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TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT - Indiana · PDF fileTransit-oriented development (TOD) is a development pattern that is focused on its proximity and reliance on high-frequency transit

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TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENTBenefits and Studies

Written by Zane Bishop

BALL STATE UNIVERSITYVIRGINIA BALL CENTER FOR CREATIVE INQUIRYMAY 2015

Transit-oriented housing stands as one of the most promising mechanism for promoting multiple urban policy objectives -- affordable housing construction, sprawl containment and reduced car-dependence1

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a development pattern that is focused on its proximity and reliance on high-frequency transit. TOD is medium-to-high density, and typically features a mix of uses, such as apartment units, retail space, and offices. Transit-oriented development promotes not only transit but also a more connected and safe walking and biking network.

TOD offers many benefits, for transit users, developers, municipalities, cyclists, pedestrians, and non-participants, such as drivers or visitors. New developments bring additional tax revenues to cities, and allows the city to compete with more suburban locations. Reduced dependence on automobiles makes streets safer, reduces pollution, and promotes healthy cities. In addition, TOD brings additional fare revenue to transit systems, allowing them to provide better service.

Transit-oriented development "reduces reliance on cars," improves transit service and promotes development "without adding to sprawl" (Curtis et al., 2009, p. 173). "Support for TOD fits in with a broader concern about sustainable lifestyles, the future and others, and a concern about social injustice and equity issues, as TOD enables the young, elderly, poor, and disabled to access services where services are clustered together and served by efficient public transport" (Curtis et. al., 2009, p. 174).

Transit increases land values around stations, with land being priced up to 30 percent higher due to the presence of a transit system (Curtis et al., 2009, p. 243). It also helps redirect growth toward urban centers and promote smart growth principles in the region (Higgins, 2014, p. 96).

TOD "creates more activity and vibrancy

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and community life in a center by having more people living closer together, who are walking, cycling, catching public transport and generally interacting with each other much more than if they lived further apart" (Curtis et al., 2009, p. 173).

Sustainable Prosperity, an organization out of Canada that produces research on the

effects of sprawl, estimated that cities' costs per household are $2000 more in suburban locations than urban, meaning emergency services, utilities, transportation, and others are nearly 2.5 times more expensive to provide in the suburbs and urban locations. The images below give a breakdown of these expenses. (Cairns, 2013).

Even in the worlds most car-dependent country, the United States, over a third of the population is transit-dependent--i.e., too old, young, poor, disabled, or infirmed to drive a car.2

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The table below, reproduced from Transit-Oriented Development: Making it Happen, recounts these arguments and explores additional benefits of TOD (Curtis et al., 2009, p. 242)

Primary Recepient of BenefitClass of Benefit Public Sector Private Sector

Primary 1. Increases ridership and farebox revenues 5. Increase land values, rents, and real-estate performance

2. Provide joint development opportunities 6. Increase affordable housing opportunities

3. Revitalize neighbourhoods4. Economic development

Secondary A. Less traffic congestion and VMT-related costs, like pollution and fuel consumption

G. Increase retail sales

B. Increase property- and sales-tax revenues

H. Increase access to labour pools

C. Reduce sprawl/conserve open space I. Reduce parking costsD. Reduce road expenditures and other

infrastructure outlaysJ. Increase physical activity

E. Reduce crime F. Increase social capital and public

involvement

In order to have more sustainable, social, and economically efficient cities, municipalities have a role to play. Zoning regulations can adapt to allow for mixed-use and higher density development, eliminate parking requirements or make them lower, and promote walkable cities, "which will inherently encourage TOD" (Snyder, 2013). Placing the full costs of vehicular transportation and its externalities on drivers can also encourage transit usage. Creating "regional policies such as urban growth boundaries and densification targets" can encourage more dense development (Higgins, 2014, p. 101).

Portland has had excellent success with transit-oriented development. Their light rail and streetcar routes have seen more than $9 billion of development related to the

existence of transit (Curtis, Renne & Bertolini, 2009, p. 124). Portland residents also spend 4% less on transportation than the national average (Curtis et al., 2009, p. 142). It has taken more than planning to make this successful. Portland has needed to make partnerships, change the mindsets of residents, and change policy. Parking requirements have had to be lowered, density limits raised, and a lot of work with developers has been made in order to make new projects transit-friendly (Curtis et. al, 2009, p. 123).

Transit helps fight sprawl, reduce land use inefficiencies, fight against the pollution and congestion created by automobiles, and produce more social and healthy cities. Transit-oriented development is simply the next step in creating better cities for the future.

NOTES1. Curtis, C., Renne, J., & Bertolini, L. (Eds.). (2009). Public Transport and Sustainable Urbanism:

Global Lessons. In Transit Oriented Development: Making it Happen (p. 35). Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.

2. Cervero, R. (2011, May). State Roles in Providing Affordable Mass Transport Services for Low-Income Residents. International Transport Forum.

IMAGE CREDITCover: Kathie Green

Streetcar: M. O. Stevens

Graphic: Sustainable Prosperity

WORKS CITEDCairns, S. (2013, October 30). The Cost of Sprawl: A Comparison. Retrieved April 30, 2015, from

http://www.sustainableprosperity.ca/blogpost76

Curtis, C., Renne, J., & Bertolini, L. (Eds.). (2009). Transit Oriented Development: Making it Happen. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.

Higgins, C., Ferguson, M., & Kanaroglou, P. (2014). Light Rail and Land Use Change: Rail Transits Role in Reshaping and Revitalizing Cities. Journal of Public Transportation, 93-112.

Snyder, T. (2013, August 27). How to Sell Developers and Employers on Transit-Oriented Development. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from http://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/08/27/how-to-sell-developers-and-employers-on-transit-oriented-development/

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