This paper presents findings from domestic and international case studies of developments around high-speed rail stations and derives from these findings some lessons for station area development for California’s high-speed rail system. The paper reviews the case for high-speed rail as a complement to air and highway systems in addressing congestion and providing needed additional services as the population of the State continues to grow. Review of domestic and international experiences reveals that well-planned station-area developments can result in desirable impacts on the communities served including: a) good intermodal connections – convenient access and ease of transferring between local and regional transport systems and modes, facilitated by the creation of multi-modal stations; b) physical improvements – increased and/or upgraded development of residential, retail, work and cultural land uses within walking distance of station areas; c) economic improvement – generation of economic activity and benefit as agglomeration economies take place; and d) social improvement – creation of vibrant activity centers or hubs for social interaction and recreation. Together these changes would result in significant reduction in negative environmental impacts, locally and beyond. These desirable impacts may be harnessed in planning for high-speed rail stations in California through the creation of activity hubs with coordinated transportation and land use, urban design, and multimodal access and circulation. Designs would be similar to transit-oriented development but also accommodate travelers arriving or departing stations by auto (including rental cars). This synthesis of lessons for California should also be widely applicable for more sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation systems.


Urban, Community and Regional Planning

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Publisher statement

Publisher website: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/am/2009/am/default.asp.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/crp_fac/44