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Evolution of U.S. Intra-Urban Transport Eras of Change Four Eras of Intra-Metro Growth and Transport Development I Walking-Horsecar Era (1800-1890) II Electric Street Car Era (1890-1920) III Recreational Auto Era (1920-1945) IV Freeway Era (1945-present)

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Evolution of U.S. Intra-Urban Transport

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four eras of intra metro growth and transport development
Four Eras of Intra-Metro Growth and Transport Development
  • I Walking-Horsecar Era (1800-1890)
  • II Electric Street Car Era (1890-1920)
  • III Recreational Auto Era (1920-1945)
  • IV Freeway Era (1945-present)
i walking horse car era 1800 1890
I Walking-Horse Car Era (1800-1890)
  • 1. Highly agglomerated urban form
  • 2. Travel largely on foot
  • 3. People and activities required to cluster in close proximity
  • 4. Arrival of railways in 1830s provided opportunity for daily travel to and from trackside: commuting is born
  • 5. 1850s-light street rail drawn by horses emerges
  • 6. Narrow band of land at city’s edge opens and horse car suburbs appear
ii electric street car era 1890 1920
II Electric Street Car Era (1890-1920)
  • 1. Invention of electric traction motor stimulated growth of electric trolleys
  • 2. Most dramatic impact was swift development of urban fringes-radial trolley corridors
  • 3. Quality of housing and prosperity of streetcar suburbs increased with distance from the central city line
  • 4. Ubiquity of low fare trolley now provided all residents access to intra-city – mass transit is born
  • 5. Specialized land use districts emerge- CBD goes up with invention of elevator!
  • 6. Widest impact on social geography-congregation of ethnic groups in neighborhoods
  • 7. Faster electric commuter trains superceded steam locomotives in wealthiest suburbs
iii recreational auto era 1920 1945
III Recreational Auto Era (1920-1945)
  • 1. Electric trolleys, trains and subways begins to transform many cities into metropoli
  • 2. Suburbs and mill-town intercity corridors become spatially integrated
  • 3. Second urban transport revolution- auto enters the scene with total freedom to travel
  • 4.1916- > 2mil 1920 > 8 mil 1930s > 28 mil
  • 5. Main impact- weekend outings; auto dependency commences!
iii recreational auto era 1920 1945 continued
III Recreational Auto Era (1920-1945)continued
  • 6. Suburban home building industry no longer subsidizes private street cars
  • 7. Modern urban transit crisis begins
  • 8. During Depression local governments forced to intervene with subsidies from public funds
  • 9. Expansion of residential development of auto suburbia continues as large packages of cheap land are gobbled up and transformed into suburbs, e.g. Levittown (Philadelphia)
iv freeway era 1945 to present
IV Freeway Era (1945 to Present )
  • 1. Coming of age of the auto culture
  • 2. 1956 Interstate Highway Act-massive acceleration of deconcentration process
  • 3. Economic activities discovered “footlooseness”- no longer tied to central cities-emergence of beltway corridors
  • 4. Structural changes occur in urban form
  • 5. Outlying metro cores—”edge cities” become suburban downtowns
  • 6. By 1993, 189 of these new urban agglomerations, e.g. King of Prussia, Tyson’s Corners , South Coast Metro, Schaumburg, Bellevue
urban transport in post industrial metropolis
Urban Transport in Post Industrial Metropolis
  • Quaternary (info related) and quinary (management and decision-making based) activities will dominate U.S. employment
  • With intra-urban location costs fairly well equalized across nation –non-economic forces now shape distribution of high technology
  • Silicon Valley, CA-major university, large pool of skilled and semi-skilled labor, 300 days of sunshine, recreational water, high quality business environment
urban transport challenges of 2010 decade
Urban Transport Challenges of 2010 Decade
  • Efficiencies of moving people about the dispersed, polycentric city
  • Few new freeways-why?
  • 1. $$$- too expensive
  • 2. Environmental regulations
  • 3. Disruption of existing neighborhoods and land use activities
  • 4. Evidence that such freeways do not improve traffic flow
urban transport challenges of the 2010 decade
Urban Transport Challenges of the 2010 Decade
  • New public mass transit systems are being pursued
  • Since 1960s heavy rail : San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington DC, Miami, Baltimore
  • Light rail systems: Portland, Dallas, San Diego, Buffalo, Louisville
  • But ridership levels have declined—cannot serve low density suburbs
transport problems and new city forms
Transport Problems and New City Forms
  • Too many new transit systems fail to recognize that traditional CBD focused, hub and spoke network has become irrelevant
  • Raid proliferation of suburban downtown- edge cities- magnifies two problems
  • 1. Local level infrastructure usually lags well behind growth in mushrooming cores> congestion results
  • 2. Reshaping of the metro space-economy produces growing geographical mismatch between job opportunities and housing
  • Edge cities surrounded by upper income residential areas—so most people who work in edge cities must commute considerable distances from affordable housing