CTOD releases West Corridor TOD Report for Denver Region
What's the difference between good transit-oriented development and great transit-oriented development? The answer is laid out in the new Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) report, "Connecting the West Corridor Communities: An Implementation Strategy for TOD along the Denver Region’s West Corridor."
The report was produced as part of a collaboration between the city and county of Denver, the city of Lakewood, the Denver Housing Authority and Metro West Housing Solutions. Known as the West Corridor Working Group (WCWG), the collaborators sought CTOD's expertise in creating a strategy for implementing successful transit-oriented development along the West Corridor light rail line operated by the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and scheduled to open in 2013.
“The WCWG recognized that to truly achieve affordable, mixed-income communities along the West Corridor, we had to work together to align our vision, policies and resources for positive change” said Ismael Guerrero, Executive Director of the Denver Housing Authority.
Among other things, the report notes that a focus on TOD will support growth near new transit stations, enhance access to opportunity, preserve and enhance the supply of a range of housing choices, reduce the combined costs of housing and transportation, and support walking and biking to stations. But it will not be an easy task.
"The economic conditions in the country today are impacting the pace and magnitude of private sector development activity, and along the West Corridor potential development opportunities related to transit have not yet been realized,” said Catherine Cox Blair, Reconnecting America's program director and principal report author for the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. “As a result, public agencies will play a vital role in ensuring the success of this incredible opportunity for transit-oriented development to leverage market momentum for new investment and community building. "
CTOD recommendations to the West Corridor Working Group include:
- Complete the “last mile” of critical bicycle and pedestrian connections along the corridor.
- Develop a corridor-wide affordable housing strategy for both preservation and new production of units.
- Prioritize the Federal Center, Oak, and the Federal/Decatur Stations respectively as high priority stations with transformational opportunities.
- Continue to support infrastructure improvements at Oak, Garrison, Wadsworth and Lamar in Lakewood.
- Collaborate on a joint Denver and Lakewood implementation plan at Sheridan.
- Develop some small-scale strategies for the Knox and Perry stations in Denver.
- Emphasize Colfax as the retail corridor in both cities.
- Develop a marketing and branding plan to market and promote the West Corridor.
"By laying the foundation now through activities such as adopting appropriate policies and investing in high value catalytic projects, the WCWG can ensure that over time and as the market matures, the overall value of new private investment will ultimately surpass the public investment," the report concludes.