Urban Fold

Not Enough T in the DOT?

The federal government is paying more attention to the land use impacts of the transportation projects it's funding. Next American City's Yonah Freemark worries they may be paying too much attention.

"Big housing and commercial projects are too often built without a second thought for transportation issues, even in big cities; meanwhile, transit systems are sometimes implemented with only minor consideration for associated construction. The two issues should be thought of as one.

But is the DOT putting too much thought into land use effects and not enough into transportation itself? None of the streetcar systems that were awarded funding earlier this month are likely to carry more than 5,000 daily riders, a pittance in huge metropolitan areas, and certainly fewer than cheaper improvements in buses might allow. Is each worth the $25 million Washington is planning to allocate to it, just because of the expected economic improvements that will follow?"

He proposes a philosophical crossroads for the Department of Transportation in which it decides whether it wants to focus on urban development or transporting the masses.

Full Story: Washington Uses Transit to Generate Development

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