May 24, 2016

Public transit is about urban planning, not cutting traffic

Great story in Politico magazine about The Train That Saved Denver. Key take-away: Public transit development isn't simply about helping ease automobile traffic, although that's often how it's billed. Denver's new light-rail network is about creating compelling new neighborhoods where people can easily get from home to jobs, shopping and retail.

Planning the stations and area around the stations turned out to be as critical as the transit network itself. Lessons learned ranged from designing parking areas so commuters don't simply "bee-line from train to cars" without experiencing the surrounding neighborhood to designing new, diverse housing and retail around new stations.

And that neighborhoods should be walkable - from home and/or workplace to shops, restaurants and grocery stores.

"The most valuable real estate out there is the 'walk to coffee' environment," notes Marilee Utter at the Urban Land Institute.


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