Originally Posted by bunt_q
Yes but people aren't going to train in to visit their high density apartment that they live in to be close to the hospitals. People train in to get to the employment centers. Unless we believe that folks are going to move to Fitz to embrace a car free lifestyle, and will be jotting down to downtown aurora for their daily needs. Ha.
I'll also believe the biotechnology park when I see it. What you call long range planning I call a lack of planning. Your interpretation relies on the mistaken belief that proximity to transit creates development demand (where none otherwise exists). There's no evidence for that. In the absence of pre existing demand for high density developement, building a train to the middle of nowhere gets you a train to the middle of nowhere, and low ridership.
My general belief is - and why I feel Denver transit is largely a failure - transit needs to go where people want to go, not where we want them to want to go. The latter will only lead to planning failures, as people continue to go where they want to be, by car. (We haven't exactly seen a rush of TOD development across the metro either - it should be clear by now that transit is at best an excuse for high density zoning, but not itself a demand driver. I get that land use planners want to think of trains as development tools first, transportation second. But they're wrong - it's pretty rare that a train takes a place nobody wants to be and makes it popular.). If the only way a place can be convinced to embrace higher density is to plop down a train and hide behind TOD, then they need a more persuasive planner. At the risk of sounding too Wizened, we'll never have world class transit (or a world class city) by building AROUND where the people are.
Add to that, the sheer design mechanics which is reflected in time of travel and ease of use.
Users have to feel that taking public transit of any kind is advantageous, whether that be defined in a time to cost equation, or by personal taste.
Systems need to be very functional in terms of ease of use, and, freedom of choice. Ease of use includes platform level boarding, well designed transfer points, direct routes, safety, and, frequency for trains, and, much the same for buses. Freedom of choice reflects transit vehicle frequency, hours of operation, and, well designed transfer points.
Many of these factors are psychological: passengers hate to transfer unnecessarily in all forms of public transit- riders do not like transfer points that appear contrived; riders like to believe that the travel is fast. For example, express travel through stations is a huge psychological plus. Another is no low speeds in the middle of nowhere.
How fast the system triggers TOD is dependent in large part on how good the transit system actually is, as maybe is the only meaningful criteria with which to judge a public system is by how many people use it.
I also believe that property development is not the primary function of public transportation. Systems that compromise speed, time of travel, and, route to developers political and financial power pay the price in lower ridership.