The Trouble with Designing for Transit Preference

Suburban areas don't necessarily equate with car-dependence, according to some New Urbanist plans for far-out areas. But convincing residents to opt for transit can be a challenge.

This article from Scientific American looks at the concept of reducing car use in the suburbs, and cites the example of King Farm, Maryland a New Urbanist suburb that didn't want transit.

"Instead of embracing that transportation vision, however, the residents of King Farm and the Rockville City Council recently rejected the proposed transit plan-specifically, any light-rail line that would travel down the swath of green explicitly designed to host such a system.

Transit-ready development may mean nothing if local residents are not ready for public transit. And King Farm residents seem prepared to fight the State of Maryland, which bears ultimate responsibility for the decision and still wants to route any transit system through the community. The battle highlights one of the challenges facing so-called new urbanism as it attempts to steer American life away from the car, which has dominated city planning since at least the 1950s.

Full Story: Can Suburbs Be Designed to Do Away with the Car?



Michael Lewyn's picture

wrong by omission

This story suggests that residents of King Farm are anti-transit NIMBYs, thus implying even residents of new urbanist neighborhoods fear public transit.

What makes the story essentially wrong? Because it omits one fairly important fact: King Farm is ALREADY within walking distance of the Shady Grove subway stop. The center of King Farm is an 0.6 mile (about a 15 minute walk) from Shady Grove. So if King Farm residents had some aversion to public transit, they probably would be living somewhere else.

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