To draw a comparison, would anyone make an argument that by putting an amusement park in the middle of the Mall of America that the management is artificially inflating the mall's numbers because people are "forced" to walk through the shopping concourses to get there? The Depot is no different in this regard.
This is a bad analogy. The park is part of the mall. We don't say that adding a "Victoria's Secret" to the mall is artificially inflating the numbers because customer's going there pass through the rest of the mall.
A more accurate analogy would be if the blue line station at the mall were on one side and the bus drop-offs were somewhere else so that everyone transferring from buses to trains had to walk through the mall. That would be considered completely unacceptable to anyone considering the efficiency of local transit networks.
Well, that's not exactly a good analogy either. The distance from the "Gate B" of SPUD to the front "LRT" platform isn't the equivalent of putting a train platform by Sears and a bus platform by LL Bean (or wherever). We are talking about the distance of half a block. That's approximately equivalent to the distance one would need to walk between the bus drop-off zone and the end of the LRT platform at the MOA.
Right, but the point of regional transit investment is to get people where they need to go, not to produce activity in a rehabbed train station at the expense of efficiently moving people and effectively reusing our current transit investments.
So again, I will ask: How is the distance of half a block an impediment to people going where they need to go? Because it takes a whole 1-2 minutes to walk? Or what? No one seems to be able to answer that. Just because you can
interline doesn't mean you should
When I was traveling in Europe this summer, I figured out how to change train platforms between regional and local trains and buses without issue, and never once did I feel like walking an entire block was inconvenient or an impediment or an inefficiency to getting to where I needed to go. And other than French and German, I wasn't able to speak the local languages. Are we assuming people are dumber than a box of rocks, or just lazy?
An example I can think of is that one could take a train or bus between Interlaken and Spiez. To take the train or take the bus took approximately the same amount of time, less than 5 minutes difference. I opted to take a train. The distance was about 19 km between the two cities, not much further apart than Minneapolis and Saint Paul, so it blurred the lines between regional and local much like our system often does. Trains were in the train platforms behind the station, buses were in front. To transfer trains, chances were high that you'd have to walk to a different platform. I did not find this to be confusing or inefficient in the least.
Denver's Union Station is quite active, and people do need to walk a bit to switch between local train platforms or walk half a block to transfer to local buses or get outside. DUS's re-activation has been widely lauded as a smash success. Do people here think that is also a foolish, inefficient design that is an impediment to getting where one needs to go because it "forces" activity through the station?
I also should point out that without putting trains into the station, and generating activity within the station, that we are potentially shooting ourselves in the foot. Union Depot has become a magnet of criticism for investing in transit in general. By having almost no activity within the station, it just generates even more criticism from anti-transit folks who don't want to see more trains or buses. By eliminating the argument about how few people use the station, you can then pick away at the argument that no one wants or rides LRT trains (an argument that is false, and should be taken away from them).