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96 While every transit corridor is unique, characteristically similar corridors often face similar challenges. The Livable Transit Corridor Typology can help to match planning strategies to characteristically similar corridors. This method has been applied at the scale of the transit- oriented district by several metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). For example, as a way to prioritize planning grants and public investments, Metro, the Portland-area MPO, has cate- gorized transit station areas according to market readiness and urban form (TriMet et al. 2011). This Handbookâs Livable Transit Corridor Typology can also be used to prioritize planning and investments and point to additional ways to effectively implement its Livability Principles. âA focus at the corridor scale should make it possible to represent interactions among stations and neighborhoods and thereby assess their compatibility and codependence.â (Moore et al. 2007) Livability can be more fully leveraged if transit agency decisions and local development decisions are informed by better understanding a corridorâs general characteristics and needs, as highlighted by understanding common ways that corridors can progress (Moore et al. 2007). The following corridor type descriptions offer guidance for how to approach a particular corridor, based on the corridor type with which it is most closely associated. Three corridor types have been defined to describe relative levels of performance and suggest how corridors can progress toward higher levels of livability: â¢ Emerging Corridors are found in low-density, use-segregated communities. They generally score low on livability metrics because of infrequent transit service, primarily focused on commuting hours; relatively few transit- and pedestrian-accessible destinations; and auto- oriented transportation and land use patterns. â¢ Transitioning Corridors are well on their way to providing high-performing livability con- ditions but still offer considerable opportunities for improvement. Some would be classified as Emerging if not for the development of a major activity center in a least one location along the corridor. Transitioning corridors also include older transit-oriented neighborhoods where investments in enhancing transit services and economic development can help propel these corridors toward increased livability. â¢ Integrated Corridors score high on this Handbookâs livability metrics. They contain many transit-oriented destinations, have direct routes and enhanced walking environments, and balanced jobs and housing. These categories provide a framework that can help Handbook users identify the goals and planning strategies best suited for the existing conditions and desired outcomes for their cor- ridors. Each category is described in detail below and illustrated with case studies. Figure D-1 illustrates and provides a summary description of each typology category. A P P E N D I X D Livable Transit Corridor Typology
Livable Transit Corridor Typology 97 Emerging Corridors have few destinations accessible by transit or on foot; Transitioning Corridors offer a significant but incomplete set of destinations; Integrated Corridors offer access to a complete range of opportunities. Figure D-1. Corridor characteristics and performance (CBD îµ central business district).
98 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Emerging Corridors As greenfield low-intensity (suburban, low-density, low-diversity) development occurs, the transit services provided are typically infrequent, local bus routes. Such new growth areas are typically developed with use-segregated, auto-oriented urban form patterns, dominated by residential or commercial/industrial uses at lower densities. Lower-intensity uses are associated with lower demand for public transit, and do not deliver sufficient market support for retail and other local destinations to bring them within walking distance of most homes or jobs. Pedestrian access to transit and local destinations is further encumbered by the circuitous street patterns featured in most new developments. Emerging Corridors provide a starting point for transit service but often perform poorly in attaining livability goals. A corridor will likely remain Emerging as long it stays at a relatively low intensity, lacks transit-accessible destinations, and delivers few transit-accessible opportunities. Emerging Corridors can achieve higher levels of livability by intensifying development and by attracting major destinations to transit-accessible locations along a corridor, a process that is described below under âTransitioning Corridors.â Transit modes vary along Emerging Corridors. Low-intensity areas must often rely on bus service. High-capacity heavy and light rail sometimes serve Emerging Corridors, but often make use of historic rail infrastructure or are placed in freeway rights-of-way. Infrastructure invest- ments to create new high-capacity transit services are rare because of the lower ridership levels associated with lower land use intensities. (The presence or addition of major destinations may justify such investments, as described in âTransitioning Corridors.â) In Emerging Corridors, transit service tends to be infrequent because of lower land use intensi- ties. Commuter transit service may be offered only during peak periods. Transit service intended for residentsâ access to local destinations may be available during commute and non-commute hours, but with widely spaced headways. Stops or stations are often widely spaced as well, designed to provide fast line-haul service to regional activity centers. Because long station spacing provides less service coverage within these corridors (since station access trips are longer) only limited land use changes can occur. Strengths and Needs Many Emerging Corridors share the following opportunities for livability strengths: â¢ Vacant or underutilized land development opportunities, â¢ Historic rail or road rights-of-way that can be used for transit investments, and â¢ Support for transit investments by local residents frustrated by existing congested road conditions. Livability enhancement needs typically found in Emerging Corridors include: â¢ Low population and employment densities, â¢ Separated land uses, â¢ Low quality and frequency of transit services, â¢ Auto-oriented land uses and street designs, â¢ Auto-dominated travel patterns, and â¢ Long travel distances to employment centers. Three common types of Emerging Corridors are: â¢ Commercial/industrial, â¢ Suburban commuter, and â¢ Local bus.
