Sometimes in the world of transit planning we run into the problem of opposition from people who mistakenly believe that infrastructure has to be ugly. There is a misconception floating in some quarters that train service equates to massive concrete barriers running through the neighborhood.

It turns out nothing could be further from the truth. Light rail or bus rapid transit running ways don’t have to be ugly. They don’t even have to be paved. For example, there are many rail and bus lines around the world that run on grass-track transitways, including one great example right here in Colorado – the Fort Collins trolley. As RTD moves forward with FasTracks and localities begin to pursue their own plans for high quality transit, grass-track transitways may be something to consider.

Here are a few examples of grass transitways from around the world, starting with Fort Collins:

Fort Collins, CO – By BeyondDC

New Orleans, LA – By tinydr

Kenosha, WI – By kschmidt626

Concept for Purple Line – By State of Maryland

Porto, Portugal – By gradiate

Paris, France – By collilnchurcher2003

Strasbourg, France – By GEO.Hellas

Barcelona, Spain – By Daniel Sparing

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

Eugene, OR BRT – By City of Alexandria, VA

Eugene, OR BRT – By rob_wrenn