Eyes on the Street: Transit Adjacent Development


When people around the country discuss "transit oriented development" they describe tall buildings surrounding a bus or train station that are designed to discourage car commuting.  In its definition of T.O.D., Streetswiki even states:

A TOD also usually has relatively easy access for people on foot and
bikes, while cars and other vehicles are discouraged from parking too
close to the station. As a result, TODs are often friendlier to
pedestrians and bicyclists than other forms of land development, and
they encourage people to ride trains and buses rather than drive.

Given that, why does Noho Commons, a "transit oriented development" located across the street from the Orange and Red Line stop in North Hollywood, entice drivers to a boast of free parking?

  • Well, you don’t make much progress by preaching to the choir.

    I’ve looked into the NOHO TOD project a bit, as I was once considering moving into that area. I think there’s a good amount of progress to be made before this area reaches TOD status. right now, other than the small, independent play-theaters, there’s not a lot to do in that area, and it doesn’t seem like the safest area to me either. Walking down Lankershim at night is not the same as walking down Ventura Blvd at night. I think they are hoping things will improve when the new movie theater opens in that area. But right now they probably just need to get people exposed to the area. Since most transit-users are just passing through to go from orange to red or vice versa, the land-owners need to do what they can to encourage people to make this a destination. Free parking is one way to do that. “Hey, this place is pretty nice! Oh look, next time we don’t have to drive here, we can take the red line or the orange line!”

  • The reason “TOD” = bullsh*t in LA is that the people doing the permitting (i.e. the City staff) have massive love affairs with automobile infrastructure, ans they’ve seen what happens to staffers who raise the ire of the driving public.

    Bus riders complaining? Who cares? Bike riders getting killed? Big whoop.

    Motorists calling your their councilman to complain about how his sweet-heart development project has added 10 seconds to their commute … big problem. Heads roll.

    It’s why LA spends tens of millions on the ATSAC system in downtown, to no productive end, and the mayor gives stump speeches about million-dollar left-turning arrow installations (left-turning arrows actually inhibit throughput on most roads, hence causing “congestion”).

    It is a con, a game, sham that these projects are “TOD” – because the only rubber-hitting-the-road that counts in City Hall is the type that comes in fours attached to an idling engine.

    Until this political situation is remedied, we won’t get the “TOD” we need. No more free “green” credit for that lousy bunch of blowhards on the City Council, and no more liberal joy about how “environmentally friendly” Antonio Villaraigosa is (he’s not) – that is the only language these folks understand.


The Urban Land Institute Takes Its Look at L.A.’s T.O.D.

Slauson Station.  T.O.D. Heck.  Photo: The Architect Newspaper Blog One thing that the National non-profit the Urban Land Institute and Streetsblog have in common is we both have strong views about Transit Oriented Development.  Another thing we have in common?  We both think the state of transit oriented planning in Los Angeles could really use […]

TAD or TOD? A Look at the W at Hollywood and Vine

Nice car advertisement at the billboard. Photo: Erik Oginski/Flickr One of my favorite transportation rhetorical devices has always been the relationship between Transit Oriented Development, or TOD, and its evil brother, Transit Adjacent Development, TAD.  TAD breaks all the rules that make TOD work, but because they can look similar they often get confused.  Unfortunately, […]