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TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News January 7-13, 2023

Breaking up with parking (left); Addressing concerns / misconceptions re. Westfield TOD project (top right); Repurposing malls for housing (middle right); BRT & TOD in Dar es Salaam (bottom right)

Article of the Week
John Matychuk | Unsplash

US Cities Are Falling Out of Love with the Parking Lot
Oliver Milman, Wired, Jan 7, 2023
Cities across the U.S. as varied as Anchorage, Alaska; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Nashville, Tennessee, as well as the State of California have recently reduced or eliminated parking requirements for new development. These changes reflect a growing sentiment that parking harms communities and the environment. This month, California will be the first state to enact a ban on parking minimums in places close to public transportation. In the past, building parking seemed a reasonable way to accommodate the driving public; typical zoning required at least one parking space per apartment built, one per 300 sq. ft. of commercial development, and one per 100 sq. ft. for restaurants. Recent changes reflect, in part, an understanding that such requirements frequently prevent development and redevelopment in transit friendly and urban locations. Note: This story (with additional graphics) originally appeared in The Guardian.

Red Bank, NJ. Jin | Adobe Stock

RED BANK—Red Bank to Present Draft Master Plan for Review by ‘Stakeholders’
Pat McDaniel, Patch-Red Bank-Shrewsbury, NJ, Jan 13, 2023
The Red Bank draft 2023 Master Plan is available for public review and can be seen online. The plan documents existing demographics, land use, and community assets, and recommends strategies for future development. The plan outlines exploration of taller buildings between the Borough’s downtown and train station area, creation of design guidelines for a business corridor, increasing the availability of affordable housing, and pursing designation as a New Jersey Transit Village.  

Courtesy of the Borough of Carteret

CARTERET—Carteret Buys a Second Ferry for New Waterfront Terminal
Tony Gallotto, TAPintoWoodbridge/Carteret, Jan 10, 2023
The Borough of Carteret will acquire a new 149-seat ferry, with support from a Federal Transit Administration grant. The new ferry is the second for the community. Introduction of ferry travel and development of the ferry terminal is part of a long-term vision to revitalize the Carteret waterfront. When completed, passengers will be able to travel to Manhattan via a terminal on the Arthur Kill.

Courtesy of One Westfield Place

WESTFIELD—Mayor Brindle Talks Misconceptions About One Westfield Place
Remy Samuels, Patch-Westfield, NJ, Jan 9, 2023
Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle recently argued for the One Westfield Place redevelopment project by noting inaccuracies in a petition circulated by Westfield Advocates for Responsible Redevelopment. She described the project as “a long overdue worthy investment in our downtown to make up for the lack of investment for the past 60 years.” In 2020, Westfield designated HBC | Streetworks Development as the redeveloper of properties they own as well as three municipal parking lots. Redevelopment plans call for a mix of housing, offices, and retail space amounting to a total of 731,000 sq. ft. including 223 apartments (154 reserved for seniors aged 55 or older).

Transit and Equity News
EuToch | Adobe Stock

Cities Repurpose Underused Malls to Address Housing Shortage
Karen Kroll, Smart Cities Dive, Jan 13, 2023
By addressing two challenges, local governments may find solutions to housing affordability by repurposing underutilized malls. Malls-to-housing efforts may also benefit from federal funding and new laws and regulations, such as a California law, due to take effect on July 1, that will streamline the local approval process for affordable and mixed-income housing projects on commercial land. Urban designer, Peter Calthorpe states that in California, this effort may result in as many as 10 million housing units annually versus the 80,000 now produced.

Ald. Rossana Rodriquez | Twitter

ILLINOIS—Elevated Chicago Catalyzes Equitable Development Around the City’s Transit Stations
Staff, Chicago Reader, Jan 11, 2023
Transit is ultimately a question of equity, according to Robert Requejo, executive director of Elevated Chicago. Access to transit affects access to jobs, education, and other resources. Dependence on cars, and the surface parking for them, has environmental impacts including flooding, higher temperatures, and lower air equity, and affects overall quality of life. Building equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) helps to address these negative impacts.

Regional and National TOD News
EV Charging Stations. Open Grid Scheduler | Flickr; Public Domain

Federal Agencies Share ‘Blueprint’ For Transportation Decarbonization
Maria Rachal, SmartCitiesDive, Jan 10, 2023
The recently released U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization specifies strategies for cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from transportation, which currently accounts for a third of the nation’s GHG emissions. The Blueprint focuses on increasing convenience, increasing efficiency, and transitioning to clean options in order to achieve federal GHG emission goals. The Blueprint includes an emphasis on transit-oriented development and land use, street design, and development policies that support easier, safer and more convenient walking and biking.

Jon_chica | Adobe Stock

NEW YORK—Governor Hochul Announces Statewide Strategy to Address New York’s Housing Crisis and Build 800,000 New Homes
Press announcement, Office of the Governor, Jan 10, 2023
During her 2023 State of the State address, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a statewide strategy to fix New York’s housing crisis. The strategy aims to build 800,000 new homes over the next decade and support both renters and homeowners. The New York Housing Compact will make available a $250 million Infrastructure Fund and $20 million Planning Fund to support new housing production and will require that localities with MTA rail stations rezone or zone for higher-density multifamily development within half a mile of a station unless such density levels are already met.

VIRGINIA—Hundreds Protest ‘Missing Middle’ Housing Zoning Plan in Arlington
Mark Hand, Patch-Arlington, VA, Jan 8, 2023
Hundreds of residents gathered to protest a Missing Middle housing proposal, believing the plan to be flawed and the process to approve the plan rushed. The Missing Middle Plan proposes to allow two- to eight-unit buildings in single-family neighborhoods, to increase diversity and expand affordable housing options for teachers, first responders and others who have been priced out of homes in the county. Opponents to the measure hold that it would undermine affordability by inflating land values and encouraging the teardown of modest homes.

International TOD News
Bus Rapid Transit in Dar es Salaam. Mr Annael | Wikipedia

TANZANIA—Dart Looks for Partners in Sh452 Billion Facilities Project
Hellen Nachilongo, The Citizen, Jan 12, 2023
The Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit Agency (DART), a bus rapid transit system that began operations in 2016, seeks to construct commercial facilities at four stations (Mwanamboka, Kwa Azizi Ali, Kinondoni Studio, and Gerezani Terminal) in support of its transit-oriented development plans. DART seeks to raise Sh452 billion (~US$193,241,340) for this effort and is considering several means to raise the funds, including Public Private Partnership (PPP) and an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Plans for the Gerezani commercial hub call for building upon 700 sq. meters of land and would feature a commercial wholesale center, a hotel, a supermarket, a recreation center as well as residential and office buildings.

Vancouver’s SkyTrain. Po Yang | Wikimedia

NORTH AMERICA—These Are the 13 Cities with North America’s Best Public Transit Systems
Kenneth Chan, DH Canada, Jan 9, 2023
A new global ranking of the world’s best public transit networks by the consulting firm, Oliver Wyman, named 13 systems among the top 60 systems. The Urban Mobility Readiness Index lists nine transit systems in the U.S., three in Canada, and one in Mexico. The top ranked North American system, New York, placed 13th in the world. The report argues that public transit is key for urban vitality and discusses past and future disruptions such as COVID-19, economic challenges, and extreme weather.