Thursday, June 13, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News May 18-24, 2024

FTA announces $10.5M TOD Planning Grant Opportunity (right); Planning Transit Friendly Pennsauken; Austin approves eTOD density bonus incentives & guidelines; Promoting housing through zoning reform; Tokyo fish market to become mixed-use hub (left top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

Courtesy of FTA

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $10.5 Million Funding Opportunity to Plan Housing Near Transit
Press Release, Federal Transit Administration, May 23 2024
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced nearly $10.5 million in competitive grant funds for transit-adjacent development planning. This Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning aims to create sustainable, livable, and equitable communities with a focus on affordable housing. FTA’s initiative, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, supports projects linking public transportation, land use, and housing to lower costs and reduce carbon footprints, with applications open until July 22, 2024.


Courtesy of Google Streetview

NEWARK—Tredway and LIHC Investment Group Announce $40M in Financing to Acquire and Preserve Affordable Housing for Seniors in Newark, NJ
Kelly Magee, Street Insider, May 22 2024
Seniors living in Newark’s Forest Hill House will soon benefit from a $20 million upgrade to the 100-unit building. Located near Branch Brook Park and the Davenport Light Rail Station, the redevelopment will extend the property’s affordability for 30 years, ensuring homes remain accessible to seniors earning 60 percent of the area median income. The renovation will include an on-site doctor’s office and receive major funding from FHA loans, LIHTC equity, and Aspire tax credits.

Adam Moss l Wikimedia

PENNSAUKEN—Pennsauken Seeks Public Input on Transit Center Study
Matt Skoufalos, NJ PEN, May 22 2024
Pennsauken plans to develop the Pennsauken Transit Center with housing, retail, and commercial spaces in a walkable environment. NJ TRANSIT, leveraging a $100,000 grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and its own Transit Friendly Planning Program, is conducting a feasibility study and gathering public input. Local officials aim to enhance community amenities, reduce car dependency, and attract more residents and businesses to the area. Note: This article may require paid access.

Courtesy of 72 Jersey Avenue LLC

NEW BRUNSWICK—New Brunswick Zoning Board Approves 18-Unit Building on Jersey Avenue
Chuck O’Donnell, TAPintoNew Brunswick, May 21 2024
The New Brunswick Zoning Board has approved the construction of an 18-unit residential building at 72 Jersey Ave., replacing a deteriorating structure. Situated on a 7,500 sq. ft. lot adjacent to the new Blanquita B. Valenti Community School, the midrise building will offer studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units, and 11 parking spaces that will be mostly covered by the building. Located about a 15-minute walk from the New Brunswick Train Station and with Middlesex County Area Transit and NJ TRANSIT bus stops about a half-mile away, the project aims to kick-start further residential development along the Jersey Avenue corridor, contributing to the City’s redevelopment process.

Courtesy of the North Camden Community Development

CAMDEN—New Jersey American Water Awards Nearly $1 Million to Support Community Development Projects Across Camden and Salem Cities
Staff Writer, Investing, May 20 2024
New Jersey American Water has allocated $950,000 in Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credits (NRTC) funds to support work in the cities of Camden and Salem. The utility company will provide $247,000 to Camden Lutheran Housing Inc., to support affordable housing, community engagement, beautification, and historic preservation in North Camden, an area served by the NJ TRANSIT RiverLine Light Rail and the PATCO Speedline.

Transit and Equity News

Larry D. Moore | Wikimedia

TEXAS—Council Tailors ETOD Zoning, Affordability Requirements to Maximize Transit Use
Chad Swiatecki, Austin Monitor, May 23 2024
The Austin City Council approved changes to density bonus incentives and guidelines for equitable transit-oriented developments (ETODs) to maximize transit use. The resolution included amendments to affordability requirements for developers, compatibility standards, and provisions for existing businesses, aiming to support Project Connect and manage population growth. Notable amendments involved adjustments to affordability levels for density bonuses, a proposal to limit short-term rentals in ETODs, and guidelines to maintain density near transit corridors.

Serhii | Adobe Stock

TEXAS—Transit, Housing Initiatives Highlight Accessibility Concerns for Disabled Community
Chad Swiatecki, Austin Monitor, May 22 2024
Advocates for disabled people in Austin aim to ensure upcoming transportation and housing developments include those with physical, visual, or hearing impairments. At a recent ADAPT of Texas meeting, leaders discussed creating accessible and affordable homes near transit corridors and incorporating features like auditory beacons and tactile elements at transit stations. They emphasized building complete communities and providing immersion training for staff to better understand the needs of disabled individuals.

