If You Build It, Will They Come?

California's high-speed rail project is in fact going to be built despite the state's looming budget crisis, but many are beginning to question what kind of impact the project will have if the right development around train stations is not met.

Being cash-strapped, however, leaves little room for the state to focus on transit-oriented development, which many believe would be a key to it's success. Experts cite what is referred to as the BART syndrome, where Bay Area Rapid Transit stations are often left without high-density development in close range, thus making little impact in reducing sprawl and car use.

According to Gabriel Metcalf of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, "the environmental benefits of rail will be lost if there isn't development around the stations, which are currently planned for both dense urban centers [Los Angeles and San Francisco] and more sprawling cities like Gilroy, Fresno and Bakersfield."

Thanks to Shay Kahen

Full Story: Will High-Speed Rail Get Sick with BART Syndrome?



Irvin Dawid's picture

Is CA HSR A Sure Thing?

I must disagree with the first sentence in the summary:
"California's high-speed rail project is in fact going to be built despite the state's looming budget crisis......"

I don't think anyone knows if it's a sure thing, especially with the Republicans holding the purse strings in the House, as well as CA's $28 B deficit....in fact, that's part of why HSRA selected the initial Borden to Corcoran route in the Central Valley which quickly earned the moniker, "Train To Nowhere". I believe the term is called, "independent utility" - in the event that the project ends, e.g. loses funding, the new tracks could still be used by 'slow-speed' Amtrak, current route of the San Joaquin line.

Fortunate for CA was the largess of WI and OH Gov.-elects and the wisdom of Ray LaHood.
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.