Thursday, April 25, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News January 27-February 2, 2024

Port Authority advances bus terminal replacement (right); Morristown’s M Station tops out; Maryland proposes parking reforms; Philly kicks off 30th Street Station redevelopment; Edmonton furthers its 15-minute city plans (left top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

NEW YORK—Port Authority Moves Ahead with $10B Replacement of Midtown’s Miserable Bus Terminal
Stephen Nessen, Gothamist, February 2 2024
To secure federal approval to redevelop the 42nd St Bus Terminal, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) on Thursday submitted a draft environmental impact statement to USDOT. The project is expected to cost $10 billion over the next 8 years. PANYNJ officials pre-allocated $3 billion to the project, and expect to fund the project with an additional $2.5 billion in property taxes from Authority-owned land and $1 billion in potential federal funding. In addition to a “world class” design for the facility, plans call for 3.5 acres of green space and on-site chargers to be used by e-buses.


Courtesy of SJP Properties

MORRISTOWN—$53.9m in Financing Secured for the Nell in Dunellen New Jersey
Second Phase of Morristown’s M Station Tops Out
Chris Fry, Jersey Digs, January 31 2024
SJP Properties and Scotto Properties have topped out M Station West, one part of the M Station redevelopment project. M Station seeks to transform a strip mall and parking lot into modern office and retail space. The 260,000 sq. ft. M Station West will be Sanofi’s flagship location. The current project will also include 20,000 sq. ft. of publicly accessible retail space and a 1,000-car parking structure that will connect to the phase one M Station East building.

Courtesy of NJ TRANSIT

Critics: Fare Hike Highlights Need to Rethink NJ Transit Funding
John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight News, January 31 2021
NJ TRANSIT’s plan to implement a 15 percent fare hike to offset a budget gap exceeding $100 million, the first in nearly a decade, has raised concerns about the state’s support for the transit agency. The increase, attributed to COVID-19-induced revenue losses and broader fiscal challenges, is expected to be accompanied by annual 3 percent hikes in the future. Transportation advocates urge state lawmakers to intervene, emphasizing the need for a dedicated revenue stream to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the transit agency and alleviate the burden on commuters, particularly those in lower-income communities.

Courtesy of Via

JERSEY CITY—Jersey City’s Via Program Reaches 2 Million Rides, 80% of 2023 Rides Served Minorities
John Heinis, Hudson County View, January 26 2024
Jersey City’s Via program has achieved two million rides in four years, with 80 percent of those rides serving minorities in the past year. Mayor Steven Fulop highlighted the program’s success in providing an affordable transit option and encouraging mass transit usage, particularly among low-income and minority communities. The program averages 14,000 rides per week, which has significantly reduced congestion.

Corner of Terhune Road and North Harrison Street, Princeton, NJ. Google Streetview

PRINCETON—Princeton Gets $1M Grants for Terhune Road Pedestrian Improvements
Sarah Salvadore, Patch, January 26 2024
Princeton has secured a $1 million Safe Streets to Transit (SSTT) grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to enhance pedestrian safety on Terhune Road. The work will complete the existing sidewalk, add new sidewalks, and implement traffic calming. The measures will provide walkable, bikeable, safe, and equitable access to commerce, community resources, and bus transit.

Transit and Equity News

zimmytws | Adobe Stock

NEW YORK—Opinion: Amid a National Housing Shortage, Congress Must Expand Supply
Adolfo Carrión Jr. & Eric Enderlin, City Limits, January 31 2024
In New York City, over half of renters are rent-burdened and housing costs remain the primary factor driving people out of the city or into shelters. The Adams administration is looking to increase housing supply with $24 billion for affordable housing alongside zoning reform. Congress can address the crisis by passing a tax package that includes enhancing Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which would unlock $1.4 billion in equity nationwide.

Courtesy of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

NEW YORK—NYC Unveils Plan to Develop 570 Affordable Homes on Inwood Parking Lot
Aaron Ginsburg, 6sqft, January 30 2024
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development has initiated the Inwood Waterfront project, a part of Mayor Adam’s “24 in 24” plan to develop 24 affordable housing projects on publicly owned sites. The Inwood Project aims to utilize an unused city-owned parking lot as the site for approximately 570 affordable homes, public green space, and a STEM facility. The 1-acre lot is proximate to the 215th St Station on the 1 train line, as well as the Hudson River Greenway. The proposal falls under the Inwood NYC Action Plan, a rezoning of 59 blocks to create 1,600 affordable homes, waterfront parks, and community space.

