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Thread: Public transportation over sand?

  1. #1
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    Public transportation over sand?

    Hi, I am looking for new solutions to implementing public transit along an ecologically sensitive seashore where the road keeps getting washed out. Has anyone run across an over-sand shuttle or rail system? ANy original ideas about seashore public transit? This will service mainly recreationalists.

    Also, anyone with information on hydroplanes as public transit?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    In Aus and NZ many of their 'main' roads are along the beaches. Why can't you just mark out a route and use properly equipped busses?

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by b3nr View post
    In Aus and NZ many of their 'main' roads are along the beaches. Why can't you just mark out a route and use properly equipped busses?
    Not all sand is along beaches. Michigan has some pretty big sand dunes which can be quite a distance from the coastline, but are part of the lakeshore. In the old days they used to have these big dune buggy type limos that would take people around those areas, but those are not environmentally sensitive. They can go up and down the dunes, but promote erosion. Even along a beach you will have the sand getting too compact and there could be runoff from the vehicles. Many creatures like to bury themselves in the sand and it could reuslt in a dimished habitat.

    I do recall seeing an transportation enhancement project in PR that used giant wheeled carts and a ramp to allow the disabled to enjoy the beach more, though it would not qualify as public transport.

    A people mover/monorail would be the best solution, but it may be cost prohibitive for this application.

    I would be interested in the solution for this problem though. Please keep us posted if you find anything.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    What's the real issue and purpose?

    Perhaps a little clarification could help...

    Is it the sand that is a problem, or the fact that the road keeps getting "washed away"? Washed away by what - high tides, storms, rivers overflowing, or...?

    What is the nature of the public transit being provided? Is it intended to provide frequent stops along the seashore, or are the stops less frequent? Is it for shore visiters, or for others that are passing the area, and the route in-land has other obstructions? Are we talking large volumes of passengers or not?

    Point Pelee National Park in southern Ontario has one paved road away from the sandy areas, which is used by a gas-powered road "train", with periodic stops for passengers, who then access the shore by boardwalks through the woods or over the sand (especially appreciated by older people who have difficulty walking far in sand).

    Are their jetties or small docks? What's the weather and wave pattern? Some places uses water transport (i.e. boats!) as water-buses, but these need jetties or docks to on and off load passengers. And if there are to be frequet stops, they are not very practical...especially if its an environmentally sensitive area you want to protect. They can't be used in all types of weather or seas.

    If you give us more info, WO, maybe we can give you more ideas and examples...

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Another issue with water transportation is the license that the captain hight have to have. Depending on where, it might require a relatively high paid person.. Also likely to require a crew of at least two even with a small vessel.

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    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act may increase the size of the vehicle that you ultimately choose.
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  8. #8
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    thanks...

    I am sure that monomogolo is right: I need to give more information.

    I am conducting some pre-official study research on alternative transportation for a park on a barrier island. The park is heavily visited, and all of the traffic is visitors to the park, no through traffic. The road, the only access aside from private boat, was washed out twice by hurricanes in concecutive years. The road is being rebuilt, but there is a high likelihood of this road being washed out in the future. Shorebird and turtle nesting make environmental sensitivity a high priority.

    The study will at least look at boat shuttle and an on-road shuttle, making many of the leads posted here really helpful to me. I wanted to look at over-sand shuttles for if/when the road is gone, so that access can still be provided.

    I love the idea of suspended train, that was a great link, but I think it might dwarf this small island. I think that the park has one of the beach wheelchairs, but I'm not positive. I agree that ADA needs to be a top concern when looking at shuttles and boats alike.

    I'm looking at Pelee National Park Shuttle, it is interesting, I hope I can find more details.

    So thanks again for the ideas. I hope this clarifies, and feel free to comment on any AT aspect of the study

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