« vancouver cartographers and map geeks! | Main | livability vs dynamism (quote of the week) »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83454714d69e2014e8866a288970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference downtown networks: the oblique approach:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mike Lindblom, Seattle

That's an interesting concept and Boren Avenue (right past three hospitals, a high school, condo towers, public housing and cathedral) would greatly benefit from gridding. A transit drop from Boren into South Lake Union would fill a huge gap in service now. To make it work, four challenges: 1) Riders arriving from the 7 (or other crosstown routes such as the 48) don't necessarily want a two-stop trip - so called "transfer penalty" even if headways are frequent. 2) dwell time is terrible on local routes whenever folks are not physically agile, or pay cash; 3) spillover cars clog Boren as they queue for the downhill crawl to I-5 freeway entrances and 4) parking must be reduced or eliminated on some streets, notably Madison, for buses to flow freely on the east-west part of the grid. But these are not insurmountable.

mikef0234

If a street has many routes operating on it, shifting some of the routes to a parallel street may make it so that two streets have frequent service. You might also end up with two streets that both have too-infrequent or too-unreliable service, especially if the routes sharing a street aren't coordinated and especially off-peak.

In Vancouver, Granville and Burrard downtown are a bit like the former, though Burrard is a bit infrequent off-peak and it seems as though the trolleys on Granville are coordinated to run in a convoy. Hastings and the Powell/Cordova couplet are a bit of the latter, and could maybe be combined to improve frequency on Hastings.

Morgan Wick

See Zach's original proposal for needed context, including the fact that part of the purpose of this redesign was to provide the Boren Ave service to a part of the city that had actually been requesting it since the First Hill Streetcar (the brown line east of Downtown) was determined not to run on Boren.

Also, note that the yellow Line 8 is already a "periphery of downtown" route, but only on its north edge, and it serves different markets than the 7.

Note also that even people who agree on the need for more crosstown routes can quibble with this plan. A historical crosstown variation of the 7 is Line 9, the north-south cyan line on the current map, which once-upon-a-time continued to the University District along the purple Line 49, and was an all-day frequent local instead of the express it is today. Restoring this route as the main north-south corridor in the Valley, following the gray line Zach uses for the 12 north of Yesler Way, would better reflect crosstown commute patterns that have been recognized in the past. Then the southern part of Line 12, which serves Beacon Hill (currently Line 36, which turns down Jackson to downtown) can head up Boren.

Note that the current Line 60, coming from roughly the same direction, runs a couple blocks west of Boren between Madison and Yesler, before heading down Madison to provide redundant service on Broadway, more closely approximating the Boren corridor south of Madison. I've proposed keeping the 36 on its current downtown routing and stretching the 60 along the Boren corridor.

Jarrett at HumanTransit.org

Morgan.  Thanks for the context, which is certainly necessary for forming a detailed view on this proposal.

Once again, I do not endorse or oppose the proposal, but am merely using it as a good illustration of the oblique-approach concept, which I tried to present in a way that's clear to non-Seattle readers.

Multimodal Man

The key is the grid has to be frequent. People often want some direct, non-radial connection but because it makes infrequent connections it turns out to be less useful (Jarrett has a good illustration for this). I would argue that 7.5 minute frequency for Link is not enough frequency to assume away frequent core routes from downtown Seattle. Route 2 moving to SLU and then Boren seems to assume by the look of the map that the Monorail provides a useful replacement for the 2.

Zoltán

I'm interested in the possibilities for some cities with a largely radial network (sometimes dictated by the street layout) to combine that with a grid downtown.

Something such would work along the lines of each route taking the closest and most obvious downtown street, and leaving by the closest and most obvious radial route after that, and forming a grid downtown with each route heading north-south or east to west as directly as possible. Baltimore is somewhat like this already, and I've been thinking about possibilities for a network redesign that would make it more like this.

The benefit of doing that is that if a city can't support the frequencies required to make the entirety of a grid pattern work, there are probably enough buses downtown to make high frequency possible, so downtown, at least, it can ensure simple two-seat rides to every different part of downtown you might want to reach.

On the other hand, it reduces the number of transfers easily available downtown, in that you can't easily transfer between routes running parallel through downtown, designed to never cross, which potentially makes anywhere-to-anywhere travel more difficult. This Seattle proposal has enough right angles in it to avoid that, but that's largely a matter of getting around geographical obstacles.

Rob

I haven't had time to take in all the details, but I really like the thrust of this. Some picky stuff -- Boren is an awful route because it stacks up with freeway-bound traffic. Transit there has not been reliable in the past. An alternative might be to use 8th, assuming the city would allow some contraflow treatments on the north side of the freeway. I can imagine a transit-emphasis corridor there that would serve First Hill, South Lake Union and maybe Queen Anne, with a direct connection at Convention Place station allowing more people to access all of those places.

One thing that's particularly great about this sort of thinking is that most of the future growth in downtown Seattle will be in the peripheral areas around it, on First Hill and South Lake Union. But these days very little transit serves either, and Link light rail will not contribute to serving these areas at all - in fact, when buses are kicked out of the transit tunnel, convention place station will close and there will be less effective service to the Denny Triangle area where the most immediate growth is likely. Getting more use and connections out of the existing bus network will be critical, and once Link opens there will be no reason for every route to follow the trains downtown.

It's hard to know for sure which new connections will be the best ones. Most transit planning is incremental, meaning that transit responds to demands on the system. I think in this case modeling might be useful to show which new connections would have the best ridership response, and which existing routes would lose riders if a transfer was needed to reach downtown.

Jack Horner

Similar issues arise in Melbourne, which has a Central Business District of 1600x800 metres (1 mile times ½ mile – the ‘Hoddle grid’, easily recognisable as it is offset to the north south grid of the inner suburbs). CBD-like activity now extends into nearby areas.

The City Council has proposals to extend tram services on the CBD fringes (the darker lines on p.33 at www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/AboutCouncil/PlansandPublications/strategies/Documents/Transport_Strategy_Review_2011_Draft.pdf Some of these are oblique in the sense discussed.

Melbourne has good public transport service and high public transport mode share to the CBD. PT mode share drops sharply to CBD fringe areas outside the Hoddle grid, presumably because of the combination of worse service and easier parking.

Remedying that will require more attention to through city and near city public transport. This needs a change in the transit planner’s mindset from ‘one seat to the city’ to ‘any time, any place in the inner area, using transfers’.

The comments to this entry are closed.

the firm

Jarrett is now in ...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...