Thursday, April 25, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News April 15-21, 2023

Transit cuts linked to poverty (top-left); Zoning reforms to address housing shortfalls (middle-left); Dubai embraces public transport (bottom-left); Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment plan raises concerns (right)

Rural bus stop on the country road with the forest on the background
Luka | Adobe Stock

Article of the Week

GEORGIA—New Evidence Links Transit Cuts with Poverty and Unemployment
Jared Brey, Governing, Apr 18 2023
According to a recent study in Urban Studies, after Clayton County, Georgia canceled its bus service in 2010 due to budget pressures, the area experienced significant increases in poverty and unemployment rates. Researchers observed how the loss of transit access affected economically similar census tracts. The study found that, from 2010 to 2014, the loss of  all bus stops in a tract led to a 5.1 percent increase in poverty rates and a 4.5 percent increase in unemployment rates.

NJ TOD News

1000 North Avenue Site. Courtesy of Iron Ore Properties
1000 North Avenue Site. Courtesy of Iron Ore Properties

PLAINFIELD—Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for 1000 North Avenue Redevelopment Project
Jennifer Popper, TAPinto, Apr 18 2023
A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of a 120-unit redevelopment project at 1000 North Avenue, located near the Netherwood train station in Plainfield, New Jersey. The project is part of a TOD area designed to encourage residents to “live, work, dine, and play” within the community. Plainfield’s Mayor Adrian Mapp and Iron Ore Properties Co-Managing Member Josh Mann emphasized the demand for housing in the region and the importance of developments like this in meeting those needs.

Lackawanna Station. Wally Gobetz | Flickr
Lackawanna Station. Wally Gobetz | Flickr

MONTCLAIR—Montclair Residents Voice Fears about Lackawanna Plaza Plan
Craig Wolff, Montclair Local, Apr 17 2023
Montclair residents voiced concerns over the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment plan, fearing it may lead to gentrification and loss of diversity in the Fourth Ward. The project aims to transform an 8.2-acre space into a commercial and residential hub, with up to 375 residential units and a minimum of 135,000 sq. ft. of non-residential space. Officials are working on revisions to the plan, incorporating public feedback and architectural techniques to make the buildings feel less imposing.

A street in Paris, France. David Nicholson | Flickr
A street in Paris, France. David Nicholson | Flickr

Opinion: Car-Free Inspiration from an Overseas Adventure
Chris Strum, Streetsblog, Apr 14 2023
New Jersey Future Policy Director Chris Strum shares her transformative car-free experiences while living near universities in England, Germany, and Japan. She highlights how compact development, mixed-use neighborhoods, and a culture of sharing the road contribute to better transportation systems in these countries. Strum believes New Jersey is well-positioned to adopt these practices and become a national leader in TOD by capitalizing on its existing walkable towns and dense population.


Transit and Equity News

Mizner Park Liner Town Homes in Boca Raton, FL. Brett VA | Flickr
Mizner Park Liner Town Homes in Boca Raton, FL. Brett VA | Flickr

Ten Code Reform Priorities for the Housing Crisis
R. John Anderson, CNU, Mar 28 2023
Urban designer John Anderson believes municipalities should prioritize zoning code reforms, such as eliminating minimum off-street parking requirements, and advocates for allowing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as-of-right on all residentially zoned lots and amending local building codes to permit up to four dwelling units in structures covered by the International Residential Code. These changes can reduce development costs and promote small-scale infill, fostering more accessible and diverse housing options. Anderson cites revising fee structures and addressing exclusionary zoning as ways to combat racial and economic segregation.


Regional and National TOD News

Site rendering. Courtesy of Sami Abunasra
Site rendering. Courtesy of Sami Abunasra

CONNECTICUT—150-Unit Multifamily, Mixed-Use Plan Submitted Under West Hartford’s New Transit District
Michael Puffer, Hartford Business, Apr 21 2023
New Jersey businessman Sami Abunasra has submitted plans for a 205,262-sq. ft. mixed-use building near Elmwood Station in West Hartford, CT. Abunasra wants to take advantage of the town’s recently adopted transit-oriented development district. The proposed five-story building will include 150 apartments and 17,241 sq. ft. of restaurant and retail space. The development aims to promote higher residential densities near mass transit while prioritizing affordable housing and sustainable design.

Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston, MA. Billy Wilson | Flickr
Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston, MA. Billy Wilson | Flickr

Is Land-Use Reform the Missing Tool in Combating Climate Change
Molly Bolan, Route Fifty, Apr 19 2023
According to a report from RMI, land-use reform, including up-zoning and TOD, could help the US avoid emitting up to 200 million tons of CO2 equivalent annually. Researchers focused on improving building efficiency and promoting carbon sequestration, as ways to reduce local travel by up to 13 percent, greenhouse gas emissions by up to 14 percent, and building energy use by up to 16 percent. The study suggests that modest changes in zoning regulations, such as rezoning residential land for multifamily housing, can have significant climate benefits.


International TOD News

Dubai Metro line. Harald Felgner | Flickr
Dubai Metro line. Harald Felgner | Flickr

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—RTA’s Integrated Transport Systems: The Key to Dubai’s Rapid Urbanisation
Hussain Al Banna, Intelligent Transport, Apr 20 2023
As the CEO of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Hussain Al Banna aims to achieve net-zero emissions in public transport by 2050 through a comprehensive decarbonization strategy. The city is also working on the 20 Minutes City concept, promoting sustainable transportation and integrated service centers for residents. Al Banna states that RTA’s infrastructure focuses on accessibility for all, including people with disabilities, seniors, and parents with pushchairs.

BasiGo electric bus. Courtesy of BasiGo
BasiGo electric bus. Courtesy of BasiGo

KENYA—E-Mobility Race Heats Up in East Africa with Over $50M in Startup Cash
Vincent Owino, The East African, Apr 17 2023
Although Kenya leads Africa in e-mobility start-up investments, with $52 million raised, it has only 350 electric vehicles (EVs) on its roads. To accelerate EV adoption, the Kenyan government has reduced excise duties, set special tariffs for EV charging, and secured funding for a dedicated electric bus lane in Nairobi. E-mobility companies have also received tax incentives and concessions to lower production costs and encourage adoption of EVs.