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60 Introduction Strategies provide paths to implementation. Strategies can identify courses of action, set pri- orities, link to resources, and assign responsibilities. This appendix describes important imple- mentation strategies cited in Section 5 and Appendix A, and can be referred to as Handbook users consider and compile a list of potential strategies. This Appendix provides guidance by offering a preliminary menu of strategies. Selected strat- egies should be tailored to the unique needs and strengths of the study corridor with serious con- sideration of available resources and tools. Strategies compiled below are NOT prescriptive and Handbook users are encouraged to customize strategies. Any strategyâwhether taken directly as-written from this Handbook or customizedâwill require serious stakeholder commitment to the overall process of corridor-level planning. This overview of implementation strategies synthesizes case study literature and interview findings. Most strategies are broadly recognized professional practices. This Appendix has three subsections: â¢ Government Frameworks describes vehicles for instituting the âLivability Strategiesâ described later. Government frameworks include: â state and federal guidance, â regional frameworks, â location-specific plans for corridors and station areas, â grant programs, and â recognition that incremental steps are often required. â¢ Livability Strategies describes a menu of implementation tools, which are organized accord- ing to the Handbookâs Transit Corridor Livability Principles. â¢ Strategies for Corridor Types outlines strategies associated with whether a corridor is emerg- ing, transitioning, or integrated. For descriptions of corridor types, see Appendix D. Government Frameworks State and Federal Guidance State and federal livability-related guidance often comes in the form of overarching principles and generalized recommendations. While they defer authority to local planning efforts, this high level guidance can play a vital role in encouraging the adoption of implementation of livable transit corridor strategies. A P P E N D I X B Description of Implementation Strategies
Description of Implementation Strategies 61 State-Level Declarations Declarations by state governors can, through executive action, direct state departments and influ- ence decisions by regional agencies and local governments. In Pennsylvania, the governor called for comprehensive transit-oriented planning by issuing the âKeystone Principles for Growth, Invest- ment and Resource Conservationâ in 2005. The Keystone Principles call for state agencies to make decisions that emphasize redevelopment, efficient infrastructure, transportation choices, compact development, job opportunities, business-related sustainability efforts, housing opportunities, and regional planning (Governorâs Economic Cabinet, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 2005). In Massachusetts, the governorâs office established âSustainable Development Principlesâ to guide state agency policies and programs. These principles call for compact development, social equity, affordable housing, economic development, transportation choice, and coordination among stakeholders. The principles are a touchstone as the state funds infrastructure and plan- ning activities, and precipitated the development of Massachusettsâ âSmart Growth Toolkit,â an educational guide that uses case studies to highlight successful strategies. Federal Programs Federal programs for smart growth and livability have jump-started transit-oriented livability initiatives in regions across the country. The sizable Livable Communities Act (LCA) grants lever- age planning and investments focusing on community revitalization, affordable housing, brown- field cleanup, and integrating land use and transportation. LCA grants went to local jurisdictions and NGOs, with an emphasis on partnerships, community participation, and social equity. The federal New Starts program funds transportation improvements. Several MPOs cite ways that New Starts programs leveraged community livability objectives, such as by funding pedes- trian and bicycle connections to stations. In Minneapolis-Saint Paul, a HUD Sustainable Communities Planning Grant improved liv- ability along corridors as part of the regionâs âPartnership for Regional Opportunityâ program. Diverse projects were funded, including TOD studies, predevelopment and planning grants, small business supports, demonstration projects for TOD benefits, and community engagement. A large part of this HUD grant was dedicated to community engagement and developing the leadership capacities of community-based organizations. Regional Frameworks Regional frameworks offer comprehensive transit-oriented planning and implementation tools. Regional frameworks allow a âwhole systemâ perspective on transportation, land use, and other factors relating to livability, and coordinates actions across jurisdictional boundaries. Regional Plans Regional plans can be designed to express a host of livability goals for transit access along cor- ridors. Livability is at the heart of the Chicago areaâs regional plan, âGo to 2040.â Its introduction declares: âWhile development should fit the local context, community choices about land use and housing should also emphasize principles that improve livability, such as: â¢ support for transit, walking, and bicycling â¢ a range of housing options â¢ environmental protection â¢ access to green space â¢ design, aesthetics, and local historic character.â (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning 2014)
62 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies âGo to 2040â promotes development of comprehensive plans, ordinances, and regulations consistent with walkable compact development and educating decision makers. The plan recom- mends supporting local comprehensive planning and compact development through grant pro- grams, infrastructure investments, technical assistance, and collaboration among municipalities. It stresses that housing affordability should factor into transportation costs and encourages local communities to allow mixed uses and higher densities within âlocation-efficientâ areas near tran- sit. Counties and municipalities can increase density by providing density bonuses in exchange for affordable units; creating transit overlay districts, or using form-based codes to address com- munity fit. A âPublic Participation Planâ accompanies âGo to 2040â (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning 2010). TOD Guidelines While TOD guideline documents do not address the complete spectrum of livability concerns, they cover many aspects of livability and model a type of document that could promote livabil- ity. Dallas Area Rapid Transitâs (DARTâs) TOD Guidelines illustrate livability factors typically addressed, including (but not limited to): â¢ Maintaining compact development patterns, â¢ Mixing complementary land uses, â¢ Providing pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, â¢ Constructing street-facing buildings, â¢ Avoiding street-facing parking lots and blank walls, and â¢ Encouraging community-serving recreation and destinations (Dallas Area Rapid Transit District 2008). Minneapolis-Saint Paulâs âHandbook for Transit-Oriented Development Grantsâ provides clear guidance and criteria for TOD program grant applicants (see âTOD Implementation Grantsâ above) (Metropolitan Council 2014b). To compete for funds, proposed projects are evaluated across the following factors: â¢ Urban Design: Evaluation criteria include active pedestrian-oriented first floors, buildingsâ transparency, street-oriented architecture, minimal setbacks, and shared amenities. â¢ Land Use: Evaluation criteria include transit- and retail-supportive uses, avoiding auto-oriented uses, and providing local conveniences and services. â¢ Mobility: Evaluation criteria include parking and transportation features that reduce the supply of parking and encourage alternative modes of transportation. Bike facilities and pedestrian-oriented features are also noted, such as short blocks, direct paths, and trail ameni- ties (Metropolitan Council 2014a). TOD Strategic Plans In 2013, the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities (Met Council) adopted a âTOD Strate- gic Action Planâ (SAP) that provides high level guidance to promote supporting TOD by: â¢ Collaborating with partners to promote TOD, including technical assistance and stakeholder engagement; â¢ Leveraging limited resources, such as with strategic planning and incentives for development; â¢ Joint development and strategic land acquisition; and â¢ Focusing on implementation, including administration of the TOD grant program (Metro- politan Council 2013). Met Councilâs TOD principles offer a touchstone when developing strategies for TOD implementation: â¢ Collaboration: engaging all levels of government, the private sector, regional institutions, and the public to implement a shared vision.
