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The Urban Network: Radical Proposal



I like the radical thinking in this proposal. It links land use and transportation better than most. I have two questions: 1) Is it wise to place the transit vehicles in the center through lanes in the proposed cross section? Seems like vehicles that stop frequently should be taken out of the through traffic stream. 2) How do you handle intersections? Those two frontage roads pose traffic engineering problems where the transit boulevard intersections other streets. I've seen very messy confusing situations like this in other communities. I would be interested in seeing a solution to that problem.



Calthorpe's Radical Urban Network

It is a shame that Calthorpe refuses to examine the several emerging transit technologies that are emerging around the world and instead keeps suggesting conventional rail and BRT solutions. It is so silly to keep trying to use transportation technologies that just don't fit the American city very well. Smart growth advocates, if wildly successful, can't hope to really make a major mark in most large urban metropolitan areas. One has to deal mostly with a large part of the existing urban fabric to really make a difference. This means that some type of elevated technology has to be used that does not involve the large scale retrofitting that would be required by Calthorpe's concept as applied to Chicago. The elevated technologies should make use of small vehicles on slim guideways and have lots and lots of stations (access points) so that the very diverse travel patterns present in large metropolitan areas can be served effectively. Examples of some leading emerging technologies that fit the bill are: ULTra, Taxi 2000, RUF, MicroRail, SkyTran, Austrans and the small version of Urbanaut. Links to descriptions of these technologies and 53 others are provided at http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans on the Compare Technologies page.