Transitways don’t have to be ugly. They don’t even have to be paved. There are many examples around the world of grass-track transitways for light rail or BRT, and a lot of local interest in using them here.

Maryland is actively considering grass tracks for the Purple Line, and the idea could theoretically be applied to the Corridor Cities and Crystal City transitways as well.

Since some of the opposition to transit in King Farm is apparently based on the absolutely incorrect misconception that all transitways must consist of massive concrete barriers, here are examples of grass transitways from around the world.

New Orleans, LA. Photo by tinydr.

Fort Collins, CO. Photo by the author.

Kenosha, WI. Photo by kschmidt626.

Concept for Purple Line by Maryland MTA.

Porto, Portugal. Photo by gradiate.

Paris, France. Photo collilnchurcher2003.

Strasbourg, France. Photo by GEO.Hellas.

Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Daniel Sparing.

Even BRT can be accommodated in a grass transitway, as Eugene, Oregon’s Emerald Express illustrates:

Photo by the author.

Photo by rob_wrenn on Flickr.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.


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Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and an adjunct professor at George Washington University. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado and lives in Trinidad, DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post. Dan blogs to express personal views, and does not take part in GGWash's political endorsement decisions.