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TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News January 11-17, 2020

Berlin, Germany (left); Rendering of 306 Johnston Ave, Jersey City (upper center); New York City subway entrance (upper right); Rendering of Lackawanna Plaza, Montclair (lower right).

Rendering of 306 Johnston Ave by GRO Architects
Rendering of 306 Johnston Ave by GRO Architects.

Rendering Revealed for 306 Johnston Avenue in Jersey City
Chris Fry, Jersey Digs, January 10, 2020
A five-story multi-use building will soon break ground on a vacant lot on the corner of Monitor Street and Johnston Avenue in Jersey City. According to plans submitted by AM Development, the first floor will feature 760 square feet of retail, and the rest of the building will house eight residential units –one of which will be designated as affordable housing – and a rooftop amenity space. Developers chose not to include parking, complying with the district’s existing TOD zoning.

Young Teacher Finds New Lifestyle at New Rental Community in Plainfield
Dan Burns, Quin Sleepy Hollow, January 12, 2020
Transit villages and luxury communities are becoming increasingly popular among young single renters. Quin Sleepy Hollow, an emerging transit village near Plainfield’s Netherwood and Fanwood stations, is one such development that offers affordable apartment units and amenity spaces, as well as access to a rich downtown atmosphere. Located at 1400 South Avenue, Quin Sleepy Hollow gives residents walkable access to two major highways, two train stations, neighborhood shopping, dining and service businesses.

Rendering of Lackawanna Plaza courtesy of Marchetto Higgins Steve Architects
Rendering of Lackawanna Plaza. Courtesy of Marchetto Higgins Steve Architects

Year in Review 2019: A Developing Year for Montclair
Jamie Julia Waters, Montclair Local News, January 13, 2020
Montclair Township saw a building boom in 2019: the approval of Lackawanna Plaza development, construction of the arts district, and progress for two more downtown developments. The Lackawanna Plaza, a 216,772 square-foot, mixed-use redevelopment project near the Lackawanna Train Terminal, was approved in February. The Montclair Planning Board also approved a 46-unit mixed-use residential and retail building, MC Residences, on 33-37 Orange Road.

Deloitte Signs Lease To Anchor Proposed Morristown M Station
Russ Crespolini,, January 14, 2020
The Deloitte accounting firm has signed a lease to occupy 110,000 square feet of office space at the M Station, Morristown’s mixed-use redevelopment on Morris Street. The project is the town’s most significant commercial development in more than 30 years, attracting high-profile commercial tenants, strengthening neighborhood retailers and restaurants, and building tree-lined pedestrian plazas. Steve Pozycki, Chairman and CEO of SJP Properties, is confident that development around the M Station will help create a “true ‘live/work/play/stay’ environment in Morristown.”

Regional and National TOD News
Photo by Alex Livingston on Unsplash
Photo by Alex Livingston on Unsplash

Topics at 47th Ward meeting: Using Transit to Encourage Density, Bike to School Day
Courtney Cobbs, Streetsblog Chicago, January 12, 2020
At Chicago’s 47th Ward Transportation Committee meeting, Sun Times columnist Ed Zotti presented ideas for Chicago to better use transit: integrating the Metra Electric District Line with the CTA, developing a waterfront transit line, and simplifying the transit-oriented development process. These ideas are intended to bolster job growth within Downtown Chicago and include more transit-friendly affordable housing. The 47th Ward also partnered with Chicago Family Biking to discuss training and planning for ‘Walk and Bike to School Day’ at local schools.

Photo by Jeremy Banks on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy Banks on Unsplash

CapMetro Announces New Transportation Plan, including Potential Underground Transit System
Paul Livengood and Hank Cavagnaro, KVUE ABC, January 14, 2020
On Tuesday, Capital Metro and the City of Austin introduced Project Connect, a proposal and transportation plan to expand MetroRail options and construct an underground light rail system in Downtown Austin. Before the project’s proposed kick-off in 2021, the City of Austin and CapMetro first need to demonstrate long-term, local commitment before they can qualify for federal funding. The required commitments include vehicle emissions taxes, the evaluation of new funding sources and other value capture opportunities, as well as voters’ approval of these transportation initiatives on the 2020 ballot.

Coachella’s ‘Urban Concept’: Transit Station, Subsidized Housing
City News Service,, January 14, 2020
The Coachella Planning Commission is moving forward on a proposal for a mixed-use development in downtown Coachella, bringing in a transit station, commercial spaces, and 105 subsidized affordable apartments. The number of households in Coachella more than doubled between 2000 and 2018, and the city is eager to make way for future growth. The city council previously rezoned a portion of the project site to accommodate the new development, and plans are currently in the final stages of the review process. According to Mayor Steven Hernandez, “developing the city’s walkable downtown corridor with dense housing at all income brackets is a must” for promoting urban development in the previously undeveloped areas of Coachella Valley.

Photo by Kevin Chinchilla on Unsplash
Photo by Kevin Chinchilla on Unsplash

How Transportation Affects Affordability in NYC
Valeria Ricciulli, NY, January 14, 2020
A study by the Citizens Budget Commission, “Rent and Ride: Affordability is About Both” positioned New York City as the 8th most affordable large city in America. After factoring in housing and transportation costs alongside the city’s median income, researchers found that the high cost of housing and the relatively low cost of transportation in New York City offset each other. At a median income of $69,211, New Yorkers only spend 45.3% of their income on housing and transportation. However, for many low-income New Yorkers, high housing costs and increasing transportation fares are still unaffordable.

International TOD News

CHINA — Nation to Build Over 4,000 km of New Rail Lines
Wang Keju, China Daily, January 3, 2020
On Thursday, Luy Dongfu, the general manger of China State Railway Group announced plans to build at least 4,000km of new railway lines in 2020 including 2,000 km of high-speed railway lines. The Ministry of Transport estimates expenses of at least $386B on transportation infrastructure projects, with roughly $116B allocated for railways. According to Zhang Xiaodong, Beijing Jiaotong University’s railway transportation economics expert, “Since the opening of China’s first high-speed railway [in 2008], the country has constructed more high-speed rail lines than Japan and Europe did in 40 years.”

Photo by Zuyet Awarmatik on Unsplash
Berlin, Germany. Photo by Zuyet Awarmatik on Unsplash

GERMANY — Germany Goes Greener With $95 Billion Push for Train Over Plane
Arne Delfs and Brian Parkin, Bloomberg, January 14, 2020
Germany launched a $95 billion, 10-year initiative to upgrade rails, bridges, and carriages, extend rail lines, and electrify routes to jumpstart the country’s “decade of the rail,” according to Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer. The government hopes to bolster Germany’s infrastructure and reduce the country’s carbon emissions from transportation and power generation. The buildout and improvements to Germany’s railway is intended to reduce the use of cars and planes in the country.

Photo by Atharva Tulsi on Unsplash
Photo by Atharva Tulsi on Unsplash

INDIA — Pune: Transit-Oriented Development Policy to be Implemented Before Impact Assessment
Express News Service, Indian Express, January 15, 2020
Since the state government’s approval of a TOD policy last March, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) began granting permissions for the construction of mixed-use, high-density buildings within 500 meters of mass transit stations. According to Yuvraj Deshmukh, the superintendent engineer of the PMC, Urban Mass Transport Company Ltd. was recently commissioned to conduct an analysis of existing conditions and possible post-TOD buildout scenarios, such as building use, population density, and employment. There are currently 63 transit stations in the Pune metro area targeted to accommodate TOD.