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NJ TOD News
Raritan Valley Line Mayors Alliance Supports Gateway Project, Pushes for Restoring One-Seat Rides on NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line
John Mooney, TapIntoUnion, February 10, 2019
The Raritan Valley Mayors Alliance, comprising mayors of 30 municipalities located along the Raritan Valley Line, continues to push for one-seat ride service into Manhattan for the Raritan Valley Line and has joined the Build Gateway Now Coalition. Mayor Robert Fazen of Bound Brook noted that, should the Gateway Project fail, the Alliance anticipates a huge economic and community loss to its member municipalities, many of which have pursued TOD around their Raritan Valley Line stations in recent years. The Build Gateway Now Coalition consists of civic, labor, and business leaders who advocate for the planned Gateway Project: construction of a new tunnel under the Hudson and replacement of the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River.
Union Oks Variances for Five-Story Apartment Building
Liv Meier, Union News Daily, February 11, 2019
Union Township’s Zoning Board has approved variances for parking, setbacks, and paved surface area for a five-story apartment building and ground floor restaurant complex to replace the Garden Buffet restaurant. The project is two blocks from Union’s station on the Raritan Valley Line. American Landmark Development is entering into a shared parking agreement with Omega Financial Services next door, and believes that fewer parking spots will be needed since the development is so close to Union Train Station.
Governor Murphy, Amtrak, and NJ TRANSIT Announce Financial Settlement, Enhancements for Commuters In and Out of New York Penn Station
Press release, InsiderNJ, February 13, 2019
Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT have come to a settlement on payments owed by NJ TRANSIT to Amtrak, in the amount of $182 million, for use of the tracks along the Northeast Corridor line. The agreement stipulates that the funds will be reinvested into any Northeast Corridor improvement projects. In addition, the agencies announced plans for joint facility improvements of New York Penn Station, including the 8th Avenue concourse redesign.
Regional and National TOD News
Support Growing in SF for Transit-Oriented Housing, Poll Finds
Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, February 11, 2019
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s annual state-of-the-city poll has shown 74 percent of respondents support SB50, which would prevent the State of California from restricting apartment construction within a half mile of a transit station. State Senator Scott Wiener has stated the poll shows the strongest support for the bill that he has seen. If it passes, the bill will make development around transit easier, allowing building heights up to 45 feet and eliminating minimum parking requirements, thereby facilitating TOD opportunities.
San Diego Launches ‘Sim City’ Planning Tool for Clairemont
Andrew Bowen, KPBS News, February 13, 2019
San Diego’s planning department has launched an online tool to allow 24/7 community input on new development options in the Clairemont neighborhood. The tool allows users to make zoning changes to eight areas along major transportation corridors. During the process, the interface will interactively update to show progress towards the goals of adding 5,000 new housing units to the plan, and locating 40 percent of these units near the three new Mid-Coast trolley stations.
Amazon Pulls Out of Planned New York City Headquarters
David Goodman, The New York Times, February 14, 2019
Amazon has cancelled its plans to build one half of its new corporate headquarters, HQ2, in Long Island City, Queens. The announcement comes after a Siena Research Institute poll found most residents of New York State and the City supported the deal for Queens. However, a state senator who opposes the agreement was voted onto a board able to veto the deal. Amazon’s withdrawal may jeopardize the feasibility of numerous improvement projects planned for the region, including the proposed BQX streetcar project, which has just begun the environmental review process. See: Queens Business and Community Leaders Hopeful as Stalled Streetcar Project Gets New Life.
Potential of Transit-Oriented Development Examined
ecoRI News Staff, ecoRI News, February 14, 2019
The Roger Williams University School of Architecture has published the results of a yearlong study that estimates five cities and towns in Rhode Island have the capacity for TOD to support 73,000 new housing units and 25,000 new jobs. The report considers sites along RI rail corridors and high frequency bus routes. Grow Smart Rhode Island aims to use the student report as a foundation for professional consultancy and implementation.
International TOD News
Government Approves Patna Rail Metro Project: 2 Corridors to be Completed in 5 Years
Press Trust of India (PTI), The Economic Times, February 13, 2019
The executive branch of India’s government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the two-corridor Patna Metro Rail project. The Danapur Cantt-Mithapur corridor will be 10.5 miles long with 11 stations, and the Patna Station to New ISBT corridor will be 9 miles long with 12 stations. The government has stated that the project will include direct and indirect benefits for the city of Patna, through Value Capture Financing and Transfer of Development Rights, as well as easy access for residents along the corridors.