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18 supported by revenues from approximately 9,000 down- separate meeting is held to discuss transit and roadway issues. town parking spaces. It is at this meeting that the transit agency presents needed transit improvements to the developer and county representa- tives. The RPC summarizes all comments and provides its Plaza Collina Shopping Center recommendation to the county. The proposal then passes to the county for its approval process. The proposed Plaza Collina Shopping Center is located in Lake County just west of the Orange County border along All of the successful projects cited here provide transit State Highway 50. The proposed development is a 142- amenities as a result of the Florida planning process and DRI acre site that is currently vacant land. The development requirements. The LYMMO project also provides an exam- was approved in January 2006 and when completed will be ple of utilizing municipal parking revenues to support transit composed of 1.2 million square feet of retail and office operations. The city of Orlando, through the DDB and the space and 200 condominium dwelling units. As a result of CRA, provided initial support to plan, design, and construct the recommendations made by the DRI process, the devel- the physical facilities for LYMMO. The on-going operating oper will provide an on-site system of bikeways to be con- costs to provide LYMMO service are funded through the use nected to adjoining external bicycle paths, covered bicycle of downtown parking revenues. parking, and employee shower facilities. Shaded pedes- trian circulation within the development is also required. Over time, LYNX has learned to change its approach Transit elements provided by the developer include with developers. The agency requests operating assistance $200,000 for an express bus service between Orange and for specific service improvements that will enrich the devel- Lake counties, and a four-bus-capacity superstop with ade- opment. It provides the developer with information on the quate space for passenger shelters. The passenger shelters proposed service improvements and how these services will will be provided by LYNX and maintained by LYNX. Two positively affect the development. This has been a much additional bus stops equipped with a pole and bus sign will more successful approach than asking for capital improve- be provided on the property. Fifty commuter parking ments, such as shelters, which can often be funded through spaces will be provided within the development to encour- other means. age transit use. CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY Winter Garden Village CATA, located in State College, Pennsylvania, is a joint The Winter Garden Village development is planned as a municipal authority comprised of six municipalities. The ser- mixed-use commercial development of big box stores, town- vice area is 133 square miles, with a population of approxi- houses, and condominiums. The 175-acre site is located in the mately 90,000. CATA operates an all CNG fleet of 50 vehicles. city of Winter Garden west of Orlando and is currently used Annual ridership is more than 6 million, the third highest rid- for agricultural purposes. The planned development features ership of all transit systems in the state. State College is the an open-air retail village that will include pedestrian-friendly home of Penn State University, where many students do not amenities. Storefronts will be closer to the street, with on- own automobiles. street parking and wide sidewalks. The developer will provide circulation for pedestrians and bicycles with covered walk- Unemployment in the service area is relatively low at ways in front of stores. The developer will also provide bicy- 3.5%. The surrounding areas have higher unemployment cle lockers or racks, bus passenger shelters, and bus parking and many residents outside the CATA area travel to State bays within the development. In addition, the developer will College for work. Despite this, there are no local ordinances provide $125,000 to fund 50% of the operation of one bus requiring the consideration of transit or inclusion of transit route for 2 years. amenities in developments. Everything that has been accomplished in terms of successful bus transit and land development integration has been through cooperation and Successful Strategies negotiation. LYNX benefits from Florida laws that require a special plan- ning process for DRIs. The RPC receives all applications for Successful Projects DRIs. The Council then initiates a review process among all interested stakeholders, including the transit agency. The Colonnade Shopping Center RPC requires the developer to forward copies of the applica- tion to all interested parties. In this way, LYNX receives plans Before development, the 70 acres occupied by the Colonnade for the large developments very early in the planning process. Shopping Center was forested land. The neighboring com- A site visit is conducted to discuss the developer's proposal munity appreciated the natural environment and used the with all interested parties (education, water, police, etc.). A area for recreation, even though the land had been zoned
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19 transit elements. The plan was revised to include a central bus stop and incorporates trees and pedestrian walkways to the main entrances. This was all built within the private property of Wal-Mart and is maintained by the shopping center. Based on CATA's experience with this develop- ment, all townships within this authority have revised their local ordinances to require pedestrian walkways and trees in all large parking lots. The regulations require pedestrian walkways after every three lanes of parking. In addition, developers of large big box centers are requested to prepare a master plan showing pedestrian and transit access within the development. The template that has proven successful over time is that of a central transit roadway within the site, removed from the building facades and containing two or more bus stops. FIGURE 5 Bus stop in Colonnade Shopping Center. Pedestrian walkways and traffic islands connect the transit (Courtesy: Timothy C. Geibel.) stops with the building entrances, which benefits CATA by allowing for quicker travel time through the shopping cen- commercial for some time. When development discussions ter. In addition, an improved waiting environment with more began, the community organized to have a say in the devel- transit amenities is provided because the developer can con- opment outcome. As a result, a special zoning district was centrate its resources at a central location. The developer formed. This zoning district had a great impact on the qual- appreciates this arrangement because the bus traffic is removed from the front of the buildings, avoiding potential ity of the space within the finished development. The zoning conflicts with cars and pedestrians. Another benefit for the required enhancements if the developer exceeded 110% of developer is that it does not have to provide extra weight- the minimum parking requirements. Enhancements were bearing roads throughout the shopping center, but can con- also required if more than 65% of the land area was covered centrate that expense on the designated transit roadway. with impervious materials. The development exceeded both of these limits and, as a result, the quality of the shopping The provision of this type of transit center provides a bal- center environment for transit was greatly enhanced. ance between walking distance, service efficiency, and cus- The Colonnade