Thursday, May 26, 2011

Possible Sites for Hub Terminal

When choosing the main terminal site, I am considering many factors including:

            -Location in downtown
                        -Access to major destinations
                        -Active Presence in downtown
            -Current use of site
            -Connectivity to current transport
                        -Train lines
                        - T lines and stations
                        -Busways and rights-of-way
                        -Parking options
            -Site Context
-Sunlight and wind patterns
                        -Proximity to rivers
                        -Surrounding building types and roadways

 Possible sites
Source: Manipulated Google Map

After a preliminary look at downtown, I have selected six possible sites:
1.     Current Amtrak Station Site
2.     Bigelow and 7th Site
3.     Steel Plaza Site
4.     Blvd of Allies Site
5.     Northeast of Market Square Site
6.     8th and Fort Duquesne Site

1. Current Amtrak Station Site (Manipulated Google Earth)

-Function already in place as rail station
-Excellent connectivity to current transport
-Site and surroundings currently under-utilized

-Challenging topography to south
-Surrounding roadways are dominant
-Not a great central location to downtown

2. Bigelow and 7th Site (Manipulated Google Earth)

-Good connectivity to current transport
-Site currently is a green patch- No one uses it!

-Challenging topography to south
-Surrounding roadways cut through site
-Odd shape, but large
-Location in downtown is better than option 1, but not much

3.  Steel Plaza Site (Manipulated Google Earth)

-Is the site of current T station
-Good connectivity to current transport
            -Close to train lines
            -Within vicinity of busway
-Good presence in city, on Grant St

-Between the two biggest skyscrapers in town
-Area might be to dense, current park is good  land-use
-Too small to include rail

4. Blvd. of Allies Entrance Site (Manipulated Google Earth)

-Good connectivity to current transport
            -Is very close to site of current T station
            -On train lines        
-Fair presence in city, on Blvd of Allies
-Site is under-utilized
-Right density for large station

-Fair proximity to major destinations
-Current Building on SW of site 
-Might span the Blvd

5. Northeast of Market Square (Manipulated Google Earth)

-In the center of Downtown
-Site is under-developed (buildings are in poor shape)
-Excellent pedestrian use
-Could open onto Market Square

-No train connection 
-No current T lines in area
-Site is most developed of the ones examined

6. 8th and Fort Duquesne Site (Manipulated Google Earth)

-Site is under-developed (buildings are in poor shape)
-Fair pedestrian use
-Proximity to convention center and stadiums
-Proximity to river, nice views
-Large site

-Train connection through spur 
-No current T lines in area
-North of central downtown

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reaction to ECTS and ECTS-TA

The Eastern Corridor Transit Studies, or ECTS (2003) and ECTS-TA (2006), are studies whose goals were to investigate public transportation needs for the Pittsburgh metro area and to recommend implementing several transit investments. The studies evaluate cost effectiveness, ridership, convenience, and TOD opportunities.

The area examined is “bounded by the Golden Triangle in downtown Pittsburgh to the west, the western suburbs of Westmoreland County on the east, the Allegheny River to the north, and the Monongahela River to the south.”

Study Area
Source: ECTS-TA

The principles in the study include:

            -Consideration of public opinion through targeted outreach
            -Coordination with other study efforts including:
                        -Oakland Transportation Study
                        -Six Point Plan (2006)
                        -Mass Transit Alternatives (2005)
                        -Transit Oriented Communities and the Regional Transit Vision
                        -North Shore Connector
            -Evaluation of cost effectiveness, ridership, driving alternatives and TOD
            -Identification of Potential Funding
Final recommendations of the study:

Most of the six main alternatives were well received by outreach programs. These alternatives include extending the East Busway Extension, the construction of Allegheny Valley Commuter Rail, and construction of Mon Valley and “Spine Line” Light Rail systems.
Final Recommendations
Source: ECTS-TA
My thoughts:

The ECTS is a complete and comprehensive study for the region. The study is highly believable and encouraging, making it seem desirable and feasible to build many different forms of public transportation in the area.The study even outlines potential funding.  

While it does examine many modes of transportation, and it rates public responses, the study is not discriminating with its final recommendations. If all of the final recommendations were to be built, the region would be much better connected, however, the current lack of regional continuity between modes of public transport would persist. 

I would push for one major mode of public transportation with a clear identity and purpose for riders. This approach would stress the use of one form of ticketing and easy access and interconnectivity of the stations. My initial reaction would be to implement a light rail system throughout the region that would connect to current "T" and ongoing North-shore connector. The study clearly proves its feasibility.




Final Map