On May 26th and 27th, the University of Pennsylvania Urban Design Studio (PennDesign) presented an in-depth study at the Super Regional Leadership Conference in an attempt to demonstrate the benefits of a “Super Regional Strategy”. The entire study titled Connecting for Global Competitiveness: Florida’s Super Region is available for download at myregion.org. There are several different sections that I found very interesting, especially the sections that gave details on Tampa, Orlando and Miami, where they highlighted some transit oriented development projects in the works. The study also included a lot of great maps and illustrations. To me the best part of the study, was the plans presented regarding the Downtown Tampa high speed rail stop. I had known about where the stop would be, but I was impressed with the scope of that TOD project. That is going to be huge for Downtown Tampa. I am still waiting for an explanation of when Downtown Orlando’s Grand Central Station will be connected to the high speed rail. Anyway, I included several images that I found interesting below, including the Downtown Tampa transit center.
I was curious to see if there were any new developments with the Central Florida Commuter Rail Project so I checked in on sunrail.com. It’s interesting to see that the 17 station, 61.5 mile commuter rail project has still been moving along since its approval at the end of last year.
The first phase of the project is set to begin construction in early 2011. It will consist of 12 stops, spanning from DeBary to Sand Lake. A later phase will reach Osceola County. Some highlights of the recent updates include the station design concepts that have been published. I have included a few of my favorites below, which are the Downtown Orlando and Winter Park stations of course.
The Sun Rail website also contains maps of the planned commutes and information about other future rail initiatives such as the light rail and the I-Drive circulator. It’s pretty amazing to see all of these rail projects with the green light to move forward. It’s a little early to call, but as time goes on I think this time in history will be as momentous as any American achievement.
Photos Courtesy of Sunrail.com