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Transit Oriented Development

New Jersey Transit Village Program Continues to Grow

8:20 AM PDT on July 15, 2010

The holy grail for many urbanists contemplating long-term
development and growth trends is the transit village. Adding growth
adjacent to functional transit has the benefit of making it easier for
the new population there to drive less and use transit for a multitude
of trips. Likewise, transit villages can add to ridership on the
transit lines, no small matter for operators seeking to maintain a
consistent customer base.

Mobilizing the Region (MTR) reports New Jersey has added
its 21st and 22nd transit villages in Somerville and Montclair. By
designating the developments there as transit villages, Somerville and
Montclair will get $100,000 planning and technical assistance grants
and will move to the front of the line for other state grants the towns
may seek.

The newly designated communities are each implementingtransit-oriented development in their own way. Montclair is looking todevelop around the Bay Street station by adding a commuter parkingdeck, seven residential developments with 163 units, a municipal firestation headquarters and a day care center. Somerville’s redevelopmentefforts include plans to build a performing arts center, residentialhousing and parking decks near its station, and transform 40 acres ofremediated landfill into recreation space with bike and foot trails andfields for residents.

The new grants also got the state’s chief executive on the record
touting transit-oriented development. "The Transit Village program
encourages local officials to surround nearby transit facilities with a
vibrant mix of residential, retail and commercial uses," said New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a statement. "This type of
development spurs sustainable economic growth, maximizes the value of
our transit investments and benefits the environment."

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