Issue 488 January 2010

Extending the City Beautiful

Three centuries of city planning in Washington, D.C.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Washington, D.C. was built as a celebration of democracy and civic pride. Today, planners are extending this legacy to reconnect D.C.'s "monumental core" with the rest of the city. Read More »

Thriving TOD

What can we learn from mass transit in D.C. suburbs?
While urban planners across the U.S. talk about creating transit-oriented development, the D.C. region has built TODs in a way that's actually changing commuter behavior. What lessons can San Francisco learn from this success story? Read More »

Learning from Metrorail

Lessons from DC's regional rail system
The Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority developed their respective regional transit systems around the same time, and toward similar aims. Both were conceived in the 1940s to complement new highways and underwent construction in the 1960s as opposition to those highways began to mount. BART began operation in 1972, and has grown to 104 track miles; Metrorail began operation in 1976 and now has 106 track miles. But that’s where the similarities end. Metrorail has more than 700,000 riders per day while BART has fewer than 400,000: it’s clear WMATA has achieved a level of usability that BART has not. Why the difference? For starters, Metrorail does a better job of getting people to and from D.C.’s downtown area. With 86 stations, it has twice as many stops as BART (at 43) — Metrorail stations are also better situated, in more easily accessible... Read More »

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