Livable Transit Corridor Typology 99 Commercial/Industrial Commercial/Industrial Emerging Corridors are dominated by employment uses that are gener- ally low-rise and low-intensity, and may have little housing, retail, or cultural activities. Transit service is generally limited to commute hours, with little or no service at other times. Typical transit modes include: â¢ Commuter rail or newer light rail services along historic rail alignments. â¢ Express or local commuter bus services along major arterials with limited hours of operation. Case Study Example: Sacramentoâs Gold Line Light Rail Corridor The Gold Line corridor along U.S. Route 50 east of Sacramento, California, was part of the original light rail system opened in 1987. This corridorâdefined here as running from Historic Folsom Station (the lineâs terminus) to Butterfield Way stationâprimarily contains commercial and industrial uses near the rail line, with its stations and low-density suburban residential uses further out. Key activity centers in and near this corridor include Mather Air Force Base (just beyond a mile from Mather Station), the Rancho Cordova Town Center mall (Zinfandel Station), and the Rancho Cordova Town Center (Cordova Town Center). While this corridor has traditionally been dominated by commercial and industrial uses, recent effortsâparticularly by the City of Rancho Cordovaâhave seen it become the focus of TOD plans and development activities (Bizjak 2004), raising its prospects for elevating its livability in the future. Suburban Commuter Suburban Commuter Corridors offer high-speed transit service between low-density, use- segregated residential areas and employment centers. They may have some limited neighborhood commercial uses but offer few employment opportunities. Suburban Commuter Corridors are largely car-dependent except for commute trips. Access to transit stations is primarily designed to accommodate park-and-ride, auto drop-off, or bus access modes. Station access transit services are generally limited to peak periods in these corridors, while the line-haul commuter line provides frequent service during the peaks and infrequent service (or in some of these corridors, no service) during the off-peak periods. Typical transit modes include: â¢ High-speed commuter, heavy or light rail, and BRT along historic rail alignments or freeway rights-of-way. â¢ Commuter bus service along major arterials with limited hours of operation. Case Study Example: Clevelandâs Blue Line Clevelandâs Blue Line corridor has light rail transit service between downtown Cleveland and Shaker Heights, providing regional access to residents who live at relatively low densities. However, employment opportunities are rare along this corridor between its terminus at Van Aken Center and Shaker Square, as is pedestrian- or transit-based access to cultural destinations, health care, and major retailers. The relative lack of these opportunities within this Suburban Commuter Corridor is mitigated by the access to a higher diversity of opportunities available to corridor residents in the CBD, but transit service is generally limited to commute hours, and the travel time between outlying stations and the CBD is high. Local Bus Local Bus Corridors offer limited local bus service that is generally used by residents to access nearby, within-corridor destinations. Low-density housing typically is in walking distance of bus
100 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies stops in Local Bus Corridors, and âstrip commercialâ uses may be located between the arterial bus route and residential areas. Local Bus Corridors generally follow arterial and collector roadways, with auto-oriented land uses and street network patterns. Buses along the route share lanes with other traffic, requiring little in the way of transit infrastructure investments. In areas with lower-intensity land uses, transit service often follows circuitous routes in order to serve a larger area. Circuitous routes and closely spaced bus stops result in long travel times, especially if transit is used for commuting. Because of this high time cost, individuals who are transit dependent (because of income, age, or disability) comprise a high proportion of Local Bus Corridor transit ridership, and may rely on the bus for access to health care, grocery stores, and other essential needs. Case Study Example: Camelback Road, Phoenix The Camelback Road corridor in Phoenix is an example of a Local Bus Corridor. Camelback Road is an arterial roadway flanked by low-intensity suburban commercial, which, in turn, is surrounded by low-density residential. Single-story retail and office buildings face parking lots. Arizona State University and local planners have been exploring how the arterial can intensify in