Over the last several decades, Ankrom Moisan has
successfully planned and implemented Transit-Oriented Developments in major
cities, towns, and enclaves up and down the West Coast. Most of these areas
transitioned from car-dependent environments to more walkable destinations, requiring
a different way of thinking about placemaking. We understand the specific
considerations needed to develop a plan, as well as how to coordinate complex
relationships between stakeholders.
When planning and
developing a TOD, the following elements are essential for success:
The best TODs are places first,
rather than simply transit centers. They should contribute to the community by
serving as a hub of activity for residents and businesses.
- Vision: First
there must be a clear vision and approach to establishing an identity. Is this
a place where people can live, work, and play? A master plan must be developed
in the beginning to solidify a plan for success, while garnering interest and
support from potential stakeholders.
A variety of options for housing, services, and mobility for all income levels
and demographics are vital to the success of TODs.
TODs must pass the walkability test in which streets are well-connected, safe,
and accessible, giving riders the option to walk no more than 10 minutes to
their bus or transit options. Residents are encouraged to walk when the
surrounding streets accommodate – and improve – the pedestrian and bike
In our experience,
the common pitfalls of a TOD are:
Will the completed TOD attract enough people – residents as well as businesses
– to make the investment worthwhile?
Feasibility: The mix of uses planned should be supported by demonstrated
demand and financial proforma that will cover project costs and provide a
return on investment.
of Development: Sometimes a car-dependent community isn’t the right
environment for a TOD; however, there are numerous, successful examples of
communities transforming planning regulations and policies to encourage
pedestrian activity and higher density patterns of development.
Attracting families and encouraging them to stay long-term is important to the
success of a TOD.
TODs need genuine community involvement, a collaborative decision-making
process, and shared vision.
We will revisit Transit-Oriented Developments in another
article soon, so stay tuned.