U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-01-2012, 01:14 PM
 
12,295 posts, read 15,187,836 times
Reputation: 8108

Advertisements

I was going to add this on the Cars vs public transportation thread but then felt it was worth its own thread. It mostly applies to metro areas blessed with good commuter rail but could even apply to one with just one light rail line. Many suburban residents have jobs in the city but live too far from the commuter rail station to walk. I read the story of one who mentioned most of the jobs in his field were in downtown Chicago but he lived 50 miles away in Lake Villa. Many commuter rail stations are in old suburban downtowns (OSD), often with insufficient parking. Some agencies built new stations outside the OSD with large parking lots. In some cases shuttle buses have been added to take residents from outlying subdivisions to the stations. There have even been remote parking/shuttle buses, sometimes from under-utilized during weekdays Church lots. Not all commuters to downtown live close enough to an OSD to walk. I would like to hear others' thoughts on the subject, particularly where new systems are being built or planned.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-01-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,760,401 times
Reputation: 1616
Do any commuter rail systems get their passengers coming to the station by foot? In Toronto, they either drive or take the bus. With Calgary's C-Train, which is basically like commuter rail outside the core, most people drive or take the bus too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,148,414 times
Reputation: 7738
Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Do any commuter rail systems get their passengers coming to the station by foot? In Toronto, they either drive or take the bus. With Calgary's C-Train, which is basically like commuter rail outside the core, most people drive or take the bus too.
Yes, there are a few in the Philly system that get quite a few walkers

Most notably the Main Line from the numerous towns that developed along the RR line like Bala, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Wayen, Paoli and also places like Media, Chestnut Hill, Abington, Jenkintown etc.

The first so called town center (suburban square from the 1930s I believe) sits next to the Ardmore station, most of these stations have numerous apartments etc adjacent to the stations


I can think of quite a few on NJT for NYC and many on the Patco line in the Philly area which is technically heavy rail like the North Jersey PATH

I imagine Boston would have many too
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2012, 05:08 PM
 
Location: NOVA
4,521 posts, read 5,232,722 times
Reputation: 1928
Lightbulb to walk or not

In DC, the metro (subway but above and below ground) charges $5/day to park. There are many walkers since most stations have nearby large apartment complexes. The VRE (commuter train service -sub of Amtrak) has free parking and almost every commuter drives vs. walks. I think this has more to do with the patronage of the two systems. Metro appeals to those inside the beltway since it operates ONLY inside the beltway where the train gets commuters that live up to 60 miles away and those rail stations are not close to any large apartment complexes or even neighborhoods in some cases.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2012, 07:28 PM
 
1,252 posts, read 1,980,287 times
Reputation: 1319
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
I was going to add this on the Cars vs public transportation thread but then felt it was worth its own thread. It mostly applies to metro areas blessed with good commuter rail but could even apply to one with just one light rail line. Many suburban residents have jobs in the city but live too far from the commuter rail station to walk. I read the story of one who mentioned most of the jobs in his field were in downtown Chicago but he lived 50 miles away in Lake Villa. Many commuter rail stations are in old suburban downtowns (OSD), often with insufficient parking. Some agencies built new stations outside the OSD with large parking lots. In some cases shuttle buses have been added to take residents from outlying subdivisions to the stations. There have even been remote parking/shuttle buses, sometimes from under-utilized during weekdays Church lots. Not all commuters to downtown live close enough to an OSD to walk. I would like to hear others' thoughts on the subject, particularly where new systems are being built or planned.
I think that the model of providing centralized suburban parking at a rail station and then providing rail transit into the CBD is the next logical step in the evolution of public transit. As the cost of gasonline and personal transit rises, people will want to drive less, and demand for public transit will increase. Although people may use alternative transit to get to work, they will still want to keep their cars for leisure/nonwork activities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2012, 08:26 AM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,819,994 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by pete6032 View Post
I think that the model of providing centralized suburban parking at a rail station and then providing rail transit into the CBD is the next logical step in the evolution of public transit.
That's an old model. It often fails, however, for any number of reasons.

1) Transit planners hate cars and don't want to do anything to accommodate drivers.

2) Stations are located in downtown areas where there is little room for parking

3) Towns with stations see no reason to accommodate parking for out-of-towners; they don't want the traffic or to build more parking. So they restrict parking to small lots and/or restrict it to residents.

4) Roads in areas with stations can't handle the commuter traffic.

We see all of these in New Jersey.

For #1: New Jersey Transit built an enormous transfer station (Secaucus Junction) located across all the major rail lines save one, one stop from New York City. It's in an industrial area right off the New Jersey Turnpike. And they built it without parking.

For #2: True of most stations in the NJ Transit system, major exceptions being Secaucus and Princeton Junction (there may be others), also Harrison on the PATH line.

For #3: South Orange and Brick Church on the Morris&Essex lines have over 4 year waits for nonresident parking permits. Many other stations on that line have over a year wait. Short Hills and Millburn don't allow non-residents to park at the station at all.

For #4: Again, true of most stations.

Not every station in NJ has these problems, but most do. And because they do, the few stations that don't end up totally overloaded. Princeton Junction, despite its very large lot, has over a 7 year wait for a parking permit. Secaucus, now that there is a lot nearby, charges $23/day, and still fills up by 9:30am. Harrison charges $13/12 hours.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2012, 08:35 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,148,414 times
Reputation: 7738
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
That's an old model. It often fails, however, for any number of reasons.