walkable, transit-oriented ways to take advantage of growing market support for infill and redevelopment of aging commercial uses (Arizona State University, School of Planning 2007). Transitioning Corridors Transitioning Corridors have the potential to be highly livable, but often lack key opportuni- ties that will catalyze a high quality of life. They can occur in both suburban and urban areas. In suburban areas, Transitioning Corridors often resemble use-segregated Emerging Corridors but have developed new, major, transit-accessible destinations in at least one location along the cor- ridor. Such major destinations are usually included within activity centersâmixed-use nodes at moderate to high densities. In urban locations, Transitioning Corridors may be found in areas that originally developed as transit-oriented neighborhoods, but economic trends and regional growth patterns have left these areas in a state of neglect or decline. These corridors often have many underutilized sites (for example, vacant parcels, excessive parking, and otherwise low-intensity development). Stops or stations are often widely spaced in suburban and exurban Transitioning Corridors, providing fast service to activity centers. However, redeveloping, older areas may have legacy transit services with short station spacings, making these corridors attractive for transit-oriented development. A corridor will likely remain Transitioning as long its transit is focused on fast commuter services to activity centers, neglecting transit service coverage within the corridor. Low-intensity development patternsâparticularly around stationsâalso hinder livability improvements. Livability gains in Transitioning Corridors require coordinated land use and economic and transit improvements. Strengths and Needs Most Transitioning Corridors share the following opportunities for livability enhancements: â¢ Vacant or underutilized land development opportunities; â¢ Concentrated employment centers within the corridor or nearby; â¢ Transit-oriented design and street networks ready for transit investments; and â¢ Economic development opportunities with good accessibility to regional jobs.
Livable Transit Corridor Typology 101 Livability enhancement needs typically found in Transitioning Corridors include: â¢ Separated land uses; â¢ Economically challenged neighborhoods; and â¢ Transit services focused on high-speed access to activity centers (particularly CBDs), often with few intra-corridor transit options. Two common types of Transitioning Corridors are â¢ Major destination and â¢ Revitalizing/redeveloping. Major Destination Corridors Major Destination Corridors are distinguishable from Emerging Corridors by the presence of a large travel destination around at least one station. These destination nodes are usually activity centers (master-planned, mixed-use developments). These key stations introduce significant new transit-accessible opportunities for retail, cultural, and community activities. Destination nodes are also employment centers and can have housing at moderate to high densities, creating a better jobs-housing balance. Destination nodes generally have moderate intensities overall, with the potential for higher intensities associated with Transit-Oriented Nodes Corridors (see âIntegrated Corridorsâ). Outside of destination nodes, Major Destination Corridors are surrounded by low-density residential and/or commercial uses. Activity centers along these corridors may offer walkable and bikable connections to transit and local destinations, but street connections are not always direct. Activity centers are often auto-oriented, with larger blocks that must be traversed by pedestrian and bicycle paths. Along Major Destination Corridors, frequent transit service may be available during commute hours, with infrequent service during non-commute hours. Typical transit modes include: â¢ Commuter, heavy, or light rail along historic rail or newer highway alignments; â¢ Express bus service along major arterials; â¢ Light rail or BRT as part of more recent capital projects; and â¢ Local bus service and shuttle bus service. Case Study Example: Washington, D.C.âs Metro Orange Line Washington, D.C.âs, Metro Orange Line in Northern Virginia is a good example of a Major Destination Corridor. This area has undergone rapid employment densification along its inner stations (near the Washington, D.C.-Virginia border), while much of the rest of the corridor has remained relatively residential and suburban. Therefore, while retail and overall employment opportunities are high in this corridor, housing and travel options are relatively low outside its activity centers. The lack of coordination between these transit-accessible activity centers and the mostly suburban development patterns surrounding them indicates that the livability benefits these corridors offer in terms of employment diversity are somewhat compromised by a lack of diverse corridor travel options. Revitalizing/Redeveloping Corridors Revitalizing/Redeveloping Corridors often have large amounts of underutilized land, such as vacant sites, excessive parking lots, and low-rise buildings. These conditions often exist where eco- nomic decline and disinvestment has occurred, such as in urban areas that grew initially around access to streetcar lines that have since been abandoned. These corridors present opportunities
