Thursday, April 25, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News May 23-29, 2020

Salt Lake City, Utah (top left); 107 New York Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey (bottom left); Minneapolis, Minnesota (top right); Portal Bridge (New Bridge Network Arch) (bottom right).

COVID-19 Related TOD News
Toyko Station, Japan. Photo by Carina Sze on Unsplash.
Toyko Station, Japan. Photo by Carina Sze on Unsplash.

Charting a Roadmap Toward Sustainable Mobility: What We Already Knew, and What We’re Learning from the Pandemic
Nancy Vandycke, Javier Morales Sarriera & Gurpreet Singh Sehmi, World Bank Blogs: Transport for Development, May 28, 2020
In the second installment of a three-part series about COVID-era transportation systems, the authors review lessons from the early stages of the pandemic concerning the safety of transport users and providers. The article highlights key points from the recent Global Roadmap of Action Toward Sustainable Mobility (GRA), a report by the World Bank-affiliated non-profit, Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All), that helps countries design transport systems and evaluate policy measures from a resilience standpoint.

Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, New Jersey (2010).
Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, New Jersey (2010).

American Cities Are Built for Cars. The Coronavirus Could Change That.
Doug Gordon, The New Republic, May 26, 2020
As pandemic lockdowns continue across the country, more Americans are enjoying the benefits of a world with fewer automobiles. Many through streets and neighborhoods are now generally traffic-free. Closing streets and encouraging slow driving on others, Slow Streets, an Oakland-based movement for pedestrian- and cyclist-oriented street transformation, is taking the pressure off sidewalks. Cities including San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle, Cincinnati, Hoboken, Boston, and Washington D.C. have begun similar efforts to adapt their streets for other purposes such as pedestrian plazas, protected bike zones, outdoor “steateries,” and public parks.

US Economy Needs to Reset, not Restart
Calvin Gladney, The Progressive, May 22, 2020
As the effects of COVID-19 on communities of color further highlight racial, class, and gender disparities all over America, this article by the CEO of Smart Growth America, Calvin Gladney, is a call to action for systemic change. To reset the economy, leaders may need to rethink and reimagine cities as healthier, more equitable, and climate-resilient spaces. He suggests a shift away from automobile-centered urban spaces, and a transformation of the country’s transportation strategies.

107 New York Avenue rendering. Courtesy of MVMK Architecture.
107 New York Avenue rendering. Courtesy of MVMK Architecture.

Scaled Back 107 New York Avenue Project Heads to Jersey City’s Zoning Board Tomorrow
Chris Fry, Jersey Digs, May 25, 2020
On Tuesday, developers MJSM are presenting their proposal for the adaptive reuse of a half-acre property on New York Avenue, a half-mile walk from the 2nd Street light rail station. The three-story brick building will be expanded to comprise 75 residential units, a parking garage for bikes and cars, more than 3,000 square feet of recreational space, and a 6,000 square foot green roof. The property is currently zoned for industrial use and building height is capped at three stories. The Jersey City Zoning Board will decide on MJSM’s request for a use variance and other zoning exceptions.

New Bridge Network Arch. Courtesy of Amtrak.
Portal Bridge (New Bridge Network Arch). Courtesy of Amtrak.

Feds give $55M to help replace Portal Bridge
Jonathan D. Salant,, May 26, 2020
On Tuesday, the Federal Railroad Administration granted Amtrak $55M to help replace the Portal North Bridge, a 110-year-old structure over the Hackensack River in Kearny, New Jersey. Trains carry more than 200,000 passengers across the bridge daily, but frequent delays result when the bridge remains stuck after raising to allow ships to pass underneath. The new design features higher clearance to eliminate the need to open for marine traffic. Total improvements are expected to cost $1.5B.

Netherwood Station, Plainfield, New Jersey.
Netherwood Station, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Plainfield Budget 2020: Economic Development
Jennifer Popper, TAPintoPlainfield, May 23, 2020
The Plainfield City Council recently reviewed the Department of Economic Development’s 2020 budget. According to Director Valerie Jackson, a $1B fund was allocated for 5,000 residential units, and over 500,000 square feet of retail at the beginning of 2020. The city is now looking into starting construction on 2,000 residential units while reevaluating opportunities for retail construction. At least 10 mixed-use, transit-oriented projects will continue this year despite the coronavirus-related delays and limitations.

