Watch the recorded kickoff discussion of “Empty Spaces”

On Tuesday we released Empty Spaces, new research looking at the real parking needed at five transit-oriented developments (TODs). The report, produced in partnership the University of Utah, looks at how much less parking is required at TOD than standard engineering guidelines suggest, and how many fewer vehicle trips are generated than those guidelines estimate.

Introducing “Empty Spaces,” new research about parking at five TODs

The land near transit stations is a valuable commodity. Hundreds or thousands of people travel to and through these places each day, and decisions about what to do with this land have implications for local economies, transit ridership, residents’ access to opportunity, and overall quality of life for everyone in a community.

Many communities choose to dedicate at least some of that land for parking. The question is, how much? Standard engineering guidelines are designed for mostly isolated suburban land uses—not walkable, urban places served by transit. But few alternative guidelines for engineers exist.

Empty Spaces: Real parking needs at five TODs, released today, set out to determine how much less parking is required at transit-oriented developments (TODs) and how many fewer vehicle trips are generated than standard industry estimates.

Coming soon: new research on parking requirements at TOD stations

Research has shown development near transit stations requires less parking than other kinds of development. Yet most engineering guidelines are unclear exactly how much less parking is needed. Oversupply of parking takes up valuable land, raises the cost of development, and misses a key opportunity. Building the right amount of parking can help communities get … Continued

The five communities selected for TOD technical assistance

Five communities working to support development around transit projects will get a big boost this year thanks to technical assistance from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), in partnership with Smart Growth America.

The National Public Transportation/Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance Initiative is a four-year project of FTA in partnership with Smart Growth America that helps communities across the country build equitable, compact, mixed-use development around transit stations or along transit corridors, with a focus on development in economically disadvantaged areas.

SeaTac, WA looks to make the most of three light rail stations with an "Implementing TOD" workshop

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The Angle Lake light rail station under construction in SeaTac, WA. A Smart Growth America workshop looked at the potential for new development around the station. Photo by SounderBruce via Flickr.

In early October, Smart Growth America traveled to SeaTac, WA to help the city figure out how to make the most of three light rail stations with an Implementing transit-oriented development 101 workshop.

The City of SeaTac has already adopted area plans for each of its SeaTac Airport, Tukwila International Boulevard, and soon-to-open Angle Lake light rail stations. “In 2016, with the opening of the Angle Lake Station, the City will have three light rail station areas, each with its own distinct attributes, opportunities and challenges,” said Todd Cutts, SeaTac City Manager. “The expert assistance from Smart Growth America will help guide the transformation of these areas and support the community in shaping them into active, interesting, and healthy places.”

FAST Act contains new ways to finance transit-oriented development

Developers have two new ways to finance transit-oriented development, like the buildings in this rendering for Triangle Transit in North Carolina. Image via Our Transit Future. On December 4, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a five-year $305 billion transportation authorization. Included among the bill’s many provisions (good and … Continued

Recorded webinar: Learn more about the new Ladders of Opportunity technical assistance workshops

Transportation plays a critical role in connecting Americans and communities to economic opportunity. The National Public Transportation/Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, a project of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in partnership with Smart Growth America, will provide state and local leaders with new ideas, resources, and capacity for building transit-oriented development.

Requests for technical assistance workshops are now open and on December 10, FTA and Smart Growth America hosted an informational webinar to discuss in detail the technical assistance workshops and the application process. A recording of the webinar is now available.

Watch the archived webinar

Click here to view the archived webinar
Click here to download the presentation (PDF)

Speaking on the webinar were Kimberly Gayle, Director of the Office of Policy Review and Development at the Federal Transit Administration; Chris Zimmerman, Vice President of Economic Development at Smart Growth America; and Beth Osborne, Senior Policy Advisor at Smart Growth America.

Community leaders who have received FTA-funded transit projects grants and are considering TOD, or need ideas and assistance with TOD, are invited to request assistance. Requests are due by 5:00 p.m. EST Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Visit TODresources.org to learn more and apply.

Introducing a new transit-oriented development initiative from the Federal Transit Administration and Smart Growth America

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Transportation plays a critical role in connecting Americans and communities to economic opportunity. Today, we’re excited to announce a new project that will help people connect to public transportation easily, efficiently, and affordably.

The Transit-Oriented Development technical assistance initiative, a project of the Federal Transit Administration in partnership with Smart Growth America, will provide state and local leaders with new ideas, resources, and capacity for building transit-oriented development, or “TOD”. Well-done TOD takes advantage of nearby transit to create desirable places to live, work, and visit that feature amenities like entertainment venues, parks, retail, restaurants, an improved pedestrian environment and diverse housing choices.