These stories keep coming out. Houston just did the same thing. OKC, too. Jarrett Walker says that the community needs to make a decision: is it more important to serve as many areas as possible, or is it more important to increase ridership, with the understanding that neither answer is right or wrong. You can do a little of both but you can’t really have both unless you want to spend a lot more money.
Here, Omaha has made a bunch of routes a lot more useful, but they reduced the number of areas served or at best, required longer walks to stops. The time scales for people on foot or bicycle to get to the nearest stop is brilliant. I don’t think I’ve seen that before.
All surely valid data … but it’s Detroit. The one in Michigan. The one that has lost 60-ish percent of its population in the last 60-ish years. Removing signals there is a great idea. Selling the recovered equipment will surely more than pay for the new stop signs they’ll need. At some point they’ll need to consider closing and depaving streets – they just aren’t needed.
But did I mention this is Detroit? I’m not sure what relevance this study has to any other city. At least cities not named Cleveland, Buffalo, or Youngstown. The authors make the point that vehicle-miles traveled have leveled off nationwide after growing every single year since the end of the Second World War and that this may be a guide. Yes, it may be but in the developed part of the country (i.e. not Detroit) VMT has leveled but it’s not dropping.
Chicago (Metra) is desperately trying to come up with a way to use the EJ&E’s “Outer Belt” route as a commuter line. Probably not going to happen. They (CTA) have another plan for a “Circle Line” connecting all the radial lines that will run under the two major train stations. That probably won’t get built either. The CTA has a BRT plan to run a line along Ashland Ave that would do the same (without connecting to the train stations). That one might happen.
This line, the Regional Plan Association’s Regional Express (Triboro RX), is another circumferential line that would connect a lot of radial lines. Will it get built? Will any of the MTA’s capital projects get built? Well, probably, for the second question but I don’t know if this will be one of them.