Lowcountry Rapid Transit (left); Riverhead, NY (top right); Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2041 (bottom right)
Article of the Week
Diverse Neighborhoods Are Made of Diverse Housing
Tracy Loh, Joanne Kim, and Jennifer S. Vey, Brookings, February 8, 2022
Brookings researchers examine residential zoning as a critical social justice issue and conclude that neighborhoods offering more diverse housing options to residents are more racially diverse. Using data from the American Community Survey, the researchers find that one of the key factors contributing to the housing affordability crisis is the enduring use of single-family zoning. They argue that changes in zoning regulation that legalize more diverse housing options will help build an integrated and sustainable society.
NEW YORK—MTA Announces Discounts to Urge Commuters Back into Public Transportation
News 12 Staff, bronx.news12.com, February 8, 2022
With New York City’s economy emerging from the pandemic, the MTA on Monday announced a new discount program to boost ridership. Beginning February 28th, riders using the OMNY system will receive rides for free after their 12th trip that week. Also starting February 25th, commuters using Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road will see a 20 percent drop in price for 20-day tickets. Additionally, riders will be able to take these commuter rails within New York City on weekdays for just $5. MTA officials noted that these prices could be made permanent.
MICHIGAN—New Advocacy Campaign Boosts Public Transit
Jada Penn, Capital News Service, February 7, 2022
To boost ridership and fill job openings, the Michigan Public Transit Association has launched an information advocacy campaign designed to promote recovery from the pandemic-induced losses. With a budget of $400,000, the association is looking to further its advocacy through television, radio, billboards, and social media campaigns.
Back to Life: EDA Board Approves Rules for Historic Property Reinvestment Program
Tom Bergeron, roi-nj.com, February 10, 2022
The NJ Historic Property Reinvestment Program (HPRP) aims to help developers acquire historic buildings, bring them up to code, and return them to support the local economy and enliven downtowns. Generally, the program supports properties that are reused for job creation opportunities, transit-oriented development and housing (including affordable housing). This week, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) Board approved regulations for the HPRP, which was part of the 2020 New Jersey Economic Recovery Act.
SOUTH AMBOY—BNE Launches Leasing of Station Bay, Transit-Oriented Rental Community Along the South Amboy Waterfront
REW, rew-online.com, February 8, 2022
Station Bay, a new residential complex in South Amboy, has opened for leasing by BNE Real Estate Group. The project is located a short distance from South Amboy rail station and downtown district, as well as the forthcoming ferry terminal. Station Bay comprises 291 studios, one- and two-bedroom rental units, and covered parking.
Biking, Walking, or Driving to Several South Jersey Transit Stations Will be Getting Easier Rail Station Area in
Carol Comegno, courierpostonline.com, Feb 4, 2022
Transit Village grants totaling more than $1 million have been awarded to Burlington City, Riverside, Collingswood, and Pleasantville for downtown improvements near rail stations or bus stations. Among the projects are streetscapes, pedestrian walkways, and bikeway improvements that reduce the use of vehicles and promote public transportation. Burlington City and Riverside are served by NJ TRANSIT’s RiverLINE light rail , Collingswood by PATCO, and Pleasantville is the site of a NJ TRANSIT bus station.
Invest in Transit Equity, Invest in Transit Workers
transitcenter.org, February 4, 2022
Employment in public transit and ground transportation is still far behind pre-pandemic levels. This shortage of transit operators and maintenance workers has affected transit services across the country. Hampered transit services have a great impact on people of color who make up 60 percent of all public transit riders. To address this challenge, Transit Center has partnered with the Alliance for a Just Society and the Labor Network for Sustainability to promote workforce investments on Transit Equity Day.
MARYLAND—A More Connected Maryland Would Improve Inclusivity and Equity
Jazz Lewis, Jared Solomon, Malcolm L. Augustine and Pamela G. Beidle, The Washington Post, February 11, 2022
The General Assembly of Maryland is introducing two bills to promote accessibility and inclusive development in Maryland. Through the first bill, the Maryland Regional Rail Transformation Act, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) would promote investment programs for upgrades and expansions to the MARC rail systems. The second measure, the Equitable, and Inclusive Transit-Oriented Development Enhancement Act, would provide a $10 million grant and financial assistance to local jurisdictions to transit-oriented development within the State.
NEW YORK—Riverhead Taps Master Developer for Railroad Avenue Area Redevelopment
Alek Lewis, riverheadlocal.com, February 10, 2022
Riverhead officials have developed a master plan for transit-oriented development that aims to transform the dilapidated train station area into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly center. The proposal includes a five-story building featuring 243 apartments and commercial spaces located between Court Street and Railroad Avenue. Additionally, the parking lot at the corner of Griffing and Railroad avenues will be covered by a five-story parking garage with six levels of parking.
CONNECTICUT—Developer Proposes 100 Apartments to Replace Strip Shopping Center on Windsor’s Town Green
Don Stacom, courant.com, February 9, 2022
Grava Properties plans to replace the Windsor Center Plaza in Windsor’s village center with a 100-unit apartment complex with ground-floor retail space. The 3-acre property is a few blocks from the Windsor rail station, which is served by Amtrak and the Hartford Line commuter rail line. The first stage of development would include a three-story building with 40 apartments along Route 75 plus a ground-floor cafe with outdoor dining.
GEORGIA—MARTA Seeking Transit-Oriented Development Proposals at Bankhead Station
Anita Archambeau, whatnowatlanta.com, February 7, 2022
A Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued by MARTA for the Bankhead rail station, located at the western terminus of the Green Line. The State of Georgia recently allocated $6 million to transform the station in anticipation of the Microsoft tech hub slated for construction on adjacent land. The Bankhead TOD will occupy a little over five acres of land that will require zoning changes.
SOUTH CAROLINA—Business Round-up: COG Receives $860K for Rapid Transit Line
Staff Report, February 7, 2022
A federal grant of $860,000 will be used to plan for transit-oriented development along the Lowcountry Rapid Transit Line. The development would run along the 21.5-mile route from downtown Charleston to Ladson. Following the initial grant awarded in 2018, the funding will be applied to the second phase of development which will include commercial, residential, office, and recreational spaces around the transit line.
AUSTRALIA—Rail Links, Higher Densities Figure in Sunshine Coast’s Future
Renee McKeown, theurbandeveloper.com, February 10, 2022
The Sunshine Coast Council has proposed the planning scheme 2041 to accommodate its growing population. The proposal focuses on increasing density through vertical development along key corridors and mixed-use residential development in nodes close to city centers and transit stations. In addition, the plan also discusses a mass transit system along the coast from Maroochydore to Caloundra as well as a rail line linking Beerwah to Caloundra and on to the airport.
CANADA—Bluevale Capital Group Expands Affordable Housing in St. Catharines with Historic Acquisition
Bluevale Capital Group, globenewswire.com, February 10, 2022
In St. Catharines, Ontario, Bluevale Capital Group acquired the former Queensway Hotel for $8.2 million. The historic 52-unit building located close to Brock University and the Go Transit Station will be revitalized as an apartment complex that increase access to affordable housing in the region. The company plans to invest $2.6 million to update the existing interior, the facade, and to build an additional seven units in the basement of the former hotel.