Sunday, June 28, 2009


State Street in Salt Lake is looking to bring a better place making game to the city. Though when comments about rapid transit along the street state that its not needed because of an existing parallel line, I worry about not seeing the need for redundancies at different scales. There is a need for quality transit, perhaps it's BRT, on parallel streets. Especially if its a shorter stop than the line a few blocks over.
So far, "high-capacity transit" means bus rapid transit. Anything else, such as streetcars, makes no sense, since most of the 16 miles of State in the study run parallel to, and only a few blocks from, the existing TRAX line.
Thinking of Market Street, there is BART, Muni Metro, Buses, and the F Line. Certainly one of those is not needed right? Wrong. All of these lines serve a different travel function. I'm surprised at how much this is misunderstood when you talk about transit in other cities. But there you have it. On the major streets in a region, redundant service types are necessary to get people where they want to go.


Matt Fisher said...

Prague has a number of tram lines running parallel to Metro lines. Melbourne has tram routes running on streets where the City Loop, used by commuter trains, runs parallel, and there are some tram routes parallel to rail lines. Anything else? (I'm not going to include el cheapo BRT, and you know me about this.)

Pedestrianist said...

Thank you! This is such an important point that I feel is sorely overlooked!

Redundancies, far from being a waste of resources, offer the opportunity for a diversity of transit options, which serve a diversity of trips. That is key to the success of a transit corridor or network.

Morgan Wick said...

I think in order for people to really understand this, though, you might want to put up some sort of explanation of the redundancies and what each one is intended for, and why the others wouldn't cut it for the same purpose.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

It looks like you understand already Morgan. :)

Bob Davis said...

One of the reasons why the SF Muni "F" line became so popular is that many people don't like to go down into a hole in the ground, ride the train, and then come back up several blocks later. The time required for an escalator trip isn't that much, but if you have to ride a total of four, it adds up. The Muni Metro lines work better for people going out into the residential areas than they do for "inside downtown" travel.