Courtesy of the Santa Cruz Planning Division

CALIFORNIA—New Affordable Housing Pacific Station North Breaks Ground in Santa Cruz
Jessica York, Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 20 2024
The final phase of the Pacific Station redevelopment project in Santa Cruz has begun, featuring 126 affordable housing units in two seven-story buildings, Pacific Station North and South. The $119.2 million development includes studio to three-bedroom apartments, with 32 units for extremely low-income households and 21 for those homeless or at risk. Scheduled to open by September 2026, it will also offer a public bike hub, contributing to the revitalization of downtown Santa Cruz with mixed-use housing near transit stops.

Regional and National TOD News

travelview | Adobe Stock

Federal Spending Rescued Mass Transit During Covid. What Happens Now?
Colbi Edmonds, The New York Times, May 22 2024
The federal government provided $69.5 billion in relief funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, rescuing public transit and saving over 50,000 jobs in the U.S. However, with these funds nearly depleted and ridership still lagging, the future of large transportation agencies hinges on further federal aid. While some regions like New York have increased state support for transit, other areas face significant budget shortfalls, potential service cuts, and fare increases.

Ɱ | Wikimedia

OHIO—COTA to Introduce Levy to Expand Public Transit Systems, Walkways
Cody Thompson, Spectrum News, May 22 2024
The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees has approved language for a levy aimed at establishing a dedicated funding stream for expanded modernized public transit, sidewalks, bikeways, and pathways. Set for the Nov. 5 ballot, the levy, which entails a half-penny increase in sales tax, aims to enhance transportation infrastructure across more than 40 communities, funding the LinkUS Initiative for comprehensive mobility solutions. Supported by the COTA Board of Trustees, this initiative seeks to address growth, affordability, sustainability, and opportunity in the region, potentially increasing transit service by 45 percent.

Pi.1415926535 | Wikimedia

How Can Buses Become a Climate Solution?
Nat Hardy, Juliana Merullo and Megan Hall, The Public’s Radio, May 21 2024
Megan Hall introduces Possibly, a podcast tackling global issues by breaking them down into smaller questions. She discusses the environmental benefits of public transportation compared to driving, highlighting the challenges and potential solutions to increasing bus ridership. Interviews with experts shed light on the importance of reliable and convenient public transit systems and initiatives like Rhode Island’s Transit Master Plan aimed at improving bus service.

Courtesy of Avalon Park, Orlando, Florida

Tacos, Sandwiches, and Zoning
Christian Britschgi, Reason, May 21 2024
Several states, including Texas, Florida, and Arizona, are actively reforming their zoning codes to support the construction of more housing. Texas’s HOME II reforms reduce minimum lot sizes and increase building density near transit stops. Florida’s amended Live Local Act clarifies parking and density rules to promote transit-oriented development. Arizona passed legislation allowing accessory dwelling units and small multifamily buildings, adopting a “light-touch density” approach. These initiatives are pivotal in addressing housing shortages and fostering economic growth.

International TOD News

Jeyakumaran Mayooresan | Unsplash

Integration of Urban Public Transport Systems: Emerging Trends
Madan B. Regmi and others, United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), May 23 2024
As cities in Asia and the Pacific expand, integrating public transport systems becomes crucial for efficient urban mobility. Strategies like transit-oriented development, operational efficiency improvements, and intelligent transit management systems aim to streamline commuter movement and reduce reliance on private vehicles. These efforts are supported by customized institutional structures and guidelines outlined in publications like ESCAP’s Guidebook for Policymakers, facilitating knowledge sharing and collaboration among cities.

Courtesy of Mitsui Fudosan

JAPAN—Tokyo’s Former Tsukiji Fish Market to Be Transformed Into Mixed-Use Hub
Kathryn Wortley, TTG Asia Media, May 23 2024
Tokyo’s former Tsukiji fish market site will undergo a 900 billion yen (US$5.8 billion) redevelopment led by Mitsui Fudosan, transforming it into a multifunctional hub. Scheduled for completion by fiscal year 2032, the project includes hotels, residences, offices, a culinary zone, and extensive transportation facilities, all designed to enhance Tokyo’s international competitiveness and preserve Tsukiji’s history. Plans call for connecting the site to the subway system and metropolitan expressway by 2040.

Ariane Citron l Adobe Stock

NIGERIA—Ministry Pushes for Walking, Cycling as Safe Means of Transportation
Gift Habib, Punch, May 16 2024
Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary for Transportation, Olorunola Olufemi, touts the importance of walking and cycling. During a workshop in Abuja, Olufemi explained that increasing walkable and bike-friendly spaces leads to safer roads, especially as the country experiences rapid population growth. He highlighted challenges such as lacking infrastructure and limited public awareness of cycling’s benefits. Olufemi introduced a draft national cycling policy aimed at integrating these modes into transportation plans and formalizing the rights of front-line operators.