Description of Implementation Strategies 63 â¢ Equity: connecting all residents to opportunities such as good jobs, transportation choices, safe and stable housing, a range of parks and natural areas, and vibrant open spaces. â¢ Stewardship: using resources prudently to help ensure the regionâs financial, social, and envi- ronmental sustainability, now and for future generations. â¢ Integration: aligning and coordinating policies, plans, resources, and actions both within and outside of the Met Council to more effectively achieve regional and community goals. â¢ Accountability: identifying appropriate indicators and measuring outcomes to evaluate the effectiveness of goals and policies (Metropolitan Council 2013). Met Council emphasizes coordination and collaboration, as implementation requires actions of public, private, and nonprofit partners at the regional, municipal, corridor and district levels. Location-Specific Planning Comprehensive plans for specific areas or corridors promote implementation by recognizing local conditions and opportunities and by connecting broad goals to implementation measures. Planning around corridors and station area plans encourage solutions that cut across disciplin- ary boundaries. Station Area Plans Station area plans focus on areas within comfortable walking distance of transit. These transit- oriented and pedestrian-friendly districts are building blocks for livable transit corridors. Station area plans must integrate a range of planning factors. Common elements for station area plans include, but are not limited to: â¢ Local destinations and complementary uses, â¢ Network connectivity, â¢ Complete street design, â¢ Community recreation and open space, â¢ Building-street relationships, and â¢ Market feasibility and financing strategies for upfront costs. Corridor Plans In spite of their utility in addressing planning goals, few corridor-level plans were discovered as part of case study research. Nevertheless, the corridor-level plans examined are noteworthy. In Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the Corridors of Opportunity (COO) program emphasizes whole system approaches to organizing land use and transportation. Under the COO, action plans spring from corridor-specific analysis and provide station area parameters that local jurisdic- tions can build on, such as by adopting station area plans. The corridor action plans provide action-oriented and aspirational guidance. Based on interviews conducted for this Handbook, the following suggestions were identified for developing guidance for encouraging corridor- level planning: â¢ Develop a process to identify infrastructure needs and redevelopment sites at least five years before opening a new transit line. â¢ Identify infrastructure needs that should be in place on opening day, and within 10, 20, and 25 years. â¢ Identify local, state, and federal funding sources for infrastructure projects. â¢ Identify a clear vision for each station area in the corridor. â¢ Assemble management teams of neighborhood residents, city staff, and elected officials that will implement the vision.
64 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Grant Programs Grants from governments and NGOs can help overcome obstacles to livable transit corridors. Grant criteria can target particular livability goals. Technical Assistance Grants Technical assistance grants are sometimes used by MPOs to help local jurisdictions over- come obstacles to TOD and address livability needs. Technical assistance grants can have a nar- row focus and can be used for such things as area plans, development feasibility studies, street improvement plans, and parking and transportation demand management recommendations. TOD Implementation Grants Met Councilâs TOD grants program promotes moderate- to high-density development and affordable housing near transit. TOD grants can be used for both planning and capital projects. Minneapolis-Saint Paul region applicants can apply for funding from the Livable Communi- ties Demonstration Account (LCDA) and the Tax Base Revitalization Account (TBRA). LCDA funding goes toward parcel assembly, placemaking activities, complete streets, energy efficiency installations, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and planning activities. TBRA funding goes to site investigation, cleanup of polluted land or buildings, and other predevelopment needs, such as market studies, legal work, community workshops, site capacity studies, traffic studies, and contaminated site investigations. Grant programs come with guidance on best practices, such as use of Met Councilâs âHand- book for TODâ discussed above (see âTOD Guidelinesâ). Funding priorities are guided by a TOD SAP developed by Met Council in collaboration with government and other stakeholders. TOD program staff who administer implementation-focused grants have real estate experience that enables them to work closely with developers, landowners, and financial institutions to overcome barriers to development. Incremental Approaches Sometimes sweeping comprehensive corridor plans are not possible, but each planning effort along a corridor can help build support with the public and helped attract politicians to the cause. In the Village of Niles, Illinois, near Chicago, Milwaukee Avenue was an arterial highway char- acterized by aging highway commercial uses and high traffic volumes. Sidewalks were missing along most of the auto-oriented corridor, and rights-of-way were frequently used as an exten- sion of parking lots. In response, the Village looked to create a community focal point to take advantage of relatively high levels of bus commuters along the corridor. In 2006, after months of planning, the Village adopted the âMilwaukee Avenue Plan.â The plan profiled land use and transportation conditions along the corridor, and featured a real estate market analysis that looked at not only retail opportunities but also possibilities for office and multifamily residences that might occur with redevelopment (Village of Niles 2006). However, planners and decision makers chose to take an incremental approach and land use changes were avoided in this plan. Plan recommendations focused on planning principles and illustrative design concepts for street improvements and redevelopment. Street concepts addressed pedestrian-oriented fundamentals like maintaining continuous sidewalks, reducing curb cuts, increasing landscaping, and introducing consistent decorative elements. Attractive illustrations described concepts to inspire property owners, and showed new buildings fronting
Description of Implementation Strategies 65 onto Milwaukee Avenue with parking in the rear. âNext stepsâ call for additional planning and design to position the community for street construction grants and possible land use and zoning changes. The Village of Niles used the 2006 plan to seek funding for street improvements from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP). A series of separate proj- ect-level planning documents were prepared for sidewalks, landscaping, street furnishings, pedes- trian crosswalks, intersection design, and designation of Milwaukee Avenue as a BRT network. As incremental improvements were made, the Village applied for and received a Local Techni- cal Assistance grant from CMAP for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Adopted in 2014, it provides explicit design guidance for improvements along Milwaukee Avenue in the form of multimodal streets improvements. The Plan also recommends mixed-use development and increased land use densities, to promote transit- and pedestrian-oriented redevelopment (Sam Schwartz Engi- neering D.P.C. and Farr Associates 2014). These land use recommendations led to subsequent changes in local zoning. Livability Strategies This section contains a wide range of implementation strategies, but cannot be exhaustive given the countless settings and governance tools available. These strategies are the most promi- nent and often used, as identified in case studies and literature searches. They are organized by the Livability Principle to which they most closely relate, and many strategies apply to multiple Transit Corridor Livability Principles and their related goals. (For more on goals and related strategies, see Section 3 and Appendix A.) Building High-Quality Transit, Walking, and Bicycling Opportunities Strategies can encourage a wide range of transportation choices and transit-oriented environ- ments to people who live and work along a transit corridor. Connected Network Planning Highly connected transportation networks encourage walking and bicycling by providing direct routes to destinations. âConnectivityâ is the extent to which networks are connected and can be promoted with district-level planning. The most common planning tools used to pursue these strategies include station area plans and pedestrian/bicycle master plans that have diagrams or standards to establish new, or retrofit existing, networks. Los Angelesâs Metro promotes the development of pedestrian mobility plans for station areas. Los Angelesâs Metro has provided some direct funding for pedestrian and bike connections between the Orange Line BRT stations and surrounding neighborhoods. Along Los Angelesâs Orange Line, station area profiles have been developed, flagging locations where connectivity improvements are needed (see also âLand Use Profilesâ) (Raimi + Associates et al. 2012). Transportation network connectivity is also addressed by TOD guidelines, which offer general guidance for direct connections and interconnected street patterns, such as in Met Councilâs âHandbook for Transit-Oriented Development Grantsâ (Metropolitan Council 2014b). Circuitous Route Retrofits Circuitous route retrofits are a specific tool for adding pedestrian and bicycle routes, where existing routes are overly circuitous. Overly circuitous routes are often attributable to superblocks
66 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies (such as in commercial areas), cul-de-sacs (such as in residential areas), and loop roads (that do not connect through). Area plans can be instrumental in mitigating circuitous routes. Fremont, Californiaâs City Center came about where superblocks containing shopping centers surrounded by arterial roadways pro- vided few local streets and made walking to a regional transit station impractical. Fremontâs âCity Center Community Planâ calls for a fine-grain network of pedestrian routes in the near term, and the creation of local streets as redevelopment occurs. The plan includes financing mechanisms for new pedestrian routes and local streets (Raimi + Associates and Sargent Town Planning 2012). Bellevue, Washingtonâs, âSubarea Planâ calls for completion of a pedestrian corridor that cuts through the center of multiple superblocks. Phase 1 improvements create tree-lined paths across the parking lots and terminate in a regional shopping mall. Long-term, redevelopment will be used to establish a pedestrian-oriented shopping street lined by new buildings (City of Bellevue undated). Circuitous routes can also be addressed through government assistance. In Minneapolis- St. Paul, LCA grants promote connectivity by funding targeted improvements, such as miss- ing street or path connections thatâif providedâwill reduce the distance to destinations and expand networks (Metropolitan Council 2014a). Shuttle bus service can also help mitigate effects of highly circuitous routes, where direct con- nections for pedestrians and bicyclists are not provided (see âLast-Mile Shuttlesâ). Compact Development Density can improve livability by increasing the supply of housing, supporting a wider vari- ety of local walk-to retail and services, and boosting transit ridership, which justifies improve- ments to transit levels of service. Strategies that increase density include density zoning bonuses, mixed-use zoning codes, specific plans, reduced on-site parking standards, âunbundlingâ rent from parking, using parking lifts, and taking advantage of shared-parking and off-site arrange- ments among complementary uses (see âDemand Managementâ). Compact development also delivers more efficient community infrastructure and services. When infrastructure is less spread out, per capita and per household costs go down, both upfront capital costs and costs for ongoing repairs and maintenance. With greater efficiency, limited public resources can be more fully leveraged, not just for infrastructure improvements but also to address other livability needs (see âEfficient Infrastructure and Servicesâ). Alternative Modes Alternative modes refer to transportation options other than the dominant mode in the United Statesâthe private, single-occupant automobile. Alternative modes include walking, bicycling, transit use, and carpooling. Incentives for alternative modes offer greater travel choices, provide better access, and reduce reliance on cars, all of which support walkable mixed-use districts (see âCompact Developmentâ), affordability (see âLocation Efficiencyâ), and other social and economic benefits. Alternative modes are associated with livability goals and strategies, including, but not lim- ited to: â¢ Transit availability and affordability, such as providing free transit passes (see âTransit Pass Subsidiesâ) and offering easy-to-use transit service (see âTransit Frequency and Reliabilityâ) . â¢ Bicycle facilities and availability, such as bike paths, secure bicycle parking, lockers and showers for bike commuters, and low-cost bike rentals such as bike-share programs.
