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Something new in Salt Lake City transit

This is the fourth year in a row I’ve visited my mom in Salt Lake City and there’s a new transit line to gawk at. Three years ago it was the FrontRunner North commuter line between SLC and Ogden. Two years ago it was two new light rail lines (with new Siemens S70 vehicles). Last year was FrontRunner South to Provo (where my brother lives), and this year it’s the S-Line streetcar line.

On Wednesday, on my way back to SLC from Provo, I took a bus from my brother’s office to the Provo FrontRunner station, then the FrontRunner train to Murray station, where I switched to TRAX to ride up to Central Pointe station where the streetcar line terminates. A test vehicle was stopped at the single-track platform.

I wanted to see the route, the stops it makes, the station design, and the adjacent biking and walking path so I started walking up and down and across the blocks to check it out. I ran into two train several times while UTA staff tested them and made the video above.

Paths of least resistance, part two

On the same day I wrote about “paths of least resistance” in a “Tuesday Roundup,” linking to a post on Discovering Urbanism, Boing Boing posted about “pathways of desire,” referencing this article on Sweet Juniper about the walking paths found after the snow is gone in Detroit.

From Sweet Juniper: “Gaston Bachelard called these les chemins du désir: pathways of desire. Paths that weren’t designed but eroded casually away by individuals finding the shortest distance between where they are coming from and where they intend to go.”

Photo: In 2006 I went on a tour of Chicago via a chartered Chicago Transit Authority train. Part of the tour traveled along the Green Line. From above, you can see many of the trails people paved. Using Google Maps’ satellite imagery, I took a screen capture of 50th Street and King Drive and marked all of the unofficial walking paths I could see.

And, “it is an urban legend on many college campuses that many sidewalks and pathways were not planned at all, but paved by the university after students created their own paths from building to building, straying from those originally prescribed.”

Photo: From the top of University Hall, you can see all of the constructed diagonal paths surrounding the quad on the University of Illinois at Chicago’s East Campus. You can see at least four cemented “pathways of desire” in the photo.

You may also know these footpaths as “intention lines.”

Photo: A worn path or intention line through the snow in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Richard Akerman.

Midtown Greenway at Chicago Avenue in MPLS

Open space advocates and planners should investigate the development, design, and construction of the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Greenway opened up acres of green space to residents, and created new spaces, like this ramp to the multi-use trail between Chicago and 11th Avenues.

Sorry, I won’t do the research for you, because the bicycling facilities component of the multi-use trail and corridor interest me more. Start here: http://www.midtowngreenway.org/

I will continue sharing photos of my trip to “trail city.”

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