Weekend Listen, Jarrett Walker

Jarrett Walker and his transit consulting company were recently hired to be a part of the update to the Wake County Transit Plan. Below is a radio interview with Walker at a Kansas City station that gives you a taste of his thoughts on transit including street cars, light-rail, and a frequent bus network. Download the MP3 directly if the embed player doesn’t work for you.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this interview with Jarrett Walker. His views and experience will clearly have a big impact on the direction of transit in this area. I am very encouraged by what I heard in the interview. He is not ‘wed’ to any particular technology and has very practical views on what makes transit valuable to a community.

    I know you will keep us up to date on future developments.

  2. Unless we vote Paul Coble, Joe Bryan, and Phill Matthews OFF the Wake Couty Commission, thhis “new” transit plan initiative, is just smoke and mirrors.

    The plan that was created just a few short years ago, outlining rail, bus, streetcars was completely sufficient and progressive. This new effort is a waste of money, initiated by Coble, Matthews, and Bryan to try and save their jobs as the “Vote No To Everything Progressive” mafia.

    All you have to do is look at the PNC arena located in an empty parking lot that was built when every city in America was building stadiums downtown, yet Raleigh voted to build in a wasteland…that’s Paul Coble Vision for you!!

  3. Jarrett made very good points:
    Our neighborhoods before 1945 were all transit oriented and walkable. These are the areas that transit is most likely to succeed and also most popular. Portland is a poster child for its success as a midsize city with rail mass transit, however it also first had an intensive bus transit grid. Providing a strong system at each stage/class of the development of mass transit is important. That means starting with great service for transit dependent riders (low income) and transit supportive neighborhoods (pre-war neighborhoods). Gradually, improvements should be made that make service attractive for larger portions of the city/region (population and geographically). The market is showing us that more people want walkable neighborhoods with amenities close by.

    Considered together, Raleigh has several transit supportive and/or dependent areas that can be a starting point for improved service. If funding can be allocated, these early adopters would be an effective example for other areas. As growth is funneled into these corridors, and the return on investment is proven, I think we’ll see more support.

    It’s notable that Downtown Kansas City has been overlaid with a Transportation Development District that is taxed to provide funding for the streetcar after a metro-/city- wide referendum failed. A county-wide vote should still be taken in Wake, but its not hard to see a special district applied on the areas along Hillsborough St., Western Blvd, New Bern Avenue, all of Downtown, and the Fairgrounds/PNC Arena/Carter-Finley Stadium area. I think a district along Capital would also receive support, especially if its coupled with land use changes that allow more density for developers and a plan that improves travel between 540 and 440. (Not sure if this type of district is even allowed in NC.)

  4. Can we leave the politics off of this Page, Leo has done a great job of representing as many sides as possible on all issues, please, for the sake of this awesome site stop the political pollution.

  5. Agreed but I think that transportation issues will continue to be politically intense considering the nature of the issue in regards to county commissioners.

  6. @Al W: Transportation issues and many other issues affecting the development of DT are political in nature at their core. That can’t be ignored. All transportation issues will move forward or stall as a result of the political will of the people and those who represent them. In the context of any discussion around transportation, I say that discussions of political barriers to such plans are fair game.

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