Today’s post is inspired by an article I read on The Overhead Wire, republished below. The successes and failures of our transit systems can be determined by the attempts we make to integrate them with the urban spaces which surround them. I typically make the distinction that our failures with metrorail has nothing to do with the transit system itself but rather with what we have done in the immediate vicinity of its 22 stations. VTA’s LRT in San Jose, is a perfect example of the type of transit we should be pressing for within the county, instead of Heavy Rail like metrorail. The at-grade train is versatile enough to move passengers quickly and efficiently but small enough to integrate into urban spaces such as the city’s downtown pedestrian mall:San Jose, LRT, Transit Mall

Imagine an LRT similar to this one connecting every major city on our eastern coast through the FEC railroad…

Here is the article from The Overhead wire, illustrating how we should orient our urban structures to transit:

What happens when we orient buildings to transit? It saves space. It creates more value from the land. It creates more opportunities for walking. Here is an exercise I did with that employment sprawl photo from the post below.

1. The Sprawl Way - What San Jose Looks Like

San Jose LRT

2. Sprawl Rearranged - What the same amount of development would look Like if the development were organized around the station. I outlined the buildings and rearranged them in a more compact way.

San Jose LRT

3. Sprawl Rearranged x2 - Doubling the amount of buildings, using the same footprint for each original building.

San Jose LRT

One Response to Transitography: Integrating Rail with our Surroundings

  1. Kordor says:

    Great vision for regional transit and TOD, and the County has the super-charter power to make it happen, i.e. force rail and density into NIMBY cities. Sadly I blieve that power and opportunity will be squandered if the County appoints, as they seem to be about to do, Marc LaFerrier as Planning Director. He was formerly Planning Director of Ft. Lauderdale, and his Department made Miami Beach’s seem reasonable and apolitical by comparison. Dade County should hire a genius away from Shanghai or a region that is actually doing visionary things. When the spotlight is on you, you should look your best or the spotlight will move on.

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