Saturday, April 13, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News December 30, 2023-January 5, 2024

Spain fast-tracks ped & bike improvements (left); NJ TRANSIT TOD Vision & Goals; Cities that overcome trauma; Building housing that supports transit (right top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

basiczto | Adobe Stock

SPAIN—Why Spain’s Cities Have to Become More Pedestrian and Bike-Friendly in 2024
The Local Spain, January 3 2024
Spanish municipalities, particularly those with more than 50,000 residents, must implement sustainable measures such as pedestrianized streets and bike lanes by the end of 2024. The government has already distributed €1.5 billion (about $1.68 billion) in support of 1,154 plans to make improvements including the additional of 500 kilometers (311 mi) of bike lanes, the establishment of 50+ bicycle rental systems, the purchase of 659 zero-emission buses and 45 electric garbage trucks, and the creation of 62 low-emission zones. If a quarter of the work needed for these projects has not been completed by year’s end, municipalities must return the allocated funds.


Courtesy of the City of New Brunswick, NJ

Apartments, Dining, Entertainment: These Central Jersey Towns Are Booming with Development
Jenna Intersimone, My Central Jersey, January 5 2024
The new year will bring significant development to several central Jersey towns including Bound Brook, Flemington, New Brunswick, and South Amboy. Bound Brook will gain new housing units and a pedestrian plaza, and make strides towards more sustainable infrastructure. Renovations to the Union Hotel and new residential projects will aid Flemington in revamping its identity. New Brunswick plans to advance medical research and high-end residential development through the HELIX project and new market-rate housing. And South Amboy will leverage its coastal location and new ferry service to Manhattan to attract residents. These ongoing initiatives signal a concerted regional effort towards simultaneously addressing access to transit and housing. Note: Access to article may require a paid subscription.

NJ State House, Trenton, NJ. Lowlova | Wikipedia

New Jersey’s Business Tax Surcharge Lapses as Funding Needs Loom
Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Monitor, January 3 2024
A 2.5 percent surtax on New Jersey’s most profitable businesses lapsed with the start of the new year. Despite the expiration, the state’s corporate tax rate of 9 percent remains among the highest in the nation. The expiration leaves NJ TRANSIT with a $119.4 million deficit in the fiscal year 2025, and a shortfall of $917 million in the following year.

95 Greene St., Jersey City, NJ. Courtesy of JLL

JERSEY CITY—NYC Life Sciences Firm Relocates to Thor Equities’ Lab-Ready Property in Jersey City
Linda Lindner, ROI-NJ, January 2 2024
JLL announced the long-term lease of RegenLab USA, a new lab-ready sciences property developed by Thor Equities Group in Jersey City. The eight-story structure comprises 350,000 sq. ft. and will serve as a hub for manufacturing regenerative cell therapy devices. The property is located at 95 Greene Street, about a quarter-mile from the Harborside Light Rail Station.

Courtesy of Hampton Hill Architecture

JERSEY CITY—Ground Broken on Mixed-Use Project With Affordable Housing in Jersey City
Chris Fry, Jersey Digs, December 27 2023
Tag Development has begun work on a new affordable housing development at 336-340 Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City. Designed by Hampton Hill Architecture, the project will include 20 one-bedroom and 5 two-bedroom apartments, 1,700 sq. ft. in storefront retail, and a 782 sq. ft. roof deck for use by the residents.

Somerville, NJ. Courtesy of NJ TRANSIT

Transit-Oriented Development: Vision & Goals
NJ TRANSIT, December 15 2023
NJ TRANSIT has released a draft of its first Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Policy Statement for public comments. The policy focuses on NJ TRANSIT-owned or controlled land, and efforts to encourage walkable, mixed-use development integrated with transit facilities to enhance ridership and connectivity. The draft outlines the goals of ridership, complete communities, transportation choice, equity & affordability, sustainability, value, community engagement, and economic vitality.

Transit and Equity News

Courtesy of Citi Bike NYC

NEW YORK—NYC Citi Bike Prices Are Increasing. Here’s What Riders Need to Know About the Hike.
Andrew Giambrone, Gothamist, January 4 2023
The bikeshare service, Citi Bike, will increase prices for members and non-members to fund station upgrades and new electric bikes. Annual membership fees will rise from $205 to $219.99, and from $4.49 to $4.79 for the first thirty minutes for non-members. Citi Bike, which last year served over 1.4 million riders and provided nearly 36 million trips, plans to expand its fleet to 40,000 bikes offered at 2,000 stations by the end of 2024.

