Tuesday, November 3, 2015

All about transportation - Design Conversation at the WindupSpace

For a full appreciation of all the transportation proposals that are on the table, getting to know some of the many advocates and to learn about better ways of organizing our mobile communities, come tonight to the WindUp Space on West North Avenue, located in the old North Avenue Market building right across from the soon to be renovated Parkway Theatre. (6:30pm)

Design Conversation #74 will be a talk across all modes and transportation platforms in a casual setting and over a drink. Design Conversations is a series of discussions about all matters of design, art, making and thinking. Transportation belongs right in there.

It takes design thinking and creative approaches to connect all the dots and all the modes to achieve a bigger, comprehensive and fully integrated user-friendly transportation and mobility system, from the bicycle to the Uber car, from the Circulator Bus to the Metro train, from the Harbor Connector water transit to Zip Cars and from Light Rail to the MTA buses now dubbed CityLink.
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We will hear what transit experts and advocates think about the chance of getting everyone to the right place and how they assess all those promises that are made on the heel of the big whooshing sound that was heard when a few billion transit dollars left this city to be invested elsewhere. BMC provided a data rich assessment of Baltimore transit (see link below), MTA has a whole new bus system in mind, the City is re-licensing its water transportation and is battling deficits on its Circulator buses and  the long promised bike corridors might actually happen now that there is an official Bicycle Commission.

Today's world of transportation isn't your grand-daddy's streetcar anymore, even though streetcars have a renaissance in many US cities. Technologies merge (modern streetcars still have rail but no wires and modern buses may operate more like trains etc.) but no matter what happens on the ground, some will always talk about flying cars and magnetically levitated mono-rails of one sort or another to wow those who have a thing with the Jetsons.

Along with technological boundaries between modes fade old operational truths that have been handed down for decades such as the one seat rule (don't offer transit riders a transfer, they hate it). It will no longer do that half a dozen different entities each run their buses through town without talking to each other or coordination of service. It will no longer do that each system has a different ticket or that transit is considered a matter of last choice; too many boomers and millenials clamor for other options than the single occupant automobile, too many that are dependent can't reach their jobs in any reasonable time.

All this will be discussed tonight between experts, advocates and transit users and those who come because they care or because they want to understand better what is offered.

Presenters will include Grant Corley from Red Line Now, Greg Hinchliffe and Liz Cornish from Bikemore, Robin Budish from Transit Choices, Dru Schmidt Perkins from the 1000 Friends of Maryland and Brian O'Malley from the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance.

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

Baltimore Regional Transit Needs Assessment (BMC)
Ben Groff's assessment of the Governor's Link Plan
Event notification

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