CA project tests if transit still a draw (top left). Rutgers launches parking study (top right). Houston to get car-free neighborhood (bottom left). Washington State needs housing (bottom right).
Article of the Week
CALIFORNIA—Huge New BART Housing Development on the Peninsula Will Test If Transit Is Still a Draw
J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 19, 2023
The land around Millbrae Station, situated just west of San Francisco International Airport, has been the site of nine acres of surface parking lots. Next month, however, Republic Urban Properties is slated to complete work on Gateway at Millbrae Station, a project comprising 400 homes (100 of which are affordable), a 162-room hotel, 150,000 sq. ft. of office space and 43,000 sq. ft. of retail. Some see the project as a test of whether Millbrae Station’s multiple transit connections—BART, Caltrain, Samtrans bus, and, in the future, high-speed rail—can still draw people to live in transit-friendly locations.
WESTFIELD—Future Look of this Former Lord & Taylor Site Changed After Public Input
Allison Pries, NJ.com, Jan 20, 2023
HBC | Streetworks has proposed changes to its redevelopment plans for the former Lord & Taylor site. These proposals include replacing 34 apartments with 16 townhomes; reducing the height of an office building from 65 to 75 feet; adding a public dog run, a community garden, a bike path, and a pedestrian footbridge over Route 28; and revising its parking plan to include drop-off spaces and 16 on-street parking spaces. Since 2018 when it began working with Westfield on its master plan, HBC | Streetworks has held information sessions, virtual listening tours, preview center visits and community events, resulting in more than 6,650 interactions with the public.
Rutgers Launches Study on Parking Usage at Multifamily Sites, Seeking Updated State Guidelines
Joshua Burd, Real Estate NJ, Jan 19, 2023
A new study launched by the Rutgers Center for Real Estate will attempt to collect real-time data on parking usage at residential properties in New Jersey. The survey seeks information from owners, operators, and others involved with multifamily properties about availability and utilization of off-street parking, shared parking, and shuttle to transit services.
The Zero-Fare Public Transit Movement Is Picking Up Momentum
Rebecca Picciotto, CNBC, Jan 14, 2023
Starting in July, Washington, D.C. will eliminate its $2 bus fare, making it the latest U.S. city to adopt a zero-fare system. In late 2019, Kansas City, Missouri became the first major U.S. city to adopt fare-free public transit and Boston, San Francisco and Denver are also testing fare-free transit. Such policies have received support from business groups, environmental advocates, and others who see fare-free transit as a way to support local economies, mitigate climate change, and provide reliable transportation. But advancing fare-free transit may not be a good fit for systems whose budgets rely heavily on fare revenue or where local laws would limit such a change.
WASHINGTON—Opinion: Charting a New Path Toward Housing Affordability in Washington State
Brad Smith and Phyllis Campbell, The Seattle Times, Jan 13, 2023
A recent report by Challenge Seattle and Boston Consulting Group report finds that Washington State needs as many as 120,000 new housing units per year to meet current demand and an additional 82,000 annually to align with population growth, or up to 2.5 million homes by 2050. To meet this need, the report recommends focusing on three factors: right place (near transit), right size (a variety of unit sizes including those that work for multigenerational families), and right price (housing for low- and middle income households). Ways to reduce costs include streamlining the permitting process, reducing parking requirements, and repurposing publicly-owned land for housing.
TEXAS—This Development Firm Wants to Make Houston’s East End Area a Car-Free Neighborhood
Ariel Worthy, Houston Public Media, Jan 17, 2023
Jeff Kaplan and Dave Seeburger, managing principals for Concept Neighborhood, have a vision for 17 acres of land near the Coffee Plant/Second Ward light rail station in Houston’s East End—a walkable district featuring mixed-income apartments and retail space. A dearth of walkable neighborhoods has led some to leave Houston, according to Kaplan and Seeburger. They have focused their efforts on the East End due to its proximity to downtown, access to transit, and a “decent” existing street grid.
WISCONSIN—Zoning Rules Would Encourage Density Along High-Capacity Bus Routes in Madison
Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal, Jan 15, 2021
The Madison City Council will consider a “Transit Oriented Development Overlay District” ordinance for residential areas within a ¼-mile of BRT routes and for employment and retail locations within a ½-mile of routes. The measure is designed to encourage more housing along upcoming routes in areas beyond the downtown. But an attempt to include local historic districts under the new ordinance has inspired opposition.
INDIA—G20 Meet Focuses on Funding for Urban Infra
Geeta Nair, Financial Express, Jan 18, 2023
At the most recent meeting of the G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG), leaders agreed that they would focus on certain key areas: making cities sustainable, resilient & inclusive; meeting the financial needs of cities; finding ways to attract more funding to support infrastructure; and encouraging cities to plan dynamically with a people-centric approach. A workshop led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on attracting private finance for urban development showcased successful examples such as land value capture, transit-oriented development, and tradable development rights.
INDIA—Govt Provides FAR of 4 For Transit-Oriented Development of 3 Bus Stations in Ghaziabad
Noida News, Hindustan Times, Jan 15, 2023
The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) will redevelop facilities at three bus stations in Ghaziabad. At each location, local government officials have approved a floor area ratio (FAR) of 4 in keeping with that used for transit-oriented development (TOD) zones. The Ghaziabad stations are ISBT Kaushambi (24,284 sq. meters/6 acres), Sahibabad (15,000 sq. meters/3.7 acres) and Old Bus Station (10,000 sq. meters/2.5 acres). They are part of a plan for redevelopment of a total of 23 bus terminals.