102 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies to reposition communities economically. In locations with growth, Revitalizing/Redevelop- ing Corridors can include attractive neighborhoods with high livability potential to combine new and existing homes and industries. In locations projected to lose population, Revitalizing/ Redeveloping Corridors offer opportunities to increase parks, urban agriculture, and other community-supportive uses. Along these corridors, frequent transit service may be available during commute hours, with infrequent service during non-commute hours. Typical transit modes include â¢ Commuter, heavy, or light rail along historic rail alignments; â¢ Express bus service along major arterials; â¢ Light rail or BRT as part of more recent capital projects; and â¢ Local bus service and shuttle bus service. Case Study Example: Chicagoâs Green Line/Lake Street El In late 1991, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) faced a large budget shortfall. At the same time, the Green Line elevated train was experiencing low ridership as Chicagoâs west side experienced a protracted period of economic and population decline, and CTA proposed that the Green Line be closed. The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) joined with other organizations to stimulate urban revitalization along the Green Line to maintain service and turn blighted neighborhoods around. CNTâs Green Line initiative focused on stimulating infill development, enhancing public safety, increasing jobs, and strengthening local shops and com- munity institutions that were already in place. The city of Chicago was an important partner in implementing revitalization measures along the Green Line, including the remaking of the severely blighted Horner public housing project into a mixed-use, mixed-income, high-density neighborhood. Federal Empowerment Zone and HUD HOPE VI grants helped support these efforts (Project for Public Spaces, Inc. 1997). In 2012, the city announced plans to build a Green Line station at Cermak Road as part of an effort to improve service quality to residential neighbor- hoods along the corridor, serve the nearby McCormick Place Convention Center, and build TOD on station-adjacent, vacant properties (Spielman 2011). Integrated Corridors Integrated Corridors are served by high-capacity transit modes, including HRT, LRT, CR, and/or BRT with dedicated bus lanes. Integrated Corridors also include nearly ubiquitous local bus service that extends the catchment area for high-capacity transit and connects transit users to more destinations during commute and non-commute hours. Integrated Corridors have TOD conditions with destinations that have a dense, diverse set of opportunities, translating into higher levels of transit ridership. Such corridors have relatively balanced matches between the skills and incomes of the residents and the kinds of jobs and housing within their catchment area. Within walking distance of each transit station or stop of an Integrated Corridor, dense and diverse destinations also make it possible to make most daily and many occasional needs on foot. Integrated Corridors typically have high levels of livability. The two general types of Integrated Corridors are: â¢ Continuous transit-oriented and â¢ Transit-oriented nodes. Each type is served by high-capacity transit modes, local bus service, and dense, diverse destinations, but they differ in the extent of transit-oriented conditions beyond the immediate
