Some twenty professionals and enthusiasts at the Technix workshop organized by ATRA at the University of Maryland on January 9 engaged in a
charrette for several hours divided into three teams, each assigned to think
out to 2040 and modern mobility in three different settings. Beforehand ATRA
president Peter Muller described elevated guideways as one of the basic
advantages of PRT but they can also be a problem. He added, “There is no silver bullet,”. Chair
Alain Kornhauser spoke of the potential of ride- and road-sharing. Curiously none of the
teams saw classic elevated PRT as a significant solution for the following three scenarios.
|Environmentalists, alarmed at the effects of the rise of carbon|
dioxide in the atmosphere, are pushing harder for sustainable cities.
A MD Growth Zone in Megalopolis
Near I-95 just north of the chronically congested DC-Beltway, White
Oaks may more than double in size. Two
BRT lines are in early planning stages,
unlikely to be quickly built nor effective. Uncertainty clouds investment. The
Technix team recommended an Uber solution. (Curiously, no mention of R&D
with guideway section to expand if and when justifiable was made.)
walkable district hugging MD's Capitol and US Naval Academy
Not much will change in terms of density and infrastructure, although
freight issues demand improvement. Elevated guideway would meet strong
opposition. The Technix team envisioned street-level PRT (“automated taxis”)
and a gondola over water. A
circumferential PRT with car intercepts (parking) and transit connections might
be possible outside the historic core.
|Elevated transit can be part of the solution.|
- courtesy of Ecolvia
Block X 7 Block Growth Hub North of the Capitol
As a national and global district, significant densification seems
likely, anchored by several metro stations and restricted in height. It has
great potential to be a “trendy, spendy” zone with strong international
dimensions. The Technix Team prioritized rehab of metro performance and
capacity, and programs to tame and reduce vehicular traffic and enhance
pedestrian and bike circulation. Bus enhancements also will help, and maybe in
the future PRT networks can fill gaps.