Monday, May 9, 2011

Reducing Auto-Dependence, Increasing Transit Use

Transit use benefits not only transit riders, but the whole community by reducing road congestion, auto emissions and reliance on foreign oil. Unfortunately, most trips in Forsyth County are made in a car, often a single-occupancy vehicle.

Given the benefits, how do we increase transit use in our community?

What changes need to occur to make transit easier and more enticing to use in our community?

Give us your thoughts -- click "comments" below:

27 comments:

Legacy 2030 said...

A response emailed by Barry Boneno:
More mass transit.

Henry H. Lafferty, AIA, said...

Existing transit, ie., busses - More choices with respect to stops and schedules; shelters (see WSTA/AIA competition); improved image.

Different scales depending on ridership and density of the area being served.

Shorter trolley/street car line with frequent stops for an area like Stratford Rd or 4th/Burke/1st Street coupled with Transit Oriented Development & zoning overlay to promote higher density development.
(like Denver CO)

Add covered walkways lie Padua Italy, in areas where there are )or could be) continuous store fronts. Voila - you have an answer to the shopping mall.

Sidewalks, designed with a street cross section that puts space between the sidewalk and the curb.

Bicycle racks, paths and greenways.

Credits given towards parking for construction that provides shower facilities (in addition to bike racks) and lockers.

Legacy 2030 said...

An emailed response: Public transportation is how well a person can get around. Considering what a road needs in the property area, only makes sence to put a subway and or a light rail system under ground in the city area and on the ground or in the air outside of the city proper. This would give more room for buses and cars in the downtown area or could be a way to not have cars downtown. Small buses could be a way of moving people in the downtown area instead of the big buses. This would cut cost and be more convient for space.
People living downtown is a good idea and being able to walk to a lot of different places to shop and buy groceries needs to be considered. Some of these people would not have a need for a car which would help the parking situation.
I suggested that in the Ogburn station area that the Gant gas station be changed into a transportation hub. The bus could stop there. A cab could be availabe just like at the downtown hub . Also, a stairwell and tunnel to the railroad tracks would make the light rail connection. Small buses could have routes amoung the residental areas to bring people to the hub to shop in the station area or transfer to the other routes the buses operate.

Anonymous said...

The May-June Issue of PLANNING Magazine (esp. the article on page 30 "The Travel Habits of GenY" ) tells us what kind of city and transportation system we must have if we wish to attract and keep the younger generations. And, these are the people that the Research Park will be recruiting. They will want to live in the urban core and have public transit, safe biking, and walking to the places they go.

Lee L. French said...

Maintaining quality, access and reach are essential elements of a community transit system. Quality, efficiency, and access must be improved in the current systems.

Terri said...

Another great benefit of public transportation is that it creates connections between people and, thus, builds community.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Make the facilities better - add lighting and stop shelters
Reduce the stigmas by advertising where routes go and how to ride the bus (fares/times)

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Offer discount rates for students, family rates, elderly, handicap. Partner with colleges & universities & other specific businesses that could promote it to employees

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Connectivity in a ring, rather than radial from downtown.
Later running buses (I can't ride the bus home on the Country Club route after 6pm, so I can't both ride the bus and enjoy amenities of downtown!)

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Bus routes must be more varied, with options beyond the hub-and-spoke pattern.
Higher frequency of service on high-use and high-potential routes is necessary to attracting discretionary riders.
Implements of real-time bus status info will be helpful.
Interconnection of bike routes and transit options will be helpful.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Marketing campaigns are essential and must include education on the individual cost benefits. This also means that the option must be attractive to those who are used to instant transportation from private cards. Ideally, the bus routes & times should not require hours of delay between connections during heavily traveled times.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

It's all about how you market the different transportation opportunities.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Elevated bike paths, sidewalks, greenways

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Better communication, discounted monthly passes.
Car pool lanes on 40 & 52

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Create jobs downtown

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Make mass transit attractive to middle class and upper class
Unlimited use passes to reduce problem of always having change.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Increased density will drive transit use. Focus on increasing density.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Frequency and convenience are key to this goal. Buses are not "sexy" but are the most viable in our market. Light rail is very costly and has limited impact to its lack of flexibility.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

A northern beltway is NOT the answer. These beltways are magnets for commercial sprawl & loss of quality of life. _____ (Routes???) need to be efficient so it does not take 2 hours to get somewhere. Frequent _____ (runs???), ease of transfer, weekly & monthly tickets. Trolley line & bikeway along Stratford Road? Peters Creek Parkway? University?

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Make parking much harder to find and much more expensive. Increase parking ticket fines.
Make it more difficult for builders to develop further away from the city center.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

See above. It's not just enough to promote biking a few times a year. Shut off downtown to peds & bikes more than 1 or 2x year. Work with hospitals. And build better bus shelters at most used bus stops, with shade, seating, and bus route updates. More direct routes. Discount for student riders.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Consider reviewing information about the INDEPENDENT TRANSPORTATION network, a project developed in Portland, Maine as an alternative to car ownership for older adults.
Software is available for other cities to bring this idea to fruition in their own area.

From Our June 7th Meeting... said...

Charge a fee to have car in county.
Educate people about why, how to use, when busses run, etc.
Have a "free" month of transit to celebrate earth day sponsored by corps. And/or grants. Big Ad Campaign! Make it cool!

JRL said...

By avoiding building new roads, etc, more funds can be allotted to public transit. Public transit must be efficient, cheap and safe so a multitude can ride. Less costs per person equates to more revenue when ridership is high. Folks will drive an hour and not feel badly. The faster and more roads we build, the more traffic volume we create by encouraging sprawl and miles per day per person in transit to and from work.

Anonymous said...

Continue and expand strategic public transit options. Place bus stops in well lit, sheltered areas with nearby parking. PART is talking about reducing their service, which will put more cars back on the road!

If it is safe and convenient, people will use it!

Anonymous said...

Each mode of transportation needs to be self sufficient....should not be robbing from one mode to subsidize another. If light rail is so beneficial then charge the fees necessary to fund it. Likewise on new roadways....consider congestion pricing (tolls). Remember gas tax is a user fee....you use the system you should pay a fee. Alternative fuel and electric cars are getting a 'free ride'

Anonymous said...

Remember....I-74 eastern leg is not really an 'urban loop'...its part of the interstate system. So its not about moving commuters its about moving freight from the ports to consumers in the midwest. If WS is no longer on the 'trade routes' then companies looking to invest (and bring jobs) will move to places that they can move their product efficiently. US 52 is already known as the "bottleneck" by shippers and is being avoided ....in turn so is W-S.