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The economic downturn and rising construction costs have delayed a much-anticipated rail line to Longmont, Colorado. But can plans to revitalise the area around the proposed station succeed, even without transit investment?
Colorado’s 41-mile Northwest Rail corridor runs from downtown Denver, passing through Boulder, and comes to an end at the city of Longmont, which sits at the far northern edge of the Denver area’s Regional Transportation District (RTD).
Studies show that transit-oriented development really can make a difference to the long-term sustainability of our urban areas.
“Sustainability” is probably the most common word used in urban planning today. Hundreds of books and articles have been written on it, and the federal government is focusing on it through its grant programs. The recent round of HUD/DOT/EPA sustainability planning grants has given regions such as Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis-St. Paul major funding sources for regional sustainable planning. But what does it all mean?
Revitalizing city centers, boosting the economy, saving the environment – it makes sense that transit is playing a key role in the future of North America.
For the past 30 years, North American cities of all sizes have been focused on building regional transit networks that connect city centers to outlying suburbs. This reliance on the long-distance transportation market has resulted in well-functioning commuter rail and light rail transit systems with high ridership, but with little thought to how those systems fit into the urban streetscape or how they promote development.