Roundup: How Bus Rapid Transit Spurs Development

Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening around the Streetsblog Network today:

Evidence That Bus Rapid Transit Boosts Development: What is the impact of bus rapid transit on the value of surrounding land? Can BRT help boost development like rail transportation does? David Levinson at Streets.mn offers a review of the research. In some parts of the world, high-quality bus-rapid-transit systems have been shown to increase property values as much as 25 percent. Some other studies have shown that prices tend to drop off rather quickly as walking distance from the transit service decreases. Levinson concludes that the important thing isn’t the mode of transportation, it’s convenience. “A transportation system that adds to accessibility in a significant way warrants a premium in the prices people are willing to pay to take advantage of it,” he says. (Streetsblog Chicago shared preliminary research on this same topic from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy earlier this week.)

Indianapolis's proposed trails and greenways system is looking pretty comprehensive. Image: ##http://www.urbanindy.com/2013/09/12/indy-greenways-looks-to-the-future/## Urban Indy##

When Congestion Becomes a Problem for Subway Riders: Oh, the resources devoted to battling congestion around the United States. If only transit crowding invoked the same sense of urgency, writes Stephen Crim at Greater Greater Washington. Crim, like a growing number of people in the DC region, mostly leaves his car at home, and he’s noticing an uptick in crowded Metro platforms and lengthy queues on protected bike lanes.

All those train and bike trips are good news for the efficiency of the transportation network. But Crim says we should also talk about congestion from a multi-modal perspective. “[W]e must expand our horizons, and work to relieve congestion across all modes in the transportation network,” he writes. “If we do this, we can improve the commutes of the many individuals who, either by choice or by force of circumstances, do not drive.”

Ambitious Trail Plans Indianapolis: The city of Indianapolis is planning a comprehensive system of trails and greenways that will connect the city’s downtown with outer neighborhoods and outer neighborhoods with each other. The plan is the work of the Indy Greenways Foundation, which has been working on developing active connections between urban neighborhoods in the city for 22 years. “It’s a comprehensive,” said Urban Indy blogger Scott Russell of the organization’s new master plan, “and there is a LOT to get excited about.”

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Smaller Cities Taking on Big Transit Projects

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Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fort Collins, Colorado. Savannah, Georgia. Mid-sized cities like these are stepping up and demanding many of the same transit improvements as their larger cousins. A new report from Reconnecting America [PDF] offers recommendations for these less populated cities to consider, whether they’re pursuing some version of bus rapid transit or a streetcar. The mid-sized […]

Study: Homes Near Transit Were Insulated From the Housing Crash

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If you live close to a transit station, chances are you’ve weathered the recession better than your friends who don’t. Your transportation costs are probably lower, since you can take transit instead of driving. Transit-served areas are usually more walkable and bikeable too, multiplying your options. And while home values plummeted during a recession that […]

American BRT: A Rapid Bus Network Expands in Las Vegas

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Last month the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy released its report, “Recapturing Global Leadership in Bus Rapid Transit” [PDF], which proposed a LEED-like rating system for bus rapid transit projects and laid out a strategy for American cities to build systems as good as the world’s best BRT. While more than 20 American bus […]

Federal Fast-Track Process Strips Transit Component From Tappan Zee

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We reported yesterday that the Obama administration had selected 14 infrastructure projects, including five transportation projects, to put on the fast track for construction. We mentioned that there were early warnings from transit advocates that at least one of these projects might not go exactly as planned. Noah Kazis at Streetsblog NYC looked deeper into […]