What Places Are Most Practical to Link with Public Transportation Systems?
I live in Carrboro North Carolina and drive around in it a great deal in the course of my work as a carpenter. The local attempt to close the Public Community Airport has caused me to work on a generic plan for building and maintaining a "mature" transportation infrastructure.
I have lived in Chicago and New York City and Rochester New York and Fort Lauderdale Florida, Toronto Ontario, Greensboro, North Carolina, and some other places not worth mentioning, like Jersey City, New Jersey.
Of the cities I have lived in I would have to say that New York City possessed the most "mature" transportation infrastructure. The puzzle to work out for a place like Carrboro North Carolina is how to build the same sort of mature infrastructure within the natural strictures that exist simply due to geographic realities.
This is not to mention that there is a powerful political segment of people who look at a mature transportation infrastructure as destructive to the way of life they live here for. A mature transportation infrastructure is to that segment of the citizenry, "too urban".
The local conflict over the airport pivots often over how noisy airplanes are.
Noise is part of the price you pay for an urban lifestyle.
The opportunities afforded to modern people by a complete and mature transportation infrastructure outweigh a rejection of it if all classes are to be able to live and work together. Simply as an obvious fact the lack of a mature transportation infrastructure gives the more well off a general advantage and diminishes the prospects of creating and maintaining a meritocracy.
The realities of this are most clear when we reduce the sets of people who most need public transportation to the old and the young.
Once we do that we can determine most practically where public transportation must go.
For the young, who have not had time to accumulate wealth on their own then it follows public transportation must first link together all of the educational institutions.
This naturally would link public transportion to the hospitals because they are dual institutions being both necessary to public health, and educational institutions.
So in the case of this relatively small area I live in, I would call for first determination of "Rights of Way" that connect all of the educational institutions.
Second I would determine what transportation technology was most appropriate for that Right of Way.
In one Right of Way, a Subway is most efficient, and in another an elevated train is the most efficient, and in another a bus is most practical.
For a small place like Carrboro, it may seem insane to propose a subway, but infact the concept of a subway is entirely practical if made small.
I would determine where monorail was most appropriate, and where a subway was most appropriate, and make a subway car that fit both the ditch and hung off the elevated rail or cable between the institutions identified as part of the common public infrastructure, such as schools.
For a place like Carrboro I would build a subway that was a small ditch compared to the ditches for subway trains the sizes of subway trains in Manhattan or other places.
In Carrboro I would put the subway to the University under the bike paths with a glass ceiling so that the small underground always got natural light.
If for practical reasons the cars had to be designed to allow passengers to stand up throughout a trip, I would make them much thinner than traditional train cars and make sure that where the car could be elevated above intersections and other interference with the Right of Way, it would be compatible with both above and below ground travel.
Obviously a mature transportation infrastructure represents a longterm sort of planning and committment.
It also represents an acceptance that the world has become an urban experience for most of humanity.
Those communities and governments that commit to longterm solutions for the solutions to the problems of their citizens will thrive more than those that do not.
You might be going to live somewhere else, but the town you live in now is not going anywhere else. Everywhere you are, you will need the same things.
The world has become an urban place and governments that most perfectly integrate their transportation infrastuctures will be better places to live for the most people across socioeconomic lines than places where people don’t.
Since educated people are more able to adapt to both institutional or private forces that may be for or against them it is vital in the long run that public transportation most efficiently link first all of the educational institutions in any particular area.
Of course I think public transportation must be linked to the airports as well since no place makes it in the long term if it does not function as a port, and there is a good need for some people to learn to fly and an airplane is as much a school as a boat.