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OCR for page 128
128 Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations Assuming a one-acre site adjacent to a high-capacity transit station, how might a transit agency plan for station access? In general, parking structures provide a high-ridership potential, assuming sufficient parking demand exists. A four-level parking garage can yield 650 daily transit riders. On the other hand, a 10-story residential development (assumed Floor Area Ratio of 5.0) on the same site might provide 350 daily riders. From a transit agency perspective, the four-story parking garage would cost over $14 million dollars (or nearly $1,300 per rider), whereas the development poses no significant cost to the agency if it can be funded through private sources. In fact, if the agency owns the land in the station area, it can potentially appreciate income related to the ground rent. The spreadsheet tool provided as Appendix C allows users to test similar hypothetical scenarios with additional options for refinement. Implications and Directions The following implications relating to development adjacent to rapid transit stations emerge from the preceding discussion: 1. Land development has followed many rapid transit lines over the years. It should be encouraged along existing and proposed lines--especially around stations. One possibility is to establish rapid transit corridor overlay zones. 2. Efforts should focus on the city center and other major activity concentrations. It is important to guide land development in undeveloped areas in advance of rapid transit operation. Stations with strong back-up residential populations are also good candidates for TOD. 3. The types and sizes of TOD should recognize the market opportunities (and constraints) of specific station areas. Developments around stations range from ancillary convenience activities to the CBD. 4. Land developments around stations can provide important benefits in terms of community integration and design. They should provide good access between nearby residential and commercial development and stations. 5. TOD is an important complement to rapid transit stations. Developing TOD can improve the community tax base, facilitate walkability, and offer convenience to both transit patrons and motorists. 6. The types of TOD will depend upon location, land availability and costs, and market potentials. These types include: (1) convenience activities that are located within the station complex; (2) adjacent commercial, office, or residential developments, or a combination; (3) adjacent or nearby major activity centers; and (4) housing. 7. In many cases, both TOD and park-and-ride can be provided in the station environs. For example, many rapid transit stations are located at cross streets. This results in four quadrants around the station. TOD can be provided in some quadrants; park-and-ride in others. 8. The emphasis on TOD versus park-and-ride depends on: (1) where the station is or will be located; (2) the character of the surrounding areas; and (3) the market potentials of planned developments. Where stations are located in built-up areas and where policy favors TOD, auto access should be limited to passenger drop-off and pick-up. 9. Where buses and pedestrians are the main means of station access, TOD is usually more desirable than large park-and-ride facilities. Location, type of development, and market potentials are important. 10. The rapid transit ridership effects of TOD vary. They are significant in the city center, and other activity concentrations. However, not all TODs have significant ridership impacts. Connectivity, rapid transit service efficiency, availability of free parking for drivers, and the development market all figure into its success.
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TOD and Station Access 129 Exhibit 11-16. Direct connection from station to development (Ottawa, Ontario). Source: Kittelson & Associates, Inc. 11. There are many situations where the station environs can provide both TOD and the necessary transit parking space. In these cases more, rather than less, parking will be required. This situation could also result in increased rapid transit ridership. 12. Pedestrian-friendly designs should minimize walking distances to stations from adjacent TODs (see Exhibit 11-16). In sum, TOD should be viewed as a complement to station parking to the maximum extent possible. The eight-step planning process described in Chapter 2 provides a framework for establishing an appropriate balance between TOD and park-and-ride needs.