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Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies (2016)

Chapter: Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)

« Previous: Section 2 - Assess the Corridor (Step 2)
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Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
×
Page 32
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
×
Page 33
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
×
Page 34
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"Section 3 - Identify Goals (Step 3)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23630.
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27 Introduction What livability issues do the stakeholders want to focus their efforts on? In this step, stake­ holders begin to answer this question through a systematic process to develop preliminary, applicable goals for their transit corridor. Stakeholder preliminary goals are identified and agreed upon based on their collaborative discussions as well as the corridor’s strengths and needs identi­ fied through the metrics data collection and analysis. Identifying goals (Step 3 in Figure 1) involves two substeps: • Step 3.1: Identify Relevant Goals. • Step 3.2: Identify Corridor Strengths and Needs. Although they are described sequentially, they are best done in tandem, with the identifica­ tion of strengths and needs leading to the consideration of goals, and discussions about goals leading to further investigations of strengths and needs. The goals identified in Step 3 lead to the identification and implementation of strategies in Steps 4 and 5. Step 3.1: Identify Relevant Goals The Transit Corridor Livability Goals summarized in Table 7 provide a touchstone for iden­ tifying a corridor’s relative strengths and needs. Handbook users should review these goals and, based on the collective knowledge and expertise of the stakeholders, consider how well the study corridor’s characteristics address each goal. The goals also help define and provide context for identifying the initial list of corridor livability strengths and needs identified using the metrics in Step 3.2. Develop an applicable list of aspirational goals for the study corridor that can be augmented and refined as corridor strengths and needs are identified. Step 3.2: Identify Corridor Strengths and Needs Develop an initial list of corridor strengths and needs by comparing the metric scores for the study corridor to either or both of the following baselines: • The best­fit Livable Transit Corridor Typology category • A representative sample area from within the study corridor’s region. Consider using the following process to complete Step 3.2, using the metrics stakeholders selected in Step 2.1. S E C T I O N 3 Identify Goals (Step 3)

28 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Transit Corridor Livability Principles Goal Name Description High-quality transit, walking, and bicycling opportunities Regional Access Integrate corridor transit, nonmotorized modes, and land uses to provide convenient access to economic, social, and other livability opportunities. Regional Connectivity Promote pedestrian and bicycle routes that offer reasonably direct routes to local destinations and transit stations/stops. Demand Management Encourage travel decisions that favor alternatives to the car and optimize use of available transit capacity. Mixed- income housing near transit Affordability Provide sufficient affordable housing that fits the needs of an area’s workforce and disabled, elderly, and low-income residents, and offer affordable transportation options. Variety Allow and encourage diverse housing options that reflect the variety of households and housing needs along a corridor. Transit- accessible economic opportunities Jobs and Housing Offer a range of employment opportunities and align jobs along the corridor with the skills of residents who live, or may live, along the corridor. Vitality and Growth Promote economically and culturally vibrant corridor districts. Structure new growth along transit corridors and away from sensitive land. Reuse Encourage the reuse of previously developed land that has become vacant or underutilized. Vibrant and accessible community, cultural, and recreational opportunities Recreation Provide small parks and other recreational opportunities within walking distance of most transit-oriented homes, and provide larger parks and recreation facilities along transit corridors while maintaining compact walkable development near transit stations/stops. Cultural Enrichment Offer opportunities for cultural enrichment. Community Facilities Provide and maintain schools and community service facilities, such as libraries and post offices, within walking distance of most homes, while making efficient use of land near transit and major destinations. Accessible social and government services Essential Services Provide convenient transit access to health care and other essential social services. Infrastructure and Government Services Promote effective and safe infrastructure and other government services, while supporting other livability goals. Table 7. Transit Corridor Livability Principles and goals summary lookup table.

