09 October 2009

Rail Builds Better Cities

A few days ago, I saw that Liberty Township was touting the construction that is following the millions of dollars spent on a new highway interchange. This is what they are proud of:

Candlewood Suites

This is the kind of development that follows new highway interchanges. This is what is already built all across this country at every highway interchange.

Just like a highway interchange attracts development, so to does a rail stop. But since rail is people centered, not auto-centered, the development that follows is inherently better. Even if it is some ugly modern building, it is still built for pedestrians and connects with the sidewalk and city life.

Below are two photos I took last year in Portland along the streetcar line.

Under construction adjacent to streetcar:

Recently completed:

Do we want our transportation dollars supporting urban development or more auto traffic as seen below in Liberty Township?

The type of city we get flows from the type of transportation we build.


Todd McFarland said...

I grew up in Liberty Township and it's where my parents and sister still currently reside. Since 1978 I've personally witnessed thousands of acres of farms converted to cheesy subdivisions with hokey names and fountains at the entrance and countless strip malls. The road network and infrastructure always lags and gets inproved slowly in an ad hoc fashion and still does not keep pace with the increased traffic demands. For anyone with an appreciation for good planning and pleasing ashethics, the whole area is an abomination. For me it's depressing to go out there.

Todd McFarland said...

aesthetics that is...

CityKin said...

Can't say I've been there more than few times, but it looks a lot like the same shlock that is all over this country at freeway exits.

5chw4r7z said...

It just amazes me that when faced with the reality that rail has led development everywhere its been built on the planet, for some reason Cincinnati is the one unique place that it won't work.