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TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News February 8-14, 2020

Clockwise from the upper left: Herriman, UT. Michael Tuszynski on Unsplash; Duluth, Minnesota. Jan Bolz on Unsplash; McEvoy Apartments. First Community Housing; BTS Skytrain, Bangkok. Diliff (CC BY-SA 3.0); Rendering by Kitchen and Associates. Pennrose LLC; Keansburg Amusement Park, Keansburg, NJ. Library of Congress.

NJ TOD News
GENERAL VIEW OF MIDWAY LOOKING SOUTHWEST - Keansburg Amusement Park, Beachway Road, Keansburg, Monmouth County, NJ
General View of Midway Looking Southwest – Keansburg Amusement Park, Beachway Road, Keansburg, Monmouth County, NJ. Library of Congress via Wikimedia.

Berkeley Heights: Developer Wants to Build 67 Townhouses on Library Site
Mike Deak, Bridgewater Courier News, February 8, 2020
National home builder, Toll Brothers, is scheduled to present development plans before the Berkeley Heights Township Planning Board on February 19. The plan calls for 67 homes and condos, 20 of which will be affordable housing. Several other residential projects are either undergoing review or already in construction in Berkeley Heights, which is home to a NJ TRANSIT Gladstone Line station.

Town has a beach, amusements, and a bad reputation. It’s trying to change that.
Steve Strunsky, NJ.com, February 10, 2020
In Monmouth County, Keansburg officials deliberate on the re-designation of a 15-acre bayfront neighborhood to encourage redevelopment and tourism in this Jersey shore town. On March 9, the planning board is scheduled to hear a presentation by T&M Associates on a redevelopment study of the site. The beach town hopes to encourage the growth of its residential areas, bolster its entertainment sector, and develop a more robust year-round economy.

Rendering by Kitchen and Associates. Courtesy of Pennrose LLC.
Rendering by Kitchen and Associates. Courtesy of Pennrose LLC.

New Partnership Will Create More Affordable Housing in Newark’s South Ward
TapInto Newark, February 10, 2020
On Monday, the Murphy administration announced a collaboration between RWJBarnabas Health, Pennrose LLC, the City of Newark, and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency (NJHMFA) that will result in the creation of 65-70 new affordable rental apartments in Newark. Several apartments will be allocated for homeless individuals and families. The location of the project will help residents access transit along Bergen Street and the RWJBarnabas Health medical services that are geared toward vulnerable populations.

Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ by GK tramrunner at the English language Wikipedia / CC BY-SA
Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ by GK tramrunner at the English language Wikipedia / CC BY-SA

Judge Approves Affordable Housing Settlement
Anne Levin, Town Topics, February 12, 2020
Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson approved Princeton’s plan for affordable housing on Friday, ending a litigation battle that dates back to 2015. Princeton officials will need to act on several fronts before moving into the compliance phase of the process: zoning changes, updates on the spending plan, and a review of development plans to add housing within transit. The Nassau Street corridor is expected to attract additional housing developments with affordable units close to transit, shopping and jobs.

Developers Could Have to Foot the Bill for Mass Transit Upgrades
Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight, February 14, 2020
On Thursday, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee cleared S-368, a bill that would require developers to cover the costs of mass transit improvements for new developments. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Joseph Cryan, aligns with New Jersey state policies that aim to limit new development to areas that already have infrastructure and mass transit stations. Lobbyists for developers have raised concerns that the fee would impact the affordability of these projects.

Regional and National TOD News
Rendering of Arras Park, Thornton, Colorado. Photo courtesy of McStain Neighborhoods.
Rendering of Arras Park, Thornton, Colorado. Photo courtesy of McStain Neighborhoods.

292 Homes Planned for New Neighborhood Near Thornton N-Line Train Stop
Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, February 7, 2020
Denver-based eco-builder McStain Neighborhoods has begun building Arras Park, a transit-oriented, mixed-use development on the corner of East 104th Avenue and Steel Street in Thornton, near a key stop for the RTD N-line commuter train. The 43-acres of former farmland in Denver’s northern suburbs will be the site of 157 stand-alone homes and 135 attached townhomes. Construction on the “sustainable neighborhood” is set to begin by the end of 2020 and sales are to begin in spring 2021.

Duluth, Minnesota. Photo by Jan Bolz on Unsplash
Duluth, Minnesota. Photo by Jan Bolz on Unsplash.