Shopping Center is a commercial and retail tomer amenities. The transit center arrangement provides center with large retail, electronic, grocery, and other stores. fewer bus stops that are located farther away from the store- CATA participated in the plan review process and suggested fronts; however, it improves travel time for through-routing a revised concept plan that was supported by the municipality bus customers and provides more amenities for waiting and incorporated in the final design. As a result, transit became customers than are normally available. With each new devel- the physical focal point of the development. The plan revisions opment, CATA learned more about how to improve on its suggested by CATA included a pedestrian multipurpose path successes. One of those lessons was to provide shopping cart and dedicated bicycle lanes coordinated with four transit stops corrals next to the bus stops. Because the bus stops are (see Figure 5). The transit facilities include bus shelters coor- located away from the store entrances, customers can push dinated with the development architecture and multiple bus their shopping carts to the bus stop. Provision of the corrals bays at each stop. In addition, the local ordinance requires that helps to circumvent the problem of loose shopping carts in developers provide "green space" in new developments, the bus stop and roadways. which are ordinarily complied with through nondevelopable land such as gulleys and steep slopes. In this case, CATA was successful in situating the green space adjacent to the transit Off-Campus Housing stop, which provides an exceptional waiting environment. The transit facility is now an active suburban transit center, which Within the CATA service area are many off-campus residen- not only provides access to the shopping center, but serves as tial housing complexes for undergraduate college students. a transfer location for reverse commuters, who no longer need These complexes can be very large--housing up to 1,000 res- to travel through downtown. idents. Generally, they are built along existing transit service. The developers rely on the students using bus transit service, rather than driving, to reduce their parking requirements. Wal-Mart/Sam's Club CATA worked with the various developers to ensure that good pedestrian access was provided throughout the housing For this development, CATA successfully lobbied for a complexes. In addition, the developers provided a bus lane redesign of the parking lot to incorporate pedestrian and and bus stop amenities suitable to comfortably accommodate
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20 50 to 75 waiting bus passengers. Pull-off bus lanes to hold one or two 40-ft buses out of the traffic lanes are provided along with concrete pads, shelters, and benches. Developers are given the option of providing custom bus shelters, which they must maintain, or providing one of the standard CATA shel- ters, which would be maintained by the transportation author- ity. Most developers choose the standard shelter. Developers are willing to provide these amenities to avoid paying additional roadway impact fees. The provision of pedestrian sidewalks, pull-off lanes, and bus stop amenities is generally less expensive than fees associated with added turn lanes or signalization improvements. The operation of the adjacent bus routes is adjusted to pick up the 50 to 75 students who want to get to school at the same time in the morning, with one or two extra trips scheduled ahead of the regularly sched- uled service. The pull-off lanes allow the extra buses to remain FIGURE 6 Open space adjacent to bus stop in Colonnade out of the traffic lane while picking up the waiting students. Shopping Center. (Courtesy: Timothy C. Geibel.) For example, during discussions regarding the provision of Successful Strategies open space it became known that providing the open space around the bus stop would also help to drain stormwater. The Projects that successfully combine bus transit and land devel- transit interest of providing a more pleasant waiting area at opment have a champion that persisted in voicing the need the bus stop was then supported by one of the other disci- for transit considerations. In the CATA region, the local plines, further strengthening the provision and location of the elected officials fill that role. Many of the elected officials in development's open space (see Figure 6). the CATA service area ride the transit system and therefore have a sense of transit's value and are sympathetic to transit This early participation in the process is critical to the suc- needs. Successful development in the CATA region depends cessful coordination of bus transit and land development. on supportive local officials, who together with the regional Once a developer starts the design of a project and has deter- planning agency are willing to forego a development rather mined where the buildings will be located and how the than build an unsuccessful project. stormwater will drain, incorporating transit is more difficult. The developer has already invested too much money in the Early participation in the design process by transit plan- project to be cooperative with transit interests. ning staff is a key strategy for successful integration of bus transit with land development. CATA has a unique opportu- In addition to early participation, CATA provides valu- nity to ensure this early participation. CATA and the CRPA able technical expertise to the developer to solve problems share a transit planner who spends 20 h per week at each associated with the incorporation of transit into the develop- agency. It is through this planner that CATA becomes ment. The provision of physical design details up front, involved early in the development process. together with on-going follow-up with the developer by CATA staff, has proven to be a small but influential catalyst All development projects are reviewed by the CRPA. in the process. The developers find that CATA is flexible in When a development proposal is received by the township or finding solutions to meet the needs of transit, and this is also local municipality a copy of the plan is sent to the CRPA. a key strategy. This is a voluntary process and is made possible by the sup- port of local officials, as noted previously. It is also possible Another meaningful ingredient to CATA's success is because many local governments have chosen to have related to the knowledgeable staffs at both CATA and CRPA, smaller planning staffs, which can be accomplished by who have worked together for some time. Management has including the CRPA in all their planning activities. The also been stable. In 18 years, CATA has had only two general CRPA planners provide support for plans within the local managers and both have recognized and understood the rela- areas and also provide the local governments with a regional tionship between transit and land use. CATA staff has found perspective. When a plan is received, the CRPA planner that requesting reasonable transit elements, gaining respect immediately consults with the CATA planner. The CRPA and credibility among local stakeholders, and building on past arranges meetings to include all of the various disciplines accomplishments is a successful strategy. Developer experi- involved in the proposed development. This discussion ence is also important. Most developers in the area are now is helpful and can sometimes provide opportunities for experienced in the process and often expect to incorporate the various stakeholders to collaborate on a design idea. transit needs into the design of their developments.