You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index You-Read-It-Here-First
A collection of textual novelties
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
If you want to read the articles here, go ahead, just click on a forum and find a thread that interests you...no need to register! If you want to post something... either new or in response to someone here, then click the Register link above. It's free... and it's fun to write your ideas here. You can even create a "blog" by starting a personal thread in the Daily Life Every Thread A Diary section...

Low Density Rail

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index -> Ideas about General Transportation
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Low Density Rail Reply with quote

Have been recently debating with commentators on the notion that rail, far from promoting density, can and has promoted sprawl.

Because it makes it easier to travel long distances without the traffic of auto transport, it allows people to have housing much further away from work.

Plus, the "heavy" or commuter rail systems typically have adequate parking in remote suburban areas, making it easy to live a low density lifestyle while retaining a high salary job.

So a typical argument is that Rail is needed because people want to give up their cars, and move into 8 story condomiums. A counter argument is that rail -- even light rail -- makes it ever more possible to stick with the single family home, continue to have a car for short trips to the mall and grocery store and to get what people really want: low cost parking so they can travel and enjoy the cultural centers. Light rail then becomes more like an airport shuttle from the parking lot.

This thread explores the issue.


Last edited by jabailo on Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Visit the Instant Postcard Collection @ http://instant-postcard-collection.com
Looking for postcards of that favorite place? Family origins? Or that perfect vacation, except for the photos?
Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one thread on another blog where the argument has been raging:

http://seattletransitblog.com/2010/01/31/sunday-open-thread-dont-try-this-at-home/#comment-101940
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/us/20rail.html

In Phoenix, Weekend Users Make Light Rail a Success

Quote:
The light rail here, which opened in December, has been a greater success than its proponents thought it would be, but not quite the way they envisioned. Unlike the rest of the country’s public transportation systems, which are used principally by commuters, the 20 miles of light rail here stretching from central Phoenix to Mesa and Tempe is used largely by people going to restaurants, bars, ball games and cultural events downtown.


The lead photo in the article is especially amusing:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/09/20/us/20rail_600.jpg

Hardly "dense" I would say!


Last edited by jabailo on Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Light Rail Now! Austin
Myths of Light Rail Busted


http://www.lightrailnow.org/lrn_austin/myths.html#density

Quote:
Claim: The density along the proposed light-rail route is anywhere from a half to a fifth of the density that is generally required to support a rail system.

Fact: This is an inaccurate and misleading claim that puts the cart before the horse.

One of the primary goals of light rail is to motivate smart residential and commercial growth along the entire rail line corridor.

This counteracts the otherwise naturally occurring phenomenon of clustered and creeping downtown development that leads to loss of middle-class neighborhoods.

The success that Dallas has had with DART has demonstrated this desired effect, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in new residential development within previously low-density and undesirable neighborhoods.

Use of light rail will eliminate the commute "penalty" for living in outlying areas by delivering predictable and convenient transit (as far north as McNeil road) directly into the downtown corridor.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Visit the Instant Postcard Collection @ http://instant-postcard-collection.com
Looking for postcards of that favorite place? Family origins? Or that perfect vacation, except for the photos?
Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
sluggo



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rail may increase the size of metropolitan areas, but this is dwarfed by the effect of highways. Also, rail produces a different <i>kind</i> of growth. It promotes walkable neighborhoods around stations.

Before rail and cars, people had to live within walking distance of their jobs. The Industrial Revolution needed more workers than that, so the London and New York subways were built to bring workers in every day. People who <i>already</i> lived outside downtown. They also extended lines into open fields to direct future growth, as in the MAX Gresham line. But the center of jobs and shopping was still downtown, and the neighborhood stops became centers in their own right, as people stopped at the store on their way home.

Highways turned cities inside out. 520 and 405 clearly caused the Eastside sprawl. They enabled the existence of malls and big-box stores. Urban land use grew <i>four times</i> the population growth the past two decades, compared with earlier growth.

The commuter trains in New York, Chicago, the Bay Area, and LA did not cause sprawl, they're an attempt to cope with it. Can you name a rail line anywhere built in the last 50 years that caused bad sprawl?

The cities with all-day commuter trains and subways are too built up to house all the people who commute into them. (Unless you're willing to build 10-story apartments on every block, as in Moscow.) What you call rail sprawl is satellite neighborhoods or satellite cities. Pockets of density in open land. Some people think cities should not be bigger than a certain size, maybe 250,000 or 500,000 or 1 million. Rail allows 5 million people to live in chunks -- smaller cities. This is not sprawl. "Sprawl" is low-density automobile development that extends for miles.

Suppose a rail line is built and a city dweller moves to a suburban town on the line, and commutes to the city. That line just created sprawl, you would say. But many times that many people move to the suburbs because of highways. The train rider uses a quarter as much energy as his car-driving colleagues, and the line took a quarter as much land as the highway did. Maybe they built the rail line in the middle of the highway, and it doesn't take up any extra land.

We could eliminate sprawl by closing rail lines <i>and</i> roads. But that won't happen. The suburbs are here to stay, and some number of drivers will remain. The goal is to make it easy not to drive if you don't want to -- like it was during the streetcar era. This implies walkability and some amount of density, but not necessarily high density everywhere.

Link has a variety of stations. Some are in existing dense neighborhoods. Some are in growth areas where future density is hoped for. Some are park n rides for suburban commuters. These are all necessary given our current geography and car use.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
John Galt



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prior to WW2, the suburbs of many cities were served by interurban rail and trolleys, the LRT of their day. They're still in use in some parts of Toronto. Most people didn't have cars, the interurban, a bicycle and walking got people where they needed to go.

Following the war N.America had an abundance of gasoline refining capacity and a declining gasoline demand as aviation transitioned to jets. The frontier myth of a man on his horse and the wide open horizon was used to market the private automobile and unlimited access to cheap gas, and cheap burgers, fries, pop or beer. The Great American Postwar Dream was born.

Some call it sprawl, others call it reduced density, less environmental impact, closer living with natural spaces and the healthful benefits of clean air and water. Providing of course that moving people about doesn't poison the air we breathe. Decades later Design with Nature by Ian L. Mcharg is even more relevant to city planning.

We have the technology to develop efficient LRT public transit. Vancouver's Sky Train and Calgary's C_Train are good examples. As well, could easily transition all urban core vehicle transport to CNG fuel. All that's missing is the public will to make it happen.

We remain hobbled by insurmountable opportunities while we poison the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.southbendtribune.com/article/20091219/NEWS01/312199998

Smaller cities want high-speed rail, too


Quote:
“The rural areas have needs just like the larger communities, and we get overlooked a lot,” said Joy McCarthy-Sessing, president of the Warsaw-Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce and Kosciusko Development Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Visit the Instant Postcard Collection @ http://instant-postcard-collection.com
Looking for postcards of that favorite place? Family origins? Or that perfect vacation, except for the photos?
Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    You-Read-It-Here-First Forum Index -> Ideas about General Transportation All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group