In spring of 2011, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, was awarded a grant from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to prepare the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Sustainable Corridor Implementation Plan (Orange Line BRT Sustainable CIP). Metro, the City of Los Angeles, and SCAG retained Raimi + Associates and its consultant team of The Center for Transit-Oriented Development and Nelson\Nygaard to assist with the planning effort.
The Orange Line BRT Sustainable CIP identifies a range of improvements to the Orange Line and the fourteen station areas on its original alignment – such as land use changes, catalyst projects, streetscape improvements, and transit connections – that will increase transit use for commuters and discretionary riders, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and advance Metro’s sustainable development principles. The four main goals of the Orange…
Why This Book?
Transit-oriented development can be used as a tool to support family-friendly communities and high-quality education. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a mix of housing, retail and/or commercial development, and amenities in a walkable neighborhood with high-quality public transportation. Interest in TOD has grown across the country to achieve multiple goals, including:
Reduced automobile trips and greenhouse gas emissions;
Increased transit ridership and transit agency revenues;
The potential for increased and/or sustained property values near transit;
Improved access to jobs for households of all incomes;
Reduced infrastructure costs, compared to what is required to support sprawling growth;
Reduced transportation costs for residents;
Improved public health due to increased walking and biking;
Creation of a sense of community and place.
Recent TOD projects have often catered more to young professionals, empty nesters or other households without children, as these…
Los Angeles is transforming our future by investing in the largest transit expansion in the United States. By the end of 2012, the City alone will have 71 operating light rail or bus rapid transit stations, with dozens more in nearby communities throughout the county. Planned Measure R investments will add another 42 stations to the City, for a total of 113 stations in 30 years. These plans could happen instead within a quick, ten year time frame if the federal government approves America Fast Forward, bringing thousands of new transit construction and operations jobs to the City and connecting over 1.2 million existing jobs to high quality, fixed-guideway transit rich areas.
Ensuring that all of our families and workers are able to continue to live and work in our most transit rich neighborhoods is a key priority of the City of Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD). One way to achieve this goal is to preserve existing affordable and rent stabilization…
The federal government, through various transportation acts, such as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and, more recently, the Safe, Affordable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), has reinforced the need for integration of land use and transportation and the provision of public transit. Other federal programs, such as the Livable Communities Program and the New Starts Program, have provided additional impetus to public transit. At the state and regional level, the past three decades have seen increased provision of public transit. However, the public transit systems typically require significant operating and capital subsidies—75 percent of transit funding is provided by local and state governments.1 With all levels of government under significant fiscal stress, new transit funding mechanisms are welcome. Value capture (VC) is once…
What Does This Guide Do?
This guide is intended to provide Southern California housing advocates with an understanding of certain opportunities and legal tools for influencing affordable housing and land use polices at four distinct phases of sustainable transit planning and development: the regional, local, neighborhood, and project-specific levels. To address some of the risks that are specific to the Southern California region, and to capitalize on some of the opportunities that come with transit-oriented development, this guide specifically focuses on laws affecting affordable housing and regional and local planning, zoning, and land disposition policies. Additionally, although this guide discusses tools available throughout Southern California, it also specifically identifies opportunities in the City and County of Los Angeles.
The 2011-2012 Sacramento Regional Transit Comprehensive Operational Analysis, commonly known as “TransitRenewal”, includes a review of existing market conditions and transit service and aims to position the RT network to sustainably meet future transit demand within the service area. Sustainability is the method of using a resource without depleting or damaging it for future use. Sustainable transit planning focuses on meeting transit needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet such needs1. TransitRenewal responds to changing economic circumstances and RT’s new financial realities. In 2010, RT implemented substantial service reductions which included discontinuing several bus routes, reducing service levels, and reducing spans. TransitRenewal responds to RT’s plan to regain previous FY 2010 service levels and intends to identify core areas of the RT system where investment will have a maximum benefit, and will guide RT to…
Over the next 25 years, the San Francisco Bay Area is projected to grow by an estimated 22 percent—adding around 1.6 million new residents. Land use and development professionals are engaged in a dialogue around how the region can accommodate this growth in a way that maintains the extraordinary quality-of-life that attracts people to live and work in the region. With an eye toward demographic shifts like an aging population and an increasing number of smaller and non-family households, planners and developers recognize the growing demand for homes and jobs in walkable, urban environments.
High land and housing costs in the core areas of the region, however, create continued development pressure in the outskirts of the region, leading to commute-times and household transportation costs that are among the highest in the nation. The high cost of housing and transportation is particularly felt by the region’s moderate- and lower-income families, who in some cities spend as…
A growing number of communities are discovering the value of their streets as important public spaces for many aspects of daily life. People want streets that are safe to cross or walk along, offer places to meet people, link healthy neighborhoods, and have a vibrant mix of retail. More people are enjoying the value of farmers’ markets, street festivals, and gathering places. And more people want to be able to walk and ride bicycles in their neighborhoods.
People from a wide variety of backgrounds are forming partnerships with schools, health agencies, neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, and other groups in asking their city councils to create streets and neighborhoods that fit this vision.
As a result, an increasing number of cities are looking to modify the way they design their streets. They are often stifled by standards and guidelines that prevent them from making the changes they seek. Some want to modify their standards and manuals, but don’t…
It is broadly accepted that fairly dense urban development is an essential feature of a successful public transit system. However going beyond this generality to specific guidelines on where, when, and by how much to increase urban densities is never easy. This paper investigates the relationship between transit and urban densities in the United States from multiple perspectives. While empirical evidence suggests that recent-generation rail investments in the U.S. have in many instances conferred net social benefits, considerable skepticism remains, particularly among the more vocal critics of American transit policy. All sides agree that increasing urban densities will place public transit on firmer financial footing. Our analysis suggests that light-rail systems need around 30 people per gross acre around stations and heavy rail systems need 50 percent higher densities than this to place them in the top one-quarter of cost-effective rail investments in the U.S. The…
Many metropolitan areas are struggling with how to accommodate future population growth—and are looking to transit-oriented development (TOD) as a potential solution. TODs, in which densely-built, mixedincome housing is placed near transit to create walkable neighborhoods complete with amenities and retail, could house as many as a quarter of the country’s new households in coming years.1 Yet one barrier to building a significant amount of TOD housing is the unwillingness of many local residents to support some of the components of TOD, particularly higher-density construction and mixed-income housing. Often called NIMBYs (short for Not-In-My-Backyard), opposing residents can stop such developments in their tracks.