I haven’t read all the pieces on the Zocalo page but Jarrett Walker highlights one of the key points.
As much as I’d like to see the train stay on its present route between Newton, Kans, and Albuequerque, NM, I don’t see how this will work.
BNSF is already to the point where they run so little traffic over it that they are content to let the line slowly degrade. In a way, this is sad because most of this line was once 90-mph territory thanks to the Automatic Train Stop system installed decades ago. But the 90-mph speed limit is long gone the ATS having been turned off a few years back. Almost all of BNSF’s traffic now moves through Woodward, Okla, Amarillo, and on to New Mexico via their “Transcon” that runs from Chicago and Los Angeles.
The cities and counties along the route certainly aren’t in a position to upgrade and maintain the line which means the states would have to kick in. Colorado is willing, but they want the train to detour from its present route to serve Pueblo and that would add a lot of time to an already long end-to-end trip.
Harland Bartholomew was a transportation planner about 90 years ago or so. He’s blamed by many for the auto-centric planning in many cities. Certainly, he was commissioned to do “major street plans” for many cities, Oakland, Vancouver, Rochester, N.Y., and Los Angeles, among them, but it could be that he was just responding to demand. After all, look at this:
No one saw this slowing down (it did … eventually) so it was not an irrational decision to plan for more automobiles and their motorized friends.
But I don’t care: I like the art!
There is actually a good paper about this – see below. This is where I first saw the drawings. You can find the paper if you google around but this link should work if you are .edu.
Jeffrey R. Brown, Eric A. Morris, Brian D. Taylor
Journal of the American Planning Association
Vol. 75, Iss. 2, 2009
Dumb? Sure, but if you actually allowed a little tolerance, I could see where this might keep parking spaces in front of urban take-out spots free of all day parkers.
Of course, it’s much easier to just charge the correct price for the space if that’s the goal.