Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rebchook on Site Selectors

Site selection, the process of businesses making location decisions, is the flip side of economic development where by geopolitical entities like regions or municipalities try to attract businesses and capital investments.     Long time Denver business and real estate reporter John Rebcook had an excellent story about the recent “Making the Cut: Factors Driving Today’s Site Selection Decisions,” conference for site selectors in Denver.   John does an excellent job of explaining the key role professional consultants play in guiding site selection decisions and disucsses the Denver region's competitive position.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Installation of Table Mesa Pedestrian Bridge Concrete Example of BRT Progress

The installation of the steel girder framed pedestrian bridge on top of twin concrete platforms at the Table Mesa Park-n-Ride is a physical example of progress and investment on the US 36 Bus Rapid Transit and Multimodal Corridor.  The $7 Million bridge which spans US 36, connects the main portion of the Park-n-Ride Station with the Denver Bound lanes of the turnpike.   This will save three or more minutes for buses heading east out of Boulder and improve operational flow and add capacity at the facility.  The bridge is expected to be operational in March 2013.

Photo below of of newly installed span of the Pedestrian Bridge at the Table Mesa Park-n-Ride in Boulder Colorado from Cliff Grassmick/Daily Camera published on 9/16/2012.

Image below of is an illustrated view of the completed project looking North toward Boulder from the RTD FasTracks web site.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lee Kemp, John Tayer, and Will Toor: Must Read on Northwest Rail Line and FasTracks

The Daily Camera Guest Opinion from Kemp, Tayer and Toor on August 26, 2012 is a must read and does the best job I have seen in putting the FasTracks situation in Boulder Country in context.   The Bus Rapid Transit and intermodel improvements on US 36 will be a huge win for Boulder County; Creative solutions needs to be developed to bring rail to the country in a cost effective and timely manner consistent with the promises made to commuters, residents, tax payers and voters in the region as part of FasTracks; And we need to keep working toward a productive regional solution to these issues while applying pressure to the system to make sure Boulder Country's interests are protected.

A couple of key excerpts from the Opinion:

"For the immediate term, we joined with our other US 36 colleagues to prioritize full build out of bus-rapid-transit (BRT) system. Why the focus on BRT? With an estimated daily ridership of 20,400 by 2035, the US 36 BRT system has long been recognized as the transit workhorse for Boulder/Denver commuters...

 [W]e now have the $400 million to begin construction of two high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes between Boulder and Westminster. These HOV lanes are the backbone of the BRT system, creating traffic-free travel for RTD buses, along with carpoolers and toll-paying drivers...

BRT is far more than merely HOV lanes, though. True BRT includes travel amenities and service enhancements such as specially designed and high frequency buses, real-time bus information, faster loading with pre-pay fare systems, and improved stations. That is the standard of "rail-like" service which characterizes model BRT systems around the globe and is the same BRT service standards we expect RTD to deliver for our corridor...

But we aren't nearly as far down the line as anyone would have liked. It makes us fighting mad, for sure. Rather than run in circles, screaming and shouting, though, we are focused on aggressively pursuing the most practical route toward achieving the vision of regional transit mobility that the 2004 FasTracks plan embodied. We hope you will join us in that fight."