Parking adjacent to Rockville Town Center in 2010. Bossi | Flickr

MARYLAND—Cheaper Housing Production in Maryland? Parking Reform Bills Take a Swing
Alex Holt, Greater Greater Washington, January 29 2024
In Maryland, three bills have been introduced to reform parking minimums in Baltimore and Montgomery County. Repealing parking minimums helps to address the housing crisis, as building parking structures can add $15,000-$30,000 per space to residential buildings. If passed, the bills will enhance walkability, transit access, and housing affordability.

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

MASSACHUSETTS—MBTA Proposes Low-Income Fare Program to Benefit Riders in 170+ Communities
The Somerville Times, January 26 2024
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has proposed fare changes, including a new reduced fare program for riders with low income offering approximately 50 percent off fares for eligible individuals aged 26-64. Riders with low income are expected to take 30 percent more trips with reduced fares. More than 60,000 riders are expected to qualify and enroll in the program.

Regional and National TOD News

Peter | Adobe Stock

Support for Policies That Promote More Housing Crosses Geographic Lines
Alex Horowitz & Tushar Kansal, Pew, January 31 2024
A housing shortage of at least four million and perhaps as many as seven million homes have contributed to record-high housing costs in the U.S. A recent 2023 Pew Charitable Trusts survey has revealed strong public support for 10 policies aimed at encouraging the development of more affordable housing. The survey underscores the widespread backing for measures such as allowing apartments near transit, simplifying the permit process, accessory dwelling units, converting commercial buildings to housing.

Wasin | Adobe Stock

CALIFORNIA—Is Los Angeles Walkable? Study Has the Internet Divided
Travis Schlepp, KTLA 5, January 30 2024
According to a 2023 study by Smart Growth America, Los Angeles ranks as the eighth most walkable city in the U.S., beating cities like Philadelphia and Miami. The study used the EPA’s National Walkability Index and other data to track conditions in the nation’s 35 largest cities, and focused mainly on transit access and neighborhood density. Some question L.A.’s high ranking, citing concerns with pedestrian safety and car-centric culture in the city. While LA’s significant public transit investments contribute to its walkability, the study suggests walkability greatly depends on the specific location within the city.

Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

PENNSYLVANIA—SOM Begins $550 Million Gray 30th Street Station Redevelopment in Philadelphia
Josh Niland, Archinect News, January 29 2024
The redevelopment of the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia has taken a major step forward with the recently held groundbreaking event. Plans call for$550 million in improvements to the Amtrak station, including those to update operations, enhance customer experience, and expand passenger capacity to serve 25 million riders annually. The work is part of the $10 billion District Plan to remake and improve the Market Street Plaza area, and to prepare the station and area for use over the next 50 years.

International TOD News

Courtesy of the City of Edmonton

CANADA—Edmonton Lays Out Its 15-Minute City Plans
Lee Harding, Western Standard, January 30 2024
The City of Edmonton seeks to advance its 15-minute city plans, which aim to create connected communities outlined through The City Plan. The district plans will ensure residents have increased access to housing, recreation, education, and employment opportunities within Edmonton’s various districts. Edmonton has also advanced connectivity with the recent opening of the NAIL/Blatchford Market LRT Station in January 2024 on the Metro Line Northwest LRT line as well as the opening of phase 1 of the Valley Line West LRT in November 2023.

Courtesy of Etihad Rail

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—Etihad Rail: What’s Next for Mega Project After First Passenger Journey?
Tom Evans, The National News, January 26 2024
Etihad Rail, which will connect the Emirates and later link the UAE with Oman, marked its first passenger journey. The trains will run between 11 cities at speeds of up to 200 kph and carry about 400 people. Gottfried Eymer, chief executive of the Etihad Rail freight network, outlined how the service will bring social and environmental benefits at the 2023 Middle East Rail conference in May.

Courtesy of Ovo

UNITED KINGDOM—Glasgow Offers Free Bikeshare Memberships
Sue Weekes, Smart Cities World, January 26 2024
Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) and the charity Bike for Good have launched a program offering 100 free annual memberships for one-hour rides on Glasgow’s Ovo Bike system. The Transport for All project aids low-income individuals in accessing sustainable travel options and alleviating transit poverty. Since its inception in 2014, Ovo Bike has recorded over 2.5 million journeys.