State Transit-Oriented Development Programs: Models for ConnDOT and the MTA?
Though ConnDOT and the MTA have been sluggish to catch on to the potential of transit-oriented development (TOD), both agencies recently made clear their intent to embrace TOD principles.
At yesterday’s State of the MTA speech, MTA CEO Elliot Sander said his agency must “be a catalyst for environmentally sound land-use, smart growth and transit-oriented development.” The statement comes after the MTA announced the creation of a sustainability cabinet which is examining TOD, and issued a “request for expressions of interest” in transit-oriented development around the Beacon Metro-North station last year.
Last month, acting ConnDOT commissioner Emil Frankel called transit-oriented development “an integral component of [ConnDOT’s] comprehensive transportation policy, plan and strategy.” ConnDOT began to move towards a TOD strategy last year, when the agency hired Deputy Commissioner Albert Martin to focus on linking transportation and responsible growth; state legislators also set aside $5 million for ConnDOT to undertake a TOD pilot study in the October 2007 bonding bill.
As a next step, both ConnDOT and the MTA should create formal programs to promote TOD. A recent Council of State Governments review found six states with “proactive” state-level TOD policies. Of these states, California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey stood out. Here’s what each one can offer the agencies.