Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting Graphic about Grade-Separated Transit

We write here a lot about grade-separated transit, but the term is starting to sound like transportation jargon. Some readers are probably asking what it’s all about.

A couple photos will illustrate our main point about grade-separated transit – that if you run your transit vehicle at a different level than cars, buses, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians are on, you eliminate the possibility that transit commuters can be delayed by traffic congestion. Have a look:

Boulevard St-Germain, Paris, 3:48 pm, 10/20/09
Odéon Metro Station, beneath Boulevard St-Germain,
3:53 pm, 10/20/09
Honolulu’s future train will be grade-separated, but instead of running below ground as the Paris Metro does, it will be elevated about 30 feet above the city's streets. And there’s another significance difference: The Paris Metro can be a pretty boring underground ride, but Honolulu’s train will give riders exceptional views of two mountain ranges, US Navy ships in Pearl Harbor, civilian ships entering and leaving Honolulu harbor, passing showers and their rainbows, sunrises and sunsets, Honolulu's city lights, sailboats at sea and all the other sights Oahu’s south shore has to offer. Boring it won't be, which leads us to conclude:

Vive la différence!

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