michigan Ave. Not sure that is easy.

    I assume a Michigan Ave. line would be easy: It would 'dead end' near the Campus Martius station.

    An E. Jefferson station would end (where)? Would folks have to walk two blocks to Congress to transfer to the Woodward line??

    Would Woodward, E. Jefferson and Michigan Ave. have to be separate non-connected lines????
    All the lines would meet in Campus Martius, In an orgy of cars, confused jaywalking suburbanites, and trains.

  7. #7
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    Yep, 'Fan.

    No way could three lines all meet around Campus Martius. Spatially it doesn't make sense.

    I do think a Michigan Ave. line could end near the Campus Martius stop and folks walk a short distance to hop on the QLine.

    I have NO idea how to get a streetcar line from E. Jefferson there. Spatially seems impossible to me.

    I have NO idea how an E. Jefferson to downtown to Michigan Ave. line would work. Think it would be very, very difficult.

  8. #8

    Default

    Most of the needed changes have already been listed: signal priority, dedicated ROW, increased frequency, on-call stopping, integrated fare card. Those all need to happen to make the system faster and more integrated into the wider transit system.

    I know dedicated ROW can't happen south of GCP, but Woodward is plenty wide north of it to allow the train to have its own dedicated lane.

    But they need to have immediate removal of vehicles blocking the train. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing transit cops issuing a ticket for blocking the tracks while both the offender and police are blocking the tracks and making a train wait. Move the vehicles off the track, then issue the citation. DUH! A U-Haul was parked and seemingly abandoned on the tracks for over 30 minutes with 2 trains backed up behind it. Police were on the scene within 2 minutes, but where was a tow truck to move it immediately? Again makes no sense!!

    As for running new lines up Michigan and Jefferson: the Michigan line would circle Campus Martius as its turnaround and link up with the Qline station there. The Jefferson line would have a Woodward stop with a 1-block away link to the Qline at Larned. The Jefferson line would continue to Washington, go north on Washington and have a link to the Michigan line/Transit Center, then continue north and terminate at GCP where it would have another 1-block away link to the Qline.

  9. #9

    Default

    To me Jefferson seems the easiest to do- run tracks south of congress station that turn left onto Jefferson, perhaps through a tunnel. I don't see why all the lines can't connect for interlining.

  10. #10
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    One of the questions become the parking lanes and traffic flow interruptions of having a streetcar system.

    What happens as the (Jefferson/Michigan Ave.) streetcar leaves Woodward for say Larned, Washington, etc.?

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    One of the questions become the parking lanes and traffic flow interruptions of having a streetcar system.

    What happens as the (Jefferson/Michigan Ave.) streetcar leaves Woodward for say Larned, Washington, etc.?
    It makes a right turn

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by casscorridor View Post
    1. frequency, frequency, frequency - at least 10 minutes but really should be between 5-8 minutes

    2. dedicated ROW - I'm shocked this wasn't done to begin with

    3. signal priority - this would speed up travel times

    4. regional smart card that works with SMART, DDOT, DPM, etc and also can accept other contactless payments (Apple Pay)
    Yes to all.

    Quote Originally Posted by MicrosoftFan View Post
    3. Turn Montcalm, Sibley, and Baltimore into "flag stops". People can surely figure out how to push the STOP button mounted along the train. No one gets on at these station anyway, and the driver can see them. It only stops now on the assumption that SOMEONE might be getting off.
    I've been in Philadelphia a year but just learned that even the subway stops for their streetcars are flag stops. (If you're not familiar with Philly, they have a separate subway for their West Philadelphia streetcar routes that runs about 2.3 miles through downtown with stations about every 3 blocks. Through a historical quirk, the main heavy rail subway has no stops on the west side of downtown but the streetcar subway does.) Need to communicate this clearly, though, if some stops are flag and some aren't.

    As far as new routes, I think it can be pretty simple. Woodward line turns left onto Jefferson and runs to Belle Isle. Tying Belle Isle and the excellent east riverfront plans to downtown/midtown would be a huge win. And then a Michigan line crosses it downtown before heading up Gratiot. From the Fisher/Michigan to St. Aubin/Gratiot is... wait for it... 3.3 miles. MCS - Corktown - Downtown - Greektown - Eastern Market.

    Now just go collect a few hundred million bucks!
    Last edited by Junjie; July-20-17 at 01:45 PM.

  13. #13

    Default

    Gratiot to New Baltimore, Jefferson to Mt Clemens, Woodward to Pontiac, Grand River to Novi, Michigan to Ann Arbor, 15 minutes apart 24 X 7 on every line. Large free parking areas at every suburban stop!!!!!!!!

