Walk-and-Ride_ Factors Influencing Pedestrian Access to Transit.pdf - Journal ofPublic Transportation Walk-and-Ride Factors Influencing Pedestrian

Walk-and-Ride_ Factors Influencing Pedestrian Access to Transit.pdf

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Journal of Public Transportation Walk-and-Ride: Factors Influencing Pedestrian Access to Transit Robert Cervera Univerity of Califoria, Berkeley Abstract The predominant means of reaching suburban rail stations in the United States is by private car. Transit villages strive, among other things, to convert larger shares of rail access trips to walk-and-ride, bike-and-ride, and bus-and-ride. Empirical evi- dence on how built environments influence walk-access to rail transit remains sketchy. In this article, analyses are carried out at two resolutions to address this question. Aggregate data from the San Francisco Bay Area reveal compact, mixed-use settings with minimal obstructions are conducive to walk-and-ride rail patronage. A disaggre- gate-level analysis of access trips to Washington Metrorail services by residents of Montgomery County, Maryland, shows that urban design, and particularly sidewalk provisions and street dimensions, significantly influence whether someone reaches a rail stop by foot or not. Elasticities are presented that summarize findings. The article concludes that conversion of park-and-ride lots to transit-oriented developments holds considerable promise for promoting walk-and-ride transit usage in years to come. Accessing Rail lransit In much of America, and particularly in the suburbs, the automobile has become the mobility standard for accessing rail transit systems. Consequently, transit stations encircled by a sea of parking have become a common feature of Vol. 3, No. 4, 2001
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2 Journal of Public Transportation America's suburban landscape. Indeed, parking lots are the dominant "land uses" within a half-mile of most suburban rail stations in the United States. In parts of the United States, efforts are underway to change this, convert- ing parking lots and transforming station areas into "transit villages" (Cervero 1996a; Bernick and Cervero 1997). The transit village concept embraces many objectives, including neighborhood revitalization, improved transportation con- ditions, and enhancement of built and natural environments. While the chief environmental benefit of transit-oriented development comes from coaxing motorists over to mass transit, a secondary benefit is the inducement of more walk and bicycle access trips to and from transit. Getting more rail transit users to walk-and-ride, bike-and-ride, or bus-and- ride rather than park-and-ride could yield a number of benefits. By reducing the need for parking lots, rail transit agencies could redirect investments and resources to improved mainline services. Less surface parking would also reduce the separation of land uses, effectively "de-scaling" suburban land- scapes, and free up land for infill development. And encouraging nonmotorized forms of station access would yield transportation and environmental benefits by reducing vehicle-miles-traveled ( and thus greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption) as well as the traffic snarls and noise levels that often afflict neighborhoods located near rail stations. Research has shown that
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