Walking the Walk

Urban design from the front lines

Kevin Klinkenberg

Using urban design to make our lives more enjoyable and create wealth

This site is for all those interested in the making of cities and towns, and especially the lives of the humans that inhabit them. Kevin Klinkenberg is an architect and urban designer who's practiced from coast-to-coast. 

What True BRT Looks Like, in L.A. of All Places

One of the best Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in the U.S. is located in one of the country's most crowded, congested, and sprawled cities.

Streetfilms produces videos that show how cities around the world are reclaiming their streets for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.

A Streetfilm from Clarence Eckerson Jr. shows a new 14-mile BRT system in the San Fernando Valley using a former rail right-of-way. Unlike many rapid bus transit systems in the U.S., the Orange Line is true BRT. It features a dedicated roadway that cars may not enter, has a pre-board payment system so buses load quickly and efficiently, and uses handsome, articulated buses to transport passengers fast.

The corridor also boasts a world class bike and pedestrian path which runs adjacent to the BRT route for nearly its entire length, giving users numerous multi-modal options. Each station has bike amenities, including bike lockers and racks, and all the buses feature racks on the front that accommodate up to three bikes.

Along with its success there are some concerns and issues with the system. For example, ridership numbers have some calling for the BRT to be converted to rail, and Metro is exploring ways to move more passengers, including buying longer buses. Also, expansion plans are underway. Still, a formerly 81 minute trip now takes 44-52 minutes.