Sating Food Deserts with Frequent Transit Networks

According to Jarrett Walker, one solution to alleviating food deserts is by providing residents access to frequent transportation networks.

Focusing on the case of food deserts in Houston, Texas, Walker outlines in his blog Human Transit how Houston METRO's System Reimagining will alleviate many people from poor access to healthy food options or a supermarket. Currently, Houston's transit system is radial, focusing on transporting people from outlying regions into downtown. However, the System Reimagining expands transit lines into a larger grid pattern.

According to Jarrett, "the grid pattern means ready access to many commercial centers in your part of town, not just to the major destinations of the region. And of course, a much larger share of the 'food desert' areas are on this network, so that [people] can make shopping trips that take an hour instead of all afternoon."

However, "our plan does try to offer some options in the [outlying] areas, but transit is not the primary solution to the food desert problem" in some of the more far-flung, rural, low income areas of Houston.

Full Story: Frequent networks: escaping the "food desert"

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