The costs—economic and social—associated with large surface parking lots has been receiving more and more attention of late. Parking lots have been credited with impeding the establishment of a quality pedestrian environment, disrupting the urban fabric, encouraging greater auto use, and harming the environment.
In addition to these social and environmental costs, large surface parking lots also have an opportunity cost, which is the economic value of not putting the land on which these lots sit to some other use. Donald Shoup, a professor from UCLA, in his recent book, The High Cost of Free Parking, estimates the cost of free parking to the national economy is over $300 billion annually.
The development potential of parking lots is especially high when the lot is proximate to transit. Park-n-ride lots at rail transit stations, when developed consistent to Transit Oriented Development (TOD) principles, whether that be commercial, residential or mixed-use can…
This report sets out the results for a study of Sustainable Transport Choices and the Retail Sector which was commissioned by the Commission for Integrated Transport. The aims of the research, which are detailed in the project brief and proposal can be summarised as follows:
What Are Living Streets?
Living streets are streets designed to be shared safely by pedestrians, bicycles and low speed motor vehicles.
Similar to pedestrian plazas, living streets are characterized by a lack of curb separation between the sidewalk and the street right-of-way. They therefore reclaim street space for pedestrians, bicyclists, children, community and commercial activity, while enhancing ecological performance by increasing the proportion of permeable surfaces and vegetation. Living streets may also reduce infrastructure costs through the use of a single stormwater drainage system instead of two stormwater systems on either side of the road.
In contrast to pedestrian plazas, living streets have the advantage of allowing low-speed access by all modes of transportation, which therefore improves local access and vitality, enhances the versatility of the street space, and increases the supply of vehicle parking in the area. Vehicle speeds of around 10 mph are maintained…
Lack of adequate transportation is often cited as a reason for not seeking or receiving health care by people who cannot or do not drive. Aware of the critical role that inadequate transportation access to health facilities plays in the health of Bay Area residents, the Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC) initiated a study to investigate this problem. The resulting report, Roadblocks to Health, which was released in 2002 in conjunction with two social justice groups, looked at transit and walking access to health care in 15 low-income communities in the region. That study found that residents of Contra Costa’s low-income neighborhoods had the worst access to health care of the three counties studied. These communities have many residents that do not drive; at the same time, infrequent transit service and spread out land use make clinics and hospitals difficult to reach.
The California Endowment then funded TALC to initiate the Transportation Equity and…
Parking policy is an important element of transit-oriented development (TOD). It shapes travel behavior, community design, and development economics; it can improve the performance of both rail transit and TOD. This article is based on the study of residential TODs, office TODs, and joint development of transit agency station parking in California. The research includes surveys of travel behavior, stationarea characteristics, parking supply, interviews with real estate developers, and studies of replacement parking issues at joint development sites. Research results show that TOD parking supply and pricing policy seldom are structured to support transit ridership goals. Policy recommendations for improving parking policy for TODs are offered to transit agencies, cities, and developers.
This study provides a 2003 measurement of travel behavior in California TODs. It supports recent efforts to develop information and policy recommendations that enhance the effectiveness of TOD development. It builds upon previous studies conducted in the early 1990s, and examines a range of potential rail users—residents, office workers, hotel employees and patrons, and retail patrons. Survey sites are all located in non-CBD locations, are within walking distance of a transit station with rail service headways of 15 minutes or less, and were intentionally developed as TODs. Surveys were conducted along each of California’s major urban rail systems, including the San Diego Trolley, San Diego Coaster, Los Angeles Blue and Red Lines, Los Angeles Metrolink commuter rail, San Jose VTA light rail, Caltrain commuter rail, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, and Sacramento Light Rail.
Over the past several years, the private vehicle has become the predominant mode of travel to school while walking and bicycling rates have decreased. Some suggest that this change in travel behavior contributes to negative health outcomes in children, including increased rates of 1) overweight/obesity through inactivity and 2) pedestrian and bicyclist fatality and injury. A series of recent policies and programs directly attribute the change in travel behavior to school to the urban form of communities. Limited research exists to support this hypothesis, however. The fundamental questions of whether and how urban form impacts a child’s trip to school must to be answered in order to develop effective interventions aimed at increasing rates of walking and bicycling activity and safety.
This research proposes a conceptual framework to examine the nature and shape of the relationships between urban form; interpersonal, demographic and social/cultural factors;…
Transit-oriented development, which clusters high-density, mixed-use development around transit stations, has been proposed as a way to reduce automobile travel in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere. This paper relates research on neighborhood characteristics and vehicle travel to specific Bay Area characteristics. The analysis shows that, even using optimistic assumptions about travel behavior, redeveloping the area around most of the existing rail transit stations, coordinating similar development around feeder bus routes, and clustering close to one-fifth of the region’s population in these areas would reduce vehicle miles traveled in the Bay Area by just 5%. If current trends continue, this would offset only three years of growth in vehicle miles traveled. Thus, transit-oriented development is unlikely to have a significant impact on regional vehicle miles traveled and traffic congestion. Although transit-oriented development may have other worthwhile…
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA) and the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) are both examples of recent federal legislation requiring improvements in air quality and congestion through more efficient transportation and an integration of multiple modes. Increasing public transit ridership has emerged as a primary goal of policy makers seeking to comply with legislation such as CAAA and ISTEA. Several policies are being examined for their potential to persuade automobile drivers to use transit. This report focuses on parking strategies as a means of increasing transit patronage for the work trip. For comparison purposes, this report also briefly considers some nonparking strategies, such as road pricing, to assess their effect on single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) use and transit ridership.