Livable Transit Corridor Typology 103 vicinity of their transit stations (see descriptions below). Stops and stations are typically closely spaced in Integrated Corridors, providing comprehensive transit service coverage and opportunities for development intensification. Livability improvements in these cor- ridors are usually focused on providing affordable housing opportunities, transit service improvements (such as last-mile station access services) and other non-auto operational enhancements. Strengths and Needs Most Integrated Corridors share the following opportunities for livability enhancements: â¢ Concentrated employment centers, within the corridor or nearby; â¢ Transit-oriented design and street networks ready for transit investments; and â¢ Economic development opportunities with good accessibility to regional jobs. Livability enhancement needs typically found in Integrated Corridors include: â¢ Established, built-out land uses offer few development opportunities, â¢ High real estate prices can exclude low- and moderate-income residents, and â¢ High real estate prices makes transit right-of-way acquisition expensive. Continuous Transit-Oriented Corridor A Continuous Transit-Oriented Corridor is an extended urban area consisting of multiple TODs with overlapping and fine-grained transit-oriented connections and development patterns. Within this type of corridor, TODs merge and extend beyond the maximum (quarter- to half-mile) walking distance that limit standalone TODs. Continuous Transit-Oriented Corridors are generally associated with established urban areas where there is a mix of uses and moderate or high density. Small blocks provide excel- lent street connectivity, with ubiquitous walking and bicycle routes. These areas generally were developed before freeways and high car-ownership rates made dispersed patterns of development possible. Along Continuous Transit-Oriented Corridors, frequent service is available during commute and non-commute hours. Typical transit modes include: â¢ All high-capacity transit modes (heavy rail, light rail, BRT, and express bus) and â¢ Local bus service and shuttle bus service. Case Study Example: Philadelphiaâs South Broad Street Line Philadelphiaâs South Broad Street Line runs from Pattison (AT&T) Station to Lombard- South Station near downtown. South Broad Street has high-quality transit-oriented urban form throughout the entire corridor, with population density scores nearly triple the average of all cases studied for this Handbookâs research. These urban form characteristics combine with high-quality transit services and nonmotorized services (intersection densities more than dou- ble the average) to provide a high level of transit and nonmotorized travel opportunities that are typical among Continuous Transit-Oriented Corridors. This high-quality transit-oriented urban area also provides a rich collection of economic opportunities, with retail job densities at over four times the study average. The corridor also has vibrant and expanding artistic com- munities, with nearly four times as many arts employees as the study average. This manifests in higher-than-average levels of livability in terms of both people and place across all the Transit Corridor Livability Principles.
104 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Transit-Oriented Nodes Corridor Transit-Oriented Nodes Corridors possess all the characteristics of Integrated Corridors within the walkable vicinity of a transit station or stop. Outside the station areas, however, development patterns are low-density and tend to be auto-oriented. Transit-Oriented Nodes Corridors are generally associated with mixed-use development in suburban settings, at moderate and high intensities. These corridors may include activity centers; master-planned suburban town centers; the redevelopment of âgreyfieldsâ (economically outdated uses or underused land), such as with vacant shopping centers; and incremental intensification with loose assemblages of multifamily, retail, and employment development projects. As in Major Destination Corridors, walking and bicycle connections to transit and local desti- nations may be reasonably direct, but may rely on walking and bicycle routes that are separated from street connections that may be indirect. Along Transit-Oriented Nodes Corridors, frequent service may be available during commute hours, with infrequent service during non-commute hours. Typical transit modes include: â¢ Heavy rail or light rail along historic rail alignments, â¢ Express bus service along major arterials, â¢ Light rail or BRT as part of more recent capital projects, and â¢ Local bus service and shuttle bus service. Case Study Example: San Francisco Bay Areaâs BART Pittsburg-Bay Point Line A good example of a Transit-Oriented Nodes Corridor is BARTâs Pittsburg-Bay Point Line in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area. This corridor has lower-density, single-family-home neigh- borhoods outside of station areas, but higher population and employment densities around key stations where TOD plans have begun to transform the corridor. These growing station-area nodes create inconsistencies between within-station and outside-of-station areas in terms of transportation and land use. While station areas are increasingly pedestrian- and transit-oriented in form and function, the areas beyond walking distance of these stations are decidedly auto- oriented (Cervero 1998).