Developing A Coexistence Between High Speed Rail and L.A.

Los Angeles architect Roger Sherman is trying to help guide the car-centric L.A. area into harmonious coexistence with the state's planned high speed rail.
November 12, 2010, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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Sherman is looking at a variety of scenarios for Anaheim, Norwalk, and Burbank that would react in various ways to the impact of high speed rail on those communities.

"Some municipalities are turning to New Urbanism for quick-fix solutions on how to integrate high-speed rail into cities. Sherman positions himself as a distinct alternative to that. New Urbanism seems a bit too paint-by-numbers for him. 'The New Urbanist approach is more like a template that they can develop quickly, so it is the method favored by planners that have already been hired by a lot of cities because they're trying to impress [high-speed rail advocates] with their level of preparedness.'

'The New Urbanist credo would be mixed-use, mixed-use, mixed-use,' he says. 'But building mixed-use housing makes no sense if you don't have reason to believe a lot of people are going to live there and use high-speed rail. High ticket prices really affect the dynamics as to who, realistically, will use it,' Sherman cautions. 'Because of this cost, it can't be looked at as something that would be akin to typical commuter rail,' he reasons."

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Published on Thursday, November 11, 2010 in AIA
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