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51 2.2 Parking spaces per unit 1.1 Parking spaces per unit Total Area: 8 acres Total Area: 8 acres Total Units: 738 Total Units: 963 Additional units: 225 Density: 92 Dwelling units per acre Density: 120 Dwelling units per acre Increase in density: 20% Parking Spaces: 1152 Parking Spaces: 864 Parking capital cost: $21.31m Parking capital cost: $15.98m Parking cost savings: $5.3m Annual incremental ridership: +82,875 Annual incremental fare revenue: $83,950 Figure 2.22. Comparison of representative TOD housing: Texas Donut. particular, lower capital costs for parking and a greater yield demonstrate the impact different parking ratios can have of units on a site could be expected to result in more TOD on creating an active pedestrian environment. The result is projects being financially viable since a developer would be most noticeable with the moderate density garden apart- able to potentially increase the number of units on a site while ment example where surface parking is employed. With at the same time reduce the capital cost for parking. the 2.2 parking ratio, approximately 50% of the street edge With land cost constituting a growing percentage of is dominated by parking. With the 1.1 parking ratio, the housing prices, potentially increasing the number of units amount of the street edge taken by parking decreases by on a particular site can play an increasingly important half to 25% of the total site street edge. role in the financial viability of a TOD. A 2006 Federal Reserve study shows the growing impact of land on Implications of Applying housing prices. Averaging across the 46 largest U.S. cities, New Standards for TOD Housing the value of residential land accounted for about 50% of the total market value of housing, up from 32% in 1984 The research findings and literature review provide solid (Davis and Palumbo, 2006). evidence to support the belief that people living in TODs drive ˇ Parking and urban form. Creating an active pedestrian en- less often than their neighbors in conventional develop- vironment is a core principle and an essential characteris- ments. Based on this evidence, public officials and govern- tic of well planned TODs. For TOD designers that means ment regulators may chose to develop new, more realistic creating as many active street edges (lining streets with standards for parking, assessing impact fees, and mitigation people oriented uses) as possible. TOD site plans help to for TODs. The research suggests important implications are
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52 Table 2.13. Summary of analysis for potential TOD housing site plan case studies: impact of lower TOD parking ratios. Units Density Parking Annual Incremental Total Additional Per % Spaces Cost Difference Ridership acre increase Garden Apartments TOD 1 256 +60 32 +33% 288 $2.02m $98,000 19,500 ratio savings transit trips units $19,750 TOD 2 196 24 432 $2.1m fares ratio Townhomes TOD 1 384 +96 48 + 33% 448 $5.82m $736,000 31,200 ratio savings transit trips units $31,600 TOD 2 288 36 648 $6.56m fares ratio Mid Rise 6-Story TOD 1 963 +162 120 +20% 1152 $21.31M $12 52,650 ratio units million transit trips savings $53,330 TOD 2 801 100 1800 $33.3m fares ratio Texas Donut TOD 1 963 +225 120 +30% 864 $15.98m $5.3 82,875 ratio units million transit trips savings $83,950 TOD 2 738 92 1152 $21.31m fares ratio Assumptions: Parking ratios: TOD 1 - 1.1 spaces per unit; TOD 2 - 2.2 spaces per unit Cost per space: surface parking $7,000; tuck under parking $14,000; structured parking $18,500 Transit ridership: 3.55 trips per TOD household allocated as follows: 1.5 work trips per TOD HH * TOD units * .40 TOD work mode share + 4 non-work trips per TOD HH * TOD units * .10 TOD non- work mode share. (Lund et al) = daily ridership x 325 annualization factor = annual incremental increase in ridership. Fare revenue: assumes average fare of $1.013 TriMet March 2008 Month Performance Report, year-to-date Average Fare, April 2008. HH=household likely to flow from permitting and developing TODs based should not necessarily translate to the higher density in all on an accurate assessment of their parking needs and trip cases. Parking and trip generation are only two variables of generation. many in the very complex issue of increasing density. Some of the likely consequences of permitting and build- ˇ Easier development approvals. One major challenge devel- ing TOD consistent with the findings of this research include: opers face with TOD is the increased time and expense getting development approvals for infill development be- ˇ More compact development. As the site plan case studies cause of inevitable neighborhood concerns about traffic. help to demonstrate, more