Description of Implementation Strategies 67 â¢ Enhanced pedestrian environments, such as continuous sidewalks lined by street trees and street-oriented buildings (see âComplete Streetsâ and âForm-Based Codesâ). â¢ Carpool facilities and programs, such as preferential parking for carpools, carpool lanes, and employer-funded carpool vehicles. The availability of alternative modes can be leveraged through education and marketing, such as by providing information on travel options to employers and employees, and with advertising and special events, such as annual bike-to-work days. Transit Pass Subsidies Among strategies for alternative modes, transit pass subsidies deserve special mention. Transit subsidies can include free or low-cost transit passes, and employer commuter-check programs that allow employees to pay for transit with pretax dollars. Transit pass subsidies can be provided by landlords and can be required or incentivized as part of new development; often they are tied to a commensurate reduction in on-site parking requirements. Companies also provide transit pass subsidies, not only as a benefit to employees, but also to reduce demand for on-site parking (which may be expensive to construct) or to reduce traffic congestion (which may be a condition for allowing a company to expand). Met Councilâs COO program educates employers on the significant cost of providing free on-site parking, as compared with the costs of promoting alternative modes such as employee transit pass programs, carpool incentives, and realistic bicycling options. The program also encourages employers to locate near transit, such as by promoting location opportunities along transit corridors and describing workforce demographics (Metropolitan Council 2014a). MPOs and transit agencies can encourage, and local jurisdictions can require, that employers, multifamily housing developers, schools, and other organizations purchase transit passes in bulk and provide transit passes to users at a discount. Transit passes can be built into rents, homeown- ersâ association fees, and covenants that stay with a property regardless of ownership. Residential development near transit can include transit pass subsidies to leverage additional housing-plus- transportation affordability (see âLocation Efficiencyâ) (McGraw et al. 2014). Parking Management and Requirements A principal way to manage parking demand is to communicate market-rate costs associated with parking to motorists. Free parking does not reflect the cost of providing parking nor does it signal that parking demand may exceed supply. Landlords and employers can unbundle the rent for parking from the rent for a residential unit or commercial space, so potential parking consumers are aware of its price. This allocates parking using supply-and-demand principles, and enables users of alternative modes to enjoy cost savings. Municipalities can also price public garage and street parking so demand matches supply. When parking that is in demand is priced fairly, motorists can chose to park in less desirable locations or avoid reliance on the car by using alternative modes. Development intensities increase when parking demand is managed, which helps to boost the production of housing and the availability of walk-to retail (see âCompact Developmentâ). On-site parking can displace other uses and activities, and high construction costs associated with on-site parking makes some potential development projects financially infeasible, especially when parking must be provided in a multilevel parking garage or below grade. Municipal zoning requirements can play the biggest role in how well parking is managed. When on-site parking requirements exceed actual demand, they increase supply, reduce parking
68 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies prices artificially, subsidize car use, and undermine the affordability of alternative modes. On- site parking standards can be determined by analyzing comparable case studies and the extent to which residents or employees can use alternative modes. Minimum on-site parking standards can be eliminated altogether, and maximum on-site parking standards have been imposed by some cities to create market demand to fully utilize available parking. Transit Frequency and Reliability Opportunities for access are enhanced by more frequent transit service and predictable transit schedules. Frequent transit service allows easy access to destinations that are not within walking distance of home or work, but providing frequency depends on ridership levels (see âCompact Developmentâ), transit system operating costs, and available resources. Transit service reliability (adhering to schedules) makes transit use more convenient and easier to coordinate with daily activities, even when service is less frequent. Common strategies include separating transit from potential sources of congestion, such as with dedicated BRT lanes, signal prioritization, and queue-jump lanes at congested intersections; timed transfers between transit vehicles; and providing real-time departure information to avoid long wait times (Fan and Guthrie 2013). Last-Mile Shuttles Last-mile shuttles connect corridor trunk transit lines with major destinations peripheral to the corridor. Convenient shuttles encourage transit use and lessen reliance on the car. Case studies suggest that most regions rely on local bus service to provide last-mile transit connectiv- ity, but service levels for connecting buses can vary. Timed transfers between last-mile shuttles and the trunk transit lines they serve have been shown to improve service reliability and transit ridership. Over time, sufficient shuttle and bus services in a station area can replace the need for station park-and-ride lots, freeing up land for TOD. Improving connecting bus service to LAâs Orange Line has been suggested in one study as the best way to increase access to affordable housing along the corridor. The study notes that relatively little multifamily housing is within a quarter mile of the Orange Line. Within a few miles, high concentrations of low-income households are along local bus lines that connect to the Orange Line, but bus service improvements are needed to shift travel decisions (Raimi + Associates et al. 2012). Generally, last-mile shuttles to major employers, hospitals, and other destinations are initiated and operated by these users, but can be operated by transit agencies and funded by community benefits district financing. One example is in Emeryville, California, where the free Emery-Go- Round serves employees, residents, and shoppers, and is funded by commercial property owners within a transportation business improvement district (Emeryville TMA undated). Mixed-Income Housing Near Transit The following strategies can promote more equitable and affordable housing for people along a transit corridor. Location Efficiency âHousing-plus-transportation cost savings made possible with good transit access are key to the success of affordable-by-design projects,â says one Minneapolis-St. Paul COO report (Fan and Guthrie 2013). Producing housing near transit may be more effective at promoting affordability than inclusionary requirements in auto-reliant locations.
Description of Implementation Strategies 69 The report encourages the use of âhousing-plus-transportationâ (H+T) cost indices to com- municate real costs and benefits when location decisions are made by residents, employers, and developers. According to another COO report, location-efficient transit-oriented households provide the following benefits: â¢ Less neighborhood traffic, â¢ Fewer vehicle-miles traveled (VMT), â¢ Lower foreclosure rates, â¢ Lower household bankruptcy rates, â¢ More stable real estate values, and â¢ Higher observable growth rates (McGraw et al. 2014). H+T affects the availability of low-income housing and strengthens low-income household bud- gets, particularly in transit-oriented environments (see Figure B-1). In the San Francisco Bay Area, TransForm launched GreenTRIP (TransForm undated), a program that demonstrates reduced trip generation associated with housing projects close to transit and containing transportation demand management features. The tool is effective at convincing municipalities and developers to reduce on-site parking, which lowers construction costs and boosts production of affordable housing. Lower trip generation also can avoid traffic impacts that require expensive mitigations. While housing costs at the outskirts of regions are often lower, the combined cost of H+T can render such locations much less affordable, as is illustrated by the Center for Neighborhood Technologyâs analysis for the Minneapolis-St. Paul region. Source: McGraw et al. 2014. H+T Â® Index, Center for Neighborhood Technology. Figure B-1. Housing versus Hî±T affordability.