Identify Goals (Step 3) 29 Step 3.2.1: Typology Classification Identifying which typology category best matches your study corridor is equal parts art and science. While the typology and the principles are useful, descriptive tools, they are by no means definitive or absolute. While such precision may have been technically possible, these and other methods in this Handbook were specifically designed to be flexible enough to be useful to a wide variety of people and places. Context is critical and the people and places within a corridor can only be understood within the context of that corridor and its region. The typology, metrics, and methods provided herein are intended to be flexible tools for understanding corridors and the places within them, and, in doing so, provide a process for goal setting, strategies selection, and ultimately, policy and programing. Therefore, analysts and stakeholders should always interpret the typology, the metrics, and methods provided in this Handbook within the context of their own local knowledge and understanding of their study corridor. Three basic corridor types have been defined and categorized according to common sets of characteristics among transit corridors in the United States that represent idealized qualities of corridor livability. • Emerging Transit Corridors serve lower­density, segregated­use communities with limited transit service. While they generally score low on livability metrics scales due to infrequent transit service, have relatively few transit­ and pedestrian­accessible destinations, and have an auto­orientation in transportation and land use patterns, these corridors can offer many opportunities for future livability enhancements, in particular when transit services and new major transit­accessible destinations (activity centers) are developed. • Transitioning Transit Corridors are well on their way to providing high­performing livability conditions but still offer considerable opportunities for improvement. They include emerg­ ing corridors that have been transformed by the development of new major transit­accessible Transit Corridor Livability Principles Goal Name Description Healthy, safe, and walkable transit corridor neighborhoods Mix of Uses Provide retail conveniences, recreation, basic services, and cultural destinations close to transit stations/stops and within walking distance of most homes and jobs. Walking and Biking Environments Provide pedestrian and bicycling paths that are safe, attractive, and support community life. Street- Oriented Buildings Line streets with building facades that have generous windows, frequent entrances, and attractive features, and generally avoid parking lots or blank walls along streets. Enhance connectivity with building entrances that face streets or are connected to the circulation network via a pedestrian path. Context- Sensitive Design Respect historic, scenic, and other characteristics of established districts that are important for aesthetic cohesion and represent community preferences. Embrace and integrate historic and other cultural resources when possible, such as through adaptive reuse. Environmental Health Avoid exposure of residents and workers to noise, pollutants, or toxins resulting from corridor land use relationships and construction activities. Improve health in underserved neighborhoods impacted by industries. Table 7. (Continued).

30 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies destinations (activity centers) in at least one location along the corridor as well as urban revi­ talization and redevelopment opportunities, either due to an abundance of under utilized land, or older, sometimes economically depressed transit­oriented neighborhoods. • Integrated Transit Corridors provide a high level of livability performance. They contain both high­capacity and local transit services, dense and diverse destinations, reasonably direct pedes­ trian routes along enhanced walking environments, and balanced jobs and housing. Livability opportunities in these corridors include significant improvements gained from high transit service frequencies and “first­mile/last­mile” station­to­destination access enhancements. Analysts can use a combination of metric values from Step 2, local stakeholder knowledge, and professional judgments to classify the study corridor according to the idealized characteris­ tics of each category as shown in the Transit Corridor Livability Typology in Figure 9. Each corridor type—shown in columns—is rated in terms of the diversity of and accessibility to opportunities these corridors generally provide. As such, they represent idealized qualities of corridor livability: not hard­and­fast rules. Each corridor type was designed by combining the people and place factor for each principle and identifying those combinations that reflect categories from typologies found in the literature, as well as statistical modeling of transit cor­ ridors from around the United States. Figure 9. Transit Corridor Livability Typology.

Identify Goals (Step 3) 31 The boxes at the intersections of each column and row represent the quality of the combined people and place factors, ranked as “low,” “medium,” or “high.” Rankings of “high” signify the more accessibility to livability opportunities a corridor can achieve. Figure 10 illustrates how corridors (represented by the black polygon lines) generally fall into the three typology categories depending on how well they rate in terms of the Transit Corridor Livability Principles. A similar graph is provided for each study corridor in the Calculator based on the aggregation of metric scores. A variety of corridor subcategories are associated with each corridor type, as illustrated in Figure 11, to help analysts and stakeholders identify appropriate implementation strategies (see Step 5.2). More detailed discussion of the typology framework for livable transit corridors is provided in Appendix D. Using stakeholder knowledge and judgments, a study corridor can be classified qualitatively using the typology category descriptions above. These judgments are even more effective when used in tandem with the quantitative methods described below. Identifying the Best-Fitting Typology Category: Individual Metric Score Matching Handbook users can also classify their outside­of­CBD corridors by matching their indi­ vidual metric scores (as calculated in Step 2.3) to the average (mean) values presented in Table 8. Compare the existing­conditions metric values for the study corridor to the average metric values associated with the typology and listed in Table 8. Look for the typology category that best matches your corridor’s metric values. The typology category with the most closely matching mean values and study corridor metric values suggests the best­fitting typology category. Recommended Practice: Identifying the “Best-Fit” Typology Category Look for the typology category that best matches your corridor’s metric values and the descrip­ tions provided for each category. The Transit Corridor Livability Calculator can help identify the best­fit typology category based on existing­conditions metric scores. Step­by­step instructions Figure 10. Composite diagram from the Transit Corridor Livability Calculator comparing the three transit corridor typology categories.

