When the first edition of Cities of Opportunity was developed, we made a decision to rank cities only in their 10 indicator categories and to forego showing overall rankings to avoid the misperception of a contest. That risk seemed especially significant in 2007, when the media cast New York and London in a death match for global capital market kingship.
Transit‐oriented development (TOD) is an increasingly popular urban form. Based on a survey of residents of TOD projects in areas served by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Fort Worth T, and Capital Metro (Austin) rail transit, moving into TOD decreases VMT by an average of 15 percent, or about 3,500 miles per year, which impacts TxDOT motor fuel tax revenues. The data also indicate that these households shift their choice of route to include more arterial roads versus highways. Differential behavior is observed among the three areas studied with the greatest impact being on the DART system and the Capital Metro system showing smaller changes in TOD resident travel behaviors. Residents of TOD choose their housing based mostly on commuting distance and lifestyle characteristics, such as proximity to dining and entertainment venues. Proximity to a transit rail station is at least moderately important for 57 percent of respondents. The report recommends that TxDOT look to incorporate…
The following books are the story of a neighborhood in Midtown Houston. This study is focused on the transit district surrounding the Ensemble/HCC station area - though many of the challenges and opportunities are common to Midtown in general. The seven Books cover a lot of ground. We review Midtown’s past as an important window into its present. We look in detail at the current urban fabric and infrastructure in, “Integrate Systems”, and we document the prevailing and emerging patterns of land use in “Identify Districts”. These two Books go on to identify strategies and prioritized objectives for improving the urban fabric and the potential opportunities for strengthening and incentivizing increased land use activity - in line with primary objectives of the Livable Centers program. We address the particular challenges of implementation in terms of funding and regulatory contexts; and we identify speci.c project opportunities and design concepts that could…
A livable community has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive features and services, and adequate mobility options for people, regardless of age or ability. As communities address the general shortage of affordable housing, preserving affordable housing in transit-oriented developments (TODs) is one of the challenges that communities can address to increase their livability.
TODs are compact, walkable, mixed-use communities that are developed around high-quality public transportation. Residents often prize these places for the advantages created by the proximity to transportation and other amenities. One consequence of this desirability is that it can increase land and property values, exacerbating housing affordability challenges.
As policymakers try to extend the benefits of TODs to affordable housing locations, they must ensure that those benefits are available to people of low and moderate incomes and to those with different mobility…
This study examines the impact of street network connectivity on transit patronage. The aim is to better understand how connectivity affects the decision to use public transportation after we control for population density and the effect of walking distance from the transit station. Data on population densities, transit service features, and annual average daily station boardings are drawn from Chicago (CTA), Dallas (DART), and Atlanta (MARTA). Results suggest that metric reach, which measures the street length that is accessible within a walking range, has significant impact on ridership levels jointly with population density and two attributes of transit service features. In particular, the estimates indicate that metric reach is a stronger predictor of transit use than station area population densities.
The Downtown Carrollton Rail Station Master Plan is intended to achieve an integrated vision for a transit-oriented community built around a key transit hub serving Carrollton and the Metroplex. The City of Carrollton’s primary goal for the project is to set the design framework for the transit hub integrating multi-modal, multi-agency transit service with a new urban center and gateway to the City of Carrollton. The ultimate success of the project is measured by the ability to meet this goal and individual objectives of a diverse set of stakeholders while also validating the fnancial feasibility of the project.
The future downtown transportation hub will improve local and regional access and strengthen linkages between transportation, land use and economic development. The project is also an opportunity for Carrollton to create the vision for a new symbolic center of the City. This vision will be achieved through a proposed 76 acre “walkable” /…
Urban sprawl is a negative condition that many of the cities throughout the United States face. Sprawl wastes resources, has adverse effects on the environment, and leads to degradations of parts of a city. Smart Growth is an answer to controlling and managing this growth and sprawl. The reviewed scholarly literature lends insight to the ideal aspects of Smart Growth. This research will focus on examining San Antonio, Texas, and its explosion of growth over the last few decades, and how the City has managed this growth. City and other local government documents were observed as well as direct observation of certain aspects of Smart Growth within the City. The observed documents and areas within the City suggest that the City of San Antonio is right on track with some aspects of the ideal Smart Growth plan, but its lacking in other areas of the ideal. The recommendations should assist the City in attaining a higher level of Smart Growth compliance.
The proposed Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (LRT) line stretching from downtown Minneapolis to downtown Saint Paul has the potential to revitalize the neighborhoods it passes through. Projected to carry nearly 43,270 passengers daily by the year 2030, the line is an opportunity for significant investment in the local economy through transportation infrastructure improvements. When completed, the increased mobility and accessibility along the corridor will provide opportunities for increased economic activity and provide existing businesses with the ability to reach new markets.
Many of the business owners along the corridor, however, are concerned about the negative impacts the construction process may bring. The proposed transit line is scheduled to begin a three year construction phase in 2010. Construction of light rail, like any large construction process, can significantly disrupt the normal business operations along a corridor. Potential impacts include the…
Capital Metro retained WHM/HDR (in association with PB Americas, Inc.) to evaluate the costs and benefits of a possible Central Austin Circulator (a.k.a. the Austin Streetcar Project, or the “Project”). The purpose of this study is to provide the basis for discussion among economic stakeholders at the local level in forming a partnership to invest in the Project. These stakeholders include: Capital Metro, the City of Austin, Travis County, the State of Texas, the University of Texas, Austin Independent School District (AISD), and private property owners.
This Final Report describes the Project and its costs and benefits to each of the stakeholders so that they may decide whether to approve an agreement in principle to support the concept of the Project. If an agreement is reached, then the next step would be to enter into negotiations and documentation of a more specific, detailed financing plan.
The Report is organized into the following principal…