70 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies H+T affordability is also promoted by location-efficient mortgages (LEMs). LEMs broaden the pool of eligible home buyers, by recognizing that lower transportation costs help a house- holdâs ability to cover a mortgage (McGraw et al. 2014). Housing Production and Targets Housing targets are a way that MPOs and other regional and state agencies encourage and allocate housing across jurisdictions in equitable ways. Cities are required to zone for and pro- mote production of affordable housing using Californiaâs Regional Housing Needs Allocations (RHNA) and Minnesotaâs Affordable and Life-Cycle Housing Opportunities Amount (ALHOA). Under both programs, local jurisdictions prepare their own affordable housing plans that pledge zoned capacity and local programs for affordable housing, such as housing assistance, building rehabilitation grants, waivers of municipal fees, housing impact fees to finance housing trust funds, and affordable inclusionary requirements. Grant assistance can seek to leverage social equity benefits by supporting TOD studies and demonstration projects, predevelopment and planning, small business programs, and community engagement (California Department of Housing and Community Development 2010; Minnesota Code Â§ 473.254). Government agencies and NGOs can also offer real estate expertise and financial assistance to help developers, landowners, and financial institutions overcome barriers to housing produc- tion to increase affordability. The Met Council encourages affordable housing production with a Housing/Transit-Oriented Development Loan Program, technical assistance grants (see âTOD Implementation Grantsâ), and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and High Density Corridor Housing Program (Metropolitan Council 2013). Broadly speaking, affordable housing strategies play an important role in Minneapolis- St. Paulâs COO system. The COO specifically emphasizes the importance of having housing developers deliver large levels of new housing in transit-oriented locations (Partnership for Regional Opportunity: Corridors of Opportunity 2016). Compact affordable-by-design projects have economies of scale that encourage financially feasible development with little or no public subsidy, such as by increasing allowable densities or decreasing the size of dwellings. Regulatory Streamlining Housing production can be encouraged by addressing regulatory obstacles. Transit-accessible locations tend to have higher land costs and more difficulty in attaining development approvals. TOD zoning, in which a developer can build by right, can level the playing field between transit- oriented and automobile-reliant locations. Obstacles can also be eliminated by allowing higher densities, reducing minimum parking requirements, and permitting shallow building setbacks. While form-based concerns deserve to be addressed, one should recognize that design flexibility can reduce developer risk. In multiple case studies, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) examined how development regula- tions create obstacles to housing and TOD generally. The city of Minneapolis asked a ULI advi- sory panel to tell it whether it is pursuing the right strategies to achieve its TOD vision. In addition to calling for land assemblage and district-level financing tools, the panel held that good projects may be stopped by excessive parking requirements, restrictive setback and height requirements, high fees, unnecessary limitations on use, and lengthy development approval processes. The panel called for zoning that accounts for development feasibility, allows by-right approvals, and in other ways encourages private development (Urban Land Institute, Rose Center of Minneapolis 2010). Housing Assistance Low-income households can receive direct assistance from government to rent housing, such as with Section 8 vouchers. Rent subsidy vouchers are generally administered at the local level
Description of Implementation Strategies 71 and limited to qualifying properties. Government pays the property owners an amount in excess of the voucherâs value to encourage landlord participation and long-term agreements. Long-term housing assistance agreements eventually expire, however, and property owners may not renew their participation, particularly when market conditions have increased rents significantly. This can lead to evictions of low-income tenants and undermines neighborhoodsâ stability (see âAnti-Displacement Strategiesâ). Voucher programs can give preference to properties near transit to leverage H+T affordability (see âLocation Efficiencyâ). The federal government encourages location efficiency indirectly as part of plans required for federal funding. As of 2008, however, there were âcurrently no direct incentives through HUD- and FTA-funded programs for locating affordable housing near transit . . . [although] HUD and FTA will assess the feasibility of encouraging and/or providing targeted incentives for financing affordable housing near transitâ (Federal Transit Administra- tion and Housing and Urban Development 2008). Inclusionary Housing Inclusionary housing refers to municipal and county planning ordinances that require that a certain percentage of new development be set aside for occupancy by families of very low, low, and moderate income. Inclusionary housing relies on ongoing administration by landlords and monitoring by government (Powell and Stringham 2005). While inclusionary policies can provide additional affordable units in residential projects that are being built, such requirements place an additional economic burden on developers and may reduce the economic feasibility of some projects and reduce housing production (see âHousing Production and Targetsâ and âRegulatory Streamliningâ). Local Housing Trust Funds Development fees or real estate transfer taxes can be assessed to residential and commercial properties for the production of affordable housing. Housing trust funds are gathered by local governments and used to leverage grants and financing, often in partnership with affordable housing developers. Housing trust funds can be found throughout the United States, and several states have adopted legislation that encourages or enables local jurisdictions to dedicate public funds to affordable housing (Center for Community Change undated). Housing trust funds can play a vital role in promoting low-income housing generally, and the funds can be applied to transit-oriented locations. In Seattle, housing and smart growth advocates have pushed for expanding housing trust funding and targeting its application in transit-oriented communities (Valdez 2014). Anti-Displacement Strategies Rising rents can force residents out of neighborhoods, which can be addressed with programs that reduce tax burdens among low-income households, below-market inclusionary housing, low-income housing production, and relocation assistance. Development can displace residents and raise rents as a locale becomes more favored. Tax abatement, property value increment exemption, and tax credits are ways to help reduce property tax burdens among low-income households. Land trusts can add stability by serving as a financial vehicle for retaining affordable housing. In Minneapolis, development applicants must evaluate how many existing dwellings and residents might be displaced as a result of a development project, and adopt strategies to address impacts, such as replacement of affordable units, relocation assistance, and direct com- pensation (Metropolitan Area Planning Council undated).
