Sunday, July 21, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News June 15-21, 2024

Senate explores funding and building TOD (left); Grand re-opening of Elizabeth Station; 3 in 4 Black drivers struggle with car costs; 2nd Ave subway work halted amid congestion pricing pause; Record high ridership in Kuala Lumpur (right top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

Sundry Photography | Adobe Stock

Senate Committee Reviews How TOD Can Be Financed and Built in America
Steven Parks, Eno Transportation Weekly, June 21 2024
On June 18, 2024, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development discussed enhancing support for transit-oriented development (TOD) projects through the Build America Bureau. Chair Brian Schatz (D-HI) and other senators explored how Congress can better utilize the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) for small-scale TOD projects. Witnesses highlighted barriers to TIFIA loans for TOD projects, such as high credit requirements and complex application processes, and
discussed ways to streamline access to funding. The hearing can be viewed here.


Screenshot of BIL Formula Funding Tracker

Murphy Administration Launches New Interactive Website to Track Billions in Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments
Press Release, Official Site of the State of New Jersey, June 20 2024
The Murphy Administration has introduced the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Formula Funding Tracker, an interactive website that allows New Jersey residents to monitor transformative federal and state infrastructure investments. This platform offers transparency on project locations, funding allocations, and progress, aiming to revitalize aging infrastructure and address social and environmental justice in underserved communities.

Courtesy of NJ TRANSIT

ELIZABETHNJ Transit Cuts Ribbon for Grand Re-opening of Fully Renovated Elizabeth Rail Station
NJ TRANSIT has officially reopened the fully renovated Elizabeth Rail Station, a key hub along the Northeast Corridor. The $74.5 million modernization project, supported by the Federal Transit Administration’s Urbanized Formula Funding program, includes longer platforms, upgraded elevators, additional staircases, new station buildings, and enhanced security systems. The renovation aims to improve accessibility and capacity.

Courtesy of the Hanini Group/Shift Capital

NEWARK—Mixed-Use Development in Downtown Newark Approved for NJEDA Aspire Awards
Press Release, NJEDA, June 17 2024
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has approved a mixed-use development project in downtown Newark with up to $74 million in Aspire tax credits. The project will create 207 residential units, including 67 affordable units, and 4,000 sq. ft. of retail space for BIPOC businesses. Located at 260-272 Washington Street, this transit-oriented development (TOD) aims to boost economic activity, support local businesses, and provide accessible, affordable housing, contributing to downtown Newark’s revitalization.

Transit and Equity News


CONNETICUT—Three-Quarters of Black Motorists Are Struggling With the Cost of Car Ownership
Kea Wilson, Streetsblog USA, June 19 2024
A new study by researchers at the University of Connecticut reveals that Black families in the U.S. face significantly higher financial burdens due to car ownership compared to white families. The study found that 76 percent of Black households spend more than 15 percent of their income on vehicle-related expenses, compared to 60 percent of white households. This disparity persists regardless of income levels, with high-income Black households also more likely to be cost-burdened. Factors such as predatory auto lending such as
high-interest rates and less favorable terms, higher insurance
costs, and the need to buy older, less efficient vehicles contribute
to these higher expenses.

Courtesy of ForwardDallas

TEXAS—Dallas Plan Commission Says No to Multiplexes as a Primary Use in Single-Family Neighborhoods
April Towery, CandysDirt, June 18 2024
In an effort to promote compromise while still supporting greater density, Dallas plan commissioners unanimously recommended changing multiplexes from a primary to secondary use in the “Community Residential” placetype of the ForwardDallas land use plan. This adjustment aims to prioritize greater density on corner lots and transportation corridors instead of within neighborhoods, addressing concerns from opponents despite ongoing criticism. The plan, still in draft form, focuses on integrating design standards and strategic locational strategies while navigating challenges related to affordable housing and neighborhood impacts, setting the stage for future adoption by the Dallas City Council.

sururu | Adobe Stock

TEXAS—Planning Commission Wants Housing for Older Adults on City Land Near Transit Lines
Chad Swiatecki, Austin Monitor, June 18 2024
The Austin Planning Commission has urged the City Council to prioritize creating senior and disabled-accessible housing units on city-owned land near transit corridors, focusing on equitable transit-oriented developments (eTOD). The resolution addresses the anticipated shortage of affordable housing for older adults and recommends limited-equity cooperative projects to allow flexible living arrangements.