1) Transit planners hate cars and don't want to do anything to accommodate drivers.

2) Stations are located in downtown areas where there is little room for parking

3) Towns with stations see no reason to accommodate parking for out-of-towners; they don't want the traffic or to build more parking. So they restrict parking to small lots and/or restrict it to residents.

4) Roads in areas with stations can't handle the commuter traffic.

We see all of these in New Jersey.

For #1: New Jersey Transit built an enormous transfer station (Secaucus Junction) located across all the major rail lines save one, one stop from New York City. It's in an industrial area right off the New Jersey Turnpike. And they built it without parking.

For #2: True of most stations in the NJ Transit system, major exceptions being Secaucus and Princeton Junction (there may be others), also Harrison on the PATH line.

For #3: South Orange and Brick Church on the Morris&Essex lines have over 4 year waits for nonresident parking permits. Many other stations on that line have over a year wait. Short Hills and Millburn don't allow non-residents to park at the station at all.

For #4: Again, true of most stations.

Not every station in NJ has these problems, but most do. And because they do, the few stations that don't end up totally overloaded. Princeton Junction, despite its very large lot, has over a 7 year wait for a parking permit. Secaucus, now that there is a lot nearby, charges $23/day, and still fills up by 9:30am. Harrison charges $13/12 hours.
Trenton and Hamilton have a ton of parking

BTW the princeton junction wit list is insane


Also Metro Park (no pun intended) in NJ has a pretty huge parking lot, as does New Carollton on the DC metro. As does the area arounf New Brunswick

but on the whole is very inconsitent

On the Septa Trenton Line (NE Corrider line) there is a park and ride built on 95 with direct access to the station that really gets sor of minimal usage. I wish this line was run by NJT as a continuance of the NE corrider line to 30th street. A RR optional at 1/4th the price of Amtrak would be great rather than a two seat Septa/NJT ride
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,148,414 times
Reputation: 7738
Quote:
Originally Posted by pete6032 View Post
I think that the model of providing centralized suburban parking at a rail station and then providing rail transit into the CBD is the next logical step in the evolution of public transit. As the cost of gasonline and personal transit rises, people will want to drive less, and demand for public transit will increase. Although people may use alternative transit to get to work, they will still want to keep their cars for leisure/nonwork activities.
RR rail could work with a combination of walkable TOD and parking - they dont have to be mutually exclusive
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2012, 08:54 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,098,346 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
RR rail could work with a combination of walkable TOD and parking - they dont have to be mutually exclusive
I agree.

Anyway, what's the economic incentive for a town to provide tons of cheap parking? Parking isn't exactly an economic engine.

Ronkonkoma has been rather taken over by parking: ronkonkoma ny - Google Maps

Parking at Huntington expanded as far out as it could, then a garage was constructed:

huntington ny - Google Maps
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2012, 09:37 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,937,844 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I agree.

Anyway, what's the economic incentive for a town to provide tons of cheap parking? Parking isn't exactly an economic engine.

Ronkonkoma has been rather taken over by parking: ronkonkoma ny - Google Maps

Parking at Huntington expanded as far out as it could, then a garage was constructed:

huntington ny - Google Maps
I think the large park rides in New Jersey (MetroPark) were constructed by the state rather than the town. Secacus Junction was built not for any riders getting on but as a transfer station, so no parking was built. Being that close to the city, the traffic reduction of commuter rail would be low. I think TOD (maybe some office buildings, not sure if anyone would want to live there) might make more sense, but the state doesn't have to provide parking. Private companies can as well.

Ronkonkoma is the easternmost stop in Long Island, with fast, frequent service into NYC. It's used to people from a wide area and I still don't think the old town by the train station was very big. It makes sense to have lots of parking at Ronkonkoma. Realistically, most suburban commuter rail stations will need parking but rail works better if integrated with commercial development. Huntington needs lots of parking but it'd be nice if there was something else besides parking and walking in some directions is a bit of a hazard (though the overpass is nice, one of my parent's friends used it rather than driving when he lived near the station). Large parking lots can hinder pedestrians. At best, some office buildings could placed next to the rail station and some could take the train to work rather than drive. Mineola isn't bad.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Mineo...+York&t=h&z=16

Hicksville has office buildings but they're more separated and the area is less pedestrian friendly.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hicks...+New+York&z=16

Street parking if the demand isn't too high can cover some of the parking needs though residents might whine. One of my mother's co-workers uses street parking to get to this commuter rail station:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Baysi...+New+York&z=16

barely any parking, lots of stores nearby. Station entrance is a staircase off the commercial street.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Baysi...57.29,,0,-0.71

People who live near commuter rail stations do walk, partly because parking is limited. I knew two people who from their home to this station (Scarsdale) — one was a friend's g/f's mother and another a friend who moved in with a relative:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Scars...46.41,,0,-7.76

To the north of the station might be the census tract with the highest (or very close to) median income in the country. Just to the south is a line of apartment buildings, the residents I assume walk to the station. Back view:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Scars...264.34,,0,1.24

Last edited by nei; 12-02-2012 at 09:46 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top