Saturday, April 13, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News December 9-15, 2023

Nokia Bell Labs plans to relocate to New Brunswick (right); Metropark plans advance; Salem Mass comply with MBTA Housing Law; $1B TOD in Carrollton Texas (top-to-bottom left)

Article of the Week

Courtesy of HELIX NJ

NEW BRUNSWICK—Nokia Bell Labs Is Moving to HELIX in New Brunswick
Tony Bergeron, ROI-NJ, December 8 2023
Nokia Bell Labs has announced that it will relocate its North American research and development center to HELIX, a planned three building transit-oriented complex in New Brunswick. Nokia Bell Labs plans to utilize the HELIX 2 building, a move that will bring 1,000 jobs to the city. HELIX 1, expected to be completed in 2025, will house the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the New Jersey Innovation Hub. HELIX 3, a mixed-use building, will include 220 residential units. All three buildings will be located in the city’s downtown across the street from the New Brunswick Station, where riders can access the Northeast Corridor Line.


Courtesy of DEVCO

NEW BRUNSWICK—Wheels Begin Turning On $49M New Brunswick Train Station Renovation Project
Chuck O’Donnell, TAPinto New Brunswick, December 12 2023
The Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA), in collaboration with NJ TRANSIT and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, has awarded a $7 million design contract for the revitalization of the New Brunswick Rail Station as part of a $49 million renovation effort. The investment, funded by the State of New Jersey as part of the FY2023 budget, aims to modernize and expand the station built in 1903. The renovations will include updates to platforms, pedestrian passages, the tunnel beneath the tracks, and waiting areas.

Courtesy of the State of New Jersey

WOODBRIDGE—Woodbridge to Weigh Metropark Redevelopment on Wednesday
Tony Gallotto, TAPinto Woodbridge/Carteret, December 11 2023
The Woodbridge Planning Board will review a major development at Metropark Station. Plans call for the transformation Metropark into an active transit hub and propose a six-story mixed-use building comprising 235 residential units and ground-floor retail as well as a seven-story medical office. In November, NJ TRANSIT granted a 99-year lease for the project site to DOR Woodbridge Urban Renewal LLC.

Transit and Equity News

Courtesy of Thrive Living

CALIFORNIA—Former Industrial Site Being Transformed into 376-Unit Affordable and Workforce Apartment Community to Meet Housing Need in Los Angeles
Financial Post, December 14 2023
Thrive Living has begun construction of a 376-unit affordable housing community at a repurposed industrial site in Los Angeles. The project, a mixed-use complex strategically located near public transit, is slated for completion in December 2024. Funded by a $68.5 million construction loan from JP Morgan Chase, the development will target low and moderate-income residents, with rents aligned to 80 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Salem, MA. Wangkun Jia | Adobe Stock

MASSACHUSETTS—Salem One of First to Comply With MBTA Housing Law
Paul Leighton, The Salem News, December 13 2023
Salem and Lexington are the first Massachusetts communities to comply with the MBTA Communities law, which mandates cities with public transit allow multifamily housing in at least one zoning district by-right. A total of 177 communities are expected to adhere to this legislation, which seeks to increase housing availability and affordability near public transit.

heyengel | Adobe Stock

The Ride Was Never Free: It’s Time to Price Our Roads for Health and Climate
Rachel Clark and Claire Summa, Greater Greater Washington, December 13 2023
The U.S. car-centric society leads to issues like congestion, pollution, and health risks. Road pricing policies can address these issues by reducing car use, emissions, and traffic accidents, while promoting public transportation. In London, road pricing has significantly improved air quality, contributing to saving 1,888 years of life among residents. Such policies demonstrate benefits for health, climate, and urban mobility.

Regional and National TOD News

Courtesy of the Trinity Mills Station Development

TEXAS—$1 Billion Transit-Oriented Development Coming to Carrollton, Texas
Virginia Mingorance, Local Profile, December 11 2023
The City of Carrollton Texas has begun construction of EVIVA Trinity Mills, a mixed-use building featuring more than 430 residential and live-work units. This development is the third milestone of phase one of the three-phase 300-acre project. When complete, the Trinity Mills Station project will include class-A office buildings, retail space, apartments, and public areas. It will be served by the DART Green Line, which will enhance connectivity to Dallas and Denton and serve as a gateway to Carrollton.

Courtesy of the Research Triangle Park

NORTH CAROLINA—A 15-Minute-City? Leaders Propose Rezoning All of RTP and Adding a Drinking District
Mary Helen Moore, AOL, December 10 2023
The Research Triangle Park (RTP) Foundation has begun work on a 50-year plan that would reshape the park as a 15-minute city. The initiative involves rezoning the entire 7,000-acre park to introduce new mixed-use “place-types” and reduce its current 20 percent allocation for parking lots. Under consideration is the creation of a 100-acre social district that would blend residential and social facilities and include outdoor spaces and 406 apartments.

Courtesy of the Federal Transit Administration

NEW YORK—MTA Board Approves Congestion Pricing Tolls, Initiating 60-Day Review
Stephen Nessen, Gothamist, December 6 2023
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board has approved congestion pricing tolls for vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th Street. A $15 toll will be charged to passenger vehicles during peak hours on weekdays and weekends. This tolling structure offers discounts for overnight travel and imposes higher fees for larger trucks. The initiative, starting next spring, is expected to generate about $1 billion annually.

International TOD News

Courtesy of SNCF Connect

FRANCE & GERMANY—A New Sleeper Train Will Link Berlin and Paris, Starting This Week
Lifestyle Asia, December 13 2023
A new sleeper train service connecting Berlin and Paris will launch this week. Operated by SNCF, Deutsche Bahn, and OeBB, the service will provide three trips per week to start and increase to daily service by October 2024. The revival of night trains, which has seen a 15 percent increase since last year, is designed to compete with budget airlines and high-speed trains and reflects a movement towards cleaner travel alternatives. The French government has invested €100 million in the network.

Courtesy of the City of Vancouver

CANADA—Canada to Extend Life of Metro Vancouver Electric Trolley Buses
Graeme Wood, Vancouver is Awesome, December 12 2023
The Canadian federal government will invest CA$13.3 million to upgrade electric trolley buses in Vancouver and Burnaby. This funding, supplemented by CA$26.6 million from TransLink and the City of Vancouver, will renew wiring and trolley poles, extending use of the buses by 30 to 60 years. The project will benefit 13 bus routes in both cities. Additionally, the mayor advocates for more permanent funding to enhance bus services, including expanding depots and planning for bus rapid transit (BRT).

CreativeHymms | Adobe Stock

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—After a Fast Start, COP28 Climate Talks Now in Murky Middle of Hope, Roadblocks
Seth Borenstein and Dana Beltaji, The Columbian, December 6 2023
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai has completed its first week with mixed progress. Key discussions focused on decarbonizing transportation, which focused on enhancing electric vehicle infrastructure and reducing emissions across various transport modes. These efforts are part of the larger goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Despite some roadblocks, there is a general commitment among nations to advance these climate objectives.