TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENTis the exciting fast growing trend in creating vibrant, livable, sustainable communities. Also known as TOD, it's the creation of compact, walkable, mixed-use communities centered around high quality train systems. This makes it possible to live a lower-stress life without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival.
Transit oriented development is regional planning, city revitalization, suburban renewal, and walkable neighborhoods combined.
TOD is rapidly sweeping the nation with the creation of exciting people places in city after city. The public has embraced the concept across the nation as the most desirable places to live, work, and play. Real estate developers have quickly followed to meet the high demand for quality urban places served by rail systems.
Transit oriented development is also a major solution to the serious and growing problems of climate change and global energy security by creating dense, walkable communities that greatly reduce the need for driving and energy consumption. This type of living arrangement can reduce driving by up to 85%.
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FACTORS DRIVING THE TREND TOWARD TOD
-Rapidly growing, mind-numbing traffic congestion nation-wide -Growing distaste for suburbia and fry-pit strip development -Growing desire for quality urban lifestyle -Growing desire for more walkable lifestyles away from traffic -Changes in family structures: more singles, empty-nesters, etc -Growing national support for Smart Growth -New focus of Federal policy
"Traffic congestion has increased so much in virtually every metropolitan area that two-hour commutes now are routine. Attempts to alleviate the problem by constructing more highways almost always have led to more sprawl and, eventually, more congestion." -Jim Miara
COMPONENTS OF TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT
-Walkable design with pedestrian as the highest priority -Train station as prominent feature of town center -Public square fronting train station -A regional node containing a mixture of uses in close proximity (office, residential, retail, civic) -High density, walkable district within 10-minute walk circle surrounding train station -Collector support transit systems including streetcar, light rail, and buses, etc -Designed to include the easy use of bicycles and scooters as daily support transport -Large ride-in bicycle parking areas within stations -Bikeshare rental system and bikeway network integrated into stations -Reduced and managed parking inside 10-minute walk circle around town center / train station -Specialized retail at stations serving commuters and locals including cafes, grocery, dry cleaners
BENEFITS OF TOD
-Higher quality of life with better places to live, work, and play -Greater mobility with ease of moving around -Increased transit ridership -Reduced traffic congestion, car accidents and injuries -Reduced household spending on transportation, resulting in more affordable housing -Healthier lifestyle with more walking, and less stress -Higher, more stable property values -Increased foot traffic and customers for area businesses -Greatly reduced dependence on foreign oil, reduced pollution and environmental damage -Reduced incentive to sprawl, increased incentive for compact development -Less expensive than building roads and sprawl -Enhanced ability to maintain economic competitiveness
"Denver is building 119 miles of light rail and 70 new stations in a decade, creating huge development opportunities to make the region more livable and sustainable." -Reconnecting America
"Transit Oriented Development as an approach to combat traffic congestion and protect the environment has caught on all across the country. The trick for real estate developers has always been identifying the hot transportation system. Today, highways are out; urban transit systems are in." -The Urban Land Institute (ULI)
-Transit investment has double the economic benefit to a city than does highway investment.
-Transit can enable a city to use market forces to increase densities near stations, where most services are located, thus creating more efficient subcenters and minimizing sprawl.
-Transit enables a city to be more corridor-oriented, making it easier to provide infrastructure.
-Transit enhances the overall economic efficiency of a city; denser cities with less car use and more transit use spend a lower proportion of their gross regional product or wealth on passenger transportation. - FromSustainability and Cities,by Newman & Kenworthy
The Transit Oriented Development Institute is a project of the US High Speed Rail Association. For more information, interviews, or consultation, contact us by phone (202) 248-5001 or Email Mailing Address: Transit Oriented Development Institute US High Speed Rail Association 840 First St. NE, 3rd Floor Washington, DC, 20002