In Hong Kong, Making a Mint With Transit-Oriented Malls

Here’s what’s happening on the Network today.

Work is underway on the Cincinnati streetcar. Photo: Travis Estell/Urban Cincy

Transit-oriented development: Hong Kong’s MTR Corp. runs one of the most reliable and efficient transit systems in the world, due in large part to income from developments, which it owns — with help from the government — along its train lines. West North took a look at MTR’s 2012 annual report: “MTR collected US$276.4 million on 608,729 square feet of in-station retail, for an unbelievable-for-the-US (but not for HK) average rental rate of $454/foot, well over twice the rents garnered per foot of investment property above the stations.” According to MTR chief Jay Walder, who used to run New York’s MTA, the Hong Kong system is exportable.

Cincinnati streetcar update: From Randy Simes at Urban Cincy: “There has been a flurry of construction activity for the $133 million first phase of the Cincinnati Streetcar project including groundbreaking for the $11.9 million Maintenance & Operations Facility and the removal of cobblestones along Elm Street in preparation for the laying of new track in October.” Not to worry, Simes says, the cobblestones will return after they’re cleaned up. More photos here.

DC likes bike lanes: A recent Washington Post poll shows that, once again, bike lanes are not as “controversial” as they are often made out to be. Michael Graham Richard of Treehugger reports that 66 percent of adults polled in the metro area favor more “bicycle lanes on major roads.” And it isn’t even close — the lowest rating among any demographic was adults age 65 or over, and 50 percent of people in that group want more bike lanes. “While it’s nice to see more than 2x more people in favor of more bike lane than against,” Richard writes, “I want to make the point that even if the results had been different, the main reason to build bike infrastructure is because it makes sense, not because it’s popular.”

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