32 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Figure 11. Livable Transit Corridor Typology categories. Metric Mean Values by Outside-of- CBD Corridor Type Emerging Transitioning Integrated Transit employment accessibility (weighted employment within 45-minute commute) 8,512 23,547 48,471 Transit service coverage (aggregate frequency of transit service per square mile) 440 1,873 7,473 Housing unaffordability (percent of income spent for housing) 32.09 30.41 29.50 Income diversity (variance from regional median household income) 0.347 0.358 0.380 Jobs density (employees/acre) 3.59 8.73 29.43 Retail jobs density (retail employees/acre) 0.509 0.919 2.419 Transit corridor ridership balance (RB) 0.193 0.236 0.353 Health care opportunities (health care employees/ acre) 0.80 2.19 4.29 Population density (population/acre) 10.08 20.46 39.90 Access to culture and arts (corridor entertainment employees/acre) 0.48 1.23 4.89 Pedestrian environment (intersection density) 85.0 115.9 167.7 Pedestrian collisions per 100,000 pedestrians 13.0 8.0 5.0 Table 8. Mean metric values for outside-of-CBD corridors by corridor type.

Identify Goals (Step 3) 33 for using the Calculator to perform this function can be found in the Calculator User’s Manual included in Appendix H. A Note of Caution: The metric averages presented in Table 8 are estimates derived from quantita- tive analysis (and in the case of pedestrian collisions per 100,000 pedestrians, qualitative assessment of quantitative findings) of more than 250 outside-of-CBD transit corridors in the United States. How- ever, in the case of the Housing Unaffordability and Income Diversity metrics, the differences between these average values for the three typology categories are small. While this suggests that these two metrics may not be well-suited to describing transit corridor livability conditions, this Handbook’s authors elected to retain and present them on theoretical grounds, since they are consistent with the Tran- sit Corridor Livability Principles. Statistical analysis also supports this decision. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) results found that all the metrics used in this Handbook (including Housing Unaffordability and Income Diversity) have average values for each typology category that are significantly different from each other and that these differences are consistent with the theoretical hypotheses posed prior to analysis (see Appendix G for presentation of these results). Nevertheless, this Handbook’s authors advise analysts to use the metrics and mean values presented herein with caution, and let local knowl- edge and professional judgments play a prominent role in identifying the best-fit typology category. Step 3.2.2: Identify Initial List of Corridor Livability Strengths and Needs Identify those metric scores for the study corridor that are closer to the average values for other corridor categories shown Table 8 than they are to the best­fit corridor category. These high and low scores represent existing strengths and needs that stakeholders may be able to leverage and build on to further enhance their corridor’s livability. For example, the metric scores and rankings for a Transitioning Corridor—the San Francisco Bay Area’s Richmond BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Line corridor—provided in Table 9 suggest the following strengths: • Pedestrian environment (intersection density): This Transitioning Corridor has a pedestrian­ oriented, walkable environment more typically found in Integrated Corridors. • Neighborhood safety (pedestrian collisions per 100,000 daily pedestrians): It also is safer for pedestrians than other corridors in its typology category. Now identify those metrics for the study corridor with scores that are well below the typology category average values using Table 8. These scores represent livability needs in your corridor. Metric scores and rankings for the San Francisco Bay Area’s Richmond BART Line corridor in Table 9 suggest the following needs (where livability improvement efforts can be focused): • Transit service coverage (aggregate frequency of transit service per square mile): Transit service coverage is low compared to other Transitioning Corridors. • Income diversity (variance from regional median household income): Income diversity is low compared to other Transitioning Corridors. • Transit corridor RB: The corridor’s low RB metric score suggests this corridor operates more as a suburban commuter (Emerging) corridor. Note: It is important to perform reasonableness checks on metric values to make sure they are consis- tent with professional judgments and local knowledge of the study corridor. Unquestioned acceptance of the metric values and rankings can lead to misconceptions about the corridor’s livability needs or potential for improvements. Use a combination of the metrics­identified strengths and needs (identified in Step 3.2) and the preliminary list of goals identified here to select and refine a portfolio of final goals best suited for improving livability in the study corridor. Table 10 provides an example of goals identification using the metric scores for the San Francisco Bay Area’s Richmond BART Line Corridor.

