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» Why Portland Is Building a Multi-Modal Bridge That Bans Cars

It’s an act of urban planning maybe even more so than a transit project.”

connected, finally!

Tilikum Crossing is the nation’s first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland’s streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. If the bridge looks elegant in its slenderness, that may be because the omission of private automobiles keeps it from taking on a more gargantuan array of lanes and entry/exit ramps.

"[The] original decision to turn down federal dollars for a freeway and instead to invest that in MAX (light-rail), that’s a fundamental shift that other American cities don’t make."

read more: citylab, 19.08.14.
more photos: the portland-milwaukie light-rail project on flickr.

» Transit Projects Are About to Get Much, Much Easier in California

The state’s push to end car-first street planning could ripple across the country.

the 700+ page EIR for the two-mile long BRT project on Van Ness Avenue in SF. excluding the second volume or the thousands of pages of technical supplements.

rendering of the Van Ness BRT line, scheduled to begin operation by 2018.

The only area where the Van Ness BRT project had an unavoidable negative impact that couldn’t be offset under CEQA was traffic. “So this whole document was prepared because of the traffic impact,” says Schwartz, nodding at the enormous report. And here’s the really sad thing about CEQA traffic impacts: They’re determined using a car-friendly metric known as “level of service” that bases a project’s transportation performance on driver delay. In other words, Van Ness BRT required all the trouble of preparing this massive report because, in the twisted eyes of California law, public transit is considered a greater enemy to the environment than car travel.

That’s the bad news. The encouraging news is that this law is about to change. California will soon reform traffic analysis under CEQA by replacing “level of service” with another metric more in line with its environmental and urban mobility goals. So transit projects and transit-friendly development are about to get much, much easier in California cities—and some think the shift in mindset will spread across the country.

read more: citylab, 08.07.14.

S.F. has new plan to drive more cars off Market Street
"This is primarily a safety project," said Timothy Papandreou, director of strategic planning in the sustainable streets division of the MTA.
The changes announced Friday include stepped-up enforcement of existing transit-only lanes and turn restrictions. Early next year, additional mandatory turns are to be installed at Third, Fourth and Fifth streets and transit-only lanes would be extended eastward down Market.
Market Street between Eighth and Montgomery streets has twice as many collisions as parallel Mission Street despite having only a third of the traffic, Papandreou said. It also includes four of the city’s 20 worst intersections for collisions that injure or kill pedestrians—Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Main Streets. Two of the worst intersections for bike collisions are also on Market at Third and Fifth streets.
sfgate, 15.03.14.
basically, market st. is gonna be even more confusing to drive on, so stick to mission st (soma) and only cross over to the other grid when you need to.
» Driving Is Going Out of Style

A new study from U.S. PIRG gives us perhaps the most detailed yet look at the “peak car” phenomenon whereby America’s passenger-miles driven keeps falling. As Ashley Halsey writes (washpo. 04.12.13), perhaps the most important contention of the report is “data that show the cities with the biggest drop in driving suffered no greater unemployment peaks than those cities where driving declined the least.”

PIRG’s takeaway is that it’s time to stop lavishly funding new highway construction and instead focus money on a mix of maintaining existing infrastructure and improving mass transit services. I agree with that, but the budget allocations are in some ways the smallest pieces of the puzzle. The real gains are to be made in rolling back the implicit subsidies to parking and barriers to multi-family apartments, leveling the regulatory playing field between private cars and private transit (slate, 21.06.12), and looking at operational issues that prevent cost-effective transit operations in the United States (slate, 12.11.13.).

slate, 05.12.13.

(Source: emergentfutures)

» Seeing Bike-Share as an Alternative to Streetcars

photo by anne p. on flickr.

the Portland Streetcar. photo by john s. on flickr

atlanticcities, 07.10.13.

Emeryville-Berkeley-Oakland Transit Study (EBOTS)
Let us know how you would improve transit in Emeryville, West Berkeley, and West Oakland. Tell us about what trips you make or would like to make using transit in these areas.
questionnaire in english and en español. 
share/reblog, east bay folks (on the west side)!
» The U.S. Can’t Afford Nice Transit, So Everyone’s Fawning Over BRT

nextcity, 24.09.13.

» Bruce Appleyard: SDSU's new professor of city planning and urban design

i feel like his answers in this interview were subpar.. maybe you just have to attend his lectures instead.

What do you think of the bus rapid transit plan? It has plenty of critics, many of whom dislike that its capacity relies to some extent on widening freeways.

All of these things help make a connected network that people can look at and start using on a more regular basis. I think the bike-transit-bike connection is really important. I lived for a while in Portland, Ore., where it rains all the time. Compared to Portland, it doesn’t rain here. There’s no real excuse to not bike. We’re a region of canyons and mesas and coastal plains. We have these very — we’re a region of corridors. So we need to think about how to make all these different corridors function for all these different modes better. We have a tremendous freeway network, and now we need to start augmenting those options for bicyclists, and of course, transit riders and pedestrians.

vosd, 05.09.13.

yeah?? the real excuse other than there’s barely any cycle infrastructure in san diego is because of those canyons and mesas—aka hills. the better comparison would have been to seattle or san francisco (like i made in my 2012 paper) than portland, where it’s mainly flat.

and he didn’t answer the question.

yay~ snagged the second primest seat on bart! (able to sit with a bike without blocking another seat)
got more crowded on the last two stops outta sf to the east bay.
hurray~ bay bridge closure getting more people to take transit.. but nooo same lame long 20min intervals..
28.08.13. 23:07.
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