Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rail stops that make sense

Aug. 28, 2010

The locations of the high-speed rail stops between Milwaukee and Madison have come under scrutiny as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has canceled the planned stop in Oconomowoc due to what it says is local and mayoral opposition. This is a positive development since the inclusion of the three stops in Brookfield, Oconomowoc and Watertown will not create significant ridership because people need to use their cars to get to the stations in the first place.
It is common knowledge that to support local mass transit, population densities need to be at least around 14 units per acre. For intercity travel, the critical mass of total population needs to be around 50,000 people.
These three locations have neither. At one point, they did have rail stops, but that was before the widespread use of the automobile and their subsequent development pattern has been that of automobile suburbs.

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