Thursday, April 25, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News January 20-26, 2024

New Brunswick considers permanent pedestrian mall (left) • Hoboken’s Housing Redevelopment Plan; Washington State considers TOD bill; Repurposing parking garages; Mexico’s first low-emission zone (right top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

Courtesy of DMR Architects

NEW BRUNSWICK—Plan to Make George Street in New Brunswick Into Permanent Pedestrian Mall Is Picking Up
Tom Bergeron, ROI-NJ, January 25 2024
New Brunswick will consider designating a new three-block pedestrian plaza along George Street, between Bayard and Albany Streets. This comes after planning firm DMR Architects submitted an impact study to city officials, calling for an outdoor area that could host dining, festivals, and a skating rink. The City is reviewing this option amongst other alternatives, including summer-only closures, one-lane closures, or a no-build approach which would maintain existing conditions. This proposal reflects a growing trend among municipalities throughout New Jersey, who have increasingly sought public spaces to foster local culture and economic growth.


Courtesy of the Nell

DUNELLEN—$53.9m in Financing Secured for the Nell in Dunellen New Jersey
Yield Pro, January 17 2024
Dunellen’s newest mixed-use project, The Nell, recently secured a seven-year, $53.9 million fixed-rate financing package. Located across the street from Dunellen NJ TRANSIT Station, the Nell offers 252 one- and two-bedroom units, 130 for-sale townhomes, 9,300 sq. ft. in off-site retail space, including a bank and a rehabilitation center. The development reached full occupancy this past summer shortly after leasing opened.

Courtesy of the City of Hoboken, NJ

HOBOKEN—City of Hoboken Announces Adoption of the Hoboken Housing Authority Redevelopment Plan
City of Hoboken, December 21 2023
Aiming to revitalize its housing stock without displacing residents, the Hoboken City Council unanimously adopted the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) Redevelopment Plan. The City will replace 1,354 units across the HHA campus with new 6-to-12 story structures, slowly phasing construction over ten years to minimize disruption to existing tenants. In addition, the City plans to modernize the area’s flood mitigation efforts with a new resiliency park and commercial enhancements along Jackson Street. Future renovations may include mixed-income housing, with a minimum 15 percent set-aside for affordable units.

Transit and Equity News

Rendering by Van Meter Williams Pollack

COLORADO—Denver Celebrates Affordable Housing Complex With Early Childhood Education Center
Jennifer McRae, CBS News, January 24 2024
Denver celebrated the opening of The Rose on Colfax, a housing complex with 82 units connected to an early childhood education center. The development aims to provide affordable housing for tenants with incomes ranging from 30-to-70 percent of the median income. The development is located near a RTD bus stop, aligning with the City’s promotion of living near essentials and mass transit.

Kristina Blokhin | Adobe Stock

NEW YORK—Adams Looks to Develop 24 Affordable Housing Projects on Public Sites Across NYC
Devin Gannon, 6sqft New York City, January 24 2024
New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled the “24 in 24” initiative, which aims to create 24 affordable housing developments on city-owned properties across the five boroughs. The plan could create and preserve over 12,000 affordable apartments. The Adams Administration will also reopen the NYCHA voucher wait list this year, with a goal of issuing 1,000 vouchers per month.

Courtesy of Swift, Community Transit

WASHINGTON—Fight Over Building Denser Housing Near Transit
Laurel Demkovich, MLT News, January 22 2024
Washington State lawmakers are considering a new “transit-oriented development” proposal, House Bill 2160, which would require most large cities to allow denser housing near train or bus stops. The bill seeks to address the state’s housing shortage and mandates that 10 percent of residential buildings near transit must be affordable for at least 50 years. It would also limit cities from requiring off-street parking for housing built in station areas.

Regional and National TOD News

Davslens Photography | Adobe Stock

Giving Parking Garages New Life
Liz Wolfe, Reason, February 2024 Issue
Since first implemented in the 1950s, parking minimums have resulted in an overabundance of structures devoted to housing cars, parking garages. Liz Wolf, associate editor at Reason, argues that this surplus of parking garage exists despite the ability for developers to assess their own parking needs as parking regulations supersede these estimates and drive up housing costs. To combat this, she highlights local governments in cities such as Wichita, KS, and Austin, TX, which have reimagined garages as new residential and commercial spaces. These examples demonstrate how repurposing these spaces for communal benefits can create lively and unexpected environments.

kichigin19 | Adobe Stock

Commentary: Free Public Transit Would Be a Win-Win Solution
Liam Crisan, Gazette Leader, January 24 2024
In late 2023, Albuquerque became the largest U.S. city to adopt fare-free public transportation after a successful pilot program that increased ridership by 49.4 percent in a year. Data shows that every $1 invested in public transit generates $5 in economic returns. Fare-free initiatives have the potential to reduce discrimination, enhance connectivity, and increase ridership.

alpegor | Adobe Stock

From London to New York: Can Quitting Cars Be Popular?
India Bourke, BBC, January 22 2024
Cities worldwide are making efforts to promote greener transport, thus improving air quality. Paris aims to ban gas-powered cars by 2030, and New York is set to launch a congestion charge in 2024. The New York initiative intends to reduce city-center traffic by 15-20 percent and raise billions for the struggling subway system.

International TOD News

Emmanuel | Adobe Stock

MEXICO—Guadalajara to Launch Mexico’s First Low-Emission Zone
Christopher Carey, Cities Today, January 24 2024
Guadalajara will launch the country’s first low-emission zone, covering 2 square kilometers in the city’s historic center, which will limit vehicles to a maximum speed of 30 km/hr. The project, a collaboration with C40 Cities, aims to reduce road injuries, deaths, and greenhouse gas emissions by improving mobility, adding to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and providing access to urban nature. These interventions could lead to an estimated 90 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 and attract more than 140,000 new pedestrians annually.

Courtesy of Ciccozzi Architecture/Sightline Properties

CANADA—283 Rental Homes in Two Towers Proposed Near Future South Granville Skytrain
Kenneth Chan, Urbanized, January 23 2024
Sightline Properties has submitted a rezoning application for the redevelopment of 1726 West 11th Avenue in Vancouver for purpose-built rental housing. The proposal includes two towers—a 20-story east tower and a 19-story west tower—to be situated an 8-minute walk from the future South Granville Station. The project will feature 283 rental units, with 57-below market units, 216 parking spaces, and 546 bicycle parking spaces with amenities.

ngchiyui | Adobe Stock

SOUTH KOREA—Seoul Metro Aims to Reduce Pollution by More Than a Third
Smart Cities World, January 19 2024
Seoul Metro, under the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s initiative, aims to reduce subway pollution by 36 percent below legal limits by 2026. The $300bn investment over three years will include the installation of pollution absorbing mats at turnstiles and ventilation systems in lower platform areas. Passengers will be able to monitor air quality through indoor air quality management information network that will make pollution concentration information available to the public.

Bogotá, Colombia. mehdi33300 | Adobe Stock

How Data and Integrated Planning Approaches Can Help Cities Fight Air Pollution
Mariana Orloff and Eillie Anzilotti, The City Fix, January 18 2024
In Latin American cities, such as Bogotá, Colombia and Guadalajara, Mexico, integrated planning and data analysis is being used to combat air pollution through transit initiatives. In Bogotá, the “Barrios Vitales” strategy aims to redesign five neighborhoods to promote walking and biking to improve residents’ well-being. Guadalajara intends to use an integrated emissions inventory to help evaluate the impact of the new bus rapid transit (BRT) line.