The first system that we looked at as a studio was transportation. Initially, this seemed like a pretty basic concept to me. Cars drive on streets, people walk on sidewalks, and bikes straddle the line in between. However, when we began to delve into the topic even further, I quickly came to realize that there were far more aspects to "transportation" as a system than I had realized. I also found it very interesting to see the impact and overlays that transportation has on an urban environment.
My group looked into bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the west side of Cleveland. Our study area reached from Ohio City, to Rocky River, south to Brookpark and back east to Brooklyn Heights. Other groups looked into shipping via air, ground, and water, as well as public transportation, and personal transportation such as watercraft, air, and car.
It was interesting to find that we couldn't fully understand pedestrian and bike traffic without first understanding other aspects of transportation in the area. Things that heavily affected our groups research was the use of other modes of transportation in the area [public vs. private], commute times and distances, demographics, and other issues.
Our study and research led us in the direction of looking at combining different modes of transportation in an effort to make public transportation more convenient for people. As we narrowed our research and analysis even further, a transit oriented design problem was presented to us. We focused on Lakewood Ohio, and the question was how to make public transit more usable and convenient, in an effort to make it a more appealing solution for commuters, local travel, and visitors.
We came to realize that convenience was a HUGE reason that people don't use public transportation. A car is usually the most convenient way to get from one place to another, so its a no brainer as to why people don't use public transportation! Our group looked at ways that public transportation could take on this same convenience in people's minds.
One solution that we came up with was to have fewer, but more efficient bus [transit] stations. These stations could provide places for bike storage, a smart and fun design, as well as provide information to users such as ride times to popular destinations, and up to the minute information on when the next bus or connecting train will arrive. We figured that this information could also be integrated into apps for smart phones and the web, allowing users to quickly and easily plan their schedule around current bus schedules. Our goal aimed to seamlessly integrate all modes of public transportation, such as the bike, bus, and train, in one convenient, and easy to use system.
Over a weekend design charret, we implemented these ideas and designed a bike and bus transit system along Maddison Ave., which connected to the Red Line at West 117th.