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Silver Line coming to Tysons but don’t look for lots of new parking (Washington Post)
A garage at the Washington Metro’s College Park station. Photo by Bossi, via Flickr creative commons.
The story is about the lack of giant parking garages at four new Washington Metro Silver Lane stations opening soon in Fairfax County, Virginia. Excerpt:
Parking garages — and the large surface parking lots that have long dominated the Tysons landscape and suburban Metro stations elsewhere — don’t fit with the new vision of an area seeking to swap its congested, car-centric image for that of an urban, pedestrian-friendly enclave.
And so Fairfax officials did not include parking garages at the four Silver Line stations in Tysons.
That decision has been cheered by “smart growth” advocates, but some residents are concerned that their streets will become de facto Metro parking lots. And some potential Silver Line riders — accustomed to driving to Metro stations to board their trains — wonder how they’ll get to the new rail line if they can’t drive.
“The plan did not originally include parking because there were advocates that claimed that having parking garages would draw cars into Tysons,” Fairfax County Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville) said. “In my opinion, those cars are coming anyway, and they’re going to be driving around looking for a place to park.”
We discussed the issue of parking at transit stations in a post yesterday about a motion to study expanding parking at the Red Line’s NoHo and Universal City stations.
Detroit to study removing freeway in favor of walkable street (Detroit Free Press)
The 375 freeway in Detroit. Photo by gab482 via Flickr creative commons.
The mile-long 375 freeway, which sits in a trench, would be converted to a surface street and sit at the same level of surrounding roads and buildings. The idea is to better connect neighborhoods to downtown Detroit but the plan may anger suburbanites who use the freeway to quickly zip into and out of Detroit proper.
Madrid’s big plan to swear off cars (The Atlantic Cities)
Traffic in Madrid in a photo taken last month. Photo by Grey World, via Flickr creative commons.
With much of Spain’s economy stuck in low gear, Madrid is updating its general plan to focus on revitalizing the central city. Excerpt:
So the plan calls for 24 major Madrid streets to be radically overhauled, with car lanes removed, bike lanes added and trees planted to make them cool and shady. A new hierarchy will be in place: pedestrians come first, then public transport, then bikes, then cars.
Overall, 66 percent of the affected street surface will be given over to people on foot. The irony is that before car-friendly policies reshaped central Madrid, many of these streets were just the sort of leafy, broad-sidewalked avenues the city wants, but they were remodeled to add extra motorist lanes.
Now chastened by years of fumes and grime, the city is coming full circle back to its old ways. The use of the word boulevard (“Bulevar” in Spanish) may suggest Parisian influence, but the real model seems to be La Rambla, the central pedestrian avenue in Madrid’s great rival city, Barcelona.
Will it work? As the article notes, the city’s last update didn’t really go anywhere and this one is likely to be met with skepticism and opposition. Nonetheless, can you imagine someone marching into L.A. and saying two-thirds of street surface will be given over to pedestrians — i.e. the same pedestrians who are often treated more as annoyances than as people?
Delta bumps passengers off flight and gives seats to college basketball team (Gainesville Sun)
When the University of Florida’s usual plane wasn’t available to them last weekend, Delta decided to use another plane. Another plane with paying passengers, who were given vouchers and booked on other flights. I know there’s a lot of good to be said for college sports, but at times — and often at its highest levels — it really just comes off as kind of a really, really skeezy enterprise.