Transit-oriented development (TOD) may seem like a new-fangled notion, and in fact has particularly gained momentum and cachet in the past decade; but it is in fact a strategy as old as some of Philadelphia’s oldest neighborhoods. Then, as now, neighborhoods became more vibrant and livable to the extent that new development could be oriented to transit access and to the value of the mobility it afforded. Conversely, neighborhoods have suffered in vibrancy and livability when reinvestment has been hindered or when there has been little or no coordination with transportation infrastructure.
So it is appropriate that transit-oriented development is a major focus of NeighborhoodsNow. It is also an appropriate moment for the release of this publication, “Transit-Oriented Development in Philadelphia: Using a Proven Strategy to Create More Vibrant, Livable Neighborhoods.”
Philadelphia has enjoyed a resurgence in development activity in the past decade; and in…
What is a shrinking city?
A shrinking city in one where substantial and sustained population loss (20 percent or greater) has occurred over a period of at least forty years, while the physical footprint of the city has remained the same. This results in a dysfunctional real estate market (much more supply than demand) and a surplus of underutilized public infrastructure. The remaining residents and businesses are burdened with higher taxes as the city tries to maintain its infrastructure for a significantly reduced population. In a shrinking city, population and economic growth are not anticipated in the foreseeable future, resulting in continued dysfunction in the market.
Shrinkage exhibits itself in vacant and abandoned properties. These sites become magnets for illicit activities including arson, vandalism, drug dealing, and prostitution. As both a “symptom and a disease” (Burchell & Listokin, 1981, p. 15), property abandonment challenges cities across the U.S.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has produced several studies and station area plans that support transit-oriented development (TOD) in its nine-county region. By encouraging development around rail and bus facilities, DVRPC hopes to bring new investment to established communities, while also promoting increased transit ridership.
This document includes a TOD plan for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) pending reopening of the Wawa rail station in Chester Heights Borough, Delaware County. Prior to 1986, SEPTA’s R3 Regional Rail line extended west from Center City Philadelphia to West Chester in Chester County. Today the R3 line ends at Elwyn station in Middletown Township, Delaware County. In the 21 years that have elapsed since SEPTA discontinued rail service beyond Elwyn, western Delaware County has experienced significant population and job growth.
SEPTA currently plans to reinstate R3 Regional Rail service…
The Frankford Avenue Corridor Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Plan provides a vision and framework for redevelopment of three station areas – about a quarter-mile radius around three stations on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s (SEPTA) Market-Frankford EL. These stations are located in the Frankford neighborhood of northeast Philadelphia. SEPTA has reconstructed parts of the EL line and developed a multi-modal transit hub at Frankford. Wishing to leverage these investments, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission asked the consultant team led by Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC (WRT) to develop TOD-based land use plans and redevelopment guidelines for the Frankford Avenue neighborhood commercial corridor, which runs adjacent to EL.
Transit Oriented Development refers to compact, pedestrian-oriented mixed use development, characterized by moderate to high density development around transit stations. The consultant team…
The Market Street Corridor Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Plan provides a vision and framework for redevelopment of five station areas – about a quarter-mile radius around five stations on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s (SEPTA) Market-Frankford EL located in various neighborhoods of West Philadelphia. SEPTA is currently reconstructing EL stations in West Philadelphia. Wishing to leverage these investments, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission asked the consultant team led by Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC (WRT) to develop TOD-based land use plans and redevelopment guidelines for the Market Street commercial corridor, which runs adjacent to EL.
Transit Oriented Development refers to compact, pedestrian-oriented mixed use development, characterized by moderate to high density development around transit stations. The consultant team developed land use and urban design plans for high opportunity sites to create…
While Transit Oriented Development (TOD) has almost exclusively concerned rail based modes there has been a recent interest in bus related TOD with an emphasis on new bus rapid transit (BRT) developments in North/ South America and Australia. This paper takes a critical look at the strengths and weakness of bus based transit systems in relation to TOD through a review of the literature and an assessment of TOD related developments. The performance of BRT systems in relation to TOD are considered with specific reference to BRT systems in Australia. In addition TOD related to local suburban or ‘low order’ bus service is considered. The paper describes the general concept of TOD and how this relates to features of transit modes, outlines the literature relevant to bus based TOD and identifies the strengths and weakness of bus based transit systems in relation to TOD. It concludes by using the findings of the review to identify ways in which bus based TOD might be better planned and…
Bus Rapid Transit can achieve the capacity and economic development potential of rail, but at a fraction of the cost. Despite these successes, communities often view rail as superior to BRT and thus demand new rail systems. The challenge will be to ensure that BRT is evaluated on a level playing field with other technologies.