LaSalle Reimagined, 30 N. LaSalle. Courtesy of SCB

ILLINOIS—Developer Seeks New Path for Conversion at 30 N. Lasalle
Lukas Kugler, Urbanize, January 3 2024
Developers Golub & Company and Corebridge Financial have submitted a zoning application for 30 N. LaSalle, seeking approval to proceed with the adaptive reuse of the 44-story tower without city funding or an affordable housing requirement. The current application leaves behind a $62 million request for tax increment financing (TIF) funding from the LaSalle Street Reimagined program that would have required that 30 percent of the units be affordable. Plans call for converting the 24 lower floors into 349 apartments, and retaining the upper floors as office space. The building is located less than 500 feet from the Washington/Wells “L” Station.

soupstock | Adobe Stock

How We Build Cities Can Help Us Overcome Traumatic Events
Nicholas Lalla, Fast Company, January 2 2024
Nicholas Lalla, visiting scholar at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and the founder of Tulsa Innovation Labs, explores how city form can promote well-being in the face of societal shocks such as mass shootings and extreme weather. He cites inadequate public transportation and walkability and a shortage of urban parks as factors diminishing social cohesion and the effective ability to respond to trauma. He advocates for implementing holistic trauma-informed urban development that prioritizes mixed-use development, integrates the expertise of mental health specialists, and increases connectivity in U.S. cities.

Regional and National TOD News

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation

MASSACHUSETTS—Allston Project’s Next Challenge: Keeping the Turnpike’s Traffic Jams Out of a New ‘Transit-Oriented’ Neighborhood
Christian MilNeil, Streetblogs Mass, January 3 2024
Conflict is brewing over the design of new surface streets to be constructed as part of the Massachusetts Turnpike Project in Allston. MassDOT has proposed feeder roads two-to-three times wider than existing streets in the adjacent neighborhoods and that would utilize a good deal of roughly 90 acres of empty land where Harvard plans new transit-oriented high-rise district of housing, academic buildings, and lab space. The proposed wider roads also contradict the state’s shift to modes that better align with its climate goals.

Sundry Photography | Adobe Stock

Want More Transit (and Federal Funding)? Build Housing That Supports It
M. Nolan Gray, Bloomberg, January 3 2023
In October 2022, Los Angeles saw the opening of the K Line. A year later, the light rail line is the city’s least used, serving just over 2,000 riders each weekday. The line’s limited ridership is attributed to its route, which starts in a vacant area in Crenshaw and ends in an industrial park, lacking dense housing and jobs. The Build More Housing Near Transit Act of 2023 aims to address such challenges by incentivizing local governments to adopt pro-development policies when receiving federal transit infrastructure funding.

Courtesy of the Kentucky State Police and the Herald-Leader

KENTUCKY—Lexington Pedestrian Deaths From Car Crashes Are 5X Higher This Year. City Looks at Fixes
Christopher Leach, Lexington Herald Leader, December 29 2023
This year has been the deadliest for collisions in Lexington since tracking began in 2010, with 51 fatal crashes resulting in 51 deaths. Twenty of these crashes resulted in pedestrian fatalities, a 566 percent increase over the previous year. To address this trend, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has adopted a Safe Systems Approach, and Lexington officials plan to implement Complete Streets and Vision Zero programs, supported by a $22 million grant for road infrastructure improvements.

International TOD News

Courtesy of KSRTC

INDIA—KSRTC to Add 2,000 New Buses, Cashless Travel This Year
The Hindu, January 4 2024
In 2024, the Karnataka State Road Transportation Corporation (KSRTC) plans to implement a strategy to enhance rural connectivity by significantly expanding its fleet. KSRTC will acquire 2,000 new buses, including 500 electric buses. The agency also intends to implement cashless travel, introduce a mobile app, and enhance the Vehicle Tracking & Monitoring System (VTMS) across its fleet to respond to increased demand and ensure a more seamless transit experience.

Aleksei | Adobe Stock

CHINA—China’s High-Speed Network Continues to Grow
Robert Preston, International Railway Journal, January 2 2024
China Railway (CR) recently inaugurated several high-speed rail sections, having completed the 560-km (348-mi) line from Hangzhou to Nanchang. The latest additions include a 288-km (179-mi) route from Huangchan and Nanchang, a 92-km (57 mi) line between Longyan and Wuping, a 162 km (101-mi) line between Shantou and Shanwei, and a 261-km (162-mi) line from Chengdu to Zigong and Yibin. The new rail infrastructure aims to reduce travel time, improve connectivity, and boost economic development in the regions.