Sunday, May 22, 2011

Transit and Multimodal Solutions (2)

South Side-
sidewalk repairs are completed in a way that both pedestrian flow and vehicle traffic are maintained.

What I like most about Derrick's rider story is the way it highlights a different perspective on riding transit. The storyteller is not exclusively a transit rider, he is equally a car driver, cyclist and pedestrian. His choices are not motivated by personal finances or commitment to a cleaner, more social mean or transportation - but by pragmatism. Because depending on the goals of each urban dweller there is a transportation service or another that will fulfill the customer's needs best. Sometimes is driving a car, sometimes is riding transit - and sometimes is the ability to walk to your destination safely on a designated pedestrian pathway.

South Side is one of the city neighborhoods where people can choose freely between different transportation modes without having to get out of their way - such as walking a mile unsafely on the side of the road or cycling among inattentive drivers. But South Side is one of the few neighborhoods ,where one can access a diversity of transportation means. There are several city neighborhoods where one or more of these options may not be as easily available, and that is without even counting most suburban areas which are in fact the areas where most Pittsburghers live. [1]

And the reason why, sometimes, there is no access to all the transportation means mentioned above in city neighborhoods, is n the initial car-oriented design of the local infrastructure as in the case of suburban areas. The reason is our misunderstanding of the real value that multimodal transportation options do hold in urban areas. "And our priorities are so skewed that , even in the old city neighborhoods where pedestrian pathways survived the last six decades, we tend to ignore the fact that their role is not ornamental but quite pragmatic."


[1] According to the Census 2010 data, only about 20% of Allegheny County Residents live in the city of Pittsburgh. The remaining 80% are living in the 130 suburban municipalities that are part of the county.

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