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CTOD & Reconnecting America Reports

TOD 203: Transit Corridors and TOD

Center for Transit-Oriented Development releases corridor planning guide

The Center for Transit-Oriented Development today released "TOD 203: Transit Corridors and TOD," the latest in CTOD's ongoing series of best practices guidebooks.

"This guidebook illustrates how planning at the corridor scale can help transit investments capture the benefits of TOD," said Sam Zimbabwe, director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. "Corridor planning can engage stakeholders, lead to more cost effective planning processes, and identify where along a new or existing transit line that the real estate market will be most active.”

Filled with real-world transit-oriented development lessons, the guidebook explains how corridor planning can facilitate not only successful transportation outcomes but also successful transit-oriented development.

Performance-Based Transit-Oriented Development Typology Guidebook

Center for Transit-Oriented Development releases user-friendly tool to evaluate the performance of the transit zones

Today the Center for Transit-Oriented Development released its "Performance-Based Transit-Oriented Development Typology Guidebook,” a hands-on tool for identifying the different conditions that exist around transit stations and determining how that influences performance on a range of metrics.

"The compositions of our communities and the quality of transit have a great influence on how people choose to get around and the choices they have in their daily lives," said Sam Zimbabwe, director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD). "The Performance-Based TOD Typology is a user-friendly tool that gives interested people around the country the ability to evaluate the performance of the transit zones in their neighborhoods and towns."

Whether working locally or regionally, the guidebook provides easy to understand information to help guide efforts to create high-quality TOD that reduces vehicle miles traveled (VMT), a significant generator of our national greenhouse gas emissions, as well as creating a host of community benefits. The guidebook builds off of the TOD Database, a web tool released in October that provides economic and demographic information for every existing and proposed fixed-guideway transit station in the United States. (See URLs for the report below.)

CDFIs And Transit-Oriented Development

Center for Transit-Oriented Development report details how community development finance institutions can promote TOD

Report coverIn October 2010, the Center for Transit-Oriented Development published a report exploring the role community development finance institutions could play in promoting equitable transit-oriented development. This document is an initial effort to frame the context of TOD and equity, and to encourage a more robust discourse on the connection between the agendas of CDFIs and TOD.

Below is the Executive Summary from the report

Introduction

Preserving Affordable Housing Near Transit

Reconnecting America, Enterprise and the National Housing Trust publish case studies from Atlanta, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Reconnecting America, Enterprise and the National Housing Trust have released a collection of case studies examining what cities are doing to ensure that affordable housing isn't lost as cities pursue transit-oriented development.

"Preserving Affordable Housing Near Transit: Case Studies from Atlanta, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C." describes ways metropolitan areas are addressing preservation challenges and opportunities, and identifies the strategies and tools communities can use to preserve affordable housing in transit-rich neighborhoods.

The builds on Reconnecting America's work with AARP and the National Housing Trust in "Preserving Affordability and Access in Livable Communities: Subsidized Housing Opportunities Near Transit and the 50+ Population."

"The findings of this report demonstrate that more than 250,000 privately owned, federally subsidized apartments exist within walking distance to quality transit in 20 metroropolitan areas. Nearly two-thirds of these apartments are covered by federal housing contracts set to expire over the next five years," the new report notes.

CTOD Creates Citywide Toolkit For TOD In Los Angeles

Report assesses opportunities to improve land use and transportation linkages in communities surrounding 70 existing and planned transit stations

The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) has released the "Creating Successful Transit Oriented Districts in Los Angeles: A Citywide Toolkit for Achieving Regional Goals" report, which assesses opportunities to improve land use and transportation linkages in communities surrounding 70 existing and planned transit stations in the City of Los Angeles. The report identifies strategies to help communities around transit stations achieve high transit ridership, increase mixed-income and mixed-use housing opportunities and create sustainable neighborhoods while offering its residents a wealth of travel options.

The report was produced through a grant awarded by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The CTOD project took place over an intensive 15-month period, including the participation of key stakeholders and focus groups. The result was the development of a "toolkit" that includes a station typology, station area profiles, and a set of regional maps that analyze demographic and economic conditions throughout the city. Community goals and factors such as transit use and commute mode, equity, existing density, and auto ownership were all taken into consideration in developing the toolkit.

