Our city, like most, is built around auto transportation. Wishing it otherwise will not make it so. The only way in the long-run to justify public transportation is to zone for intense development at nodes along anticipated transportation corridors. Putting empty buses on the street just angers taxpayers.
I dare say that Winston-Salem existed prior to the development of the automobile and did so for nearly as long as the auto has been around. If one were to "throw out the old ideas that uses need to be separated" then the evolved "need" to travel the longer distances and the perceived "need" to do so will be greatly diminished. The concept of using increasingly valuable and diminishing resources in such a frivolous manner is not sustainable, either for growth or otherwise.
An e-mailed response:Dedicated bike lanes, wide sidewalks, street cars.
This one is easy to answer, but the answer may be a bit tough since it implies great expense and huge adjustments for daily movement.Fixed guideway is a must--but after office and industrial sprawl is reigned in. Winston-Salem is doing a great job of attracting people to set up house in the CBD, but we need some work places mixed in/on to of/underneath those homes before the fixed guideway will be a runaway success. (It still may be a success even without the addition of more workplaces first, but there is a thing about the cart before the horse--but there is also the "if we build it, they will come" idea to weigh as well).In any case, fixed guideway in the form of a streetcar/tram network is probably a great idea. Of course expanding rubber tire service by a redesign of current routes and additional frequency in W-S and new routes within the other towns and villages will also be great. And finally, there is the need to create intercity fixed guideway service that does not encourage sprawl. So a center of city to center of town/village type service. Take for instance a service from Clemmons into W-S. This service would need to be fast and convenient to move people from the village to the center of W-S with little to no interruption. There may be a need to stop near Forsyth and Baptist hospitals along the way since they are huge employers but it would be extremely unwise to start creating more stops than that--intercity is not LOCAL. A person who would want to get to a place like Hanes Mall or Hanes Park would just have to transfer to a bus at the closest train/BRT stop. Stopping at every point of interest along the way is a mistake and will cost you efficiency and therefore cost you riders in the long run.Finally, the most expensive idea that I have stems from the assumption that the intercity/town fixed guideway transit should be rail and should use existing right-of-way. If this is the case, then control of that right-of-way or access to it will not be cheap. Also, for efficiency you would need to build a CBD rail station--the Old Union Station should be used too, but there would need to be one in the center of town. And lastly, having the rail line at street grade in downtown just won't work for the long run--it will need to be raised or tunnel through and electrified. There are so many hurdles mentioned in this last paragraph--but we probably should start preparing now.
We need more safe and convenient facilities for biking and walking, such as pedestrian signals at all downtown intersections. Signage and wayfinding should be geared to pedestrians, especially on one-way streets. We need more, secure bike parkign with showers/lockers for cyclists and others to use when commuting to work. We could require businesses to provide these facilities or make arrangements with area gyms. Bike sharing programs make it easier for people to bike within the downtown area. When the Business 40 corridor is re-done, we need to ensure that pedestrian and bicyclist access is improved and enhanced. Traffic signals should be timed to favor pedestrians. Parking fees should reflect the actual cost of providing the parking spaces.
Other: Pressure should be exerted to revamp DOT to create more of a partnership with municipalities.
It's very important to be multi-modal. Transit HUBS located downtown as well as in the small towns are key to having folks use these services. Small towns should also embrace transit oriented development and make changes to their own LUP's to make this so...
We need safe bike paths & lanes. Existing bikeway designations are not adequate. I was recently in Szegar, Hungary - a city slightly smaller than WS, yet the public transit options (buses, trolleys) & bike access were far superior & heavily used. Strollway & no-car zones also are used effectively in Europe.
Love the street car (light rail concept). I think it will be a positive development for the county.
Sidewalks near Forsyth Tech - it's an abomination that more of them aren't there.Light railHigher density of events downtown - outdoor movies, parks, arts activitiesCommunity schools in Ardmore & West EndMore events prompting biking & walking to work downtown - maybe with hospitals as a healthy event?Attractive streetscapes with plants, trees, cafes.
Van pools in short term (shuttles)Light rail up & down 52 & Bus. 40
More "rubber-tire trolleys" now with designated stops to being acclimating people to utilization of trolleys on railThere is a rubber tire trolley driving a route currently. It goes through my neighborhood & downtown.
Bike racks - there are not enough facilities for those who may bike. Also need bike lanes on all streets in downtown and around the immediate neighborhoods.Light rail - radiating lines - from a central station to suburbs - Clemmons, Kernersville, north side, south side - perhaps just a dream :)
Electric passenger trains
Perhaps keep the trolley-type system, but make its stops more recognizable. The service needs to be far-rending enough that it's worth riding (maybe from Broad to Old Salem to 7th street to West End to Burke St)Easier cycling!
What about use of existing rail road right-of-ways & tracks to move people between downtown, Stratford Road, and the Hanes Mall area? A trolley or other "character building" mass transit that is "fun" & unique
Restore passenger rail service.Participate in a regional rail system for the Triad.Create a streetcar systems to accelerate redevelopment of our central city and to mesh with intercity rail.Accelerate implementation of our greenway & bike lane network. Connectivity is critical, not just isolated segment.Press for connection to interstate rapid rail routes.
Better bus routes & times, possible short distance rail system for downtown (or bus/trolley in more locations). This would also require better marketing of the global benefits of group transportation. This means local options must increase in and around Winston, and also outlying communities & the Triad.
Reintroduce above ground trains
More bike lanes
LRT, Bike lanes, mini bus routes to augment larger routes are needed.Train service to Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Charleston, SC, and eastern beach areas
Light rail, trolleys, streetcarsWalkable streets with SHADE TREES.
We need to recognize the cost savings in energy, air quality, quality of life, by supporting expanded options for public transportation, biking and walking. While many in our community rely on the bus, we need to increase the frequency and scope of the routes, with hopefully light rail becoming an option in coming years. We need to realize that by supporting public transit, bikeways, sidewalks, and greenways, we are saving money in the long run, through improved health, cleaner air, and quality of life.
WSTA should take care of the city and regional authorities should focus on the larger service area. PART grew too fast. Away from the terminal, there have been significant operational and scheduling issues that negatively influenced ridership. There are too many large busses travelling around with few, if any, riders. This is a case of setting up some fairly good infrastructure, but an operational failure to offer the desired and much needed services efficiently. They have the right ideas about providing parking lots on the outskirts of towns and cities; however, they are too focused on busses. We need a commuter rail system that is reasonably priced, efficient, safe and well-connected within W-S as well as connected to Greensboro, High Point, Raleigh and Charlotte. PART should focus on that. And why not have an electric rail to Boone along 421?
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