72 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Transit-Accessible Economic Opportunities These strategies can enhance employment, retail, and other economic opportunities for indi- viduals who live and work along transit corridors, and in the process, enhance the regionâs economic competitiveness. Regional Competitiveness Strategies for TOD and corridor planning can promote economic opportunity and the eco- nomic health of metropolitan areas. As illustrated by the conclusions of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) in its report âLinking Transit, Communities and Development,â â[O]ur regional economy can better compete . . . when we plan and act as a region rather than as a set of counties and municipalities that happen to be located in close proximity.â The report makes the point that land use and transportation planning are connected to economic development by â¢ Exchanging information, â¢ Fostering communication, and â¢ Leveraging transportation and other infrastructure (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Com- mission 2003). All the counties represented by DVRPC offer financial assistance in the form of business development resources such as technical support, low-interest loans, and tax credits; infrastruc- ture and real estate development incentives such as tax increment financing and tax abatements; and workforce training and placement programs. Counties also maintain an inventory of devel- opment opportunity sites near transit (see âStation Area Profilesâ) (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission 2003). Economic justifications for TOD are stressed across all the case studies reviewed for this Handbook, and help encourage broad support for TOD, even where decision makers give TOD social and environmental benefits less emphasis. DART provides market-based evidence on the economic performance of TOD versus conventional development in a 2014 report called âDevelopment Impacts of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Light Rail System,â â[B]enefits of devel- opment near light rail stations [are] not only felt by the individuals who have increasingly used the service, but also by developers who continue to see business opportunities near rail stations, and by local governments that receive increased property tax revenues associated with develop- ment.â The report notes that the value of properties near transit significantly exceeds similar properties not associated with transit (Clower et al. 2014). Station Area Profiles Across the nation, MPOs and transit agencies compile information profiles to direct resources toward transit-accessible areas with the greatest potential for positive change. The information sets the stage for informed policy making and helps communicate opportunities to municipal governments and developers. LAâs âOrange Line Bus Rapid Transit Sustainable Corridor Implementation Planâ and DVRPCâs âLinking Transit, Communities and Develop- ment: Regional Inventory of Transit-Oriented Development Sitesâ gather similar information for station areas, such as existing land use, zoning designations, inventories of housing and jobs, infrastructure capacity, pedestrian and bicycle connections, pending improvements, and development opportunity sites (Raimi + Associates et al. 2012; Delaware Valley Regional Plan- ning Commission 2003). In the Boston area, the Metropolitan Area Planning Councilâs (MAPCâs) âOrange Line Oppor- tunity Corridor Report,â brings together demographic, economic, transportation, land use
Description of Implementation Strategies 73 characteristics, and walkability scores, along with descriptions of recent and anticipated develop- ment activity to: â¢ Prioritize infrastructure investments, â¢ Identify land acquisition and joint development opportunities, â¢ Initiate policy and zoning changes to intensify land use, â¢ Connect concentrations of low-income households with anti-displacement programs, â¢ Solicit developer interest to help implement plans, and â¢ Bring together public and private stakeholders (Metropolitan Area Planning Council 2013). In Dallas, the cityâs Office of Economic Development has created a series of station area profiles that describe major development sites, recent real estate activity, and policies and programs promoting economic development (City of Dallas, Dallas Office of Economic Development 2010). Financial Feasibility and Incentives Financial incentives are a common strategy used for economic development, often at the corridor scale. Minneapolis-St. Paulâs COO jobs-housing paper found that high land costs asso- ciated with transit-accessible sites can deter developers. It recommended that where market forces have not reached a feasibility tipping point, financial incentives such as density bonuses, tax abatements, and grants for site preparation be considered (see âTOD Implementation Grantsâ) (Fan and Guthrie 2013). Another common strategy for overcoming financial obstacles is to provide an annotated bibliography of available financing tools and funding sources. Examples include capital grants for transportation and infrastructure improvements, technical assistance grants, economic development incentives, and mortgage assistance within TODs. Land use regulations also influence development feasibility. Additional density increases future revenues and can be allowed by rightâin recognition of TODâs advantagesâor with a density bonus to leverage additional livability features. Parking reductions also improve the bot- tom line for development because of the high cost of providing parking on site (see âRegulatory Streamliningâ). Land Assemblage and Joint Development Transit agencies and municipalities can help make TOD feasible by helping to assemble small parcels and by making public land available for development through public-private joint devel- opment activities. In urbanized areas, smaller parcels make it difficult for development to attain sufficient economies of scale to be economically feasible. Consequently, acquisition and assem- blage of parcels can play a vital role. Financial resources for these activities include land banking activities, land assemblage tax credits, and government-sponsored redevelopment. Transit agencies and municipalities often have land resources near transit that can be lever- aged to enhance livability. Joint development refers to the joining of public land with private development capital and expertise to attain goals. According to interviews conducted for this Handbook, The Fort Worth Transit Agency (The âTâ) has teamed with the Fort Worth Hous- ing Authority to develop a mixed-use master plan at the cityâs Texas and Pacific rail station on T-owned land. The master plan emphasizes the production of affordable housing, and will also contain market-rate housing, retail, community services, and recreational open space. A non- profit housing developer, Fort Worth South, is the master developer and will be responsible for financing infrastructure. In addition to development on The Tâs land, some acquisition and assemblage of other par- cels is expected, and the city has undertaken planning to coordinate development. The master
74 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies plan effort emerged out of a market study on housing demand in the vicinity and subsequent conversations between The T and the Housing Authority. Housing will have urban design char- acteristics to promote density and walkability. MPOs can take an active role in encouraging development on land they control, or can lever- age by partnering with local jurisdictions and housing authorities to acquire and assemble key parcels. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Met Councilâs Land Acquisition for Affordable New Devel- opment (LAAND) program makes loans to acquire land for affordable housing projects, with criteria including proximity to public transit and consistency with existing community plans. In addition, the regionâs Hiawatha Land Assembly Fund program has acquired, assembled, and prepared TOD opportunity sites since the 1990s, and used $5 million of Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. The fund created a one-time source for property acquisition along the Hiawatha Line, with acquisitions first occurring in downtown Minneapolis and then elsewhere along the corridor (Metropolitan Council 2013). âPatient moneyâ fronted by government is sometimes needed as a development catalyst. âStrategic Acquisition Fund for Transit-Oriented Development,â a report developed for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and Metropolitan Council, notes that acquisitions and assemblage requires significant effort and carries relatively high financial risk. In places where development seems too risky, municipalities can increase development activity by reducing or deferring development fees. For priority projects, governments and foundations can participate financially with low-cost loans or as âfirst-lossâ investment partners (McGraw et al. 2014). Predevelopment Assistance and Brownfields In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the LCA grants encourage TOD where there are economic and environmental obstacles. Predevelopment and site investigation funding helps developers through critical due diligence activities such as conducting market studies, investigating and cleaning up contaminated sites, performing critical legal work, and building support among local stakeholders. To be eligible, projects must be proximate to LRT, BRT, commuter rail, or high-frequency express bus stations (Metropolitan Council undated). Brownfieldsâsites with abandoned and aging industrial usesâcan present opportunities for growth along transit with industrial sites that may require cleanup of contaminantsâoften an expensive and risky proposition. Predevelopment assistance can be essential for brownfield redevelopment. Along Philadelphiaâs North Broad corridor, industrial land within a few blocks of transit has been reclaimed for new residential development, replacing blight with housing opportunities and economic support for local businesses (The Philadelphia City Planning Com- mission 2005). District Financing and Value Capture District-level financing can underwrite capital improvements in a station area or subarea of strategic importance. Several district-level financing tools are available (Urban Land Institute 2010). Local Improvement Districts. Local improvement districts (LIDs) and business improve- ment districts (BIDs) use parcel-based assessments. The revenue from these assessments can leverage ongoing services as well as public improvements. In turn, BID/LID services and improve- ments leverage higher levels of economic activity and private investment. BID/LID services are generally established with a majority of property owners. Revenue Bonds. Revenue bonds can pay sizable upfront costs but must be adopted by area property owners. These bonds require a revenue stream to service the debt.