Regional and National TOD News

MASSACHUSETTS—The Davis Companies to Build New Livable, Resilient Development in East Boston
East Boston Times Press, May 27, 2020
The Davis Companies recently partnered with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) to redevelop four parcels of surface parking lots within East Boston. The redevelopment project will create more transit-oriented housing to encourage residents to use accessible modes of mass transit and reduce reliance on individual vehicles in order to reduce congestion around the area. The developers are planning to conduct digital community outreach to gather input from the public.

MASSACHUSETTS—Development Progressing along Beverly Waterfront
Jennie Oemig, Wicked Local, May 27, 2020
Developers The Procopio Companies continue with construction on Sedna Beverly, a multi-family, transit-oriented development, despite significant delays since construction was approved in 2007. The first phase is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. The two-building development will occupy a 3.78-acre lot and will include 62 apartments, a public waterfront park, 1,500 feet of boardwalk, and 1,200 feet of new sea wall. The project is conveniently located close to the MBTA commuter rail and Beverly’s downtown area.

Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash.
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash.

MONTANA—Missoula Redevelopment Agency Envisions New Brooks Street
Madison Doner, NBC Montana, May 26, 2020
The Missoula Redevelopment Agency proposed a transit-oriented development for the Brooks Street corridor after studies showed increasing pedestrian use, lack of accommodations, and high traffic volume that pointed to the need for a redesign. The redesign vision involves the creation of a central bus lane with buses running in 15-minute intervals, as well as improvements to ensure pedestrians safe crossings of the busy thoroughfare. Developers are expected to conduct a feasibility study in cooperation with the Montana Department of Transportation.

MINNESOTA—A Comprehensive Transit Overhaul for the Twin Cities: Part I
Eric Ecklund, Streets MN, May 25, 2020
In the first installment of a three-part series, Erick Ecklund of Streets.MN reviews the existing rail rapid transit resources in the Twin Cities and discusses the requirements for a shift towards a more transit-oriented, climate-neutral metropolitan-regional transportation system. Articles are fresh every Monday; week two will cover bus rapid transit, and the final article will review regional rail.

Photo by Nirmal Rajendharkumar on Unsplash
Photo by Nirmal Rajendharkumar on Unsplash.

ILLINOIS—Rethinking Gentrification: How to Become an Agent of Positive Change in Your Community
Jacob Knabb, Chicago Agent Magazine, May 25, 2020
As real estate development in Chicago becomes more politicized, author Jacob Knabb describes how real estate agents can contribute to a more collaborative and inclusive environment for revitalization and urban investment. This special issue of Chicago Agent Magazine explores tensions around changing housing costs, zoning regulations, and ethnic make-up of central neighborhoods in Chicago, and presents a bold, transformative take on the often divisive topic of gentrification.

CALIFORNIA—Questions Loom about Redwood City Transit District
Sierra Lopez, The Daily Journal, May 21, 2020
This week, the Redwood City Council is seeking public input and feedback on a proposed downtown transit district that would connect the city to the Bay Area’s regional transit network. Due to restrictions on in-person meetings, staff will be conducting tele-town halls and exploring digital platforms for outreach. The timeline for gathering public feedback will begin in the summer and results will be published at the end of the year.

Photo by Ashton Bingham on Unsplash
Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Ashton Bingham on Unsplash.

UTAH—Trains, buses or both? UTA wants input on transit expansion at Point of the Mountain
Mack Jones, KSL, May 21, 2020
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is conducting a transit study to understand residents’ preference for public transportation and redevelopment decisions for the Point of Mountain area, specifically the expansion of TRAX and rapid bus services in Draper and Lehi. The public can submit feedback and comments online on the UTA official website through June 1.

International TOD News
Section of underground transportation hub, Tongzhou District, Beijing, China.
Section of underground transportation hub, Tongzhou District, Beijing, China. AREP/CGTN.

CHINA—Beijing’s Mega Underground Transportation Hub: Ecology Meets Comfort
Mi Xue and Dong Hailin, CGTN , May 26, 2020
In Beijing, construction continues on what is soon to be one of the world’s largest underground transportation hubs in the sub-city center of southeastern Tongzhou District. Luc Neouze, the architect behind the hub, aims to integrate sustainable Chinese design with the district’s role as an important transit destination in Chinese history.  The first floor of the transit hub is designed to be an extension of the surrounding urban landscape and a vibrant public space for activities.