Thursday, May 12, 2011

Restored Post: How does DC Stack Up?

Image via

This is a restored post from 5/12, which Google's Blogger seems to have been permanently deleted. Google's transparency over the course of a 20+ hour meltdown has been sorely lacking. Comments, which thankfully aren't through Google anymore, still work, but I couldn't figure out how to make them appear on the clickthrough.

Today, the Brookings Institution published a study on mass transit in the largest 100 metropolitan areas of the U.S.

According to one of the study's co-authors, Adie Tomer, its the first-of it's-kind "inventory" of U.S. mass transit supply ever done.

Furthermore, the study, titled "Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America," attempts to measure how connected American mass transit is with demographic and employment trends.

"There's a bit of a transit moment happening in the country," said Tomer, citing higher gas prices, rising ridership as well as changing attitudes about urban living and car ownership.

The DC area comes out fairly well in the study (here's quick graphic snapshot), ranking 17th overall.

It's a pretty wonky report, and the whole thing is here for those who want to know more. They say they've also made a nifty interactive map. There's also a webcast about the report, which starts at 9:30 a.m. and will feature, among others, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter with the #transitaccess tag.

It's an ambitious project, two years in the making, and Tomer said he hopes the study will start to break down some of the "siloing" that exists regarding transit planning, economic development planning and residential planning. Let's hope the study leads to holistic, smart decisions regarding future development.

With that in mind, we've been wanting to create a user-generated comparison of DC with other cities for a long time, so this presents a good hook.

Since the DC area is such a cosmopolitan and transient city, there are a lot of readers who've no doubt commuted (or ridden) in other cities, including cities outside the U.S., which the Brookings report doesn't cover.

Here's how it'll work.

I'll populate the comment with a few cities with mass transit I've used as a commuter. If you've been on that specific system and have a comment or observation, use the reply feature in the comments to keep everything about a certain city in the same comment thread.

If you don't have a comment, but want to vote for it as the best (or worst) one you've been on, use the thumbs up/thumbs down feature.

If you want to add a city to the list, make two comments, one with just the name of the city and the other, as a reply to yourself, with your comment or observation about that city's mass transit.

Got it?

Other items:
Metro finally on Google Transit (GGW) If you think about it, send a thank you tweet to @perkinsms who was instrumental in making this happen.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Site Meter