Potrero Yard Modernization Project, San Francisco, CA (top left); Kansas City Streetcar, Kansas City, MO (top right); Free public transit in Luxembourg (bottom left); Artist housing, Boston, MA (bottom right)
Article of the Week
CALIFORNIA—Potrero Bus Yard Redevelopment Steers Toward Mixed-Use Future
Joseph Gordon, Bisnow San Francisco, November 2, 2022
Redevelopment of the 100-year-old Potrero Bus Yard took a major step forward with a key approval from the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (MUNI) Board of Directors. The $500M Potrero Yard Modernization Project will convert the facility into a mixed-use development comprising 575 income-restricted housing units and retail space, as well as an updated, all-electric bus terminal. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024 and be completed in 2027.T
How US Cities Are Navigating Post-COVID Transit Challenges
Christopher Carey, Cities Today, November 1, 2022
Coming out of the pandemic, American cities are using federal funds to adapt to changing commute and climate patterns. Funding from the COVID-era Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is helping cities improve their disaster resiliency and evolve transit service while working from home remains widespread among US workers. The pandemic also saw a growth in cyclist commuters, prompting cities around the country to reinvest in the character and safety of their streets for all users.
Supreme Court Allows TSA to Issue Mask Mandates
Suzanne Rown Kelleher, Forbes, November 1, 2022
The Supreme Court denied a request to overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling from December 2021 and, in doing so, affirmed that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has the authority to maintain security and safety within transportation systems, including enforcing mask requirements. The TSA suspended the mask mandate in April, following a decision by a federal judge; the mandate was set to expire weeks later. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.
RED BANK—Station Razed for Apartments
Red Bank Green, November 2, 2022
Demolition cleared 120 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, a property that once was the site of a Sinclair gas station. In August 2021, the municipal Zoning Board approved plans by Park Valley Development for a four-story building comprising 32 apartments, commercial space, and parking. Five of the units will be restricted to low- and moderate-income residents. The site is less than a quarter mile from the Red Bank rail station, which provides service on the NJ TRANSIT North Jersey Coast Line and connects to local bus service.
New Jersey Community Capital Awarded $40 Million in New Markets Tax Credit Awards by U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
New Jersey Stage, November 2, 2022
New Jersey’s largest community development financial institution (CDFI), New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) received a $40 million tax credit from the federal Department of Treasury. Issued through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, these tax credits will support the NJCC’s investment in small businesses, jobs, and housing stock in low-income urban and rural communities. The NJCC’s commitment means that much of this funding will reach transit-oriented parts of the state and improve housing conditions without reliance on for-profit funding sources.
WOODBRIDGE—Mill Creek Announces Preleasing Is Underway at Modera Woodbridge
Mill Creek Residential, PR Newswire, November 1, 2022
A mixed-use, transit-oriented development in Woodbridge Township, Modera Woodbridge, has advanced to the preleasing stage. The development adjoins the Woodbridge Station on the North Jersey Coast Line and will comprise 279 apartment homes and more than 6,000 sq. ft. of retail space within walking distance of downtown nightlife and businesses. The developer, Mill Creek Residential, plans to include community space and amenities in the project.
ILLINOIS—Developers Break Ground on Park Station Lofts, Bringing Affordable Housing and Shops to Woodlawn
Maxwell Evans, Block Club Chicago, November 2, 2022
Nearly five miles from the Chicago Loop, the South Side, Chicago neighborhood of Woodlawn will see its first transit-oriented development: Park Station. The project, which is to be located adjacent to the Cottage Grove Green Line station, will comprise housing, community services, and shopping. The site will offer a total of 58 apartments, including 41 affordable units and two live-work units. The $30.8 million project is the first subject to a Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance, passed in 2020 to maintain and create housing for those already living in the neighborhood.
MASSACHUSETTS—Nonprofit Café, Artist Spaces, Housing to Be Built in New Nubian Square Development, Wu Announces
Gladys Vargas, 7 News Boston, November 2, 2022
In partnership with local nonprofits, the City of Boston has announced a new Nubian Square housing development that aims to support local artists and small businesses. The project will construct 74 mixed-income, mixed-use TOD units at 2147 Washington Street; 31 rental units will be reserved to give preference to Boston artists. The Haley House Bakery and Café, a non-profit organization that provides employment for formerly homeless and incarcerated individuals, will be relocated to the site that will feature a public art gallery, courtyard, and indoor bike racks.
Designing Communities with Solid Public Transportation Systems Will Benefit All
Marcelo Remond, The Daily Targum, November 1, 2022
Car dependency exacts a lethal toll on teenagers and the elderly that transit-oriented built environments simply do not impose. For individuals inexperienced in driving or facing age-driven declines in motor function, lacking options to driving creates a measurable statistical harm. Designing communities around access to public transit can therefore remedy the extreme spatial restrictions and traffic hazards that people face when forced behind the wheel.