34 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Transit Corridor Livability Principles Factor Measure (Metric) Mean Values by Outside-of- CBD Corridor Type San Francisco/ Richmond BART Line Category Name Emerging Transitioning Integrated Values Ranking High-quality transit, walking, and bicycling opportunities Place Urban form Transit employment accessibility (weighted employment within 45- minute commute) 8,512 23,547 48,471 23,449 Average People Transit and non-auto service quality Transit service coverage (aggregate frequency of transit service per square mile) 440 1,873 7,473 1,120 Need Mixed- income housing near transit Place Mixed-income housing Housing unaffordability (percent of income spent for housing) 32.09 30.41 29.50 30.20 Average People Economically and age- diverse population Income diversity (average variance of corridor block group incomes from corridor mean) 0.347 0.358 0.380 0.290 Need Transit- accessible economic opportunities Place Employment opportunities Jobs density (employees/acre) 3.59 8.73 29.43 6.87 Average People Consumer opportunities Retail jobs density (retail employees/ acre) 0.509 0.919 2.419 1.04 Average Accessible social and government services Place Effective services Transit corridor RB 0.193 0.236 0.353 0.163 Need People Accessible services Health care opportunities (health 0.80 2.19 4.29 2.32 Average care employees/acre) Vibrant and accessible community, cultural, and recreational opportunities Place Urban form Population density (population/acre) 10.08 20.46 39.90 21.18 Average People Cultural & recreational opportunities Access to culture and arts (corridor entertainment employees/acre) 0.48 1.23 4.89 1.19 Average Healthy, safe, and walkable transit corridor neighborhoods Place Pedestrian- oriented environment Pedestrian environment (intersection density) 85.0 115.9 167.7 156.0 Strength People Neighborhood safety Pedestrian collisions per 100,000 pedestrians 13.0 8.0 5.0 3.18 Strength Table 9. Example ranking of metric values for the San Francisco Bay Area’s Richmond BART Line corridor.

Identify Goals (Step 3) 35 Transit Corridor Livability Principles Metric Goals Identification Strengths Needs Goals High-quality transit, walking, and bicycling opportunities Transit employment accessibility (weighted employment within 45-minute commute) Transit service coverage (aggregate frequency of transit service per square mile) Regional access Regional connectivity Demand management Mixed-income housing near transit Housing unaffordability (percent of income spent for housing) Income diversity (variance from regional median household income) Affordability Variety Transit- accessible economic opportunities Jobs density (employees/acre) Retail jobs density (retail employees/ acre) Accessible social and government services Transit corridor RB Essential services Infrastructure and government services Health care opportunities (health care employees/acre) Vibrant and accessible community, cultural, and recreational opportunities Population density (population/acre) Access to culture and arts (corridor entertainment employees/acre) Healthy, safe, and walkable transit corridor neighborhoods Pedestrian environment (intersection density) Pedestrian collisions per 100,000 pedestrians Table 10. Example identification of applicable strategic goals using metric values for the San Francisco Bay Area’s Richmond BART Line corridor.

Next: Section 4 - Develop a Vision (Step 4) »
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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 187: Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies presents practical planning and implementation strategies to enhance livability in transit corridors. This Handbook provides a resource for planning practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders to measure, understand, and improve transit corridor livability.

The handbook provides a definition of transit corridor livability and a set of methods, metrics, and strategies—framed within a five-step visioning and improvement process—that communities can use to improve livability in their transit corridors. It includes a set of tools and techniques that can help in planning and building support for corridor improvements, screening alternatives in preparation for environmental review, identifying a corridor’s livability needs, and developing an action-oriented set of strategies for improving transit corridor livability and quality of life.

A spreadsheet-based Transit Corridor Livability Calculator tool is available for download. Instructions for using the Calculator tool are embedded within. Additional guidance in the form of a User Manual can be found in Appendix H of TCRP Research Report 187. To ensure the Calculator tool is fully-functional, make sure the tool's spreadsheet file and the TCRP Research Report 187 PDF file are both saved to the same directory folder on your computer.

Any digital files or software included is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively “TRB”) be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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