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Re: “Filling the loop


2035 was used as a date because NYSDOT always uses a 20 year cost/benefit analysis when considering capital upgrades. The 2.2 second delay was derived from the use of mathematical models, in the U.S. it is most common to apply the Highway Capacity Manual models published by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences and the FHWA, and has been in use since first published in 1950. Please see link below. There's no big government conspiracy in these numbers to get us to all ride bikes and eat more kale, just math.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Nick on 05/29/2015 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Filling the loop

Tom Janowski-

As far as traffic is concerned allow me to quote from the NYSDOT engineering assessment report on the project.

"The expressway has a number of non-standard features, notably blind slip ramps and inadequate merge/weave sections, which contribute to unsafe conditions and a generally unpleasant experience. The presence of one-way frontage roads flanking the expressway makes it necessary to have two traffic signals at each crossing arterial (six signals in total). Two of these arterials, East Avenue and Monroe Avenue, carry more traffic than the expressway itself. Thus, the underutilized expressway causes excess delay on more heavily-traveled surface arterials. Removal of the expressway and frontage roads and their replacement with an at-grade boulevard will improve traffic operations on these key Center City arterials while adding only minor delay for former users of this section of expressway."

"With respect to travel performance, the project can achieve the desired objective while adding only 2.2 seconds of delay per vehicle during the evening peak travel period by the year 2035. The Level of Service at the remaining three (3) reconfigured traffic signal control intersections will operate at LOS C with no
traffic movements below LOS D. Energy consumption, as well as vehicle emissions, will be reduced (see Sustainability Section). These changes will also reduce the number and severity of traffic accidents. Thus, overall travel safety will be improved (see Safety Section). The relatively low traffic volumes on the expressway can be easily, and more efficiently, handled on a multi-lane surface boulevard. The removal of the grade-separated highway will facilitate increased
bicycle/pedestrian mode share and will enhance accessibility and mobility options for the disabled. The number of traffic signals along the corridor will be halved from six to three, reducing excess delay for motorists and patrons of the three heavily-used bus routes that traverse this section of the Loop. Access
management via medians and/or shared driveways will ensure a high-quality level of service on the new boulevard."

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Nick on 05/29/2015 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Filling the loop

Bill- The real money is coming from the sale of government bonds on the open market and then paid back through regular debt and finance service to the capital projects funds. Almost all capital projects are financed in this way. Expecting the government to have upfront cash in a general fund to cover the often enormous costs of public works construction is all but unheard of in this country, and I say that going all the way back to the construction of the Erie Canal. The Inner Loop Project is no different in this regard. If you had read the cost benefit analysis for this project completed by H,R,&A (an impartial third party in regards to the project) you would see that they already took into consideration interest costs. The benefit in maintenance was still close to $20 million dollars when projecting a 30 year finance period at 7% interest on total project dollars. This means that it is still a net gain even if no property is developed. As too why the new street is needed, you still need to have a connector street in this location to allow a steady flow of traffic throughout the city. You just don't need the 12 lanes of sunken expressway and service roads we have now. And the single biggest cost of the project is for the placement of fill ($2.4 million for 120,000 cu yd at $20/ cu yd)so there wouldn't be a huge savings realized by not placing new road.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Nick on 05/28/2015 at 2:10 PM

Re: “Filling the loop

I think both Bill and Alex have missed the forest for the trees with this project. $17 million of this project is coming from a Federal Tiger Grant which originated from a one time allocation of funds from the 2009 Recovery Act, so it was money that was going to spent regardless of whether or not the Inner Loop was filled in. This leaves the City with just a $3 million price tag for the project. Not bad when you consider the fact that the NYSDOT was calling for $25 million in repairs and maintenance just for the deficient bridges. In fact if you read the project benefit cost analysis the City stands to save close to $35 million in maintenance alone through this project. By Bill's math the City could actually pay developers over $5 million an acre, charge no taxes on the property, and still come out ahead , due to maintenance savings alone.

4 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Nick on 05/28/2015 at 12:30 PM

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