We laid out the region (above, multiply this by 32) – each table had people with opposing views, so most looked fairly similar. Nearly every table had a mature transit system represented – I took some pictures that will go up later. There were a lot of familiar faces, people from transit agencies, developers, lots of legislators, mayors and city council members from all over the region.

Just afterward we had lunch, accompanied by a lecture from Enrique Penalosa, ex-mayor of Bogota, Colombia. He spoke about cities really having to be designed either for people or for cars – his comments were certainly controversial in this crowd, but that’s what we’re here for. He is a big proponent of buses in exclusive right of way – he pushed his system a little, but focused on his advocacy of public space.

He thinks that every city should build cohesive bicycle and pedestrian networks, and points out that the cities that have are regarded as the best cities in the world today. He had some interesting specifics – for instance, he feels that a bicycle path isn’t safe enough until an eight year old can comfortably use it. He spoke about waterfronts being extremely useful as public space: cars should be separated from the waterfront by pedestrian/bicycle right of way, and that right of way should be separated from the cars by buildings. There are several cities scaling back waterfront roadways and converting them to pedestrian right-of-way – Paris has closed a large swath of road along the Seine to vehicle traffic, and the locals are now calling it Paris’ beach!

I’m writing this during a short break – we’re about to find out how our models scale up in terms of carbon emissions and mobility. More soon!

11 Replies to “ULI Reality Check Liveblog part 4”

  1. What would Seattle be like with 10-15% car ownership???
    We’d be a lot more dense, have a lot more rail, and have a lot less sprawl..

  2. LatAm IS all about BRT. Low cost, cheap land, lots of pax.

    Quito used a BRT system to revitalize their urban core.

  3. Yeah, but brad, it doesn’t work unless it doesn’t have cars to compete with. :)

  4. The Quinto BRT has its own streets for part of it, and has its own lane for most of it.

  5. If you mean that Quito dedicated existing roadway to BRT, then yes, you are correct.

    But they did not build ‘new’ roads for it. 500-year-old cities tend to be fairly well built out.

    The BRT only streets are in the old part of town where car traffic was eliminated altogether.

  6. IT depends on how BRT is implemented. In the USA, BRT is pretty much bigger buses which run on a more frequent schedule in the same traffic as cars. BRT works well only if the buses have their own right of way. Bogota’s BRT is impressive in that it looks like a LRT with “proper” stations and such. See

    for a vid. Unless the so-called BRT that those anti-LRT people are pushing here look and operate like this, I won’t support it.

  7. The BRT supporters pretty much always pretend their system will look like that. The problem in US cities is that right of way costs enough to make BRT and LRT comparably priced when built to those standards – so it makes sense to build LRT.

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