    Pay for it by a tax on large car stereos.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Junjie View Post
    Now just go collect a few hundred million bucks!
    Actually, this is just about all somebody would have to do. I imagine, for example, that there is some sort of East Jefferson business association. If that group could wrangle together sufficient philanthropic and real-estate interests to come up with enough money to build another line, I strongly suspect the county (I believe East Jeff is a county road) and the city would support it, the state would provide staff resources and the QLine folks would provide technical assistance. If MDOT is serious about reconfiguring I-375, that would probably be the ideal time for actual construction.

    I picked out East Jefferson because I always believed that would be a nice second shot, that or extending QLine to the north somewhat. The other routes are equally conceivable and none seems to present any peculiar technical challenges. With Woodward, getting under the freight rail bridge near the Amtrak station was the biggest headache, and they solved it pretty neatly.

  15. #15

    Default

    "But they need to have immediate removal of vehicles blocking the train. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing transit cops issuing a ticket for blocking the tracks while both the offender and police are blocking the tracks and making a train wait. Move the vehicles off the track, then issue the citation. DUH! A U-Haul was parked and seemingly abandoned on the tracks for over 30 minutes with 2 trains backed up behind it. Police were on the scene within 2 minutes, but where was a tow truck to move it immediately? Again makes no sense!!" (Middetres)

    My biggest complaint about the southbound lanes being in the parking lanes confirmed. When it's time to redo the tracks, they need to put the tracks in the second lane like the northbound lanes. No delivery trucks or U-Hauls blocking that side of the street.

    My wish for an extension is along Grand Boulevard. Extend the line to the Motown Museum. That would fulfill the Q-Lines true mission: to get tourists and midtowners/downtowners to major Detroit attractions. The belief that the line needs to go north to Eight Mile and beyond is impractical for this kind of rail. The Woodward bus can handle that better.

    Also, a line on East Jefferson would be a waste of money. There aren't many tourist attractions along that route except Belle Isle. And there are several areas along Jefferson where there's little residential and so there wouldn't be a lot of ridership. In addition, where does it go beyond Belle Isle? The same can be said of a line along Michigan. Besides, if it's only gonna go up to Slows then again that's just a waste of money. You can walk to Slow's from Campus Martius in the time it would take a streetcar on that route to get you there.
    Last edited by royce; July-22-17 at 02:45 AM.

  16. #16
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    I hear you, Royce.

    My point for E. Jefferson have been two fold:

    1). Encourage in-fill development. How fast would it happen? Who knows.

    2). If it goes beyond Belle Isle, say 1/2 to 1 mile, it might encourage folks from the area to drive to a parking lot and take the streetcar to downtown. I assume most of it would be to journey to work.

    QLine is pretty much: you get what you see. Will encourage some in-fill development but most of Woodward from the river to New Center is mostly developed.

    What E. Jefferson would test is whether or not the east most stop would serve as a collector for folks who want to drive to that station, park, and hop aboard to downtown.

    The same thing could be said for the QLine. If it is expanded northward enough, the northern most station could be a collecter point for those in northern Detroit or southern Oakland County looking to park and rise downtown.
    Last edited by emu steve; July-22-17 at 06:16 AM.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    "My biggest complaint about the southbound lanes being in the parking lanes confirmed. When it's time to redo the tracks, they need to put the tracks in the second lane like the northbound lanes. No delivery trucks or U-Hauls blocking that side of the street.
    I've seen just as many vehicles blocking NB tracks as SB tracks. The SB tracks are not in the parking lane. There is no parking lane on the SB side. Vehicles need to learn to make deliveries from the closest side street or from the middle left turn lane. There is never an excuse to stop on the tracks...ever!!

    That being said, the damn tracks should have been in the middle of the street all along. Then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

  18. #18

    Default

    I was in Detroit last week and came to Woodward and didn't see any sign of Qline. I didn't even see SIGNS that told me a car driver what to look for (flashing lights, STOP signs, nothing.) They can start with signs for drivers to know where to stop how to proceed.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago48 View Post
    I was in Detroit last week and came to Woodward and didn't see any sign of Qline. I didn't even see SIGNS that told me a car driver what to look for (flashing lights, STOP signs, nothing.) They can start with signs for drivers to know where to stop how to proceed.
    This makes no sense. The tracks meant nothing? The stations? You really didn't see one streetcar? The streetcar has its own traffic lights, drivers just need to pay attention to their own.

  20. #20

    Default

    The main role of the Q Line is to encourage transit oriented development. East Jefferson would open up the Riverfront to more development, as well as make East jefferson a viable transit friendly corridor, as opposed to the eight lane highway it is now. If you think extending extending a streetcar to slows is stupid, then extending it to a bungalow on the West Side is even more stupid.

