Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel floats ordinance to fast-track transit-oriented development, reduce parking minimums

Currently under construction, 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave. is one of several TOD projects planned near Chicago transit stations. (Brininstool + Lynch)

Currently under construction, 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave. is one of several TOD projects planned near Chicago transit stations. (Brininstool + Lynch)

This week Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will push a plan to expand transit-oriented development (TOD) by easing zoning restrictions and releasing certain projects from parking requirements altogether.

Continue reading after the jump.

Take a tour of Chicago’s newest Green Line stop, Cermak-McCormick Place, designed by Ross Barney Architects

Cermak-McCormick Place: the newest stop on Chicago's CTA Green Line, designed by Ross Barney Architects. (Kate Joyce Studios)

Cermak-McCormick Place: the newest stop on Chicago’s CTA Green Line, designed by Ross Barney Architects. (Kate Joyce Studios)

Chicago commuters transiting through the South Loop and Chinatown have had a new stop since early this year, when the Chicago Transit Authority opened its newest train stop: Cermak-McCormick Place.

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Feds tout new $100 million bus rapid transit plans for metro Indianapolis

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Indiana. (Courtesy WANE-TV Newschannel 15)

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Indiana. (Courtesy WANE-TV Newschannel 15)

United States Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently delivered some welcome news to proponents of bus rapid transit (BRT) in Indianapolis.

“The city is on throes of launching something unique,” Foxx said in April while touring the proposed system’s first leg, the 28-mile, $100 million electric bus route known as the Red Line. “Transit can be the difference between someone having a shot and not having one in the 21st-century economy.” Read More

Jeddah hopes a high-design transit network by Norman Foster can transform the Saudi city into a transit capital

(Courtesy Foster and Partners)

(Courtesy Foster and Partners)

British design firm Foster + Partners recently inked a deal reportedly worth upwards of $80 million to master plan a city-wide public transportation network in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Currently, just 12 percent of the population resides within a 10-minute walk from a transportation hub, and just 1–2 percent of commuters use public transportation. But can high design lead to higher ridership?

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Sprucing up Twin Cities transit stations

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

With the Midwest’s winter thaw underway, Minneapolis residents have an eye to the outside. But for the 40 percent of the city’s downtown workers that walk, bike, or ride transit to their jobs throughout the winter, public spaces play a year-round role. Downtown transit stops in particular see tens of thousands of Twin Cities denizens on any given weekday, yet their designs range from utilitarian to downright unwelcoming.

Continue reading after the jump.

Explore Chicago’s regional transportation network on this interactive website

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan.

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan.

How many people get on the train at your “El” or Metra stop each day? Which county’s roads make for the roughest ride? How long do Chicago-area drivers while away waiting for train crossings?

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) just unveiled a new tool to stir discussion about transportation in the greater Chicago area that can answer all of those questions, as well as many more about the regional transportation system as a whole.

Continue reading after the jump.

Governor Cuomo proposes AirTrain to LaGuardia, but would it actually help?

East, News, Transportation, Urbanism
Friday, January 23, 2015
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Rendering of the LaGuardia AirTran. (Courtesy Cuomo Administration)

Rendering of the LaGuardia AirTran. (Courtesy Cuomo Administration)

Day One: New Yorkers rejoice as their governor,  Andrew Cuomo, announces his intent to bring AirTran service to LaGuardia Airport. Day Two: Well-respected transportation blog The Transport Politic digs into the $450 million plan and shreds apart some of its ambitious goals, namely the time savings it takes to get to the airport. Using the LaGuardia AirTran would actually be a less convenient way to get to the airport than the slow and unreliable options that currently exist.

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Pedal to the metal at Los Angeles’ Union Station

Development, Urbanism, West
Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Proposed new east entrance to Union Station (Grimshaw/Gruen/Metro)

Proposed new east portal to Union Station (Grimshaw/Gruen/Metro)

After refining their master plan over the last several months, Metro, Grimshaw, and Gruen are ready, as Metro Deputy Executive Officer for Countywide Planning Jenna Hornstock put it, to “put the pedal to the metal.” They’re asking the Metro Planning and Programming Committee to approve several recommendations (PDF) to begin the implementation of their Union Station Master Plan, including the development of a Program Environmental Impact Report. Yesterday they presented to the committee, and a vote is expected at the next gathering on October 15.

Continue reading after the jump.

Planning, transit, and parks projects are transforming Indianapolis

Tarkington Park is the subject of a redesign aimed at catalyzing neighborhood development and curbing crime. (Courtesy Rundell Ernesterberger Associates)

Tarkington Park is the subject of a redesign aimed at catalyzing neighborhood development and curbing crime. (Courtesy Rundell Ernesterberger Associates)

Indianapolis has been busy remaking its downtown, embarking on several developments and planning projects that city officials hope bode well for the city’s future growth. The editors at Indianapolis Monthly rounded them up this week, picking out “five projects improving Indy right now.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Construction finally underway on Detroit’s 3.3-mile-long M-1 rail line

The 80-foot, 3,000-pound rails that will become the M1 Rail track have begun to arrive in Detroit. (Courtesy image - M1 Rail)

The 80-foot, 3,000-pound rails that will become the M1 Rail track have begun to arrive in Detroit. (Courtesy M1 Rail)

After years of planning, Detroit‘s M-1 Rail Line took an important step into physical reality this week, as piles of 80-foot-long, 3,000-pound rails arrived on construction sites that will build the 3.3 mile streetcar line by the end of 2016. Read More

With Caveats, High Speed Rail, And Its Stations, Chug Ahead In California

Conceptual rendering of the Fresno to Bakersfield route (CA High Speed Rail)

Conceptual rendering of the Fresno to Bakersfield route (CA High Speed Rail)

Despite ongoing delays, lawsuits, and government holdups, it appears that California’s High Speed Rail (HSR) plans (and their associated stations) are ready to move ahead. Last week the United States Department of Transportation issued a “Record of Decision” for HSR’s initial 114-mile section from Fresno to Bakersfield.

Continue reading after the jump.

Twin Cities celebrate first inter-city rail connection in decades

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

For a metro area as widely praised for its alternative transportation options as Minnesota’s Twin Cities, it’s surprising Minneapolis and St. Paul are only now celebrating a new light rail connection between their downtowns. Read More

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