compact environmentally sus- Interviews with TOD developers (Parsons Brinckerhoff, tainable development can result from less land being con- 2002) reveal an interesting cycle that plays itself out over sumed for parking. Case studies showed an increase of 20% and over in response to community concerns about traffic to 33% in density for residential TOD could be achieved. impacts of new development. One way to explain the This tracks well with U.S. EPA estimates that each on-site sequence is in a five act TOD morality play: parking space at infill locations can reduce the number of new housing units or other uses by 25% or more (EPA, 1. Act One: vision. Planners, citizens and smart growth ad- 2006). It must be noted that the ability to increase density vocates secure adoption of a compact transit village plan
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53 Table 2.14. Impact of lower TOD parking ratios. velopment. Using a 700-unit California condominium proj- ect as a reference point, the expected daily traffic rates would Units Gained Spaces Saved Capital Cost be reduced by as much as half with a likely number of 2,350 Savings trips with the TOD traffic generation rates rather than 4700 Garden 60 144 $98,000 daily trips using the ITE rates (S. Zuspan, personal e-mail, Apartments 5% November 5, 2007). Townhomes 96 200 $736,000 11% ˇ Lower fees for TODs. Applying new standards for trip gen- Mid Rise 6-Story 162 648 $12,000,000 eration could result in wholesale changes in how we ad- 36% dress the cost, impact, and feasibility of residential devel- opment near transit. The implications of new standards are Texas Donut 225 288 $5,300,000 25% varied and would need to be scaled to the quality of transit service present. Developers likely would pay lower fees and exactions allowing compact dense residential development around by as much as 50% to reflect the actual performance of a rail station. residential TODs. Those savings could be passed on to 2. Act Two: optimism. Time passes and a progressive de- homeowners and tenants as lower housing costs. For in- veloper presents the local community with a proposal stance, that same 700-unit condominium development for a dense TOD allowed under the transit village plan. could see its traffic impact fee reduced by halffrom $4,500 3. Act Three: opposition. Community members' con- per unit to $2,250 per unitif it were based on the likely cerns about change inevitably focus on perceived traf- traffic generation of a TOD rather than the ITE rates. In fic impacts and overflow parking from the dense TOD this case, the developer would save $1.6 million, presum- development. ably making the units more affordable. 4. Act Four: compromise. The developer offers to cut the ˇ Downsizing new road construction. Traffic-based impact density below transit supportive levels in the adopted fees are used to help fund intersection and roadway im- plan and increase the parking in order to get a devel- provements such as street widening. The same mathe- opment approval and recover his fixed costs. matical equations that result in over-charging impact fees 5. Act Five: the lesson. Many of the hoped for community for TODs also can result in over-building road facilities benefits of TOD at the rail station and the financial to serve TODs. With lower levels of traffic generated from return to the developer are not realized because the TODs, it can be argued that it makes no sense to construct development is built below the allowed density with roadway improvements to serve TOD related traffic that increased parking, and the developer may be less apt to is not likely to materialize. pursue TOD. Right-sizing new road and intersection improvements to reflect the actual transportation performance can result Getting new information on the performance of TODs in more compact development patterns and a higher qual- out into the field may help to break this cycle of compromis- ity pedestrian environment since less land may be used for ing away the benefits of TOD. Local officials and neighbor- road improvements. hoods may be more apt to support increases in residential ˇ Enhanced housing affordability. Housing affordability is densities near transit if they are shown proof that up to half one area where research may have significant implications. of the trips result from TODs than in conventional de- Housing affordability is driven by a myriad of factors, with Table 2.15. Impact of lower TOD parking ratios. Additional Units Annual Incremental Annual Incremental Ridership Fare Revenues Garden Apartments +60 units 19,500 transit trips $19,750 Townhomes +96 units 31,200 transit trips $31,600 Mid Rise 6-Story +162 units 52,650 transit trips $53,330 Texas Donut +225 units 82,875 transit trips $83,950