Citylab: Street trees improve the wait experience of transit users

Street trees are one of those low hanging fruit investments that can make all the difference over time, but too often are neglected. Trees don’t have the political appeal of a mega project ribbon cutting, but in terms of building great cities, I’d argue their return on investment is greater without the potential downside of megaprojects.

As if we needed more reasons to prioritize street trees, Eric Jaffe of Citylab posted this article about how trees make waiting for the bus feel shorter and help mitigate for unpleasant conditions such as traffic and air pollution. From the article:

Planting trees around stops offers local authorities an opportunity to significantly improve users’ wait time perception, but falls outside the purview of transit providers themselves. The ability of the presence of trees to compensate for the negative effects of pollution and traffic suggests that planting trees or moving a problematic stop to take advantage of existing tree cover can significantly improve the user experience at reasonable costs.

Because many bus stops in Palm Beach County tend to be located in places with wider rights of way and generous swales (at least compared to downtown WPB), bus stops seem like an ideal place to engage in street tree plantings in order to bolster the appeal of transit. Something for cities and the county to work together on as the Palm Tran Service Board moves forward on building a better bus system.


h/t Joe Roskowski

Crosswalks coming back to Clematis Street

In 2013, pedestrian improvements were made to Quadrille Boulevard, the result of a grant the city secured in 2008. The pedestrian improvements included connecting missing sidewalks along the western flank, planting shade trees, and creating enhanced visibility crosswalks in stamped asphalt. Compared with the previous conditions, this was a significant …

Zipcar comes to West Palm Beach

Great news: Zipcar, the popular carshare provider, is now in downtown West Palm Beach. The cars are located in special on-street parking spaces that were created when Evernia Street was restriped to angled parking.   Zipcar should make it that much easier for households to ditch one car or even …