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29 CHAPTER SIX STRATEGIES THAT SUPPORT INTEGRATION OF BUS TRANSIT SERVICE AND LAND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING This synthesis found that the inclusion of transit planners INSTITUTIONAL POLICIES AND PRACTICES early in the development design is key to successfully inte- grating bus transit service into land developments. All stake- The survey responses indicated that most transit agencies holders agree on this point. Transit agencies identified the rely on institutional strategies to integrate transit and land following strategies that enabled early participation: strong development. Written policies in adopted plans is one such support by local government officials, an effective land widely employed strategy. Good communications networks development planning process, and good relationships and with local governments and planning agencies was noted by communication with local planning and/or government several transit agencies as a critical element in coordinating staff. However, finding one strategy that ensures early par- bus service with new development. The presence of a ticipation by transit agencies in the development process and "Champion" to advocate for transit was reported by some one that will be successful in all areas is not likely. The most agencies to be a helpful strategy. Other institutional strate- successful regions incorporate a mix of strategies to ensure gies include transit agency development guidelines, educa- adequate coordination between transit service and land tion, transit agency TOD programs, creating relationships development. with developers, and building partnerships with building owners. The strategies employed by transit agencies and other stakeholders can be divided into three types: institutional, Written Policies in Adopted Plans financial, and regulatory. Strategies discussed in this chapter are cited here. A good general or comprehensive plan that clearly communi- cates the region's vision of the future is the best first step in developing a mix of strategies to integrate bus transit service Institutional Policies and Practices and land development planning. The best plans are developed Written policies in adopted plans with public input and are supported with clear steps to achieve Develop communication networks the vision. All of the plans developed in a region must relate Transit advocates: "champions" and coalitions to the overall vision and to each other. Specific plans can be Transit agency development guidelines produced to implement the comprehensive plan in strategic Education locations, districts, or corridors. For example, specific plans Transit agency TOD programs can be developed for business districts, historic districts, rede- Relationships with developers and building owners velopment areas, or conservation areas. Building partnerships. Funding Strategies The plan should not just address transit as a separate entity Developer support in its own chapter, but should acknowledge the importance Municipal support of transit-supportive elements throughout the document. For Planning funds example, a good pedestrian environment is critical to a suc- Tax increment financing cessful transit system. Sidewalks, the quality of the walking Land incentives. environment, as well as direct pedestrian paths are key com- Regulatory Tools ponents to providing quality pedestrian access. Site design Zoning and density are also extremely important factors in transit Form-based zoning provision and in successfully integrating transit into land Controlled growth developments. The relationship between these factors and Adequate public facilities ordinance transit should be highlighted in the plans. State-mandated planning process. Transit agencies benefit by participating in the preparation The process of developing a winning mix of strategies of general or comprehensive plans. This provides an oppor- takes time and the task may at first appear overwhelming. tunity to network with representatives from other agencies However, some communities, notably Boulder, Colorado, and spread the word on the importance of transit to the have proven that the results are worth the wait. current and future environment. If transit is not desired at the

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30 development by advocating for transit. Some transit advo- cates may lobby for a particular project and be active in the planning arena for a relatively short time. Others may have a long-term interest in supporting transit and will advocate for policy initiatives as well as transit projects. Elected offi- cials were recognized as champions by CATA. Transit advocates can have a very positive impact on land use and new development by initiating actions supportive of transit, but their existence can be fleeting. If it is within their power, champions and coalitions should support transit by building a transit-supportive policy structure and process that will have lasting value. Transit Agency Development Guidelines FIGURE 13 Networking can improve communications between stakeholders. (Courtesy: Ed Christopher.) The development of transit agency development guidelines can be a successful strategy to integrate bus transit and land current time, it may be needed as the population and prefer- development. Some of the most successful transit agencies ences change. It is important that new developments incor- have developed several types of guidelines and make them porate plans for the future and not just current preferences. widely available through the Internet and in published pub- lic documents and general plans. The use of transit agency development guidelines and their characteristics is discussed Develop