Description of Implementation Strategies 75 Developer Impact Fees. Developers can be assessed impact fees, which can be pooled to finance area infrastructure improvements. To raise revenues from fees, private development must be financially feasible. Tax Credits. A variety of federal tax credits could be used for TOD and related infrastructure based on eligibility, such as New Markets Tax Credits and historic and energy tax credit programs. Parking Increment. By increasing parking rates at meters and in publicly owned garages, the increment above the current rate can be used to help pay for infrastructure improvements. In Portland, Oregon, a meter rate increase of 25 cents per hour raised a $28 million bond to finance a streetcar downtown. Tax Increment Financing. Tax increment financing (TIF) allows governments to retain future increases from property tax revenues (that is, the increment above prior tax revenues) to finance local projects. Bonding against future revenues can leverage significant capital for â¢ Street improvements, â¢ Lot assemblage, â¢ Site remediation, â¢ Assistance to displaced residents and businesses, â¢ Job training within corridor and vicinity, â¢ Attracting uses that serve the community, â¢ Direct rehabilitation of structures, and â¢ Traffic improvements, including traffic calming. Value-Capture Financing. Value-capture tools, such as TIF, allow governments to leverage revenues during financial upswings resulting from public planning and investments. Although value capture can finance improvements and yield community benefits in strong markets, it has more limited application where market forces are marginal or largely absent (Mathur 2014). Interviews conducted for this study found that while value-capture financing tools are being widely considered and used in transit corridors across the country, there was also an emerging sense that while they work well in healthy real estate markets, development subsidies and other incentives may be needed in more challenged markets. In these difficult market conditions, value- capture tools may be counterproductive. Activity Center Master Plans New activity centers typically result from large-scale master plans and can create new nodes of commercial and cultural activity. This is especially important for Emerging Corridors, which are characterized by single-use, low-intensity development (see Appendix D). Activity center master plans can also address a corridorâs jobs-housing balance by emphasizing jobs or housing creation. Activity centers can be constructed in âgreenfield locations,â in low-intensity emerging areas, or as part of the redevelopment in urban areas. Unlike historic downtowns that grew incremen- tally over time, activity centers typically result from master planning (to guide character, use, and intensity) and public-private partnerships (to facilitate implementation such as through land acquisition and infrastructure financing). Bloomington, Minnesota, redeveloped an underutilized site along the Hiawatha LRT Line through the âBloomington Central Station Development Plan.â High-intensity development complements other uses on the LRT line. The plan creates a mixed-use node near the regional airport and gives employees at the Mall of America new housing options, helping to address corridor-level jobs-housing balance. Transportation strategies for the high-intensity mixed-use
76 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies district included parking garages (financed as part of districtwide infrastructure) and aggressive transportation demand management programs. Walkability is promoted with complete streets, public open space, and local conveniences (City of Bloomington 2013). Near Portland, Oregon, the Blue Line LRT corridor has had relatively few major transit- accessible destinations farther out from Portland. The city of Hillsboro acquired underutilized land west of and adjacent to downtown to create a civic and cultural center with direct transit access. The activity center has helped support the revitalization of the downtown that it abuts (City of Hillsboro 2010). The Village of Niles, Illinois, grew without a downtown, and community leaders have recently expressed their desire for an activity center. Along the Milwaukee Avenue transit corridor, two clusters of larger commercial parcels have been identified as future activity centers. The Villageâs âPedestrian and Bicycle Planâ emphasizes fine-grain connections in these areas; and land use planning was underway at the time of this writing to allow increased intensities and offer incen- tives for the redevelopment of designated activity center areas (Sam Schwartz Engineering D.P.C and Farr Associates 2014). Jobs-Housing Alignment Activities In 2009, the Federal Highway Administration found that across all modes, commute trips between job and home resulted in 623 trillion VMT and 28 percent of total annual VMT. When there is a mismatch between the location and number of jobs and homes, workers often take jobs that are far from where they can afford housing. Increased transit service can help close this location gap when job and housing opportunities are near reliable transit (East-West Gateway Council of Governments 2012). When they are not, coordinated land use planning and transit service expansions can help to reduce the location gap. (For economic effects on households from the combined cost of housing and transportation, see âLocation Efficiency.â) Furthermore, jobs-housing strategies can better utilize available transit capacity, such as by encouraging jobs or housing near certain transit stations. For example, job centers in the âreverse commute directionâ can leverage transit capacity when job growth occurs. Regional and corridor-level planning tools for attaining jobs-housing balance compare the location of job concentrations to available housing (see Figure B-2). For example, in its report âJobs-Housing Balance: CMAP Regional Snapshot Report,â the CMAP focuses on: â¢ The dimensions of jobs-housing balance, including the location of job centers; â¢ The density of jobs and housing, concentrations of affordable housing; â¢ Local jobs-housing ratios; â¢ Commute patterns; â¢ Travel time from areas of affordable housing to jobs; and â¢ Opportunities for corrective job and housing growth, such as housing opportunity sites near suburban job centers (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning 2008). Spatial analysis of jobs and housing can be generalized, as illustrated by CMAPâs âJobs-Housing Balanceâ report, or can be specific to transit station areas and corridors, such as the Center for Transit-Oriented Developmentâs (CTOD) approach for regional Los Angeles (see Figure B-3). In âCreating Successful Transit-Oriented Districts in Los Angeles,â CTOD measures the mix and intensity of jobs and housing across seven transit corridors, and evaluates the relative balance of jobs and housing within each corridor. Such corridor-level analysis helps to determine where job or housing growth should be targeted (Center for Transit-Oriented Development 2010). Policy tools to achieve jobs-housing balance can be characterized as âcarrots and sticks.â âCarrotsâ include planning and capital grants, public-private joint development initiatives, and
Description of Implementation Strategies 77 While the Chicago regionâs affordable housing is concentrated in urban neighborhoods and inner suburbs, most employment sub-centers are concentrated in outer suburbs with limited transit options. Source: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (2008). Figure B-2. Regional patterns of jobs and housing. regional infrastructure investment priorities. âSticksâ include local land use plan compliance with regional jobs-housing balance objectives and limits to regional infrastructure investments, assuming such governance tools are available. Corridor-level planning can provide analysis and make recommendations that are more fine-grained. Corridor plans can synthesize critical station area land use information to identify opportunities and challenges. Information databases can be used to balance jobs and housing,
By graphing the housing versus employment intensity within walking distance of each light rail station, planners in Los Angeles gain insights as to jobs-housing balance. Here, each LRT corridor has its own color and the whole LRT system is shown. Alternatively, a graph with only one corridor shown allows planners to quickly surmise the jobs-housing performance of that corridor. Source: Center for Transit-Oriented Development (2010). Figure B-3. Station area snapshot of jobs and housing.
Description of Implementation Strategies 79 set priorities for land acquisition and joint development, and boost land use by development incentives (Center for Transit-Oriented Development 2010). Another approach for jobs-housing balance is to encourage major employers to locate near transit and in parts of the region having relatively affordable housing. In the Twin Cities, the COO initiative includes outreach to and research on developers, employers, and business leaders to leverage private-sector job creation in transit-oriented locations. This research provides stake- holders with workforce demographics along transit corridors and relates the economic advantages of transit-oriented locations (Fan and Guthrie 2013). Social Investments Community engagement plays a central role in identifying and addressing social and economic needs in less advantaged communities. In the Twin Cities, social needs are addressed by the COO initiative, which has programs that can identify communityâs needs and leverage resources, maxi- mize benefits, and minimize impacts. Grant recipients must be within eligible transit-oriented areas and must include in the planning process populations who tend to be underrepresented in decision making (such as people of color, immigrants, and people with disabilities) (Fan and Guthrie 2013). Another benefit of the COOâs community-based planning activities is by expanding the capacity of community organizations; as a result, community members and organizations have remained involved in the process throughout TOD-related implementation activities. This deeply embedded level of involvement has also built active and productive relationships among community organization leaders, public agencies, and officials. Programs benefiting disadvantaged neighborhoods include help for small business development, such as entrepreneurial training, professional skill building, small business loans, and support for identifying and leasing in emerging TOD locations. Met Council also works in partnership with larger employers to encourage employment and training persons from disadvantaged communities. The program is organized around three Ps: procurement (buy from local small businesses), per- sonnel (hire from local disadvantaged populations), and placemaking (enhance walking, bicycling, transit, and community building) (Central Corridor Funders Collaborative 2011). Another workforce program is focused on jobs and job skills along Minneapolis-St. Paulâs Green Line. The program began with analysis and demand estimate of job skills needed by employers along the corridor, and then worked with job skills programs and other social service providers to connect with disadvantaged populations and teach job skills that are in demand. Accessible Social and Government Services These strategies can help support the well-being of persons along a corridor by enhancing and leveraging health and community services. Partnerships with Service Providers Local and regional planners can work with area hospitals, universities, NGOs, and other social service providers to build new and expand existing facilities along transit corridors. For example, the City of Oakland, California, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), and the San Francisco Bay Areaâs MPO, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, worked closely with social services providers to support the development of the Fruitvale BART Transit Village, building a new home for a Head Start childcare center and a community health clinic called La Clinica de la Raza (Scully 2005).
