Monorail technology and systems operation present the broadest potential improvement in both direct and indirect environmental impacts of any mass transportation mode or type of vehicle. Exhibiting superior performance and the least negative impacts with regard to typical environmental measures such as noise, traffic hazards, congestion, pollution and disruption of land uses in sensitive environments and existing neighborhoods, monorails can potentially enhance their immediate surroundings, as well as, the electrical power network, traffic circulation, development opportunities and commerce of extended urban environments.
Potential multiple use of monorail infrastructure corridors to incorporate linear park and landscaped areas, bicycle and walking paths, wildlife and pedestrian safety zones, and a variety other enhanced uses of the ground below monorail systems, present opportunities which are unique to monorail transportation facilities. Monorail system routing and location may well be coordinated with open space, recreation and environmental planning in ways that no other transportation system can be shaped and adapted. Similarly, monorail corridors can be strategically located to link urban and suburban settings, recreational, entertainment and commercial venues that are not accessible or connectable by means of any other transportation technology or system.
Broader beneficial impacts of monorail technology and service on traffic congestion, regional accessibility, energy consumption, public security, transit hazard reduction and other typical mitigation measures, should become factors in any environmental evaluation of transportation mode and system alternatives. Evaluation of immediate and long-term environmental impacts of transportation systems should become an influential factor in the selection of alternative transportation technologies in the early planning stages of transportation infrastructure and services.
Monorails can be safely implemented in locations that surface systems have significant impacts on flora, fauna and surface drainage. Monorails can provide additional walking and biking paths, landscaping and visual improvements in urban areas; while providing non-destructive public access to natural environments that would be otherwise damaged or destroyed by public roadways or rail facilities. To the extent that commuter monorail systems reduce traffic accidents and eliminate rail collisions with vehicles and pedestrians, the impacts can be a beneficial, even life saving improvement.
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