DTA Puts on Developer’s Hat in Effort to Drive Downtown Ridership
Brady Slater, Duluth News Tribune, February 10, 2020
In January, Duluth Transit Authority’s Board of Directors approved $100,000 to fund a feasibility study on transit-oriented development in downtown Duluth. Adam Fulton, Deputy Director of Duluth’s Planning and Economic Development Division, explained that the city does not have minimum parking requirements for new housing developments downtown and the city’s existing high-service transit system creates an exciting environment for renters and homeowners who want to reduce the expense of having a car by taking public transit.

Corner Stores Can Anchor a Neighborhood
Robert Gibbs, CNU-Public Square, February 10, 2020
Robert Gibbs, president of Gibbs Planning Group and author of Principles for Urban Retail, provides insight on how neighborhoods benefit from the existence of small, convenient corner stores and discusses what these stores need to succeed. When located on main roads in densely populated neighborhoods, corner stores can benefit from traffic generated on those streets. They provide convenience to nearby residents, local workers, and travelers who need a quick-in, quick-out shopping location.

Rendering of McEvoy Apartments. Courtesy of First Community Housing.
Rendering of McEvoy Apartments. Courtesy of First Community Housing.

San Jose Approves 365-Unit Affordable Housing Project Near Diridon Station
Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, February 12, 2020
On Tuesday, San Jose City Council approved plans to build a 365-unit affordable housing development near Diridon Station and Google’s transit village. The San Jose-based nonprofit affordable housing developer, First Community Housing, will demolish two industrial buildings to clear the way for two 13-story towers that will house residents earning between 30 and 80% of the area’s median income. First Community Housing has committed to providing ample parking for bicycles and cars and transit passes for residents.

Outside the Line: Development Potential Along the Planned City Line Route
Natasha Nellis, Spokane Journal, February 13, 2020
Industry experts and city officials in Spokane, Washington explore the potential for mixed-use development along the city’s planned $92.2 million City Line bus route. Traversing the city’s downtown and the Mission Avenue corridor, the six-mile rapid-transit bus line will is expected to carry one million passengers a year. Construction begins in May this year and service is slated to begin in 2022.

Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build
Conor Dougherty, New York Times, February 13, 2020
In an excerpt from Dougherty’s new book, “Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America,” the author narrates the experiences of City Manager Steve Falk. As Falk negotiates with developers and navigates local politics to address the dire shortage of homes in California, residents take increasingly aggressive action to thwart density in Lafayette, a suburb community home to a BART subway station that provides a half-hour ride to San Francisco. Dougherty writes, “Can city leaders — who in theory know local conditions best — be trusted to build the housing we need? Or will they continue to pursue policies that pump up property values, perpetuate sprawl, and punish low-income renters?”

International TOD News
Photo by Michael Tuszynski on Unsplash.
Herriman, UT. Photo by Michael Tuszynski on Unsplash.

Across the Globe, Urban Sprawl Is Spreading
Laura Bliss, CityLab, February 5, 2020
University of California, Santa Cruz professor of environmental studies, Adam Millard-Ball, examined public data and historic satellite imagery and found nearly 11 million dead-end streets all over the world, confirming a growing trend of urban sprawl, suburban cul-de-sacs, and dead-end road development. Images show disconnected streets are common among sprawling urban and suburban areas in Southeast Asia, the United States, and the UK. According to researchers, disconnected street patterns encourage car-centric travel and higher greenhouse gas emissions and prevents cities from adopting alternative forms of transportation and housing.

SINGAPORE—Plans for 6km Green Connection Linking Singapore Botanic Gardens to Singapore River Unveiled
Cindy Co, Channel News Asia, February 13, 2020
On Thursday, Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Parks Board (NParks) revealed plans for a 6km green connection from the Singapore River to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The project will also include strategic park redesigns for Istana Park and Fort Canning Park, creating larger public green spaces, and converting three roads – Oxley Road, Buyong Road, and Penang Avenue – for exclusive pedestrian use.

The BTS Skytrain passes through Sathon, a business district of Bangkok. By DiliffOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

THAILAND—Single Ticket for Electric Rail in June: Govt
The Bangkok Post, February 14, 2020
On Thursday, Secretary for Transport Chaiwat Tongkamnoon announced plans for a common ticketing system for all electric train systems in Bangkok. Starting June 2020, Rabbit cards for the Skytrain, Plus cards for the MRT Blue and Purple Line, and the Airport Rail Cards will be consolidated, allowing passengers to travel on all four routes using a single card. Secretary Tongakmnoon also discussed plans to include the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority’s (BMTA) bus, public boats, and new electric rail services in the common ticketing system.