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More transportation conversation

Some good comments and followup to my earlier post about traffic in the inner core. I want to address Cory’s questions regarding BRT. The short answer is that I have no particular objection to BRT – it’s a perfectly fine technology, and cheaper to implement than light rail. It has a place in the mix, especially in places where the cost of LRT would make it infeasible given ridership projections. As long as it has its own right of way, it’s acceptable and may be optimal.

Having said that, I do think light rail is superior, and I agree with Andrew that LRT has much greater potential to attract genuine transit-oriented development. And let’s not forget that the 2003 Metro referendum was about light rail – the furor that erupted when Metro scaled back from LRT to BRT was because people thought they;d been baited and switched. We can certainly talk about BRT going forward – indeed, if the discussion is primarily about BRT versus LRT, as opposed to the usual more roads versus even more roads, I’ll be thrilled – but for now I’m more interested in light rail.

Well, I’m also interested in the streetcar discussion that Christof started. Andrew has taken his original concept for a West Gray streetcar line and fleshed it out some more. It’s a really intriguing concept, and I hope it leads to some more good ideas. Take a look and see what you think.

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