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

Queens Residents Oppose Loss of Parking for Bus Rapid Transit

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Trend Watch: New York City Community Boards and civic groups opposing progressive transportation projects on the grounds that they interfere with car owners’ on-street parking and double-parking privileges. Last week, while DOT was catching flack in Brooklyn for its plan to stripe bike lanes on Brooklyn’s 9th Street, Community Board 13 in Queens was putting […]

In New Report, RPA Reinforces Link Between Transit and Growth

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Following yesterday’s Build for America launch and last night’s presidential debate, the Regional Plan Association released a major report today recommending an array of public transportation improvements for New York City and northern New Jersey, adding its name to the ever-growing list of orgs and officials calling for federal investment to spur and sustain economic […]

New Evidence That Bus Rapid Transit Done Right Spurs Development

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More American cities are considering bus rapid transit, or BRT, as a cost-effective method to expand and improve transit. One of the knocks against BRT, as opposed to rail, is that it supposedly doesn’t affect development patterns. But a new study [PDF] by Arthur C. Nelson of the University of Arizona and released by Transportation for America finds that BRT lines can indeed […]

Bus vs. Rail: Transit’s Quiet Culture Clash?

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The question of running buses or building rail has preoccupied transit planners in many an American town, with Maryland’s Montgomery County being the latest locality to choose between trains and bus rapid transit (BRT), which tends to be the less expensive option. Bogota’s Transmilenio BRT has won praise for its roomy coaches and well-designed stations. […]