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.

Five transit corridors were involved in the case study. These include: the Metro Gold Line from the Little Tokyo and Indiana Street Station; the Metro Red Line from the Vermont/Wilshire Station to the Vermont/Sunset Station; the Metro Orange Line from the Sepulveda Station to the Warner Center Station; the Expo Line from USC to Crenshaw; and a key portion of the proposed downtown Los Angeles streetcar alignment along Broadway. Stakeholders, including property owners, businesses, and community groups from these areas helped identify emerging opportunities as well as issues and challenges that could make these areas more transit usable.

Findings from these focus groups were that communities must work together to build local support for transit-oriented development; establish supportive policies; and improve collaboration among public and private entities.

The analysis also found that given the small scale of many development opportunities throughout the City, and the vulnerability of many low income communities to displacement once the housing market recovers, it is important not just to think about "TOD" as involving new real estate development, but also as involving efforts around revitalization of existing communities, and neighborhood stabilization efforts including affordable housing preservation and job creation.

Irving Taylor, Metro Project Manager for the CTOD project, said, "This project supports Metro's continuing interest to support implementation of a TOD plan that is tailor-made for each transit station, to build on that community's attributes and reinforce its sustainability, while integrally linking communities via the transit system. The toolkit helps advance the state-of-the-art of creating transit districts that meet local and regional transport needs through providing more viable mobility options to the use of private automobiles. We believe the toolkit will help strengthen our partnership with local communities as we continue to further develop transit stations and effective linkages. Our collaboration with CTOD to develop this project has been extremely useful in educating the public on a key element of public policy and implementation."

"This project was a milestone for us and provided new challenges and opportunities in looking at regional growth, transit investments, and how both intersect with local community goals," said Sam Zimbabwe, Director of CTOD. "We hope to replicate this in other cities as we continue to push for market-based and equitable transit-oriented development across the country."

Creating Successful Transit Oriented Districts in Los Angeles: A Citywide Toolkit for Achieving Regional Goals