Sunday, December 14, 2008

Streetcar Weekend

Quite a few streetcar articles over the weekend if you want to read about these 19th century monstrosities with horrid visual pollution and gentrification causing awfulness.

Patrick Condon in the Globe and Mail


Justin said...

Gentrification IS awful. Poor, but, livable neighbourhoods tend to get their life, and soul sucked out of them, by hipsters.
It's happening on Queen West. People are being pushed out, so hipsters with BMW's can move in. THAT's awful.

Kevin Buchanan said...

Gentrification is neither bad nor good. It just is. Cities should not be the sole domain of the poor. That's an American post-war artificial construct.

Justin said...

No, but unfortunately with gentrification, the results are mostly negative. Rising rents forcing long-residents, and newer lower income residents out to the outer suburbs where the transit service, that they may have relied on is much poorer, and where social services are not as available as compared to the inner city. In Toronto, it's becoming increasly clear that the city is becoming the domain of the rich. I am not saying that people should not be allowed to live where they want. With gentrification, it always the case where only the rich have that choice. I am for improving neighbourhoods. Just not at the cost of someone's home.

Streetsweeper said...

You may want to go back and read the entry on Lexington as it has nothing to do with the real streetcars

Details on my Lexington Streetsweeper blog

Richard Layman said...

I would have to read Patrick's study, but the comments in the G&M article to get to a point I would likely make in response...

I presume you have read my stuff on metropolitan transit networks using DC as an example. By using that typology, you can rightsize the system, depending on the nature of the trip and projected ridership. Streetcars are good for trips of a certain distance, light rail is better (or at least cheaper than heavy rail) for somewhat longer trips and higher demand routes, and heavy rail and railroads are better for high capacity, longer trips.

The streetcar isn't a solution for every type of trip. In thinking about this for the DC region, I am thinking that we need to distinguish between LR and streetcar for some routes, which we haven't done as of yet, with the exception of Purple Line planning in Maryland, which is separate from streetcar planning in DC or Northern Virginia.

Anyway, I haven't been to Vancouver, but I imagine there are better subway routes to build in terms of number of trips than one to the UBC.

Heavy rail is great if you have the demand to move 20,000 to 40,000 people per hour on one line, double that in both directions, for multiple hours/day.

Without looking at these issues in terms of a transit network typology and another concept of mine, what I call the transitshed and mobilityshed, we miss out on the power of explanation and interpretation.