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10 CHAPTER 1 Multimodal Corridors--An Overview Transportation agencies throughout the United States implement these facilities. These facilities might be better used are faced with myriad challenges. People are stuck in traffic-- by people, if the facilities offer passenger mobility by multiple consuming oil, polluting the air, and wasting time. Our modes and are better integrated into communities. transportation infrastructure is aging and inadequate under the weight of increasing travel demand. Our automobile- A New Paradigm for Building and dominant transportation system becomes inefficient and Operating Multimodal Corridors ineffective during peak hours and emergencies--the times when it is most needed. Public transit is often too slow and This report presents a new paradigm for planning, designing, limited in coverage to win over automobile users. Transit building, and operating multimodal corridors. This new needs to be a truly competitive travel alternative, but building paradigm emphasizes building transit lines and supporting effective, high-capacity transit lines in developed, automobile- pedestrian and bicycle facilities in existing freeway corridors. oriented urban areas is expensive and difficult. New paradigm transit facilities are built with the following goals: In response, many U.S. cities have built multimodal freeway Enhancing corridor transportation capacity and perfor- corridors (hereafter referred to as multimodal corridors)-- freeways and high-capacity transit lines (either fixed rail or bus mance without adding freeway capacity, by building and rapid transit [BRT]) running parallel in proximity to each other. operating transit lines (including bus rapid transit, light rail, heavy rail, and commuter rail) in existing freeway corridors These corridors were developed to take advantage of existing Building and operating successful transit systems in freeway right-of-way (ROW) and minimize land acquisition costs. corridors that attract high transit ridership levels and encour- Over time, multimodal corridor configurations have yielded age corridor livability and environmental sustainability mixed results. All things being equal, transit and freeways tend Transforming a corridor's land uses and activities to a more to flourish within their own, distinct land use and urban design transit-oriented pattern. environments. With a few notable exceptions high-capacity transit lines built in freeway corridors are generally designed with transit stations that optimize automobile access and Our Deteriorating Interstates-- circulation, often leaving transit, pedestrian, and bicycle access The Opportunity to stations as an afterthought. Although ROW costs may be In 2006, the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System cele- lower for transit lines built in freeway corridors, it has proven brated its 50th anniversary. This system, along with the difficult to attract transit riders to these automobile-dominated increasing availability of automobiles, provided this country environments. with the mobility it needed to fuel the post-World War II economic expansion. Today, its importance cannot be over- Research Goals and Objectives stated: it accounts for only 1 percent of U.S. highway miles but carries 24 percent of all highway traffic.1 Much of the urban The objectives of this research were to (1) evaluate the potential for rehabilitating and reconstructing portions of interstate freeways and other similar facilities in the urbanized 1AASHTO (2007) "Transportation Invest In Our Future: Future Needs Of areas in the United States as new paradigm multimodal The U.S. Surface Transportation System," February, Available at: http://www. transportation facilities and (2) develop strategies to plan and