A few smaller misc items this week:
- BRT Should Use Shared, Not Dedicated Lanes. Everything in here absolutely applies to the planned METRO Universities BRT line, especially on Richmond inside the loop. ‘Lite BRT’ would be a great option for that line.
“Dedicating two of the six lanes on major streets in Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe exclusively to buses would be a complete waste, says a new report released last week by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and two other groups in the Phoenix area. Each of the lanes that Valley Metro would take for buses typically move roughly three to four times as many people per day as would have taken the bus before the pandemic, and bus ridership has fallen by 50 percent since the pandemic. …
Instead of dedicated lanes, the report recommends the Valley Metro experiment with “lite BRT,” which means running frequent buses in shared lanes and coordinating traffic signals so everyone can minimize the number of stops they have to make. If these modest improvements significantly increase ridership, Valley Metro could experiment with other improvements, but if they don’t, “then it is unlikely that . . . dedicated lanes and traffic signal priority would do any better.”
“In 2004, Denver voters approved spending $4.8 billion building six new rail transit lines, and the first line opened ten years ago. This was soon followed by four more to the gushing praise of various outsiders.
Inside Denver, however, people are beginning to realize that the whole thing was a miserable failure, suffering massive cost overruns and never attaining its ridership projections. The West line, which had its tenth anniversary last week, never carried as many passengers as were projected in its first year. It’s too bad that the reporters who are questioning this now weren’t asking the same questions in 2004.”
- More Evidence that Cutting Zoning Restrictions Reduces the Price of Housing. Point for Houston!
“Policymakers have debated whether allowing more market-rate—meaning unsubsidized—housing improves overall affordability in a market. The evidence indicates that adding more housing of any kind helps slow rent growth.”
- Houston tops U.S. as most active real estate market within the last decade, new report finds
- NYT: Coastal Cities Priced Out Low-Wage Workers. Now College Graduates Are Leaving, Too (link gets past paywall). Educated workers are increasingly migrating away from the country’s most expensive major metros — and have been since before the pandemic. Really good in-depth article. Lots of stats/graphs. Tide is really turning against the expensive coastal cities, even with educated workers.
- Reason: Texas Ranks 19th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness. We should do better.
Read the rest of this piece at Houston Strategies.
Tory Gattis is a Founding Senior Fellow with the Urban Reform Institute and co-authored the original study with noted urbanist Joel Kotkin and others, creating a city philosophy around upward social mobility for all citizens as an alternative to the popular smart growth, new urbanism, and creative class movements. He is also an editor of the Houston Strategies blog.