Thursday, April 25, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News December 23-29, 2023

Biking in Black and brown communities (top); NJ Transit Village grants; Parking to affordable housing; MBTA Rapid Transit Communities adopt new zoning; Philippine projects transform urban landscape (bottom left-to-right)

Article of the Week

A community bike ride in Chicago’s North Lawndale Neighborhood, August 16, 2020. Courtesy of Equiticity

ILLINOIS—This Black-Led Nonprofit Champions Inclusive Biking, Boosting Health and Unity in Chicago
Audrey Henderson, Good Good Good, December 27 2023
Seeking to address systemic barriers to, and a complicated history associated with, biking in Black and brown communities, Olatunji Oboi Reed leads Chicago’s Equiticity Racial Equity Movement, which promotes biking for travel and as a tool promoting community cohesion, economic development, and health. Equiticity focuses on several key initiatives including its Mobility Opportunities Fund for bike and EV purchases, its GoHub Community Mobility Center that addresses transportation needs, and its BikeForce electric transportation sector workforce development program geared toward youth


Rt. 28 in Dunellen, NJ. Famartin | Wikipedia

DUNELLEN—One Million Dollars in Grant Funding Awarded to Dunellen
Insider NJ, December 22 2023
NJDOT has awarded the Borough of Dunellen over $1 million in Transit Village grants for Fiscal Year 2024, part of a larger sum exceeding $4.4 million in grants since 2020. This funding includes $529,000 for downtown decorative lighting and $496,620 for Second Street improvements. Mayor Jason F. Cilento emphasized the grants’ role in enhancing roads and community aesthetics without impacting taxpayers.

EV charging stations. Courtesy of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber

ATLANTIC CITY—Atlantic City Receives $2.3 million to Buy 19 Electric Vehicles
Selena Vazquez, The Press of Atlantic City, December 21 2023
The State of New Jersey has awarded Atlantic City a $2.32 million RGGI grant for the purchase of 19 electric vehicles by the City’s Department of Public Works. The vehicles include service vehicles, trash trucks, a passenger bus, and a pickup. The grant will also support the installation of vehicle charging stations at the public works complex on Albany Avenue. The city also recently received a $679,000 a Transit Village grant for pedestrian improvements that will connect rail and bus terminals to the Ducktown neighborhood. Note: This article may require a subscription to view.

Belmar Station, 2018. Mitchazenia | Wikipedia

BELMAR—Belmar Awarded Nearly $500K Grant from Dept. of Transportation
Jack Slocum, TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como, December 21 2023
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has awarded Belmar a Transit Village grant of $484,000 to improve pedestrian safety around the train station. The improvements will be in addition to a mid-block crosswalk near the senior building that will be constructed by NJDOT. Belmar has been a designated Transit Village since 2003.

Courtesy of NJDOT Local Aid

Murphy Administration Announces $3.2 Million in FY 2024 Transit Village Grants to Revitalize Areas Around Transit Facilities
NJDOT News, November 30, 2023
The Murphy Administration recently announced $3.2 million in FY 2024 Transit Village grants for seven municipalities. In addition to the usual $1 million available each year for Transit Village grants, this year an additional $2.2 million was provided to the program, appropriated for Grants-in-Aid programs. The Transit Village Program is a multi-agency smart growth initiative that supports designated municipalities in their efforts to create dense, mixed-use redevelopment near their transit facilities. This year’s grants will support pedestrian safety improvements in Newark’s Transit Village, the rehabilitation of the Grove Avenue walkway in Metuchen, and improvements at King and Morris streets in Morristown.

Transit and Equity News

Site rendering. Courtesy of LSE Architects

MINNESOTA—Marshall Avenue Flats to Feature 98 Units of Affordable Housing near Marshall and Snelling
Frederick Melo, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, January 2 2023
PAK Properties and the HBG Group have begun work on Marshall Avenue Flats, a 98-unit affordable housing development at 1606 Marshall Avenue in St. Paul. The $33.4 million project will include three-bedroom units reserved for very low-income families, households earning less than 60, 50, and 30 percent of the area median income (AMI). The project funding includes city council-approved loans, federal funds, and tax credits.

Milwaukee, WI. James | Adobe Stock

WISCONSIN—Milwaukee County Pushes for Affordable Housing in Suburbs to Narrow Disparities
Jonmaesha Beltran, Wisconsin Watch, December 27 2023
An 80-unit affordable housing project under construction in Wauwatosa, WI, is one of several projects designed to address a longstanding mismatch between jobs and workforce housing in the Milwaukee metro region. Since 2022, Milwaukee County has allocated more than $15 million to support construction of affordable housing in suburban locations such Wauwatosa, the location of the 69-acre, mixed-use Mayfair Collection development.

