We need a better phrase than "Transit Oriented Development".

biking in copenhagen
CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter/ biking is official transportation in Copenhagen

Former head of Chicago's transportation department Gabe Klein writes in Citylab that We need to think bigger about Transit Oriented Development. He notes that bike share systems are, in many cities, (he gives Washington as an example) becoming essential parts of the transit system.

TOD report© ITDP

...we need to re-think what transit is, just as we're re-thinking what TOD is. If a chain of autonomous vehicles with vehicle-to-vehicle communications operate in a train-set type format, is that functioning just as transit would? Is that more or less efficient than the current local bus systems in some cities? I know this scares some people to talk about, and the answer often seems to be some sort of litmus test as to whether or not you really support public transportation, but I think to have an honest conversation we have to get rid of the sacred cows.

the PAT Vehicle Experience from Patrick Dias on Vimeo.

Klein sees a future where cars in the city would all have to be either completely autonomous like the little google car or cars that do both, switched to self-driving mode. Since they take up less space and don't need parking, much of the road would be converted to walking, bikes and other alternative modes.

People will always want to see a city at human-scale and control the experience. Walking and biking will likely be the only way you can do that in the future in urban areas, as the other options will be an electric-powered self-driving vehicle or mass transit.

YES. There is more to transit-oriented development than just mass transit. Bikes are transit. Walking is transit. Grandma with her walker and mom with her stroller are transit. Transit oriented Development (TOD) is presented as an alternative to car oriented development, but as Bernard Rudolfsky noted so long ago, Streets are for people. Let's go POD for People Oriented Development.

Invasion of the body snatchersInvasion of the body snatchers/Screen capture

Of course, POD people might just chase everyone else out of town, like they did to Kevin McCarthy.

Tags: Cities | Transportation | Urban Planning


treehugger slideshows