15 February 2011

Streetfilms: Moving Beyond the Automobile

Streetfilms.org launches a ten part series called Moving Beyond the Automobile. First installment is ready to go. Great stuff, as always.

"For the first chapter in our Moving Beyond the Automobile series we'll take a look at Transit-Oriented Development, more commonly known by its "TOD" acronym in transportation industry circles. TOD is a high-density, mixed-use residential area with access to ample amounts of transportation. There are usually many transportation nodes within its core and contains a walkable and bike-able environment.

We decided to take a look across the Hudson River at New Jersey's east coast where over the last two decades the amount of development has been booming. Transportation options are as diverse as you can get: the Hudson-Bergen light-rail, multiple ferry lines, PATH station, NJ Transit commuter trains, and buses are all plentiful, while in some areas car ownership is as low as 40% to 45%."


Edward said...

Really all development should be transit-oriented. With new developments, that is not a problem. In established places, short of bulldozing and starting again, it is much more difficult. The perceived lack of density is commonly used as an excuse for not investing in public transport. Like many of those excuses it is a myth.

If you are wondering what book to read next Michael, can I recommend "Transport for Suburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age" by Paul Mees. He discusses public transport in dispersed cities and regions using Switzerland as an example to show that you can have decent public transport and those areas. Highly recommended.

kfg said...

"In established places . . ."

. . . you used to be able to ride from Boston to Chicago and never leave the local light rail systems. Rail invented suburbia, so in the older established places, which I'm afraid are the important ones, all we have to do is do what we have already done.

Goods distribution centers in cities often had their own spurs, so goods deliveries could be made from factory door to outlet door by heavy rail.

As for the newer established places bulldozing and starting over would be a damned good idea and will probably happen over time, as the buildings are built to last about 50 years, as opposed to the older buildings built to last centuries. The conversion of the building trade into a disposable commodities industry is a good deal of the cause of the trouble we're in.

Come to that we don't even really build homes anymore; we build disposable packaging for disposable product (that would be you).

Of course the fact that we can rather begs the question, as the lot of the average Wal-Mart could be converted into a damned fine little village in which no "transport" would be necessary, but that idea seems to scare the product for some reason.