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TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News October 19-25, 2019

Boarding the PATH (left), Jersey City bike lanes (top right), Newark redevelopment (bottom right)

Vision Zero Jersey City ‏ @VisionZeroJC Jun 27 Protected bike lane alert! Our crew is out installing a two-way cycle track on Grove Street today. This is the first permanent on-street protected bikeway in Jersey City. #letsridejc #visionzerojc
Image courtesy of Sameer Chohan via Twitter.

Jersey City’s New Plan Seeks to Have Bike Lanes Connect Downtown to Bergen-Lafayette
Corey McDonald, Hudson County View, October 17, 2019
On Wednesday, Jersey City’s Planning Board announced that it will be incorporating a Bike Master Plan in the city master plan. The new Bike Master Plan supports the city’s commitment to “make Jersey City one of the best cycling cities in North America.” It will triple the size of the existing bike network in the city by adding more than 100 miles of on-street, interconnected bike paths including 43 miles of protected bike lanes. The plan also calls for meaningful changes to Grand Street, one of Jersey City’s busiest and most dangerous streets. Adding bike lanes on both sides of the street and miles of protected bike paths on this route will move the city one step further in its Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries on city streets. Since June 2019, five miles of protected bike lanes have been installed—a promising start to a build out that could take up to 2030 to complete.

Parking Management Plan Underway
Marilyn Baer, Hudson Reporter, October 19, 2019
Jersey City is implementing a Parking Management Plan to address residents’ concerns over the lack of on-street parking. The initiative is funded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and began in 2018 with a data collection phase that sought to create a comprehensive inventory of on-street, off-street, private and public parking in the city. The project team is using the database to assess the current parking supply and demand and create innovative strategies to manage parking. Findings showed that many tenants of large developments make use of free street parking instead of parking in building garages. The creation of resident-only parking zones and lots, stricter parking enforcement, and increasing the cost of tickets are among the suggestions being considered to limit this practice.

The development on 1010 Broad Street. Photo courtesy of Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects
The development on 1010 Broad Street. Image courtesy of Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects.

111-Unit Development to Replace Building Near Newark Symphony Hall
Jared Kofsky Jersey Digs, October 22, 2019
The Newark Central Planning Board approved the buildout of a new mixed-use development in Downtown Newark on Monday night. Construction will follow the demolition of a vacant structure on 1010-1014 Broad Street. The developers, 1010 Broad Newark Renewal, LLC, are set to develop a five-story building with 111 apartments and an art gallery, retail space, and amenity space on the ground floor, just a mile from Newark Penn Station and within walking or biking distance of several light rail and bus facilities. The property will have 115 bike spots and 69 parking spaces for private vehicles; additional stacked parking is being considered.

NJ Affordable Housing: Edison Program Converts Market-Rate Units
MyCentralJersey, October 22, 2019
As part of an initiative to provide affordable housing, Edison Township is introducing “Market to Affordable (M2A) Rental Program.” The subsidy encourages landlords to convert market-rate rental units into more affordable housing units, without impact on housing densities or interference with land use. A current township ordinance requires residential, commercial, and industrial developers to pay fees to Edison’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and these funds will provide $65,000-$105,000 per market-rate rental unit to landlords who agree to convert these spaces into deed-restricted, affordable rental units. The M2A subsidy requires landlords to keep these designated rental units affordable for at least 30 years. Municipal staff are partnering with housing consultants from Community Grants, Planning & Housing (CGP&H) to facilitate the program.

Photo courtesy of Justine Recio
Boarding the PATH. Image courtesy of Justine Recio.

PATH Plans to Add Longer Trains to Ease Commuter Rush Crush
Larry Higgs, NJ Advance Media for, October 23, 2019
Improvements are underway to ease the dangerous overcrowding at PATH stations on the Newark-World Trade Center line. PATH officials are preparing four stations on the line to accommodate longer, nine-car trains and conducting preliminary studies for eventual implementation of ten-car trains. This initiative is part of the $1B initiative to address reliability and overcrowding issues on the 13-mile transit system between New York and New Jersey. Design work is set to start this month and continue until the end of 2020 and construction is scheduled for completion by mid-2022.

Regional and National TOD News

Coastal Commission Accepts San Diego’s Zero-Parking Requirements for a Slice of Coastal Zone
Melanie Curry, Streetsblog California, October 17, 2019
The California Coastal Commission is committing to San Diego’s Zero-Parking vision as a part of the city’s climate action plan. On Wednesday, Deputy Planning Director Alyssa Muto rejected suggestions to maintain parking minimums in the Pacific Beach area, stating that the exemption would “undermine [the] forward-looking vision” and drive up housing and rent prices in the area. Parking reform is one of the key features of San Diego’s “transit first” agenda and the city’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, auto trips, and traffic congestion. City regulation encourages developments within Transit Priority Areas to build only as many parking spaces as necessary and requires them to provide facilities, such as bus stops and bike parking, to support other forms of transportation.

San Diego Amtrak Station (2011). Image by Loco Steve, licensed under CC BY 2.0, via Flicker upload bot.

Nationwide Transit Ridership Is Plummeting: Can San Diego’s High-Speed Rail Proposal Buck the Trend?
Joshua Emerson Smith, LA Times, October 21, 2019
The San Diego Association of Governors (SANDAG), the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, is planning a high-speed rail line despite reports of decreasing public transit ridership in cities across the country. A proposed 1-cent increase to the sales tax would pay for the project. SANDAG faces challenges in transforming the region and reducing automobile use, especially since much of the region’s employment is decentralized. Some opponents are concerned that the plan will contribute to sprawl. San Diego’s Mayor supports rail expansion and has implemented policies to increase density, eliminate parking minimums around transit stops, and encourage transit-oriented development within San Diego.