CALIFORNIA—Some MidPen Housing Residents to Get Free Transit Pass
Bay City News, The Daily Journal, November 1, 2022
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has undertaken a pilot program to address transportation costs by offering free BayPasses to residents of affordable housing properties managed by MidPen Housing, a nonprofit organization, and to students of four Bay Area schools. This effort represents the first phase in the BayPass pilot that is expected to cost $6 million and will continue until 2024 with an expansion to employees of up to 10 Bay Area employers.
ARIZONA—Soluna Reshapes and Revitalizes Edison-Eastlake Community
Press Release, City of Phoenix, October 28, 2022
In line with the Housing Phoenix Plan, a bus TOD project called Soluna will add 177 housing units, 80 percent of which are to be designated affordable. Notably, this mixed-income housing investment will be located near a park, an art plaza, and bus service to Phoenix’s business center. The project has received a portion of Phoenix’s $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from US HUD to equitably revitalize the Edison-Eastlake neighborhood and build a sense of community.
WASHINGTON—Tukwila Gets Serious About Transit-Oriented Housing
Andrew Engelson, The Urbanist, November 3, 2022
In south King County, the City of Tukwila is working to remake the area around the Tukwila International Boulevard (TIB) Station, which provides access to Sound Transit’s LINK Line 1 running from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport to Downtown Seattle, the University of Washington campus, and Northgate. In 2021, the City created a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Housing Strategies Plan that aims to increase the affordable housing supply near the station which sits adjacent to State Route (SR) 518, SR 99, and surface parking lots. The City—where two-thirds of residents are people of color and 40 percent were born outside the U.S.—has begun to implement the plan by joining with the South King County Housing and Homelessness Partnership (SKHHP) to document where affordable housing is located in Tukwila. Several affordable housing projects are under construction or recently completed near the station.
Transit Improvements Will Help Shape the Future of Cities
Skip Descant, Government Technology, November 2, 2022
Kansas City, Missouri’s commitments to fare-free transit gathered attention and praise at a recent American Public Transit Association TRANSform Conference. In 2020, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) eliminated fares for all riders after a progression of fare removal for children, veterans, and residents experiencing homelessness, and in doing so, demonstrated the safety and desirability of fare-free transit. Emulating this effort elsewhere in the country would require shifting transit finances to taxes rather than fares, but officials from cities such as Seattle expressed a growing appetite in their community for investments in transit service.
NEW YORK—‘Giving Us Mediocrity:’ Penn Station Remodel Controversy Lands in Court
Colleen Wilson, northjersey.com, November 2, 2022
Contention over Penn Station redevelopment has entered a new stage with a lawsuit challenging the project’s environmental legality and revenue-sharing agreements. Advocates claim the project over-prioritizes real estate development, and that more attention should be directed towards benefitting transit riders. The outcome of this debate, in and out of court, on how to improve Penn Station’s capacity will define the country’s transit landscape for decades to come.
VIRGINIA—What You Need To Know About Taking The Silver Line Train To Dulles Airport
Jordan Pascale, DCist.com, November 2, 2022
On the heels of Washington Dulles International Airport’s 60-year anniversary celebration, a long-awaited Silver Line extension will connect the airport directly to the core of Washington, D.C. Service is slated to open to the public on November 15 and will make the US capital more accessible to visitors and commuters. In addition to benefits to regional travel, the new line is expected to inspire more housing options for residents and employees of the region.
NEW YORK—Edge-on-Hudson Dedicates Expansive Waterfront Park to Village of Sleepy Hollow
Press Release, Cision, October 31, 2022
Edge-On-Hudson, a mixed-use, transit-oriented community of Sleepy Hollow, has dedicated a $2 million park. Called the Sleepy Hollow RiverWalk, the park will enhance the Edge-On-Hudson development’s planned 1,177 housing units, retail and office space, and waterfront amenities. The second phase of construction of the Sleepy Hollow RiverWalk is slated to begin in 2023 and will continue north to Kingsland Point Park.
LUXEMBOURG—Head-to-Head: Yes, Public Transport Should Be Free
Francois Bausch, The Parliament, November 2, 2022
François Bausch, the Mobility and Public Works Minister of Luxembourg, emphasized the 2020 decision to provide a national free public transit system as one part of a wider multimodal revolution. Predictions of a 40 percent increase in Luxembourg’s mobility demand from 2017 to 2035 prompted the small European country to make multimodal travel as spontaneous, simple, and pleasant as possible to prevent a surge of cars on the road. Bausch notes that the metropolitan size of Luxembourg uniquely benefits this effort, but argued Germany’s recent success with a nationwide 9-euro fare illustrates the universal importance of straightforward and affordable transit service.
INDIA—Future of Urban Mobility in India and Way Forward
Staff, Metro Rail News, October 29, 2022
As India comes to term with rapid urbanization, the importance of safe and reliable transit at appropriate capacity has become indisputable. Despite high bus ridership, India’s automobile usage has risen with the nation’s economic growth and urban challenges that come with the mode. Combating pollution, gentrification, and congestion will require sustained efforts in promoting TOD while improving the ability of institutions to acquire land for transit and housing projects.