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Density By Design: Transit, Location Efficiency and TOD Hank Dittmar


Density By Design: Transit, Location Efficiency and TOD Hank Dittmar – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Density By Design: Transit, Location Efficiency and TOD Hank Dittmar

Density By Design Transit, Location Efficiency
and TOD Hank Dittmar
Integrating transit and community a global trend
The United States
  • Transit building boom.
  • New rail systems have opened throughout the USA.
  • New rail starts, extensions busways are in
    process in 37 of 40 top metros

San Francisco Bay Area
  • Over the past thirty years, the region has
    developed an extensive network, including subway,
    commuter rail, light rail, cable car
  • and rapid bus.
  • The Bay Area has been a leader in coordinating
    transport and housing policy, offering incentives
    to locate affordable housing near transit.

Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas
  • Passenger transport is very popular in the
    region, with 77 approval in a recent vote.
  • The region has commuter rail, light rail,
    historic trolley and bus transit, and the rail
    has sparked a boom in transit oriented
    development, especially in the suburbs.

Portland, Oregon
  • Portland has developed an elaborate strategy
    for managing growth in the region, with
    boundaries and other planning tools.
  • The light rail system, and now the downtown
    streetcar are central to a strategy of
    encouraging walkable mixed-use development near
    public transport.
  • The most recent light rail extension to the
    airport opened last year.

San Diego, California
  • The Tijuana Trolley began the U.S. trend to
    light rail almost twenty years, ago and the
    region has followed it with a number of
  • The regions growth plan calls for the
    development of multiple centers, served by bus,
    and connected by light rail and rapid bus.

Competing with the auto
  • To succeed, passenger transport must emulate the
    qualities associated with the auto frequency,
    reliability, speed, convenience, ease of use.

  • Next to accessibility,most important factor is
    frequency of service. Goal is service
    frequencies that dont require reliance on

  • This may be the Achilles heel of the car, as
    incident related congestion reduces
    predictability of the commute.
  • Means that transit must separate itself from the
    auto environment where possible.

  • Finding and promoting corridors where public
    transport can better the auto in travel time
    while providing a less stressful environment is
  • Transit prioritization, separated guideways,
    reduced transfers all are strategies here.

Convenience Ease of Use
  • Stations vehicles should be accessible to the
    pedestrian, low-floor vehicles help everybody.
  • Accessible fare instruments U pass, annual pass,
    employer provided passes.
  • Rider serving amenities near station reduce need
    to drive child care, groceries, cleaners.
  • Fixed guideways reduce uncertainty.

Individualized Marketing
  • Western Australia is a leader with TravelSmart
    Australian Greenhouse Office funded throughout
  • Getting to households at key points to offer
    individualized information about travel choices.
    1/2 of U.S. households move every 5 years!

A note about modes
  • Much time is wasted in the debate about bus or
    rail both are needed, and it depends on setting.
  • If goal is development impact, developers want
    competitive travel time, identifiable station,
    high quality design.

Network coverage is key
Supporting Lifestyle Choices the Demographic
Drivers of Change
  • Married Couples with kids are no longer dominant
  • Empty-Nesters
  • Single-Person Households
  • The Rise of the Creative Class
  • Changing Consumer Preferences in favor of
    Close-In Living

Passenger transport can provide armature for more
sustainable growth
  • In the U.S., the market exists for 14 million new
    households within 1/2 mile of a station by 2025,
    without considering changing consumer
  • Allowing this market demand to be met can improve
    housing affordability, reduce auto travel, and
    obviate need for greenfield development.

Building communities around the station TOD
An Outcome-Based Definition for Transit Oriented
  • Walkable, Mixed-Use Development Near Stations
    That Has
  • Location Efficiency.
  • Expanded Mobility, Shopping and Housing Choices.
  • Financial Return and Value Recapture.
  • Balance Between Place and Node
  • Great Place Making That Celebrates Walking

Location EfficiencyThe Land Use-Transport
  • Hypothesis Increased Density and Transit
    Availability are Positively Correlated with
    Reduced Auto Use

Location Efficiency
  • Three factors are highly correlated with reducing
    auto use
  • Density -- sufficient customers within walking or
    bicycling distance (households per residential
  • Public transit accessibility -- Both physical
    location and service frequencies
  • Pedestrian friendliness -- Interconnected street
  • Builds on work by Newman Kenworthy study by
    Holtzclaw, Clear, Dittmar. Goldstein, Haas, in
    Transport Planning and Technology, 2002,
    available at http//

Driving vs. Residential Density
Rich Mix of Choices
  • Appropriate Land Use Mix for the Area
  • Mix of Housing Types and Price Ranges
  • Supporting Amenities Reduce the Need to Take
    Ones Car
  • Urban design that celebrates the pedestrian

Financial Return and Value Recapture
  • TOD can provide a financial return as well as
    individual and collective savings that can be
    captured and invested in housing or amenities
    rather than transportation, parking, and
    auto-oriented infrastructure.

