June 1, 2008
In the Region | New Jersey
A Rail Line Generates New Life
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
HERE is what light rail has delivered to five formerly down-at-heels neighborhoods along the 20.6-mile system in northern New Jersey: more than 10,000 units of new housing, with a total property value surpassing $5 billion.
The opening and continued expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system from 2000 to 2006 have greatly affected all 23 stops on the north-south line running through seven municipalities.
According to a new study from the Voorhees Transportation Center of Rutgers University, some station sites have already been reshaped by development; others are poised for the same treatment.
The detailed study focused especially on five of the station areas - those that researchers considered to have the most potential for development. They are Port Imperial in Weehawken; Ninth Street in Hoboken; the area between the Essex Street and Jersey Avenue stations in Jersey City; the Bergenline Avenue neighborhood of Union City and West New York; and the 34th Street area in Bayonne.
In Rail Link, Angelenos See a Door to Prosperity
By ANA FACIO CONTRERAS
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 3 - While Carlos Sanchez, a guitarist, waits in front of Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights to be picked up for his next job, he likes to look at a mural behind the plaza's kiosk on First Street.
The mural, with colorful squares and spheres and scenes of local flavor, is reminiscent of the work of Mexican muralists like David Alfaro Siqueiros, but it is functional, too. It hides construction of a light-rail link that supporters in Boyle Heights and neighboring East Los Angeles say will change the face of their communities.
Boyle Heights, part of the City of Los Angeles, and East Los Angeles, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, have long been home to thousands of Latinos. Both communities are cut off geographically from the city's beach districts and central business areas.
The light-rail train, set to begin running in 2009, will allow passengers to get to areas throughout the county. For many low-income residents, like Mr. Sanchez, 38, who do not own cars, the train will replace bicycles, unreliable buses and costly taxis.
"I'll be using the train because it's going to be more convenient and a faster way to get to where you want to go," said Mr. Sanchez, who often car-pools to jobs with fellow musicians.
The train, named after Edward R. Roybal, who in 1949 became the first Mexican-American elected to the Los Angeles City Council, will travel six miles from the Little Tokyo/Arts District in downtown through Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. It will link to the Los Angeles subway system on the Gold Line, which runs south from Pasadena. A one-way trip now costs $1.25.
© 2007 SAGE Publications
Taming the Neighborhood Revolution: Planners, Power Brokers, and the Birth of Neotraditionalism in Portland, Oregon
Gregory L. Thompson
Florida State University
In the early 1970s, neighborhood-based movements arose in Portland, Oregon, against freeways, while networks of individuals championed a revival of rail transit. At decade's end, regional leaders rejected two interstate freeways, repudiated a freeway-based regional transportation plan, and agreed to build the beginning of a regional rail system. In seeming contradiction to their anti-auto actions, they also lobbied Congress to change federal law so that they could spend money from deleted interstate highway projects on noninterstate roads rather than on transit. This article documents how planners and power brokers in Portland negotiated among themselves to channel the energy from what began as a citizen- and neighborhood-based revolution into the beginnings of a new consensus about transit, road, and land use development by the end of the decade, one that implicitly recognized personal preference for mass mobility but that explicitly championed designs of transportation facilities to reflect local objectives.
Key Words: interstate transfer • light rail • TriMet • Neil Goldschmidt • Glenn Jackson • Gerard Drummond • Don Clark • neighborhood • antifreeway movement • Mt. Hood Freeway • Banfield Freeway