Monday, 5 December 2011

transit-oriented development (TOD)

A transit-oriented development (TOD) is a mixed-use residential or commercial area designed to maximize access to public transport, and often incorporates features to encourage transit ridership. A TOD neighborhood typically has a center with a transit station or stop (train station, metro station, tram stop, or bus stop), surrounded by relatively high-density development with progressively lower-density development spreading outward from the center. TODs generally are located within a radius of one-quarter to one-half mile (400 to 800 m) from a transit stop, as this is considered to be an appropriate scale for pedestrians.
Many of the new towns created after World War II in Japan, Sweden, and France have many of the characteristics of TOD communities. In a sense, nearly all communities built on reclaimed land in the Netherlands or as exurban developments in Denmark have had the local equivalent of TOD principles integrated in their planning, including the promotion of bicycles for local use.
Transit-oriented development is sometimes distinguished by some planning officials from "transit-proximate development" (see, e.g. comments made during a Congressional hearing [2]) because it contains specific features that are designed to encourage public transport use and differentiate the development from urban sprawl. Examples of these features include mixed-use development that will use transit at all times of day, excellent pedestrian facilities such as high quality pedestrian crossings, narrow streets, and tapering of buildings as they become more distant from the public transport node. Another key feature of transit-oriented development that differentiates it from "transit-proximate development" is reduced amounts of parking for personal vehicles.

COMPONENTS OF TRANSIT ORIENTED DESIGN-Walkable design with pedestrian as the highest priority
-Train station as prominent feature of town center
-A regional node containing a mixture of uses in close proximity including office, residential, retail, and civic uses
-High density, high-quality development within 10-minute walk circle surrounding train station
-Collector support transit systems including trolleys, streetcars, light rail, and buses, etc
-Designed to include the easy use of bicycles, scooters, and rollerblades as daily support transportation systems
-Reduced and managed parking inside 10-minute walk circle around town center / train station

BENEFITS
-Higher quality of life
-Better places to live, work, and play
-Greater mobility with ease of moving around
-Increased transit ridership
-Reduced traffic congestion and driving
-Reduced car accidents and injuries
-Reduced household spending on transportation, resulting in more affordable housing
-Healthier lifestyle with more walking, and less stress
-Higher, more stable property values
-Increased foot traffic and customers for area businesses
-Greatly reduced dependence on foreign oil
-Greatly reduced pollution and environmental destruction
-Reduced incentive to sprawl, increased incentive for compact development
-Less expensive than building roads and sprawl
-Enhanced ability to maintain economic competitiveness





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