More on the geometry of transportation: “Transport is mostly a real estate problem”

In June, the Urbanization Project at NYU’s Stern Center posted several graphics looking at the space devoted to transportation in our cities. As the author, Alain Bertaud, frames it, “transport is mostly a real estate problem.” That is, different transportation modes require different amounts of space to accomplish the same task.

Comparison of population/employee

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: part 4 – monorails, active uses under viaducts, and precast concrete in Puerto Rico

Pulling together some suggestions from the comments of the series prologue, part 1, part 2, and part 3…

Monorails: Always popular as a technology that can reduce the visual bulk of elevated rail, Alon Levy collected some comparisons showing that purported monorail cost benefits to be mostly illusory. But what about visual bulk? Alon makes

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: part 3 – Els that gave Els a bad name

For more, see the series prologue, part 1, and part 2…

A look at some of the Els that gave Els a bad name:

Chicago: The city’s rapid transit system’s elevated lines are ubiquitous; the system is named for them. In the Loop, the Els run above city streets. In other parts, some Els run

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: part 2 – best practices of integrating viaducts into urban designs

Continued from the prologue and part 1… A look at legacy examples of older elevated construction precedents. Some examples drawn from this post and this thread on the archBoston forums.

Berlin: As a part of his writing about elevated rail, Jarrett Walker takes note of Berlin’s elevated rail, and the use of space beneath them:

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: part 1 – the universe of post-tensioned pre-cast concrete

For background, see the prologue for this series.

With phase I of WMATA’s Silver Line through Tysons Corner nearing completion, we now have a better sense of the visual impact of the elevated guideways on the cityscape of Tysons Corner. Elevated rail in Tysons, given the widths of the roads it runs over/along, makes perfect

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: prologue and index

Under the Chicago El. Photo by the author.

Elevated rail has a bad name; urban rapid transit requires full grade separation. These two facts are inconveniently opposed to one another. Is there a future for elevated rail in urban and suburban areas? Cheaper elevated construction opens the door for more rapid transit expansion in

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Hyperloop: lots of hype for something that doesn’t yet exist

The last few days have seen lots of pixels spent on Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept – and I couldn’t resist chiming in. It’s a fascinating idea, but far from an actionable one. Musk seems to have put a lot of thought into dealing with some of the technical hurdles of previous vac-train ideas, but

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Are evolving suburbs really suburban anymore?

Leigh Gallagher is in the news with a provocatively titled book, The End of the Suburbs. Gallagher writes about the shifting geography of the American Dream from suburbia to growing cities and walkable places. In a summary for Time, Gallagher writes:

A major change is underway in where and how

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