A Surprising Approach to Light-Rail

April 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

In many respects, San Jose, CA is just a normal American city. It features a lively downtown, stately office buildings, a convention center, suburbs, and even a hockey team, but it is neither beautiful nor in disrepair.

The normalcy of San Jose is contradicted, however, when you consider its light-rail system. Along First Street is something particularly unique: a light-rail train that glides quietly down a tree-lined corridor, moving seamlessly between pedestrians, cyclists, and sidewalk diners. This train is something to behold – it actually shares the sidewalk with pedestrians! Though slightly disconcerting to an outsider, the locals don’t even seem to notice it. It appears to have been harmoniously integrated into the character of the street.

San Jose’s approach to light-rail is truly unexpected, and could offer other cites a clever method of maximizing transit in minimized space. It is encouraging to see a city get creative for the sake of rail accessibility, so we hope to see the trend continue!


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