Investing In COD+TOD Now To Reap Benefits For Years To Come
Investing in cargo-oriented development along with transit-oriented develop can create benefits into the future, according to the Center for Neighborhood Technology.
The interrelationship of COD and TOD was the topic of the June 20 opinion article "How to capture — and keep — the value of rail cargo in Chicago" in Crain's Chicago Business.
It is also the subject of research CNT published in 2012, which has been added to Reconnecting America's Research Center best practices database.
According to research in "West Cook County COD+TOD Report," the western suburbs of Chicago have valuable assests that include passenger and cargo rail lines, extensive bus routes, pockets of dense housing, intermodal freight terminals, a strong base of industrial and logistics businesses, and community colleges that can train unemployed or underemployed industrial workers.
"These strengths," the report notes, "can be leveraged to generate new sources of public and private funding, retain and attract industrial firms and retailers, increase job access near transit, reduce car and truck traffic, and stimulate greater collaboration between neighboring communities to create a more sustainable, prosperous region."
In the Crain's Chicago Business article, CNT CEO Kathryn Tholin points out the hazards of ignoring this relationship.
"[R]ail is valuable only to the extent that it is integrated with good land-use decisions so that it actually serves communities and industrial districts, and that the extended value of rail cargo is captured and kept in the region," Tholin writes, warning that proposals to move freight yards to the exurban fringe of Chicago could reduce the economic and environmental benefits of rail.