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CHAPTER 11 TOD and Station Access Land development considerations are an essential part of station access and design. Development opportunities depend on station location, the character of surrounding areas, and market potential. Thus, they may vary along any given rapid transit line. Also important are planning and zoning requirements, cooperative working arrangements between transit agencies and local planning groups, and the presence of planning and policy guidelines. This chapter presents the salient issues and opportunities, with a focus on TOD. It describes land development around stations, presents general guidelines, describes and analyzes the trade-offs between TOD and station parking, and suggests possible directions for existing and proposed systems. TOD can be defined as the planning and design of a mix of medium- or high-density land uses around a transit station that serves as the focal point of the development. Its goals are to better integrate the transit system with the surrounding community (as in Exhibit 11-1), increase transit ridership, and enhance non-motorized access to transit. It is not highway-oriented development that just happens to be close to stations; diversity and walkability are essential. TOD has several important advantages: · It can make the transit station environment more cohesive with the surrounding areas. · It generates fewer motor vehicle trips per unit of development, compared with similar uses located elsewhere (19). · Under specific circumstances, it can reduce the development's parking demand by up to 50 percent, compared with similar uses elsewhere (21). Issues and Opportunities Planning for TOD is perhaps the most complex aspect of station planning because it involves several different entities with widely differing interests. Beyond the transit agency, it includes local governments, the local community, and private developers. Three critical and inter-related issues regarding TOD emerged from the case studies conducted at BART (San Francisco), Los Angeles Metro, MARTA (Atlanta), MBTA (Boston), Metro-North (New York), New Jersey Transit, OC Transpo (Ottawa), and RTD (Denver). These issues were: (1) balancing parking needs and locations with developer expectations (actually or apparently driven by market factors); (2) financing the TOD, particularly parking, to meet the needs of both commuters and private developers; and (3) neighborhood concerns about the TOD, its potential residents, and potential problems with spillover parking. 115
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116 Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations Exhibit 11-1. Example of station design integrated into the surrounding community (Englewood RTD Station, Denver). Source: Kittelson & Associates, Inc. Parking is a persistent issue because TOD projects commonly displace existing surface parking. TOD typically is placed where there is already high market demand (which makes TOD viable), and parking is therefore scarce. Since the park-and-ride spaces were present before the TOD project, and commuter habits have already been formed, a reduction in station parking can lead to spillover parking problems. Transit agency station access guidelines or policies usually require "one-for-one" replacement of lost parking, and when there are constraints on available nearby land or funding, the identified solution is usually a more costly parking structure (Exhibit 11-2). In such cases, the transit agency should explore trade-offs to find ways to make TOD work. Some flexibility in parking replacement guidelines or policies may lead to successful compromises. Precise one-for-one replacement may be unnecessary: where rapid transit services are competitive in terms of quality and capacity, it has sometimes been possible to convert park-and-ride travelers to bus access, either directly or through a remote parking facility. TOD parking should generally be limited, and parking pricing can also be considered for added leverage. The access planning tool developed with this guidebook assists in weighing the trade-offs between parking and TOD, including evaluating impacts of parking pricing. Appendix C provides detailed instructions on using the access planning tool. Some transit agencies have addressed parking constraints by subsidizing the cost of park- ing structures to make projects feasible for private developers. Funding through California's Proposition 1C has made this possible for BART and LA Metro. NJ Transit and other agencies have also funded the construction of parking structures to make TOD feasible for developers. Whether this approach can be followed elsewhere depends on the availability of funds and the cost-effectiveness of "buying" TOD with subsidized parking infrastructure. These will necessarily be local decisions. Transit agencies with active joint development programs (LA Metro, BART, and WMATA among the case studies analyzed for this research) have found that agency-wide joint development policies can benefit negotiating solutions that help achieve agency goals. These policies define