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In theory Rodney Square in Wilmington, Delaware fits the bill. But the location has it's problems. The city is considering moving the transit hub, and a lot of citizens and city business owners are (rightfully) up in arms about the proposed new location.

Rational Plan

I've searched the UK and there hardly any. There are plenty of bus stations or interchanges, which considering the weather, the best have the passengers sheltered and heated. But none in civic plazas. Almost no British railway station has a large square in front of it, they tend to be right up against the street.

Almost no British city has a grid and nearly all bus routes go to the main town centre. In larger cities some bus routes may go through suburban town centres and their bus station on the way to the main city centre, but most bus stations are points of termination and not connection. They are not pulsed like american cities. But most large urban areas in Britain have large suburban rail networks that operate all day, so a lot of cross metropolitan travel will involve changing between them.

You are more likely to change bus routes in the suburbs if you need to get to another suburban destination.

Chris M

Jarret - The Piccadilly Gardens example is one that I know well and it's interesting to read the perspective of someone who's looking at it from outside the city. While what we have now is a lot more practical than what was there before (a sunken garden difficult to cross/intimidating at night), because the Gardens are now an interchange, civic square, public garden and shopping space all rolled into one the common view in the city is that they're worse than what was there before; presumably because the space fulfills none of those roles as well as a dedicated space would. This leads me to suspect that while what you're propsing is sensible, it might not always be popular.

Beta Magellan

Most American hubs are very small—FWIW, I thought of the young Pritzker Park in Chicago as a possible entry, but it’s ncredibly tiny:


It has a lot of the characteristics of an effective urban transfer hub—two heavily-used rail stations (one elevated, one subway) open directly onto the park while another entrance is only a block away. A number of heavily-used bus lines stop here, and it’s near some major universities (high-rise campuses), library, and the southern end of one of Chicago’s main shopping streets.

Although it’s definitely a well-used space, especially in summer, but besides its size the other reason I didn’t submit it at first is that I don’t get the impression that it’s really used for transfers that often. For el-subway transfers, I get the impression that most people transfer further north (where, for one of the subway lines, there is an entirely enclosed multi-level interchange station), and during the afternoon rush hour southbound commuters looking to transfer will also hop on buses further north in order to get a seat. So, even though Pritzker Park’s an effective urban space with lots of transit, I think people usually end up making their transfers elsewhere.


At Insurgentes the BRT is not contraflow but has left hand side doors. It's an advantage of dedicated BRT stations that such a rail innovation can be adopted.

On the other hand, contraflow lanes for transit are the rule more than the exception on busy streets in Mexico City. Many examples available if you need some.

Also in the Insurgentes photo the blacktop is raised about eight meters over the plaza which is not obvious from overhead. It reduces street noise, allows a ring of shops underneath (quiet enough inside for some book shops) and at-grade pedestrian crossings to the surrounding neighborhood. The at-grade ped crossing straight north is to Génova, a long and very busy pedestrian avenue at the heart of the popular Zona Rosa.

The mid-plaza tents are temporary and used for a dozen weekend fairs each year. Usually the plaza is open and the retail is located underneath the blacktop circle.

Carter R

Hey Jarrett,

I'll throw another one out there: the Metro Rail station area on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Vermont.


It's sort of a weird space, as the plaza is surrounded on three sides by a large TOD, but it's always active with pedestrians, as people are walking from the northeast corner of the plaza from the Metro station entrance to the southwest corner to pick up the popular Wilshire Rapid bus (720) or the Vermont Rapid (754).

Eyeballing it on google maps, it's look to be about 200x100 feet.

Daniel Howard

There are several subway and bus connections to be had across Union Square Park in Manhattan . . . for me the typical use case is a great spot to meet a friend coming from a different transit line and then heading off on foot to the nearby movie theater or to any number of restaurants and shopping opportunities. I think that most of the subway connections can be made underground without leaving the system . . . as payment systems become smarter people have more of an option to stroll through a nice park on a pleasant day, or stay in the underground tunnels when it is raining.



Sorry for the late response. Placa de Catalunya in Barcelona has connections between bus, rail and a large array of bike share. An interesting commentary to make would be that I believe all of the bus routes stop adjacent to the plaza rather than on the plaza side of the street forcing people to cross to make connections, after they figure out which adjacent block they need to be on. It is a very important plaza and is where all or most of the night buses connect which is important because the rail service is not (was not in 2007) 24 hour.


Bing Maps has better imagery of Syntagma Square (albeit from a different angle):


This may be late, but I was looking at Lisbon, Portugal recently on google maps. I noticed this one plaza called "Praça da Figueira."

From wikipedia: "The Praça da Figueira has a very uniform profile, with four-storey buildings dating from the rebuilding of the Baixa Pombalina. The buildings are occupied by hotels, cafés, and several shops. It is also an important traffic hub, with bus and stops." From the map, this includes a supermarket, a music museum, and other shopping areas. It is home to a large statue of a king.

As you can see on google maps, bus stops are located on the sides of the plaza. To the north, across the cobblestone street is the Rossio metro station. To the south, you can see a tram because the city's tram station is also nearby. Luckily, it qualifies your dimensions, being 50m each side.

If you concerned about some stations being across the street, if you do streetview on google maps, you can see that the streets hardly act as a barrier and act more as an extension of the plaza with lots of people walking everywhere since the roads around the plaza seem to be mainly limited to transit.

Here is one view:
(a tram can be seen on the far left...if you turn slightly to the right, you can view the metro station)

Kenny Easwaran

I always find the Vermont/Wilshire plaza to be frustrating, because the entrance to the subway is set so far back. Especially when I'm bringing my bike, it's difficult to maneuver around the people in the square, because the shops on all sides mean there's only one place I can get out. Unless I go out the back side of the station, which has the opposite problem of feeling like a desolate, empty street, and not having major bus lines.

Greg Beaumont

Main Street SkyTrain in Vancouver is above Thornton Park with numerous bus stops and Pacific Central Antrak station on the far side of the park - does that count?

Jarrett at HumanTransit.org

Greg. Not really because relatively few peds cross the space as
volume at the intercity rail+bus stn are low. It's also a depressing


Copley Square, Boston. The one-way roads go clockwise around it, so the buses have stops on the inner part. You connect between the Green Line and the Orange Line/Commuter Rail/Amtrak by walking across the square and another block (a little far, actually).

Ted K.

Here's a borderline case - San Francisco's Union Square (Map, Wikipedia). It comes close to your size parameter (1.1 hectares per Wikipedia) and has transit connections on nearby islands and corners. The controversial Central Subway project would put an entrance on the corner of Geary and Stockton (lower right corner).

The quibbling comes from the fact that the transit connections are split ones with their other halves a block away on Sutter (e.g. 2-Clement, 30-Stockton) and O'Farrell (e.g. 38-Geary). Also, there's a large garage under the square which increases the steel moat effect on three sides.

Transit :
Powell - Cable cars PH (Hyde) + PM (Mason)
Post - 2-Clement, 3-Jackson, 76-Marin Headlands
Stockton - 30-Stockton, 45-Union Stockton, 8X-Bayshore Express
Geary - 38-Geary, 38L-Geary Ltd.
Note - BART and Muni Metro are roughly three (3) blocks away from G+S (two blocks on Stockton and a block on / under Market) or one can do a straight shot on Powell.

P.S. Our host's 100m x 100m guideline expands to 10,000 m2 which is also a hectare (aka 2.471 acres).

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