Metro Plans Updates on North San Fernando Valley Bus Rapid Transit Project
Olga Grigoryants, Los Angeles Daily News, October 21, 2019
The Metro Board of Directors are evaluating plans to build a bus rapid transit (BRT) line that would run east-west within the northern San Fernando Valley. The line was originally planned to run on Nordoff Street, connecting the Chatsworth Metrolink Station to the North Hollywood Redline and Orange Line station. After hearing public opposition to the proposed route, the agency is considering relocation to Roscoe Boulevard. Metro staffers are conducting an environmental review and further analyzing other aspects of the project including routes, bus rapid infrastructure, design, and cost-effectiveness. New plans will be available to the public in 2020, according to the agency.

Gridlock at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 57th Street in New York City (2007).  Image by Rgoogin, licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0.

These Startups Say They Can Fix City’s Transit Woes
Greg David, Crain’s New York, October 22, 2019
Crain and Tech:NYC are hosting the Future of NYC Summit on October 31, 2019 to bring together leading tech companies and city officials to explore ideas for tackling gridlock problems in New York City. The conference organizers are challenging conventional solutions to urban mobility issues and introducing some of the most promising innovations, including applications and platforms that provide curb-mapping, ride-sharing, electric mopeds, and on-demand, self-aggregating bus trips.

City Planner: ‘About 90%’ Of Property Owners in Transit Districts on Board With Mass Rezoning
Ashley Fahey, Charlotte Business Journal, October 22, 2019
The Charlotte City Council continues to push for the rezoning of 1,783 acres of land within a half-mile of the city’s Blue Line facilities for transit-oriented development. Receiving broad public acceptance since an initial Council vote last April, the city ordinance will support new design standards, open-space requirements, incentives to build affordable housing, and restrictions on the uses of private automobiles. The rezoning establishes four kinds of TOD land uses: TOD-UC (for urban centers, the most intense), TOD-NC (neighborhood centers), TOD-CC (community centers), and TOD-TR (transition zones for areas next to single-family homes). The changes may come before the Zoning Board for a vote as early as November.

Minneapolis Saw That NIMBYism Has Victims
Richard D. Kahlenberg, The Atlantic, October 24, 2019
On October 25, Minneapolis City Council is voting to end single-family zoning throughout the city as part of the Minneapolis 2040 plan in an effort to transform the city and provide more affordable housing. Last December, the Minneapolis 2040 plan was given preliminary approval to legalize duplexes, triplexes, and apartment buildings, tripling the potential number of housing units in the city. Single-family housing is unaffordable for most moderate-income households, can discourage racial equity, and encourage development farther from the central business district, necessitating longer commutes. If approved, Minneapolis 2040 will also increase housing density near transit facilities, eliminate parking minimums, and promote inclusionary zoning rules.

International TOD News
Nottingham station also known as Nottingham Midland is the principal railway station.
Nottingham Midland Station (2018). Image by ClemRutter is licensed under the CC BY-SA 4.0.

UK – Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy Creates Jobs, Cuts Car Use and Slashes Pollution
Carlton Reid,, October 17, 2019
Nottingham’s tax on workplace parking has proved to be a successful strategy to raise funds for cycling infrastructure and public transit improvements, and cities in Scotland are now following suit. Since its implementation in 2012, the Nottingham workplace parking levy has raised £61M (approximately $78M) for the city’s initiatives to reduce automobile use. These funds have been utilized for improvements on the city’s tram network, and the provision of bike lanes and pedestrian walkways. Carbon dioxide emissions in Nottingham have declined and ridership of the city’s tram network has increased as commuters now have access to 20 of the 30 largest employers in the downtown metropolitan area. Council leaders are pleased with the results of the ordinance, tweeting on October 16, “We prove that public transport and cycling can replace car usage for most people.”

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, locally known as JKIA is located in Nairobi, Kenya.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (2010) in Nairobi, Kenya. Image by li yong is licensed under CC BY 2.0, via Flicker upload bot.

KENYA – China Starts Work on Kenya’s $600M “Nairobi Expressway” to Airport
GCR Staff, October 17, 2019
On Wednesday, construction of “Nairobi Expressway” officially began, connecting the downtown Nairobi area to the Jomo Kenyatta International airport. The project is an initiative to decongest Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. China Roads and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), a subsidiary of state-owned China Communications Construction Company, will finance and build the partially-elevated, 27-km dual carriageway. The company has construction and operating rights to the road for 30 years and intends to charge tolls for road users to recoup investments. According to Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA), the buildout will take 2-3 years but the road will be open to paying customers sooner.

INDIA – Amazon India, Railways Tie Up on Transport of E-Commerce Packages
Economic Times India, October 23, 2019
Indian Railways and Amazon India are partnering to provide services for e-commerce product delivery using Railways routes from New Delhi to Mumbai and back, and New Delhi to Kolkata. This pilot is set to improve inter-city transport of packages and enhance efficiency of e-commerce sites in capacity planning and contract payment methods. Freight movement through the rail network is expected to expand the reach and speed by which Amazon India fulfills customer orders. Eventually, the company hopes to leverage the security and infrastructure of the Indian Railways network throughout the country.