Monday, March 30, 2009

Light Rail Just Makes Sense

South Fraser OnTrax has always believed that light rail is good for the environment, good for the economy, and good for our community. Last year when the housing market really began to crash, Denver saw housing pricing plummet in the auto-centric suburban areas while its urban area, served by light rail, actually saw an increase in housing prices. Communities like Grand Rapids, Portland and Seattle see the economic benefits as well. Apparently in Sydney, Australia, they are starting to see the value in building light rail:
Professor Peter Newman, a member of the Infrastructure Australia group established by the Rudd Government, has warned the city stands to lose its "competitive edge" to Melbourne and to other cities such as New York, which are removing cars from streets to make them more inviting to pedestrians…

…He said Melbourne had bounced back from being a city in decline to one that was competitive globally after a massive increase in pedestrian traffic in the 10 years to 2004.
Melbourne is one of those communities that never got rid of their light rail network and has over 245km of track.

Meanwhile in the Phoenix area, it looks like light rail has won over “bus rapid transit” again. Phoenix just recently opened up their first light rail line:
After two years of study, regional transportation planners told the City Council Thursday they want to extend light rail on Main Street through Mesa's downtown.

The long-awaited presentation said light rail is a better option than high-speed buses, and Main Street is a better route than either First Street or First Avenue.

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