Communications Networks in more detail in chapter seven. A second successful strategy to incorporate bus transit ser- The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority vice and land development planning is the development of (LYNX) promotes a checklist, shown in Figure 14, which good communications networks with stakeholder partners. includes all the major chapters in their Mobility Design Man- Metro Transit in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region noted in its ual. LYNX has also developed a Design and Land Use doc- survey response that this takes time; however, the rewards ument that is included in the Transit Development Plan are early participation in the planning process and credibility Major Update for 20052009. The Design and Land Use with decision makers. Staff from CATA in State College, document summarizes guidelines for development design. It Pennsylvania, also found this to be one of the most success- refers readers needing more detail to three LYNX manuals; ful strategies when integrating transit and land development. one each on customer amenities, mobility design, and rail design. The Design and Land Use document is distributed to Working with outside agencies on comprehensive plans, all counties and municipalities when it is time to update their spreading the word on transit needs, and developing com- comprehensive plans. munication networks can be successful strategies (see Figure 13). However, they are only successful if the transit agency has the staff resources to participate in these activi- Education ties. CATA found an interesting solution to this problem by sharing a transit planner with the CRPA. The transit planner Education is also a successful strategy. During the develop- has offices in both agencies and splits the 40-h work week ment of regional plans, the public can be informed of the evenly between the two. This arrangement could be consid- benefits associated with transit, with mixed-use develop- ered by some transit agencies, especially those in areas ments, and with higher densities. Transit planners could where the other public agencies in the region are facing tight benefit from training sessions on the land development budgets. Some transit agencies are apparently reevaluating process and related financing requirements and zoning reg- their missions and resources. Policies and Practices for ulations. Likewise, city planners and developers could learn Cost-Effective Transit Investment (Deakin et al. 2002) about transit needs and benefits. Perhaps the most important reported that transit agencies were hiring staff to act as stakeholders are the decision makers; local government offi- liaisons to local governments and other agencies in support cials, business leaders, and their staffs. In large measure, of transit-supportive land use. these decision makers form the land use policies in each region. Many of these decision makers could benefit from more information on the choices available to them and Transit Advocates: "Champions" and Coalitions the affects of those choices. An example of education for decision makers is a series of Leadership Academies that Strong leadership in the form of a "champion" or coalition were scheduled to be held in 2006 to discuss growth in Cen- of stakeholders can affect the integration of bus transit with tral Florida (see Figure 15). The purpose of the Leadership

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31 FIGURE 14 LYNX Development Review Checklist. (Courtesy: LYNX Central Florida Transportation Authority.) Academy is to focus high-level discussion on the question agency staff can provide additional education by volunteer- of "How should we grow?" The Leadership Academy will ing as speakers at these events. In this way, the benefits of offer educational and interactive programs that show partic- transit can be communicated to a variety of stakeholders in ipants the affects of various growth and development deci- an informal manner. sions. Using interactive computer programs, decision makers will build alternative future developments and observe Staff development can assist the transit agency in improv- the results on the environment, transportation system, and ing its ability to have an impact on land use. CATA noted that congestion. the technical expertise of its planning staff improved rela- tionships with developers. The provision of pertinent physi- Informal education can also be an effective method of cal details at the outset, together with on-going follow-up to familiarizing stakeholders with the issues. Lunches, recep- support the developer, has proven to be an important element tions, conferences, and meetings are all opportunities to net- in its success. Also important are negotiating skills. LYNX work with stakeholders and trade information. Transit learned over time the information needed to influence devel- opers and elected officials. Building staff capabilities in these areas is a strategy that can improve transit's impact on land developments. Transit Agency Transit-Oriented Development Programs Since 1998, King County Metro in Seattle, Washington, has pursued a bus-oriented TOD program. King County's first TOD project was the Overlake Park and Ride project in Red- mond, just west of Seattle (see Figure 16). This was a joint project of King County, the King County Housing Author- ity, and a private developer using tax-exempt financing and federal housing tax credits. A King County Metro surface FIGURE 15 Decision makers in Orlando gather to discuss park and ride lot was converted into a 308-unit affordable regional issues. (Courtesy: Orlando Regional Chamber housing development above two stories of structured park- of Commerce.) ing. The 536 parking spaces are shared by residents and