The FTA and HUD funded this report to examine the effectiveness of regional strategies to ensure there is mixed-income housing near transit. Advancing the state of the practice of linking mixed-income housing to transit investments requires greater creativity and commitment by all levels of government. This report examines five case study regions: Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon. Given the growing demand for housing near transit and limited number of developable sites, the report finds that cities and regions need to be proactive in order to accommodate income diversity in TOD.
There is an increasing interest in community walkability, as reflected in the growing number of state and federal initiatives on Safe Routes to School, the new concern over a national obesity epidemic (especially in children), and a wide range of policy initiatives designed to convince travelers to switch from auto trips to more environmentally sustainable bicycle and walking trips. In each of these cases, policy makers recognize walking as a key mode of travel and believe that increasing the number of walk trips is a key goal.
The housing prototypes of this section are intended to serve as a problem-solving tool to help improve the design of medium-density infill housing projects, particularly in the R2 and R1 multidwelling zones. The prototypes highlight medium-density housing types and configurations, suitable for common infill situations, that meet City regulations and design objectives and are feasible from a market perspective. They illustrate solutions for common infill design challenges, such as balancing parking needs with pedestrian friendly design and providing usable open space while achieving density goals. They are also intended to help broaden the range of housing types being built in Portland by presenting innovative configurations, with a particular focus on arrangements conducive to ownership housing.
The Tri-County Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) is the public transit provider for the Portland region. TriMet was responsible for construction of the Interstate MAX light rail project in North Portland, which was completed under budget. TriMet received approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to use a portion of these unspent funds to increase funding for station area development. The desired result of this development solicitation is selection of a Development Team to develop property purchased by TriMet for the purpose of promoting redevelopment in the Killingsworth MAX station area. TriMet is working closely with staff from the Portland Development Commission (PDC) and Metro’s Transit Oriented Development Implementation Program to coordinate station area development activities.
When you shop, you may visit a mall, or go to your town’s main street. At the mall, you probably cruise past rows and rows of empty parking, the spaces filled only one day a year. Maybe you head downtown, but can only find vacant storefronts. And where things are bustling, you can’t find convenient parking near the stores you want to visit. All three of these scenarios represent a “parking problem” that has a negative impact on other community goals. At the mall, overbuilt parking consumes land and wastes money. Downtown, storefronts may sit empty because new businesses that would like to move in can’t meet high parking requirements – and too little parking makes good businesses less viable.
The City of Portland constructed its first streetcar track since the 1920s in 2000, a project that achieved full funding commitment three years prior. The first segment of the new Portland Streetcar spanned several neighborhoods within and adjacent to Portland’s central city. Residents are familiar with the change in landscape that accompanied this investment: notable levels of new development have clustered around the alignment, a trend observed both in neighborhoods with significant tracts of vacant land and with a largely built-out landscape.
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) has increasingly moved from a planning theory to built projects. Over 100 TODs and an additional 100 joint development projects currently exist in the United States. Over the past two decades an important trend has been occurring with TOD as a growing number of communities have married Light Rail Transit (LRT) and TOD as part of an integrated strategy to revitalize American cities. Along the way LRT has evolved to become both a people moving and a community building strategy. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has come to recognize that link in elevating land use as an important consideration for New Starts recommendations. With the competition for federal funding at an all time high, land use can make a difference in which projects are recommended for federal funding. Yet transit adjacent, not transit-oriented development remains the norm in most communities.
Advocates of New Urbanist and neo-traditional planning concepts include street connectivity as a key component for good neighborhood design. Street networks that are more grid-like are preferred over networks that include many cul-de-sacs and long blocks, thus increasing distances between destinations. The increased distances are thought to discourage walking and bicycling and, thus, physical activity.
Neighborhood type matters when we try to explain variations in public transit commuting. We found this statistical link over a sample of all census tracts in the four largest California metro areas. In this research, we used statistical cluster analysis to identify twenty generic neighborhood types. The variables used in the analysis included broad indicators of location and population density, street design, transit access and highway access. Once identified, the denser neighborhoods had higher transit use, other things equal. Yet, what distinguishes the research is that we did not use a simple density measure to differentiate neighborhoods. Rather, density was an important ingredient of our neighborhood - type definition -- which surpassed simple density in explanatory power.