Researchers Refute Higher Density=Better Transit Principle

Prevailing wisdom is that transit mode and frequency of service is dependent on residential density, which leaves low density, outer suburbs in a lurch, instilling an auto-dependent lifestyle. Not so, says Australian researcher and author Paul Mees.
January 5, 2011, 2pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Residents in the outer suburbs should not have to wait for higher housing densities before getting better public transport, according to research that could defuse one of the most bitter controversies in urban planning."

Writing in the journal Australian Planner, Dr. John Stone, of the University of Melbourne, and Dr. Paul Mees, of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University present an alternative to what many view as Smart Growth 101: The key to better transit is to increase density and mixed uses.

"The keys to increasing public transport use in outer suburbs are more frequent buses, running at least every 10-15 minutes, and not just in peak hour; better co-ordination with rail services; more convenient transfers; and fares that allow free transfers between modes."

''Alternatives to the car will need to be effective at existing urban residential densities''.

Thanks to Allen Tacy

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Published on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 in The Age: Victoria
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