I don't trust the figures - how did you calculate them and which sources did you use?
Is LCRT just an idea or already an available technology?
Are there any plans for the realization of concrete LCRT lines in real cities?
Why do you propose separation from car traffic, but level crossings for pedestrians?
How long will pedestrians have to wait at the level crossings?
Shall cyclists be allowed to use the pedestrian level crossings?
Do fences and elevated overpasses compromise townscape and freedom of movement in public space?
For which urban structures is LCRT suitable?
Is LCRT unnecessarily car-friendly? Could the same quality be achieved at even less cost just by prioritization of conventional tram lines?
Will LCRT cause increased congestion or lack of parking space as traffic areas are converted into tram tracks?
Does the cutting of minor crossroads lead to time losses for motorists and increased pollution?
Do the overpasses of the crossing roads comply with the requirements for smooth and safe traffic?
Is LCRT and its surroundings barrier-free accessible?
Will LCRT cause motion sickness when rapidly going up and down at the underpasses?
Do the ramps of the LCRT underpasses comply with slope limits for tram tracks?
Is the inner height of an LCRT vehicle enough for tall passengers?
Which type of catenary-free power supply shall be used for LCRT?
Does the low position of the pantograph comply with electric safety requirements?
Does LCRT offer enough capacity although the passengers compartment is reduced because of space demand for technical equipment?
- I don't trust the figures - how did you calculate them and which sources did you use?
For detailed methodology and references please have a look into the Generalized Feasibility Study. There you will find more comprehensive answers concerning the other questions too.
- Is LCRT just an idea or already an available technology?
LCRT is already more than a idea, but by far not a solution that is ready for implementation. After detailed research about feasible design parametres and cost estimation, it is roughly in the stage of a "proof of concept". First implementations are conceivable for the first half of the 2020s.
- Are there any plans for the realization of concrete LCRT lines in real cities?
The development of LCRT started with a feasibility study that did not refer to a specific city, but to usual urban framing conditions from a central european perspective. First drafts of possible LCRT lines are available for Brno, Linz, Salzburg and Vienna.
- Why do you propose separation from car traffic, but level crossings for pedestrians?
Cars often cause congestion on tram tracks, e.g. after entering the intersection without sufficient free space beyond it or in case of other cars, obstructing them unexpectedly. Pedestrians do not cause such delays, because they require much less space and can move more freely in order to leave the tracks.
- How long will pedestrians have to wait at the level crossings?
About 20-25 seconds for one train, in the worst case on a double-track line about one minute.
- Shall cyclists be allowed to use the pedestrian level crossings?
The suitability of the level crossings for cyclists depend on the local conditions, particularly on the available waiting areas between the LCRT line and the adjacent driving lanes.
- Do separated tracks and elevated overpasses compromise cityscape and freedom of movement in public space?
The compatibility of LCRT lines highly depends on the urban character and the usage of concerned streetspace. In some surroundings, e.g. wide roads with several driving lanes, underpasses and separated LCRT tracks do not represent neither an aesthetic problem, nor a relevant obstruction for pedestrians. For very sensitive areas, e.g. pedestrian zones, there are various compromise solutions proposed in the general feasibility study, leading to moderately increased costs and/or reduced speed. For cost estimations and feasibility considerations, different sensitivity of the urban environment has been taken into account.
- For which urban structures is LCRT suitable?
In contrary to elevated metro or rapid tram lines, LCRT is not only suitable for spaciuos suburban districts developed from the middle of the 20th century, but also for urban districts consisting of block-perimeter buildings and a usual road width of 15 m and more, originating from the 19th century and dominating big parts of european metropoles. It is not suitable for medieval city centres with heritage protection, very narrow roads and frequent necessity of sharp turns. Such areas must be passed around or passed under by conventional tunneling.
- Is LCRT unnecessarily car-friendly? Could the same quality be achieved at even less cost just by prioritization of conventional tram lines?
According to the experience various cities, public transport does in densely built-up urban structures by far not achieve similar average speed through prioritization as through grade separation. However, it is not clear, whether this is a question of the limits of traffic engineering or of urban transport policy. But even if there are only political reasons for the poor success of tram prioritization, LCRT is politically much more implementable, than rigorous tram prioritization and but much cheaper, than a metro.
- Will LCRT cause increased congestion or lack of parking space as traffic areas are converted into tram tracks?
High-performance rail transit provides at least five times more transportation capacity per lane, than individual car traffic, so LCRT would not increase congestion, but reduce it and offer a reliable alternative transportation solution. Of course, public space is a scarce good, but using it for public transport is still much more efficient than for parking and the construction of underground transport infrastructure is probably the most expensive way to gain additional space.
- Does the cutting of minor crossroads lead to time losses for motorists and increased pollution?
It does, but not to a significant extent compared to the travel time and pollution reduction potential of LCRT. Furthermore, for reasons of traffic calming in residential areas and capacity management on arterial roads, similar restrictions that lead to various detours are very common anyway.
- Do the overpasses of the crossing roads comply with the requirements for smooth and safe road traffic?
The overpasses are designed for 30 km/h, similar to a one-lane roundabout of rather big diameter. Maximum slope is 6%, crest radius is 120 m. For more detailed considerations see the Generalized Feasibility Study
- Is LCRT and its surroundings barrier-free accessible?
Yes it is: maximum slope is 6% and fully low-floor vehicles are used. Stations are at grade without any need for escalators or elevators.
- Will LCRT cause motion sickness when rapidly going up and down at the underpasses?
No, the underpass ramps are designed for a maximum vertical acceleration similar to existing means of transport or elevators: 0,6 m/s2 downwards, 1,2 m/s2 upwards.
- Do the ramps of the LCRT underpasses comply with slope limits for tram tracks?
The maximum slope is quite much (up to 9%), but for technical feasibility, the relevant variable is the average slope for the whole vehicle. Depending on the vehicle length this average slope is up to 5%.
- Is the inner height of an LCRT vehicle enough for tall passengers?
The inner height of the passengers compartment is at least 2,0 m. That is similar to double-deck trains and much more, than double-deck buses.
- Which type of catenary-free power supply shall be used for LCRT?
If trains are long enough and crossing roads not too wide, it should be possible to power the vehicle via two pantographs at either ends: one of them will always be in contact to an active overhead line. If longer underpasses are intended, ground-level supply is conceivable as well as energy storage.
- Does the low position of the pantograph comply with electric safety requirements?
Special pantographs are necessary: The lower part has to be isolated and the retracted pantograph must not set under voltage from the other one.
- Does LCRT offer enough capacity although the passengers compartment is reduced because of space demand for technical devices instead of rooftop equipment?
LCRT can achieve similar capacity as a conventional metro: In contrary to a tram for LCRT trains there are no length restrictions caused by operation in the public road network.