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Now Arriving: Transit-Oriented Development

Much of the talk on the Streetsblog Network in the past few days, perhaps prompted by the recently concluded Congress for the New Urbanism conference, is about transit-oriented development. The real estate crisis, it seems, may finally be pushing the issue into the mainstream.

image.jpgPhoto of housing near a new light rail line by Light Rail AZ.

Hub and Spokes cites a recent article
in the New York Times about new and proposed light rail lines in
communities around the country, such as Carrollton, TX. "Are we finally
seeing the key connection between transit and housing?" Hub and Spokes
asks. "The drive-to-qualify model is no longer viable."

Over at CUNY’s Sustainable Cities Blog, they picked up a piece by Grist about "the best US transit systems you never knew existed":

I
was familiar with a few of their case studies (the Olympics-driven Salt
Lake light rail, for example, is fantastic) but some were a complete
surprise. Who would have thought that tourist-clogged Orlando was an
up-and-comer? Or that the proud Confederate capital, Richmond, was a contender? Perhaps these success stories can be read as a sort of silver lining to our current economic woes.

Meanwhile, Mobilizing the Region
has the latest on New Jersey’s transit village program, which "provides
financial incentives to communities committed to community
revitalization, traffic reduction and air quality improvement in the
areas surrounding their transit hubs." Orange, NJ, is the 20th
municipality in Jersey to get the designation, which comes with
$100,000 in funds and technical assistance in planning improvements
around the train station there.

And Light Rail AZ
is writing about how real estate agents are marketing apartments along
the rail line that goes from Phoenix to communities like Mesa and
Tempe. One is offering a free 31-day rail pass for new tenants. And the
apartments are attracting a rare breed in the Sun Belt, the carless
human:

Over at the La Paloma Apartments
in Tempe, Veronica tells us that a lot of their residents are students,
and she also mentions that "many of our residents are people that don’t
have cars."

Imagine that.