TOD at IAD: a concept for developing Saarinen Circle at Dulles International Airport

Munich Airport Center. Image from Wikipedia.

As the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority continues work on Phase 2 of the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport and beyond, it’s worth considering some of the transit oriented development opportunities at the airport beyond just the obvious connection for passengers at the terminal.

Airports around the world take advantage of their connectivity in developing

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Making multi-level cities work: revisiting the skyway, using it in edge city redevelopment

Elevated pedestrian walkway linking Tysons Corner Center with the Metro, bypassing heavily used auto thoroughfares. Future development (replacing the parking garage visible to the left) will add more elevated pedestrian-only connections to the Metro. Photo by Alex Block.

Is there a future for the skyway in American cities? Unlike retrofitting a new layer onto

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The good and bad of Denver’s new airport transit line

Denver RTD A-Line map.

Next time you fly into Denver, you’ll be able to hop on a train from the airport to downtown. There’s a lot to celebrate about this new transit line, and much to criticize. There’s plenty of effusive praise for Denver’s transit ambitions without much critical pushback in the popular press.

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Aerostates, Geopolitics and the interpretation of regulations

Last Sunday’s Washington Post featured an article covering the ongoing saga between the Big Three US-based network airlines (American, Delta, and United) and the Middle East Three (Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar) airlines over the rules for air travel and the role for government in regulating it, as well as funding it. The intersection of air

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BRAC, but for WMATA station names

What’s in a name? Recently, a WMATA Board committee voted to add destinations to the Foggy Bottom and Smithsonian stations. The two will soon be “Foggy Bottom-GWU-Kennedy Center” and “Smithsonian-National Mall” stations, respectively. Matt Johnson at Greater Greater Washington has a good read on why these name additions are a bad idea and will add

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Mid-life crisis: BART, WMATA, and America’s modern subway systems

America’s few modern subway systems are facing a mid-life crisis. In the past month, WMATA had to shutter the entire system for emergency inspections of the power supply system, while BART had to shut down one branch of the system due to a mysterious power surge problem disabling trains. Both systems are no longer the

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I can’t believe I’m writing a post on Personal Rapid Transit!

Morgantown WV PRT System, as seen from Google Streetview

Reading through the history of the personal rapid transit (PRT) on the Verge by Adi Robertson, I couldn’t help but think of the similarities with many familiar projects. Cost overruns, scope creep, politics, government red tape, all conspiring to erode the value of an otherwise

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Improving passenger information in WMATA’s 7000 series railcars

As more of WMATA’s new 7000 series railcars enter service, more riders get a chance to experience the new cars in regular service, under the demands of everyday use. The same is true for me – after several chances to ride the new cars in regular service, I have a few observations – particularly relating

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Renovating Penn Station as an institution, not a building

Beware nostalgia for the old Penn Station. While the railroad station’s current iteration neither functions well nor provides an inspiring space, addressing these problems requires addressing the underlying issues of railroad governance, finance, and operations.

Writing in the New York Times, David Dunlap aims to demolish the myth of Penn Station’s demise as solely

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WMATA, the NTSB, and the FRA: or, what do you mean the Metro doesn’t count as a railroad?

FRA Type II Safety Glass in a WMATA rail car. Photo from nevermindtheend.

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board issued an urgent recommendation to the US Department of Transportation and the US Congress to re-classify WMATA to be regulated under the authority of the Federal Railroad Administration. The NTSB usually waits until their

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