Increased traffic congestion, loss of open space, infrastructure costs, and a desire for more housing options have all made smart growth an increasingly powerful strategy for building and revitalizing communities, catalyzing economic development and protecting the environment.
Evidence of this trend is every-where. Of the 189 ballot initiatives in 2002 related to state and local conservation, 141 were approved. Elected in 2002, Massachusetts Republican Governor Mitt Romney, Michigan Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm and Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Ed Rendellare poised to make smart growth actions a high priority.
Smart growth projects nationwide were built in record numbers, continuing a five-year upward trend, reported “The New Urban News,” an industry publication that tracks new development. Cities and towns across the country are re-examining and changing comprehensive plans, zoning and other building regulations to make smart growth possible.
Creating Transit Station Communities: A Transit-Oriented Development Workbook has been prepared to help local jurisdictions and transit agencies in the central Puget Sound region achieve transit-oriented land use development. The workbook focuses on the role that high capacity transit stations can play in stimulating and supporting local land use changes. The overall purpose for promoting transit-oriented land use development at transit stations is to increase regionwide transit use and support local growth management objectives. For the purposes of this workbook, high capacity transit stations include light rail and commuter rail stations as well as major bus transit centers and ferry terminals. These transit facilities provide locations that can generally support an intensive mix of residential and commercial development close to the station. Transit-oriented development is usually focused on land within one-quarter mile to one-half mile radius of the station facility —…
The BART system, built in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s, was the first regional rail system to be built in the U.S. in more than 50 years. Since then, urban rail systems have been completed in ten cities on the West Coast and in Vancouver, Canada. These cities have had varying levels of success in attracting transit-oriented development (TOD). Seattle can learn from these experiences, so it does not repeat mistakes others made and takes advantage of opportunities presented.
To understand more about what tools work best, this paper presents detailed case studies of representative transit-oriented development projects throughout North America. Lessons from these case studies and the implications for Seattle are discussed. These lessons will help evaluate what actions makes most sense for the city and its neighborhoods.
The twelve cases of transit-oriented development were selected because they represent comparable light rail station types and/or physical settings or…
To help craft policies that will support transit-oriented development around light rail stations, the City of Seattle’s consultant team conducted small group interviews over the course of a day with fifty individuals involved in the design, development, and financing of new housing, retail spaces, and offices. The interviews helped identify some of the opportunities and obstacles for more dense, pedestrian-oriented development around transit stations. While the individuals interviewed were not of one mind, certain themes emerged about the development potential in station areas and the appropriate direction of future City policies.
This document is a companion to Metro's Transportation Service Guidelines, which describes the conditions for establishing and evaluating new and existing transportation services, and the Metro Transportation Facility Design Guidelines, which provides information on the standards used by Metro in the design of transit and ridesharing facilities. It provides information for local planning staffs on the effects of land use decisions on public transportation service and provides guidelines for the private sector on how to design new projects to be compatible with public transportation. A short summary of each section and its objectives can be found on pages vii-xi.
Coordination between land use and public transportation should occur at the following levels in the land use planning process: 1) comprehensive plan policies, 2) zoning ordinances, and 3) the environmental review and building/site plan review process. Since funds for public transportation services are…