Mixed-Income Housing Near Transit: Increasing Affordability With Location Efficiency

TOD 201 booklet explores theory and best practices for including mixed-income housing in conjunction with transit-oriented development

The latest booklet in the Center for Transit-Oriented Development's series of "100" and "200" manuals has been added to the website. These booklets explain the theory and best practices of transit-oriented development.

The TOD 201 booklet "Mixed-Income Housing Near Transit: Increasing Affordability With Location Efficiency" discusses how providing for a mix of incomes in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods near transit improves the already considerable benefits of having mixed-income neighborhoods by significantly reducing transportation costs.

Creating mixed-income TOD deepens the affordability of housing because families can get by with one less car or no cars -- resulting in the savings of thousands of dollars per household annually.

Realizing The Potential for Sustainable, Equitable TOD

Reconnecting America White Paper makes recommendations to federal partnership on sustainable communities

In June 2009, the Obama Administration announced a new interagency partnership on sustainable communities between the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. An early action by the Partnership was to announce a set of Livability Principles to guide future federal investments, policy development, and programs. These include:

  • Provide more transportation choices. Develop safe, reliable, and economical transportation choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health.
  • Promote equitable, affordable housing. Expand location- and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.
  • Enhance economic competitiveness. Improve economic competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by workers, as well as expanded business access to markets.
  • Support existing communities. Target federal funding toward existing communities—through strategies like transit-oriented, mixed-use development, and land recycling—to increase community revitalization and the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.
  • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment. Align federal policies and funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding, and increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of government to plan for future growth, including making smart energy choices such as locally generated renewable energy.
  • Value communities and neighborhoods. Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe, and walkable neighborhoods—rural, urban, or suburban.

Value Capture And Tax-Increment Financing Options For Streetcar Construction

Study finds current land uses have overriding role in gauging how much value will be generated

D.C. Surface Transit commissioned the Brookings Institution to look at funding alternatives for a proposed streetcar. Brookings then subcontracted with Reconnecting America for assistance. Out of that collaboration came “Value Capture and Tax-Increment Financing Options for Streetcar Construction.”

The study shows it is hypotheticaly possible to forgo federal funding and fully pay construction costs ($140 million) using three value capture tools.

  • $46.6 million of Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
  • $46.6 million of a traditional special assessment district.
  • $46.6 million from a “never-done-before” sharing of private property value increases.

The study draws upon the experiences of Portland, Tampa and Seattle in case studies undertaken by Reconnecting America. These case studies examined property value appreciation in the years following the streetcar line opening and the geography along the lines and at station stops which were affected by the streetcar opening.

Report Finds Thousands Living In Affordable Housing Near Transit Could Face Higher Rents

Study by AARP, Reconnecting America and National Housing Trust explores impact of expiration of contracts for federally subsidized units

In the next five years as many as 160,000 renters in 20 metro areas could lose their affordable apartments near transit because the contracts on their privately-owned HUD-subsidized rental units are due to expire. The renewed popularity of urban living means that properties in walkable neighborhoods near transit have increased in value, and that property owners are likely to opt out of the HUD program and convert the housing from affordable to market rate.

These are the results of a recent study by AARP, Reconnecting America and the National Housing Trust, which released the results in Washington, DC, on Sept. 30. The study found that there are more than 250,000 privately owned HUD-subsidized units within a half-mile of existing or proposed rail stations in the 20 regions, and that contracts on two-thirds of these units are due to expire by the end of 2014. Almost a quarter of the units are designated for seniors.

“Affordable housing near public transportation is a very special resource because families who use transit can reduce their transportation expenditures by 16 percent – so these subsidized apartments are made even more affordable because of their location,” noted Reconnecting America President and CEO John Robert Smith. “The federal government should ensure that this housing remains affordable.”

Central Maryland Looks To TOD For Future

Regional action plan developed with technical assistance of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development

The Central Maryland Transportation Alliance has released "Central Maryland TOD Strategy: A Regional Action Plan For Transit-Centered Communities.

"The continuing and expanding prosperity of Central Maryland will rely on careful and prudent transit investments that continue to link jobs and housing, and people with their destinations, while creating the types of neighborhoods in which people will want to live," notes the report's executive summary.

Technical assistance for this study was provided by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.

"TOD should not be thought of as a one-size fits all development solution, but rather a paradigm shift to focus on creating high-quality, strong communities connected by a multi-modal transportation network," the report states. "This report identifies key challenges and opportunities to move toward the transit-oriented development end of the spectrum, as well as identifying key locations, strategies, and tools for accomplishing this shift."

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