80 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies The city of Hillsboro, Oregon, chose to locate and construct a new civic center complex with government offices and other public services adjacent to Portlandâs Metropolitan Area Expressâs (MAXâs) Blue Line light rail station. Shortly after the civic center was completed, Pacific University located its new Health Professions Campus adjacent to a MAX light rail station. The move was facilitated proactively through coordination and support from the city of Hillsboro, Washington County, the TriMet transit agency, and Metro regional government (TriMet 2010). MPOs can also proactively encourage social services along corridors, particularly corridors with high concentrations of low-income households. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, Met Council reached out to job skills programs and other social service providers to encourage their presence along the Green Line (Metropolitan Council 2014c). Local development codes can offer clear incentives for public uses, such as by exempting com- munity facilities from floor-area-ratio (FAR) limits and parking requirements, or by allowing high FARs and providing other favorable development standards for hospital facilities within walking distance of transit. Accessible Community Services Safe and direct pedestrian and bicycle connections to health and other social services enhance access. Plan policies can explain how new paths can be created or how new buildings can face existing street connections to establish more inviting connections. Capital improvement plans can give priority to making such improvements to provide access to health care and social services, especially to serve disadvantaged populations who rely on transit. Shuttle service between transit stations and hospitals and other major service providers allows services in more peripheral locations to be connected with a livable transit corridor (see âLast-Mile Shuttlesâ). Efficient Infrastructure and Services Compact development patterns allow community resources to be used efficiently and help leverage a wider array of community benefits. Compact development in transit corridors reduces the cost of infrastructure and other public facilities, as compared with low-intensity and less- connected places. Compact development also reduces the ongoing costs of delivering municipal and social services. Many planning and finance tools are available to deliver more efficient infra- structure and services by promoting compact development patterns. Compact development tools can be targeted along transit corridors to leverage infrastructure and services, and provide for the long-term fiscal health of corridor communities. Conversely, the provision of infrastructure can encourage compact development. Infrastruc- ture financing districts and assistance can make vacant and underutilized sites near transit more appealing to private investors. Through infrastructure, communities can also leverage more from development, such as affordable housing, public open space, and pedestrian-oriented develop- ment patterns. Community Safety Safety and security are essential to livability, and are shaped by physical environments, gov- ernment services, and community policing. Community policing brings police and community members together to identify and address problems associated with crime and unwanted behavior. Recent mode choice research has found that people are more likely to choose to walk, bicycle, or ride transit in low-crime neighborhoods (Ferrell et al. 2015). Typically, safety planning efforts and police resources are organized within walkable geographies, which can be an accompaniment to
Description of Implementation Strategies 81 station area planning and programs. Community policing programs include community mem- ber outreach and education, neighborhood watch activities, foot and bicycle police patrols, and increasing officersâ connections to citizens they serve (Carter et al. 2003). Physical conditions that deter crime and unwanted behavior place activity and eyes on the street through the orientation and extent of building fronts, windows, and building entrances, which can be addressed by development codes and guidelines (Clarke undated) (see âCrime Pre- vention through Environmental Designâ and âForm-Based Codesâ). Lighting also affects safety along pedestrian and bicycle routes (Farrington and Welsh 2002). Public lighting that enhances corridor safety can be promoted with grants and district-level financing programs. Private light sources, such as architectural and security lighting, can be encouraged through design guidelines and cooperation with property owners. Vibrant and Accessible Community, Cultural, and Recreational Opportunities These strategies can help enrich corridors with community, cultural, and recreational facilities and programs. Public Art âArts on the Lineâ was the first program of its kind in the United States, and dedicated one percent of capital improvements to public art along Bostonâs Red Line corridor. Bostonâs transit agencyâthe MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority)ârequires station designs to incorporate art, with community members participating in the art selection process. The MBTA program limits art to placements on functional elements already required for the construction of the facility. Artists help design lighting, fences, plazas, benches, and retaining walls. Durable materials are required, such as ceramic tile, bronze, steel, glass, and concrete. Ongoing maintenance costs are factored into the art selected and its final design (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority undated). Public art, particularly functional art, is an integral part of the transit station design process for LAâs Orange Line. Orange Line art elements include sculpted seating at platforms, terrazzo paving, and ornate metalwork. Specialized artwork gives variability and a specialized identity to individual stations (Federal Transit Administration 2011). Local zoning can also encourage public art as part of private investment, and such incentives can be targeted near transit to make a more livable corridor. Bloomingtonâs Central Station Master Plan provides a density bonus for public art, and art is often encouraged as part of a local design review process (City of Bloomington 2013). Cultural Destinations âExtending the Vision for North Broad Streetâ is a corridor-focused advocacy plan for one of Philadelphiaâs principal cultural and institutional corridors. The corridor has underused and distressed properties, but also significant cultural assets and Temple Universityâs Medical Center. To promote cultural and economic vitality, the plan provides a framework for development and recommends specific public- and private-sector investments and actions including: â¢ Preservation and reuse of existing assets, including technical assistance â¢ Reuse of industrial buildings as art and residential lofts â¢ Context-sensitive development on vacant and underused sites â¢ Expansion of convention center and cultural venues â¢ New neighborhood grocery stores
82 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies â¢ Public art â¢ Commercial and way-finding signage programs â¢ Other district identity and branding features (The Philadelphia City Planning Commission 2005). The City of Philadelphia also works with property owners to encourage the use of parking lots for farmersâ markets and community events (The Philadelphia City Planning Commission 2005). Joint development can emphasize the creation of cultural resources. In Minneapolis, the city, Hennepin County, and neighborhood organizations negotiated with a school district to acquire a site for a mixed-use project to create a market plaza along the Hiawatha Line. The plaza would host cultural events, entertainment, and retail uses (Gilyard 2010). In Los Angeles, the ULI emphasized the importance of branding the identity of cultural nodes to cultivate them as destinations. Branding can be cultivated with way-finding signage, distinct street improvements, and special events (Urban Land Institute-Los Angeles 2013). Transit-accessible cultural destinations are also encouraged through the revitalization of urban districts, as discussed below. District Revitalization Revitalization is a tool for expanding destinations in established districts along transit cor- ridors. The revitalization of urban districts occurs through reinvestment, reuse, and infill on underused sites. Along Philadelphiaâs Broad Street corridor, a wealth of theaters, libraries, and the university are mixed with economically challenged areas marked by vacant storefronts and properties fall- ing into disrepair. An inclusive process resulted in a corridor plan that focuses on the retention of existing community assets, such as with historic preservation, public art, and street enhancements, while encouraging the renovation of existing buildings and infill development on under used lots. A special-services district supports faÃ§ade improvements, ongoing street cleaning, graffiti abatement, public safety programs, and marketing campaigns (The Philadelphia City Planning Commission 2005). In Saint Louis, the Great Streets Initiative for South Grand promotes cultural vitality through building an authentic sense of place, comfortable and safe walking environments, economic vitality, and community open space (DW Legacy Design Foundation 2010). Recreation and Open Space In the 1970s, decision makers reached agreement to construct Bostonâs Orange Line after years of contentious debate over using that corridor alignment as a freeway. As told by Neal Pierce and Robert Guskind in Breakthroughs: Recreating the American City, the freeway was touted by engineers and bureaucrats, while support for transit resulted from effective community engage- ment. By building rail instead of freeway, land was made available to create parks, trails, and other public facilities along the Orange Line right-of-way (Pierce and Guskind 1993). Recreation and open space can also be created using finance mechanisms for parks and com- munity facilities, such as financing districts and development agreements (see âDistrict Financing and Value Captureâ). Ongoing expenses associated with public recreation can be addressed with park conservancies, nonprofits responsible for ongoing maintenance and stewardship, where park districts have insufficient resources for new spaces. Met Council has provided predevelopment funding to encourage park conservancies in recreation-deficient locations (Metro politan Council, Partnership for Regional Opportunity 2014).
