Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Trouble with Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

A recent article on Berkeley Transportation Letter discusses the involvement of UC Berkeley faculty and students in a project with the Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The objective of the project is to create transit-oriented solutions for the famously car-centric city:
“When people hear ‘transit-oriented development’ they think of a subway stop or light rail station surrounded by rings of ever decreasing density,” he explained. “Tall towers closest to the station, smaller buildings a bit further out, and finally garden apartments.”
In many cases, land use policies cannot be modified to allow this vision. In other cases where policies are relaxed, developing dense nodes in the middle of auto-oriented settings backfires, increasing congestion on roads leading to the very transit stations built to relieve traffic jams.
“Not every transit station needs to be conceived as a perfect ringed city. In fact, in most cases, it won’t work as planned,” he explained. “This is something Robert Cervero has been stressing for years.”

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