Reconnecting America is the only national non-profit organization devoted to promoting best practices in transit-oriented development and development-oriented transit. Our Center for Transit-Oriented Development, a joint effort with the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Strategic Economics, is funded by the federal government to serve as a national TOD clearinghouse, to help develop TOD standards and performance measures, and to provide research support and technical assistance.
If communities hoping to build a fixed-guideway transit project want federal funding, they must first go through the federal New Starts process. This is no easy task, but now the New Starts Working Group has developed a handbook for accomplishing this.
In this New York Times article on transit-oriented development, Reconnecting America CEO Shelley Poticha talks about how development near stations may be the brightest spot in a generally gloomy real estate market. “These are the places that will be creating and holding value,” Ms. Poticha tells the reporter, noting that the most successful projects do more than just build housing but are also designed to create livable neighborhoods with parks, paths, retail stores and gathering places. Says Ms. Poticha, “Place-making is key.”
Reconnecting America journeyed to the foot of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for the 17th Congress for the New Urbanism in Denver. In order to cover the events and allow more people a view into the conference, we tweeted live some of the most pertinent comments made by presenters in several sessions related to how livable communities intersect with transportation options. Below is a listing of all the tweets from the conference. Follow the stream as we cover some key issues and folks at the CNU, from Mayors in Denver and Charlotte, experts on transportation and TOD, as well as lessons learned in terms of framing our issues. Enjoy!
The December 2008 report by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission analyzing transit-served areas in the Delaware Valley has been added to the Best Practices section. The report analyzes areas within a half-mile of rail transit stops. The majority of the data in this report comes from Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.
With California facing an unprecedented budget crisis, eleven California urban planners, architects, engineers, public officials, developers, retail managers and a journalist are convening a seminar on the challenges of making towns and cities in the new realities of fiscal chaos, energy constraints and climate change. Instead of flying to Denver, this group of California New Urbanists has chartered two private railcars from California Zephyr Rail Charters, Inc. that will be pulled by Amtrak’s regular Zephyr train. The California New Urbanists are committing the time needed for a structured, deep conversation among accomplished professionals. They are also practicing what they preach: train travel is 21 percent more efficient than automobile travel, and 17 percent more efficient than airline travel.
hifting from a highway-centered federal transportation focus to one centered around transit is explored in a U.S.PIRG document. The specific greenhouse gas savings from using transit is explored in another document. Finally, the national numbers behind greenhouse gases are explored in a FTA presentation.
Critics question whether light rail can generate ridership in low-density, automobile-oriented, polycentric US cities with smaller downtowns. Proponents counter that convenient access to stations via walking, park-and-ride, or bus allow for the development of feasible corridors connecting major residential areas with suburban concentrations of employment and the CBD. With this in mind, the used multiple regression to determine factors that contribute to higher light-rail ridership.
Cross-sectional data on average weekday boardings were collected for the year 2000 for 268 stations in nine US cities representing a variety of urban settings. The resulting model may be useful as a first-cut, one-step approach for predicting demand for possible light-rail alignments.
Purchase full copy: Factors influencing light-rail station boardings in the United States (2003)
An examination of the relationship between transit ridership and urban decentralization, an evaluation of metropolitan travel forecasting models and a look at transit-oriented development experiences as lessons for Connecticut and New York have been added to the Best Practices.