Site rendering. Courtesy of King County

WASHINGTON—King County to Start Construction on 235-unit Affordable Housing Project
Talk Radio 570 KVI, December 22 2023
In the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle, construction will soon begin that will transform a parking area owned by King County Metro into a 235-unit affordable housing development. The project, backed by $30 million in King County affordable housing funds, will target families earning 60 percent or less of the area median income (AMI). King County Metro has leased the property to developer BRIDGE Housing Corporation and Community Roots Housing for $1 per year for 75 years. King County Executive Dow Constantine highlighted the project’s proximity to Northgate’s transit hub, offering reduced commute times and pollution. The project is expected to be completed by Fall 2025.

Regional and National TOD News

Chelsea Station. Courtesy of A Better City TMA

MASSACHUSETTS—Housing Leaders Celebrate 12 out of 12 MBTA Rapid Transit Communities Adopting New Zoning Ahead of Year-End Deadline
Revere Journal, December 27 2023
With a unanimous vote by the City Council, Chelsea became the 12th and final Rapid Transit Community to pass new zoning allowing more homes near transit in accordance with the MBTA Communities Law. These communities faced a 2023 deadline to approve new zoning. Zoning in these 12 municipalities will allow for the construction of more than 83,000 homes. The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities must certify the zoning plans. In addition to the Rapid Transit Communities, more than a dozen additional communities have passed new zoning or had compliant zoning—a year or more in advance of their deadlines. The 2021 MBTA Communities Law requires 177 cities and towns served by the MBTA system to enact zoning that conforms to the law. In 2024, 130 additional communities will be required to adopt new zoning, followed by 35 communities in 2025 to reach the full 177.

andreykr l Adobe Stock

TENNESSEE—Nashville Should Put a Transit System Plan on the 2024 Ballot Because Residents Deserve It
Jessica Dauphin and Madeline Roberson, The Tennessean, December 27 2023
In 2018, Nashville voters rejected a measure that would have raised taxes to fund light rail and other transit improvements. Since then, Nashville has become a homebuyer magnet and, with this growth, a city unable to meet the transportation needs of its residents. Dauphan and Roberson look at increasing demand for comprehensive transit planning and discuss Transit Together, their community-driven initiative. Drawing on engagement of more than 1,100 residents, Transit Together has identified walkability, car dependency, safety, and regional connectivity as key transportation issues to be addressed in a future referendum, as well as preferred solutions such as bus rapid transit (BRT) and transit-oriented development (TOD).

View from plaza. Courtesy of SOM

CALIFORNIA—New Details for Big Tower Complex Planned at Westlake/Macarthur Park Station
Steven Sharp, Urbanize Los Angeles, December 27 2023
Metro has begun the entitlement (approval) process for Centro Westlake, a large mixed-use development above the Westlake/MacArthur Park Station in Los Angeles. The project will feature 668 residential units (234 income-restricted), over 56,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail, 115,000 sq. ft. of office space, a 300-room hotel, and parking for 968 vehicles. The design includes nearly 75,000 sq. ft. of open space and a mix of high-rise and low-rise structures—the tallest reaching 44 stories. The project will integrate community vendors and local and minority-owned businesses.

International TOD News

Early 20th century Winnipeg. Courtesy of the Archives of Manitoba

CANADA—The Golden Age of Public Transit Was Electric — And Its Future Will Be Too
Julia-Simone Rutgers, The Narwhal, January 2 2023
In Winnipeg, the evolution of public transit has come full circle. The city, once a pioneer in electric streetcars, is now embracing modern low-emission travel modes such as battery-electric and fuel-cell buses. The initial adoption of electric streetcars over a century ago marked a significant advancement in transit, facilitating the city’s expansion and shaping its suburbs. However, the rise of automobiles and the introduction of diesel buses eventually led to the decline of electric streetcars and trolleys. Today, as environmental concerns take priority, Winnipeg is returning to its electric roots with plans for a cleaner, emissions-free transit network, including the adoption of electric buses from local manufacturer, New Flyer Industries.

Portway Park and Ride Station. Courtesy of Bristol City Council

ENGLAND—Bristol transport: Will the south remain the poor relation?
With a significant expansion of its rail network, Bristol is witnessing a “revolutionary” change according to Dan Norris, Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). The city gained a new station at Portway (a first in nearly a century), is the site of ongoing construction at Ashley Down, and plans for another station at Filton’s arena. But development south of the Avon River has lagged, due in part to the lingering effects of 1960s budget cuts. Officials seek to address this through several initiatives, such as the proposed reopening of the Portishead line and a new station at Ashton Gate.

Metro Manila. hit1912 l Adobe Stock

PHILIPPINES—Reenergizing Cities through Transport
Nathaniel von Einsiede, Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 23 2023
The North-South Commuter Railway (NCSR) and Mega-Manila Subway projects are set to transform the Philippine urban landscape. The developments align with global trends addressing urban sprawl and traffic congestion by integrating land use with transit policy. The NSCR, with its 40 planned transit stations, offers an opportunity to develop new affordable, mixed-use communities and to revitalize older areas.