One of over 50 case studies included in the newly updated creative placemaking guide, the Scenic Route. Portraits of MTA workers who have died from COVID are displayed on screens that normally show maps and service changes, along with a newly commissioned poem, “Travels Far” by the U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.
The Portland City Council is moving forward with a plan to improve transit service through a series of targeted improvements to some of the city’s most delayed bus and streetcar corridors. Known as the Rose Lane Project, it’s designed to advance equity, reduce carbon emissions, and increase transit ridership with quick-build projects. It also offers lessons to other cities struggling with sluggish transits systems mired in a sea of cars.
Raising children in the city could be considered somewhat novel in a country where the conventional wisdom dictates a move to the suburbs as a family grows. But one family in Washington, DC is glad they stayed in the city, which they believe offers benefits that suburbs often can’t replicate. The challenge is to ensure that more families can reap the same benefits from living and growing in a city.
More than a decade ago, local business and civic leaders in Indianapolis realized that for the city to remain competitive it needed to be better at moving people. Today, after an exhaustive planning process, changes to state law, and a successful local referendum where local voters raised their income taxes to invest in transit, the first major piece of Indianapolis’s transit upgrade is set to open.
With all of the attention showered on “Crystal City” (Arlington, VA adjacent to DC) and Long Island City (Queens, New York City) after being selected as Amazon’s second/third headquarters, what are the lessons to learn for the 236 other disappointed communities, and what strategies could improve their future prospects?
In a few weeks, Northern Virginia’s first bus rapid transit service will begin operations on dedicated busways through Alexandria, VA’s burgeoning Potomac Yard neighborhood. A visitor standing under one of the new station awnings can see a string of cranes stretching from north to south along US Route 1, at work on the planned 3000 residential units, 4 million square feet of office space, and 1 million square feet of retail space along the transit corridor. Alexandria City Councilor Tim Lovain, who championed the busway as an essential tool to support high-density growth in this corridor, smiles broadly as he describes the accomplishment, but is even more interested in the transit lines still under development in the city.
Many of these transit projects are included in the Transportation Master Plan Councilor Lovain helped adopt in 2008 during his first term on the Council. In addition to the Route 1 corridor, that plan identified two more high-priority corridors where bus rapid transit will be developed in anticipation of future streetcar lines. Both of those corridors are in the City’s newer West End, which is characterized by car-oriented, lower density development. West End neighborhoods are more difficult to serve with transit, but Councilor Lovain makes the case for it as an essential tool for economic survival in the transit-rich metropolitan Washington, DC region.