Toward improved transit station access in pedestrian-unfriendly environments
Author(s)Park, Ryan Sherman, 1972-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Kenneth E. Kruckemeyer.
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The resurgence of rail transit in the United States has introduced transit stations into environments of dispersed development oriented primarily to automobile travel. In addition, alignments for new transit lines have frequently been chosen in highway and railroad corridors where walking conditions are poor. Park-and-ride lots and feeder bus routes have facilitated access to stations in these compromised locations, while pedestrian access has often been neglected. This research examines the untapped potential of increased ridership and expanded ridership markets that can be realized through improved pedestrian access to transit stations. It finds that wider benefits to society, including reduced air pollution, increased development potential, enhanced equity, individual health benefits, and an improved quality of life can be realized through more walkable station area environments. Case studies of stations representing urban, inner suburban "greyfield", and outer suburban "greenfield" environments are undertaken to evaluate both the various impediments to pedestrian access found at different station areas, as well as to identify strategies for facilitating pedestrian access to stations in a range of contexts. The examination of specific stations is augmented by a review of previous research on pedestrian behavior and travel to arrive at specific guidelines for improving pedestrian access. Walking to stations is encouraged by: a dense network of direct and continuous routes to stations; convenient and safe opportunities for crossing streets; a perception of safety and security prevailing along pedestrian routes; the provision of information and station identification; and a level of urban vitality marked by pedestrian activity, pedestrian-oriented uses, and pedestrian-scaled design. The guidelines are applied to both an existing rapid transit system currently undergoing renovations as well as to an entirely new one now under construction: the elevated and subway lines of Chicago, Illinois, and Tren Urbano in metropolitan San Juan, Puerto Rico. Recommendations for specific interventions to improve pedestrian access to four Chicago Transit Authority rapid transit stations and two future Tren Urbano station sites, along with suggested implementation frameworks, are advanced.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2001.Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-241).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil and Environmental Engineering.