    The Q Line was intended to go to 8 mile+ from the beginning. The center running alignment is faster than the side running, and the Q Line has a top speed of 48MPH, keeping the pace with Woodward traffic. And from 6 Mile+ it can run in the median in its own lane. As far as density, most neighborhoods along the corridor between Boston Edison and 6 Mile have less density than inner ring burbs like Ferndale. The Q Line to Royal Oak makes sense, connecting to Amtrak and the Zoo.

    My priorities are-
    1. East Jefferson to West Village (Van Dyke) first, then to Alter/Kercheval on the GPP border
    2. Woodward to 8 Mile, then Royal Oak
    3. Possibly a People Mover to the Airport

    In addition, bus services aren't going to attract the kind of ridership along the woodward corridor, due to the prevailing "bus stigma" of suburbanites born pre-1990. You need to either have trains, or a special "circulator" bus service that makes no stops in "bad areas". White suburbanites won't be hopping on DDOT anytime soon.

  21. #21

    Default

    [QUOTE=MikeyinBrooklyn;529537]MSFan, thank you for starting this thread.



    Perhaps the biggest threat to the QLine is a problem facing society at large: skinny jeans. They are awful. All these damn young-in's working downtown now wear them. The look bad on women, and are downright offensive on men. There must have been 20 of them on my train yesterday. I wanted to heave. They flatter no one, regardless of physique. THIS SCOURGE MUST END.

    Overall, I am liking the QLine. Has anyone seen ridership numbers yet?[/QUOTE

    Why are you letting how people dress affect your daily life? Would you rather the jeans be sagging with no belt as the person is constantly pulling up his/her pants?

    Skinny jeans have always been a popular trend.

  22. #22

    Default

    ^^^ I just want the given jean wearer (whatever style) to be civil and considerate to those around them!
    Last edited by Zacha341; July-24-17 at 08:30 AM.

  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=warsaw7;529750]
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyinBrooklyn View Post
    MSFan, thank you for starting this thread.



    Perhaps the biggest threat to the QLine is a problem facing society at large: skinny jeans. They are awful. All these damn young-in's working downtown now wear them. The look bad on women, and are downright offensive on men. There must have been 20 of them on my train yesterday. I wanted to heave. They flatter no one, regardless of physique. THIS SCOURGE MUST END.

    Overall, I am liking the QLine. Has anyone seen ridership numbers yet?[/QUOTE

    Why are you letting how people dress affect your daily life? Would you rather the jeans be sagging with no belt as the person is constantly pulling up his/her pants?

    Skinny jeans have always been a popular trend.
    How about mini-skirts for females?

    It would eliminate the question of whether jeans should sag or squeeze. Lol.

  24. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyinBrooklyn View Post
    MSFan, thank you for starting this thread.

    Perhaps the biggest threat to the QLine is a problem facing society at large: skinny jeans. They are awful. All these damn young-in's working downtown now wear them. The look bad on women, and are downright offensive on men. There must have been 20 of them on my train yesterday. I wanted to heave. They flatter no one, regardless of physique. THIS SCOURGE MUST END.

    Overall, I am liking the QLine. Has anyone seen ridership numbers yet?[/QUOTE

    Why are you letting how people dress affect your daily life? Would you rather the jeans be sagging with no belt as the person is constantly pulling up his/her pants?

    Skinny jeans have always been a popular trend.
    And I prefer the skinny jeans to the other option, which is wearing their jeans around their knees.
    The men look like male prostitutes

  25. #25

    Default

    An inevitable "first" has happened.
    QLine streetcar damaged in minor accident
    http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...minor-accident

    People who know me, usually find me overly optimistic. But with the Qline, try as I can, I am very gloomy. Can someone give me some sunshine?

    1- The above article notes, "The Qline averaged about 3,300 rides a day in its first month, below the 5,000-8,000 M-1 Rail has long said it needs to meet budgetary projections. Crain's has requested more recent ridership data."

    Not mentioning that^ was with free rides.

    2-My one experience was/wasn't while touring some Brits who I had stay at the Inn on Ferry. My plan was for us to take the Qline to Grand Circus, ride the People Mover a couple of laps to point out the sites, then Qline back to the Ferry Street Station.

    We get to the Ferry Station and one Brits reads "Next train 25 minutes". Middle of the day. Time limited, we piled in my car and drove, and parked easily and cheaply using the excellent Park Detroit app.

    3-With the Qline's snail pace and the uncertainty of rail blockage stops, if I have to be downtown for an appointment, should I take the bus or the Qline? <-Rhetorical question.

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