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Streetcars And The Built Environment

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The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies has released a new report exploring the impact of streetcars on the built environment.

"Relationships Between Streetcars and the Built Environment: A Synthesis of Transit Practice" is part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program's Synthesis project.

Ron Golem and Janet Smith-Heimer, BAE, Urban Economics, Inc., Emeryville, Calif., collected and synthesized the information and wrote the paper, under the guidance of a panel of experts in the subject area.

"Little in-depth work has evaluated this streetcar resurgence, leading to an interest by policymakers and planners to have a better understanding of how this mode of transportation interacts with the built environment, particularly since changes in land use and development patterns are often cited as a justification for investment in streetcar systems," the authors note.

This synthesis reviews published literature on the relationship between streetcars and the built environment. The authors also surveyed operators of 13 streetcar systems that have been recently built or expanded. They also performed  in-depth case studies of Kenosha, Wisc.; Savannah, Ga.; Portland, Or.; Memphis, Tenn.; and  Seattle, Wash.

The report has been added to the Best Practices.

Relationships Between Streetcars and the Built Environment: A Synthesis of Transit Practice