Friday, June 22, 2007

Making the Case for Rail Transit

Over at Seattle Transit there is a post about a misinformed blog over at Crosscut. The part of the argument that rubbed me the wrong way and Diamajin gets right was that no one gets that you build transit then the densities will follow. We learn this the most from the Arlington Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor in DC. They put the subway in and limited the growth to the corridor to protect the surrounding neighborhoods. Now they get 32% of the county tax revenue from 7% of the land because of the transit and land use combination. This area densified (to 7,700 people per square mile) and would not have look anything like the famous picture below if it wasn't for the subway. The most interesting statistic is that 73% of riders walk to the station. I wish people would get real and understand that you don't need to already be like New York and Chicago, but you can grow corridors that have densities to support urbanism.

1 comment:

TroyJMorris said...

It's not that rails create population growth. People are either going to move to the city or not (although Mass Transit does factor into peoples decisions whether to move or not, it's not a strong enough to say "If we build it, they will come"). Putting rails in just sort of direct the cattle on where to move.

If we get 20,000 more folks in the next 5 years, where would you like them to live? Answer that with a rail line.