Regional and National TOD News

City-wide pattern analysis. Courtesy of the City of Atlanta

GEORGIA—How Neighborhood Character Actually Condemns Land Use and Zoning Restrictions
Elizabeth Ward Williams, Strong Towns, June 19 2024
Architect and urban planner Elizabeth Ward Williams discusses Atlanta’s Comprehensive Development Plan and the mismatch between zoning rules and neighborhood character, particularly focusing on the prevalence of Single Family Residential (SFR) zoning across 50 percent of the city’s land. She points out that these areas, which include diverse uses like duplexes, small apartments, offices, and schools, do not conform to their designated SFR status. Williams advocates for reforms that acknowledge and legalize this diversity to enhance neighborhood inclusivity and vibrancy, challenging the notion that zoning alone defines neighborhood character.

Governor Hochul and MTA Leadership Tour Second Avenue Subway Tunnel. MTA | Wikimedia

NEW YORK—MTA Has ‘Stopped Work on 2nd Avenue Subway’ Due to Congestion Pricing Pause, Official Says
Stephen Nessen, Gothamist, June 18 2024
Work on the Second Avenue subway extension into East Harlem has halted due to Governor Kathy Hochul’s pause on congestion pricing, despite her assurances that the project will proceed. The MTA’s top construction officer, Jamie Torres-Springer, confirmed the stop-work orders, highlighting the confusion from the governor’s unexpected decision. This pause affects several projects dependent on the toll revenue, including the long-sought extension of the Q line.

Jason Lawrence from New York | Wikimedia

The Bus Lines That Can Solve a Bunch of Urban Problems
Aaron M. Renn, Governing, June 17 2024
Bus rapid transit (BRT) could be a game-changer for urban transit and infrastructure challenges in America’s fiscally pressured cities. Combining elements of light rail with lower expenses, BRT offers dedicated lanes, limited stops, and significant street improvements, as seen in Indianapolis’s Red Line and Purple Line projects. By leveraging federal funding, cities like Nashville, Milwaukee, and Columbus can enhance public transit and upgrade infrastructure simultaneously, making BRT a practical and cost-effective solution for improving urban mobility and infrastructure.

Baltimore Red Line, Preliminary Alternatives (2022). Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Transportation

MARYLAND—Red Line Offers Baltimore a Chance to Catch Up
Gregory Spencer Jr., The Baltimore Sun, June 17 2024
Gregory Spencer Jr., a bus operator with the Maryland Transit Administration, passionately argues that the Red Line project will dramatically shape Baltimore’s future by creating numerous transit-oriented development opportunities, enhancing mobility, and promoting economic growth. He emphasizes the potential for redevelopment along the Red Line route and urges Maryland to retain the planned routing and future extensions.

International TOD News

Courtesy of Two Sudirman

INDONESIA—Jakarta to See Over 9,300 New Apartments by 2026
Staff Writer, Real Estate Asia, June 16 2024
Jakarta is set to add over 9,300 new apartments by 2026, with more than 4,500 units expected in 2024. Despite a quiet first quarter in 2023 for Jakarta’s strata-title apartment (similar to condos) market, the introduction of Two Sudirman in the central business district stood out. This mixed-use project and others embrace Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), focusing on accessibility near key transit hubs. With ongoing infrastructure advancements, TOD’s appeal is growing, positioning Jakarta as an increasingly attractive city for both local and international residents.

uskarp2 I Adobe Stock

MALAYSIA—Public Transport Ridership Goes Up
Meng Yew Choong, The Star, June 16 2024
Public transport ridership in Kuala Lumpur reached a record high in May, with over one million daily journeys on trains and buses in the Klang Valley. Rapid Rail recorded its highest usage on May 29, with 1,004,591 train journeys, largely due to increased train frequencies and proactive maintenance. Although improvements are ongoing, critics argue that more work is needed to sustain high ridership levels, though ridership is expected to grow with the opening of the Shah Alam Line in 2025.

Areas under review for the Broadway Plan. Courtesy of the City of Vancouver

CANADA—Public Consultations on Vancouver’s Broadway Plan Start 2 Years After the City Passed It
Staff Writer, CBC News, June 15 2024
The City of Vancouver has begun its public engagement effort (public consultations) for Broadway corridor, part of a long-term plan approved two years ago to increase dense housing alongside the Millennium Line SkyTrain expansion. The City is revisiting its plan to incorporate new provincial legislation mandating further densification and policy enhancements. Critics argue that the proposed housing density won’t alleviate Vancouver’s affordability crisis, while city planners emphasize the importance of creating housing near transit hubs to accommodate growth in jobs and affordable rental units.