Description of Implementation Strategies 83 Sense-of-Place Guidelines Architectural guidelines can be developed to maintain the unique, valued character of a place. The guidelines can emphasize a placeâs character-defining features in new construction and building additions, as well as preservation and adaptive reuse of historic resources. Cultural opportunities for livability include a sense of connection with a locale, its geography, and history. Architectural guidelines can also encourage new construction to have a look and features that reinforce attributes for the local context. Regional context is visually communicated through the use of local building methods and traditions, and can be emulated through the selection of materials, color, roof form, the size and proportion of openings, prevailing structural systems, the rhythms of structural bays, cornice treatments, and so on. Sense-of-place guidelines can be used in new emerging areas, but are particularly important to maintain compatibility with historic buildings in established urban areas. While infill devel- opment and intensification can play a vital role in revitalizing established areas by increasing activity and opportunities (see âCompact Developmentâ), the unique architectural traditions of a place can inspire architects to avoid an aesthetic sameness from simply applying modern construction techniques and materials. The protection of historic resources also promotes cultural livability opportunities. Existing historic buildings of architectural merit exhibit the artisanship and craft of past generations. Historic resource surveys can identify potential assets so their protection can be planned for, a step that can be part of station area planning (see âStation Area Profilesâ). The reuse and inten- sification of historic assets can often be accommodated through context-sensitive design. Healthy, Safe, and Walkable Transit Corridor Neighborhoods These strategies can help make pedestrian-oriented places where people feel healthier and safer. Complete Streets Essential ingredients for livability are streets designed for the comfort and safety of pedestri- ans and bicyclists. âComplete streetsâ balance the needs of multiple transportation modes, and encourage walking or biking for many trips. Sidewalks that are protected from traffic are common to most complete streets, and bicycle facilities are incorporated into compete streets networks. Jurisdictions that fund and construct roadways can implement complete streets with design standards. MPOs and interest groups can help effect that outcome through education. The design of complete streets also benefits from the participation of diverse stakeholders to present a balance of perspectives. MPOs can also influence the design of streets when they have funding authority. Walk and Bike Safety Audits Safety audits can identify where pedestrians or bicyclists are at risk for collision with motor vehicles. Specific roadway segments or general network conditions can be considered. Factors include visibility, pedestrian and bicyclist refuge areas, crosswalks, traffic speed controls, and safety signage. Audits generally recommend improvements and guide funding decisions. For Philadelphiaâs âNorth Broad Street Safety Audit,â near-term funding priorities focus on near-term, low-cost items such as striping crosswalks and refuge islands and improved signal phasing. Mid-term priorities include bike lanes, âroad dietsâ (that is, repurposing vehicle lanes as pedestrian or bicycle facilities), and traffic calming features. Long-term high-cost items included context-sensitive sidewalk improvements and road diets (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission 2009).
84 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies Traffic Calming âTraffic Calming is the combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for nonmotorized street users.â (Institute of Transportation Engineers 2015) Traffic calming supports walking and bicycling to transit and other destinations by enabling pedestrians and bicyclists to feel safe. Traffic calming measures include narrowing lanes, crosswalk improvements, speed tables, and pedestrian-activated blinker lights (Lockwood 1997). Traffic calming addresses a wide array of livability concerns. It can be implemented with road- way design manuals, street improvement plans, master plans, safe-routes-to-school programs, and capital grants. Pedestrian and Bicycle Network Maintenance Pedestrian and bicycle networks help establish and enhance corridor livability as long as ongoing funding is secured for maintenance and repairs. In the case of pedestrian routes, lack of maintenance can result in uplifted sidewalks, tripping hazards, potholes, standing water, and other safety concerns. Maintenance may also have an economic dimension, as the success of shopping districts relies in part on the cleanliness of sidewalks. Bicycle facilities are safer and better used when relatively smooth pavement is maintained. Form-Based Codes âA form-based code is a land development regulation that fosters predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form as the organizing principle for the codeâ (Form-Based Codes Institute 2016). Form-based codes provide clear standards for design features that are critical for more walkable environments, such as regulations that ensure pedestrian- oriented buildings. As measurable standards, form-based codes offer reliable urban design results through an administrative process and without relying on discretionary forms of review. Development projects that conform to a form-based code can generally be entitled more quickly and with less uncertainty than under conventional development codes where pedestrian-oriented urban design may be expected but is not spelled out. To help encourage development and walkability near transit, MPOs, such as the San Francisco Bay Areaâs Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Minneapolis-Saint Paulâs Metropoli- tan Council, provide technical assistance grants to local jurisdictions for form-based codes. Form-based codes focus on key pedestrian-oriented design characteristics for how build- ings should relate to streets to encourage walking and support community life (see Figure B-4). Form-based codes require that most of a blockâs street frontage comprise building fronts with main entrances and windows, and that parking should be placed behind or below buildings. Form-based development patterns line walking routes with activity and visual interest, and place âeyes on the street.â In the absence of form-based provisions, connectivity of pedestrian networks surrounding transit can suffer, as streets may be lined by blank walls and parking lots. Form-based codes feature clear diagrams and illustrations, and typically address the design of streets, as well as buildings. Form-based streets standards emphasize sidewalks, street trees, public amenities, and other features that make walking more attractive. TOD Guidelines To inspire pedestrian-oriented development patterns near transit, MPOs often develop form- based guidelines that also emphasize opportunities and needs associated with transit, such as
Description of Implementation Strategies 85 land use intensity, local destinations adjacent to stations, connectivity, and easy access to transit stations (see âTOD Strategic Plansâ and âTOD Guidelinesâ). Met Councilâthe Minneapolis regionâs metropolitan planning organizationâprovides an easy-to-use checklist for local juris- dictions working to develop TOD (see Figure B-5). Zoning Overlay Districts Zoning can be amended as an overlay district to address many factors found in form-based codes and TOD guidelines and to provide incentives for development near transit. Overlay dis- tricts are applied in addition to or âon top ofâ existing zoning, making them easier to adopt. MPOs and other government entities can develop model ordinance language for overlay zoning, which local jurisdictions can use if they choose. For example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a model ordinance for a TOD Overlay District, which covers uses, parking requirements, and building relationships, in a format that can be readily adopted (Commonwealth of Massachusetts undated). Along Minneapolisâs Hiawatha corridor the city adopted zoning overlay districts near transit stations to encourage higher densities by reducing parking requirements, allowing shared park- ing, and prohibiting auto-oriented uses. Minneapolis grants an automatic increase in allowable FAR/density when a project includes affordable housing or ground-floor retail. Along shopping streets, overlay districts can also have build-to lines and active ground-floor requirements to maintain continuous storefronts (City of Minneapolis 2011). Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) CPTED recognizes that physical conditions can affect whether a place is prone to crime and other unwanted behavior. Accessible locations that are not easily seen can invite crime, such as Form-based codes describe key design characteristics for more walkable places. Clear guidance is given by illustrating acceptable street-oriented building types and architectural features. Source: Citizens for Modern Transit (2013). Figure B-4. Form-based guidance.
86 Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies where sightlines are obstructed or where blank walls, instead of windows, face streets. Lighting, maintenance, graffiti abatement, and other factors are also considered by CPTED. Designers, planners, and police officers can undergo CPTED training to identify and correct problematic conditions, whether on public or private land. Development codes, design guide- lines, master plans, and design review can address CPTED concerns (Clarke undated). Strategies for Corridor Types While every transit corridor is unique, characteristically similar corridors often face similar challenges. This Handbook defines three basic corridor types: Emerging, Transitioning, and Integrated Corridors. Users can identify suitable strategies for their corridor by examining the corridor type with which it is most closely associated and referring to Step 5.3 in the Hand- book. Refer to Table B-1 and Appendix D for further discussion on corridor types and related strategies. Met Councilâs Handbook for Transit-Oriented Development Grants is accompanied by form-based guidelines, but distills considerations into easy-to-use checklists. Source: Metropolitan Council 2014b. Figure B-5. The Minneapolis regionâs TOD checklist.
Description of Implementation Strategies 87 Transit Corridor Livability Principle Corridor Type Emerging Transitioning Integrated High-quality transit, walking, and bicycling opportunities â¢ Connected network planning â¢ Circuitous routes retrofits â¢ Compact development â¢ Last-mile shuttles â¢ Parking management Mixed-income housing near transit â¢ Location efficiency â¢ Housing production and targets â¢ Housing assistance â¢ Anti-displacement strategies â¢ Inclusionary housing â¢ Local housing trust funds Accessible economic opportunities â¢ Station area profiles â¢ Financial feasibility and incentives â¢ Activity center master plan â¢ Jobs-housing alignment â¢ Social investments Accessible social and government services â¢ Access to services â¢ Efficient infrastructure â¢ Community safety Vibrant and accessible community, cultural, and recreational opportunities â¢ Cultural destinations â¢ District revitalization â¢ Public art Healthy, safe, and walkable transit corridor neighborhoods â¢ Complete streets â¢ Traffic calming â¢ Form-based codes â¢ TOD guidelines â¢ Walk and safety audits â¢ Pedestrian and bicycle network maintenance Table B-1. Strategies associated with corridor types.