How Households Use Each Dollar
STPP CNT, Driven to Spend, 2001.
Value Capture Transit and Housing Affordability
CNT, 2001
Value Capture by Public Agencies Local government
  • Tax Increment Financing at Pleasant Hill BART and
    Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Direct investment parking, tax abatement in
    Albuquerque in exchange for share of equity in
    later years

Downtown Albuquerque, Moule Polyzoides
Value Capture by Transit Agencies
  • Joint development WMATA ground leases MARTA in
    Atlanta, Lindbergh Station expected to return 22
    on investment
  • Assessment district for TOD improvements at
    Pleasant Hill
  • Public Private partnership to develop Memphis
    Central Station, combine tax credits, FTA funds
  • Potential public benefit corporation at King
    Street Station, Seattle
  • Direct contributions from developers at
    Docklands, for Portland airport light rail line

Location Efficient Mortgage and Smart Commute
  • These mortgage products allow borrowers in
    denser, Passenger transport rich communities to
    count extra income from transportation savings
    when qualifying for a home mortgage
  • Location efficient mortgages are being offered in
    Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle
  • Fannie Maes Smart Commute mortgage is offered in
    Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and

Place and Node
  • TOD must reconnect and integrate passenger
    transport and development in a fundamental way.
  • TOD must balance place and node by resolving the
    tension between the stations role in the network
    and its role in making vital, lively centers.

Making Great Places
A Taxonomy for TOD
  • At Different Scales of Communities
  • Appropriate Densities
  • Mix of Land Uses Amenities
  • Required Levels of Transit Service
  • Another Tension Between Standards and Uniqueness
    of Place

A Taxonomy for TOD Density and Service Levels
Urban Downtown
LoDo, Denver, CO
Grand Central Station, NYC
The Embarcadero, San Francisco
Urban Neighborhood
Mockingbird Station, Dallas, TX
Barrio Logan, San Diego, CA
Suburban Town Center
Addison Circle, TX
Market Commons, Arlington, VA
Arlington County Results
  • Used Metrorail as catalyst for redevelopment
    concentrated density and promoted mixed-use at
    five stations.
  • 33 of Countys real estate tax revenue from the
    8 of its land near transit, resulting in the
    lowest property tax of any major jurisdiction in
    Northern Virginia
  • 50 percent growth in transit ridership 73.3 of
    patrons travel to and from Metro stations on
    foot, elimination of dedicated station parking
    low auto trip generation.

Suburban Neighborhood
Santa Clara County, CA
Subiaco Station, WA
Commuter Town Center
Suisun City, CA
Neighborhood Transit Zone
International Blvd., Oakland, CA
Planning and Zoning for TOD
  • Case Study Analysis by Ellen Greenberg, CNU
  • Looked at eleven cases, in California, Texas,
    Colorado,Washington, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois
    and Oregon
  • Successful, not perfect projects, bus and rail,
    variety of planning approaches

Four Key Factors for Coding
  • Active, Walkable Streets
  • Building Density and Intensity
  • Careful Integration of Transit
  • When the Zoning doesnt fit

Active, Walkable Streets
  • Land use mix, especially ground floor retail or
    flex space
  • Sidewalks and sidewalk treatments
  • Building orientation placement build to
  • Primary entrances on public streets
  • Fenestration ground floor windows
  • Small block size 250-400 feet range
  • Parking Placement and Supply no parking between
    building and street
  • Street Standards

Building Density and Integration
  • Techniques Used
  • Specify Minimum Rather than Maximum Densities
  • Establish Average Densities
  • Density Bonuses as Incentives, especially for
    housing inclusion

Careful Integration of Transit
  • Seldom addressed, but critical to success
  • Most often addressed in customized projects
  • Can be a specific type of district,as in Denver

The Opportunity
  • To connect transportation and communities,
    ensuring tools are in place to create stable
    mixed income, mixed use communities that capture
    the advantages of location efficiency for
    families, communities and regions.
  • Reconnecting America
  • Congress for the New Urbanism
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