Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has gained attention as a potentially cost-effective form of highcapacity public transportation. This is particularly the case in small to medium-size cities that do not have high enough densities or serious enough peak-period traffic congestion to justify fairly expensive fixed-guideway transit investments. BRT is widely embraced for providing potential rail-like services at a fraction of the cost (Wright, 2011). This study explores possibilities for advancing BRT systems and associated higher density land development in the Central Valley of California. It uses photo-simulations and stakeholder reactions to visual images to gauge public attitudes toward what would be a fairly radical transformation of urban environments in traditionally car-oriented settings. Due to the comparatively low development densities found in the Central Valley relative to California’s larger metropolitan areas, the kinds of transformations that would be needed to…
When the first edition of Cities of Opportunity was developed, we made a decision to rank cities only in their 10 indicator categories and to forego showing overall rankings to avoid the misperception of a contest. That risk seemed especially significant in 2007, when the media cast New York and London in a death match for global capital market kingship.
The states of California, New Jersey, and Western Australia encourage smart growth through the employment of transit-oriented development (TOD). This article documents each state’s approach and highlights the importance of interagency cooperation at the state-level and intergovernmental cooperation between state and local governments. This article discusses the importance of state government participation in the planning and creation of policy to facilitate TOD and recommends elements for a model state TOD program.
Senate Bill (SB) 375, adopted in 2008, calls on regional transportation planning agencies and local governments to develop strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by reducing per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Three specific strategies, traditionally used to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, are to be employed to help reduce emissions:
Higher-density development, particularly in areas well-served by transit;
Investments in alternatives to solo driving, such as transit, biking, walking, and carpooling; and
Pricing policies that raise the cost of driving and parking.
Although SB 375 is expected to reduce emissions only modestly relative to vehicle efficiency standards and low-carbon fuels, it is also expected to improve public health and reduce energy and water use by encouraging denser development and more “livable” communities. The integration of these three approaches is consistent with an emerging research…
High-speed rail has the potential to offer Californians far more than the opportunity to travel quickly around the state. Throughout the world, high-speed rail systems have had profound and transformational impacts on cities, metropolitan areas and broader megaregions.
This technical report is the outcome of a collaborative research effort between a transportation agency, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), and a graduate student research team at San José State University’s (SJSU) Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP). The focus of this research project is on parking utilization at transit‐oriented development (TOD) residential projects in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. The intent of this research is to determine actual parking utilization for residents of 12 housing developments near VTA light rail and Caltrain stations, and to compare usage to parking supply and local requirements at these locations. The project has yielded information useful to planning practitioners and academia alike. The study follows recent research within the Bay Area that demonstrates many TOD residential properties are “over‐parked” (Cervero 2009). Locally, the study provides evidence to VTA to help inform…
As a leader in environmental responsibility, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is pursuing a variety of sustainability strategies to maximize transportation efficiency, access, safety, and performance while minimizing energy use, consumption, pollution, and the generation of waste. This report evaluates current and potential future Metro sustainability strategies for their costs and impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. Strategies include those focused on Metro’s vehicle fleet, buildings, and opportunities to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
The figure below shows the greenhouse gas reduction cost effectiveness of the strategies that could be quantified. For some strategies, the results are sensitive to a single parameter with a high degree of uncertainty; for these strategies, cost effectiveness is shown as a range (long bar).
The figure shows that a variety of strategies can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions for…
This report summarizes the findings from a ULI panel that was formed to assess the economic implications of the California Senate Bill 375 (SB 375), and associated implementation recommendations. As the basis of this inquiry, the panel was charged with reviewing available empirical data and studies pertaining to SB 375 and the impacts of the kinds of development that full implementation is likely to produce, especially compact and transit-oriented development. Drawing on this research and its own substantial professional experience, the ULI panel then convened to review and discuss the economic impacts of SB 375 on the state’s economy and make recommendations that would help deliver on the bill’s goals of regional connectivity, policy alignment, efficient provision of infrastructure, and improved environmental quality.
SB 375 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger on September 30, 2008. This bill links land use decisions to transportation…
This briefing book summarizes the results of a yearlong study that examined what attracts home-seekers to transit-oriented development (TOD) in the San Francisco Bay Area, and how to improve TODs to better attract these groups.