Using federal & state funding to change zoning (top left); Newark promotes local home ownership (top right); Chicago’s Red Line extension & community development plans (bottom left); Dubai Metro expansion (bottom right)
Article of the Week
Federal and State Dollars Could Be Used to Force Change in Exclusionary Towns
Luisa Godinez-Puig et. al, Shelterforce, Mar 23 2023
A new study by the Urban Institute reveals that some U.S. towns and cities, such as Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, and Hudson, Ohio, have adopted zoning laws that impede the construction of affordable housing and disproportionately affect people of color. The authors state that the federal and state governments can take steps to address housing inequity by making grant awards contingent on municipalities changing their zoning laws, and by implementing preemptive requirements to encourage more equitable development.
NJ TOD News
NEWARK—Newark for Newark: Strengthening the Community Through Local Housing Ownership
Jorge Cruz, TAPinto, Mar 21 2023
Newark has launched a $10 million Acquisition Fund to prioritize transit-oriented development by leveraging resources from the American Rescue Plan Act. The fund will purchase distressed assets, repurpose vacant or abandoned sites as affordable housing, and help homeowners facing mortgage default. The city aims to raise $100 million to acquire, redevelop, or preserve housing, stimulate economic development, and bring equitable and affordable housing to neglected neighborhoods.
SECAUCUS—Amtrak’s Gateway Program Could Be an Economic Boon to the Meadowlands
Darren Tobia, Jersey Digs, Mar 15 2023
Amtrak is seeking to upgrade the Newark-New York railway corridor in the Gateway Program. The Program is aiming to improve travel times for NJ commuters and benefit the Meadowlands. One proposal calls for Amtrak to add a stop at Secaucus Junction Station. Proposed plans include rebuilding New York Penn Station.
Transit and Equity News
WASHINGTON—Mayor Harrell Statement on Sound Transit Substitute Motion No. M2023-18
Jamie Housen, City of Seattle WA, Mar 22 2023
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has proposed a substitute Motion No. M2023-18 to alter the Ballard Link Extension project. The proposal would advance the construction of stations to the north and to the south of the Chinatown-International District (CID) and Pioneer Square. The decision not to build a station within the heart of the CID reflects an effort on the part of Sound Transit not to place an undue burden on the district’s community and still provide transit access. The proposal will also study the Denny (Terry) station and prioritize equity and displacement concerns.
As Wealth Inequality Spirals Out of Control, Many Americans Can No Longer Afford to Drive
Matthew Rozsa, Salon, Mar 19 2023
A recent study published in the Journal of Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment shows that access to vehicular transportation in the U.S. depends upon one’s wealth and that the onset of the Great Recession and COVID-19 affected car access for many people. The study cites viable solutions to mobility limitations such as expanding ride-hailing services, developing apartments near high-frequency transit nodes, and emphasizing transit, walking, and bicycling.
ILLINOIS—CTA, City Eye Community-Centric Development Around Future Red Line Extension Stations
Nick Blumberg, WTTW, Mar 17 2023
As part of their effort to revitalize South Side neighborhoods, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development have begun work on developing a “transit-supportive development” strategy. This plan comes as the transit agency advances a proposed 5.6-mile extension of the Red Line to 130th Street, a project expected to cost up to $1 billion. The plan focuses on rehabilitation of existing properties; building commercial, retail, and mixed-use structures; and improving public space such as the Roseland Community Medical District. The CTA plans to present the project at the Chicago Plan Commission.
Regional and National TOD News
Cities See Hyperlocal ‘Activity Centers’ as Key to Sustainable Growth, Less Car Dependency
Gaby Galvin, Smart Cities Dive, Mar 21 2023
Planners in the U.S. have begun to use “activity centers”—local hubs near city centers—to help create more sustainable cities and reduce dependence on cars. Cities such as San Antonio, Texas have adopted this model. In Boise, Idaho, the model has been used to promote walkability and public transit.
WASHINGTON—MSquared Secures $54MM in Funding for 200-Unit Lynnwood Apartment Development
Staff Writer, The Registry, Mar 20 2023
MSquared and Kōz Development have closed on a $54 million mixed-income, transit-oriented development in the greater Seattle area. The 200-apartment project will be financed with $35 million in debt from Coastal Community Bank, $13 million in equity from MSquared, and $6 million in equity from Kōz Development investors. Forty percent of the homes will be affordable to households earning up to 80 percent of Area Median Income, and the remaining homes will be market rate. Construction is planned to begin spring 2023 and will adhere to Washington State’s “Built Green” standard.
CONNECTICUT—‘Work Live Ride’ Bill Revives Transit-Oriented Development Debate
Ginny Monk, CT Mirror, Mar 17 2023
On March 15th, the “Work Live Ride” bill, which seeks to promote transit-oriented development in Connecticut towns through financial incentives, had its first public hearing. Advocates argue the bill will address the state’s severe housing shortage and encourage public transit use, while opponents are concerned it would erode local control. A vote on the bill has not yet been scheduled.
International TOD News
CANADA—Vancouver City Council to Eliminate Most Protected View Cones of City Hall for Transit-Oriented Development
Kenneth Chan, Urbanized, Mar 22 2023
Vancouver City Council will soon approve amendments to the View Protection Guidelines, reducing the number of southward-facing view cones of City Hall from nine to two. The city hopes to promote development of new housing and job space near Olympic Village and Broadway-City Hall Station, while protecting mountain view cones to the north.
DUBAI—Why Dubai Metro May Signal Way Forward for Gulf Urban Rail Growth
Daniel Bardsley, The National News, Mar 19 2023
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) cities will require 1,100 km of metro lines to meet predicted population and economic growth by 2030, according to Strategy&. Public transport usage has already increased significantly in Dubai, evidenced by more than 225 million trips by metro last year. Other Gulf countries including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are investing in rail systems to reduce road congestion and increase access to labor markets. An investment of $220 billion in rail systems is expected, which could contribute to economic and social benefits several times as large.