October 17, 2004

‘Smart Growth’ Around Train Stations: A How-To

This easy-to-read 4-page guide (see PDF file) offers basic advice on how to get maximum community benefit out of developments around transit stations.

For example, an obvious but often-ignored suggestion: "Coordinate safe and easy transfers between transit, car, bicycle, and pedestrian travel ways." (I'd add "appealing" to "safe and easy").

The guide also includes some photos to illustrate what they're talking about.

No one is expecting that everyone will foresake their cars and walk or bike to the station, even with "smart growth." The point is to allow, encourage and entice more people to use alternate transportation -- especially if they're within walking distance.

It's important to remember that people will still drive their cars from place to place even if they're close enough to walk, unless there's a pedestrian-friendly route for them. And that means more than installing sidewalks in an environment that's still off-putting to walkers.

(Thanks to Beyond Brilliance, Beyond Stupidity for the link, and the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission for the guide.)

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