Transit-Oriented America, Part 5: Wrap-Up

Portland_Go_By_Train_2.jpg

Thanks all for reading and commenting on our non-motorized honeymoon travel series (see parts 1, 2, 3 and 4). Below is a table Susan put together to briefly summarize some of our observations on the cities we visited.

 

Transit

Bike Accesibity

Amtrak
Station

Street life
and art

Chicago

Loop El made all connections we needed

Pedicabs exist, but are limited; Lakefront greenway; Bikers are seen on most of the city streets too. Flat.

Great station, however the grand hall seems to be off to the side and therefore less used.

Bustling city; monumental public artwork.

Seattle

Many bus routes, some electrified

Lots of hills, didn’t see many bikers.

Renovations to the ceiling will make this station a better place.

Pigs everywhere painted different colors; tech money allows for amenities

Portland

Modern light rail (two systems?)

Great greenway system and tons of on-street bike paths.

Classy bustling station. "Go By Train" sign on the clock tower was a welcome sight.

"Keep Portland Weird" is less a slogan, more a way of life

San Francisco

An amazing variety of buses and trains, some vintage

Hills, but cyclists persevere.

Amtrak serves the city only with buses; use Oakland, Emeryville or San Jose for trains.

Tons of performers, packed sidewalks, awesome walk-in fountain.

Los Angeles

Has light rail and clean new subway.

More time needed for additional study.

Amazing old station like a Hollywood movie set surrounded by palms with deco style, but some parts are closed.

Well-done graffiti and murals; few pedestrians.

New Orleans

Sexy vintage streetcars with big windows, grassy right-of-way

Flat. Lots of small streets and many bikers. Coaster bikes seem to be the regional favorite.

Functional but drab station right downtown. Service to Florida is suspended indefinitely.

Lots of street musicians, lots of tourists in French Quarter

For those of you who want some more U.S. transit-oriented travel stories, check out Twin City Sidewalks‘ visits to Chicago and Washington, Babylon, L.I., Savannah, Ga. and Durham, N.C., and also visit Dave KCMO, who liveblogged his 8,789 miles on Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada.

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