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Quote of the Whatever: Americans Are Ignorant About Transit

September 24, 2010

It’s ignorance. Ignorance to the fact that it really isn’t that bad to walk a couple blocks to get to a station or stop to catch a train or bus.

So says Fred Jandt, Editor of Mass transit Magazine in a blog post about Europe, America, and transit travel.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2010 4:19 pm

    Thanks for the link. I hadn’t seen this site before.

    Walking two blocks to a train station is easy. I had a great time walking to the Arts Center station and taking the train to North Ave for dinner at nearby Publik last night.

    The problem is putting people in residences that are two blocks from a train station. That requires density, and there are two things that Americans really hate: sprawl and density.

    Sprawling zones of detached houses make for a difficult situation when it comes to putting people in easy proximity to a train station by foot. But if you want a great way to start a fight, suggest increasing the density allowed by zoning laws– or upping the zoning regulation for building height — to the average home owner. It’s never a pretty argument.

    Certainly, many people in Atlanta use MARTA successfully while living in suburban-type areas of detached houses. And many intown neighborhoods started off as streetcar suburbs where rail transit was the main means of transport. But our built environment has been twisted over the decades to make car transit the easiest, most convenient choice and that makes a shift towards increased rail use difficult.

    I don’t think it’s impossible, though. Keep up the great work with MARTA Rocks and hopefully more Atlantans will come around to having a favorable view of rail (and bus) transit.

  2. CCTgirl permalink*
    September 25, 2010 6:39 pm

    I’m not ignorant. I’m lazy.

  3. 10B permalink
    September 29, 2010 11:08 pm

    I want to say buses lose visibility below a certain frequency, say every 15 minutes, so it is not worth the wait showing up at a bus stop for an unplanned trip. Lazy people may confirm it’s not worth spending 2 hours planning for a 2-mile routine trip…

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