Transportation advocates are calling for expanded rail service to the east, but studies indicate the needed infrastructure improvements would be pricey.
Ed Blazina reports on the possibility of expanding passenger rail service from Pittsburgh. "Over the years, efforts to increase service from Pittsburgh have ebbed and flowed with studies from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and other groups periodically estimating the cost of more train service. But little has actually happened."
PennDOT is negotiating a new study with Norfolk Southern, notes Blazina. Prior studies have shown that service expansions would come with a hefty price tag. For example, a study completed in June looking at increasing service from Pittsburgh to Altoona to the east would require $1.2 billion for track and station improvements and an additional $3.7 billion if a third track is part of the plan.
Transportation advocates say the projected figures are too high and additional service could be put into place for much less. They also argue that service expansions should focus on broader service areas and connections between large job centers, such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
What We Really Mean When We Say Gentrification
The focus on gentrifying communities has, in many cases, eclipsed the similar problems facing more stagnant neighborhoods.
Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing
New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.
The End of Single-Family Zoning in California
Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.