Wow, this was a crazy thread to read. I vanish for a bit and this is what y'all do?
DC's primary system is Metro, which is considered heavy rail (not really commuter rail)...VRE and MARC are the commuter rail lines in the area.
That's not entirely accurate. DC's heavy rail system was designed, much like San Fran's BART, to be a hybrid of a subway-style heavy rail system and a commuter rail system. You can see that reality along the edges of Metro, where the character of the system changes to serve automobile-centric communities.
What is instructive about the Washington Metro involves how critical it is in the reformation and transformation of inner ring suburbia. Many stations along the Metro have been used as the catalyst to create density, walkability, and the beginnings of true urban fabric. Some were planned that way from the get-go (like the Orange Line/Blue Line inner stops in Arlington,) and some are recreating suburbia into something else (like Silver Spring and Rockville.) Hence, the Metro serves both factions (areas already dense needing transit, and areas that become more dense with transit.)hillary supporter
The city seems so spread out that rapid fixed mass transit appears a challenging task. mass transit needs a strong residential presence to be successful , in our case. DC metro system works as mass commute corridors in an area of several million, not dependent on a residential population . Jax population is not there,though foresight should be used.
Correct. DC has critical mass regarding population and density. Moreover, the central core of DC wasn't ever truly hollowed out and remained viable and integral, so there was a need for transit to the core. Metropolitan Washington also has the benefit of having a comprehensive, 1st-rate, integrated transportation system that people of all classes willingly use. They're currently building streetcars up here as well, to compliment what is already used, and already there. Finally, it totally sucks to drive in DC. It's much easier to convince people to get out of their cars when the experience inside of them frustrates and infuriates on a daily basis.
That doesn't mean that Jax shouldn't get streetcars...foresight indeed helped build the Metro and that foresight has created modern DC.
Regarding the conversion of the Skyway to a NYC Highline Park, I personally don't think that's feasible, specifically because of the density issues. However, a streetcar system integrated into the existing Skyway? Done. Sold. Why not use what you already have?thelakelander
said it best:
It makes no sense to fight 20 miles of traffic to then park in a garage to go the last 1/2 mile on the skyway. If we can get commuter rail and streetcars off the ground and integrated with the skyway, we can have the option to leave our cars right in our driveways and garages.
The "options" part is really the key to selling mass transit, I think. And you hit it right on the nose that without transit-oriented development and a series of linked nodes of transit connecting it all, there's not really an option to leave your car behind.
I've said this on these boards many a time before, but there's also the idea of political will. Are there enough people who want mass transit and are over driving?