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Aug 11, 2011
Design Considerations

TOD’s, urban gondolas and what to do about privacy concerns (Part 3 of 3)

Post by hulia-j

Part 1 and Part 2 of this series discussed many of the pros to combining CPT with Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Today we’ll consider one of the major arguments against cable transit — security concerns, and how smart design and planning can help mitigate these issues.

  • Gondolas may pass alongside private property, even when traveling along a public corridor. Generally retail and commercial space are not impacted to the same extent as residential properties, therefore residential properties require special consideration. This is vastly avoided in a TOD arrangement where retail and commercial buildings typically occupy the land closest to transit.
  • Critical heights for CPT are located around the 2nd and 3rd stories of building. This critical area should receive further design considerations.
  • Windows can be tinted on residential properties, particularly those in bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Proper residential property setbacks, orientation and internal room layouts are some of the ways residential design can help minimise the perception of privacy issues in relation to CPT infrastructure.
  • Vegetative screening – strategically utilising trees or foliage to block or obstruct the view of CPT passengers.
  • Land in direct proximity to the CPT infrastructure can be utilised as green or pedestrian spaces, maximising setbacks to residential buildings. Surveillance by riders could also increase safety in those areas.

There are many strategies that can help reduce safety concerns. Some of these strategies are more easily incorporated into the design of a master planned neighbourhood, as opposed to redevelopment projects. The other approaches can be implemented to the transport system directly.

In summary, CPT does not present a physical barrier in neighbourhoods, nor does it  compromise pedestrian safety. The technology, in fact, maximises land for open space for development while vastly eliminating noise and vibration nuisance, as compared to other modes of transport. With appropriate design components privacy concerns can also be dramatically reduced. In the end this means that the most valuable land in proximity to the transit infrastructure with in TOD can be utilised to its full potential.

What are your thoughts? Does CPT really offer impressive credentials for TOD and urban design in general?

This post was written by Ryan O’Connor, a planning and transportation professional based in Wellington, New Zealand. Ryan has been involved with Creative Urban Projects since March 2010.


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