The Cultural Corridor Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is envisioned as a speedier (than typical bus) service operating between the Delaware River waterfront and the Mann Music Center. It will connect the civic center area including the Convention Center, the Parkway museums and attractions, and the largest landscaped urban park in the world. It is one of the “big ideas” in the Central District Plan (the full draft will be released for public comment on Tuesday, March 19th).
We know. We know. You’re thinking how can a “bus” be “rapid”? Especially if you’ve ever been on a bus in Center City!?
Is it a bus? A train? A caterpillar? Source: www.montgomeryplanning.org
Well, think of some things that make transportation “rapid”: dedicated travel lane, as in a separate tunnel for subways, or an elevated structure for an El; actual stations with platforms spaced more than a few blocks apart; potential to pay your fare prior to boarding (such as turnstiles); frequent service (every 15 minutes or better); and branding (such as use of orange for Broad Street Subway and green for trolley lines, etc.).
Now, keep all those things in mind, but imagine a bus service employing those strategies rather than a vehicle on rails. So? You ask how is that better – or even possible – on narrow Central District streets? It won’t be easy, but many of the characteristics of BRT can be incorporated into a new transit line.
The Central District has a LOT of transit options and services. But how many of these options do you know and use? How often is your trip a discouraging one because you can’t find the appropriate platform, terminal, or bus stop? How many times have you looked out of a bus window on Walnut Street or Chestnut Street and noticed three-legged dogs limping down the block, outpacing your bus? Well, hop on board to take a peek at getting around the district in 2035.
In the future, if your destination is outside the Philly area, then you will be able to depart in a motor coach from a modern bus terminal that is more prominent and better integrated with other transportation options. Running from the Market Frankford El to the Bus Terminal in February with your backpack and luggage to make the 5:42am bus to Buffalo will be just a quick, direct, weather-protected walk in a new tunnel.
The Granary development rises on the 1900 block of Callowhill.
We’re doing a weekly feature spotlighting the Central District Plan and its recommendations as a sort of sneak peek of the draft. The draft of the plan will be released in March, and then you’ll have until May to dig in and provide us with detailed comments. Today’s topic: West Callowhill Focus Area! READ MORE
Go to http://biketotransit.shareabouts.org/ and tell us about bike parking (as in, where we need more of it, or where you’d use it if it were there).
One of the obstacles to public transportation as a viable commuting option is that it isn’t always convenient to where you live or work. “If I’m already getting in my car to drive 3 miles to the train station, then why not just jam out to B101 on the Schuylkill for an hour anyway?”, we hear you saying to yourselves. We totally hear you on this. Of course, our planner response is, “have you ever considered biking to complete your trip, as opposed to driving?” to which your normal person response is probably, “BAHAHAHAHAHA, but silly rabbit, what do I do with my bike all day? It’s not like there’s anywhere to PARK.”
Ah yes, parking, the scourge of many a planning discussion, no matter what type of vehicle you’re trying to stow. That’s where this nifty interactive map from the Bicycle Coalition, SEPTA, PATCO, NJT, DVRPC and Open Plans comes in! They want to hear from you about bike parking at stations. Really anything on that topic at all, including:
This week’s Wonky Wednesday is a true test of wonkitude. You’ve got to be really committed to the collection of nitty gritty to dig this one, but we’re going for it cause there’s some important themes to pull out and discuss based on this week’s topic: SEPTA’s Capital Budget.
We’re going to assume you don’t read many budgets in your day job, and do this Q&A style to really break it down.
Q: I’m obsessed with trains and come to all your meetings.
A: Yes, you transit aficionados are rarely shy with your feelings. Reminds us of that scene in the gym from the classic film, Mean Girls:
Q: Wow, i had no idea.
A: It’s ok. Feelings have to go somewhere. Why not direct them at transit agencies? This is why we feel it’s worth at least skimming through this very detail-heavy document: it might help adjust your expectations, and by extension, your feelings.
Q: I was expecting to see renderings of a redone City Hall Station, the top-secret engineering drawings for the waterfront line, and cost estimates for the anti-gravity units that will propel our trolleys of the future. Where’s all the cool stuff? READ MORE