Walter S. Douglas; Transit Architect

Walter S. Douglas, a designer of urban mass transportation systems, including San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit, has died at his Jamestown, R.I., home. He was 73. The cause of death was not announced.

He was the retired board chairman of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas, a New York-based firm of engineering consultants that he joined as a structural engineer in 1939.

In 1953 Douglas did the original report for the San Francisco Bay Area Commission that was the basis for the three-county, $1.3-billion BART system that opened in 1972. He also became a member of BART's joint venture board of control and helped decide policy and design matters.

He also helped design transit systems in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis.

In 1975 Douglas was named one of the "Top 10 Construction Men" of the last half-century by the American Society of Civil Engineers. He died March 15.

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