Monday, February 15, 2010

The Fight for Access

I'm a bit late posting this one...

One persons station access is another persons time added to the commute:
This north-side resident found the light rail underwhelming—the train chugs along at street level at a modest speed, stopping 10 times, even stopping at times for traffic lights. It’s still faster to take the express bus from downtown. So it was interesting to hear a south-side community organizer speak Wednesday about working during the light-rail planning process to get precisely the things that annoyed me. “We [told transit planners] we wanted more stops and we don’t want intersections cut off,” said Yolanda Sinde,
I suggest reading the rest of the post as well as it delves into gentrification and smart growth as well.

3 comments:

Rhywun said...

This is the conflict between "light rail", which largely serves to connect widely-spaced destinations (such as a suburb and downtown, or in this case downtown and an airport), versus "urban rail", which theoretically improves intra-city transit within built-up areas. The latter is largely neglected in the US. But combining the two results in a solution that doesn't please anyone.

Jonlin said...

This is ridiculous, this person doesn't know what they are talking about. On a 15.7 mile long route, there are just 13 stations. That is not even close to too-close stop spacing. Link almost never stops for traffic lights, it only does in rare instances when it has to go slower on MLK and misses the cascade of green lights.

Alon Levy said...

Light rail is a technology. Station spacing and routing are issues of service, which fall into a different rubric. Lines that serve primarily the suburbs are called commuter lines; American light rail is basically commuter rail that's forced to build tracks from scratch to avoid FRA and location issues.