Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers announced today that 16 organizations around the country will receive a share of $14.7 million in grants to support comprehensive planning projects that improve access to public transit. The funds are made available through FTA’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning Pilot Program for communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems.
Recipients for 2016 Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning Awards
City of Phoenix
The City of Phoenix will receive funding to plan for additional development and improved pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the South Central Light Rail Extension corridor while preserving nearby housing affordability and established small businesses. Partners in the planning effort include Valley Metro, the Maricopa Association of Governments, and local housing and economic development organizations. The project includes the development of plans, policies and regulations to support TOD; funding strategies; and an assistance program for businesses in the corridor.
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will receive funding to help maximize the development potential of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II corridor, where a 6.5-mile heavy rail extension to San Jose and Santa Clara is planned. These efforts will help improve access to affordable housing in one of the country’s most expensive housing markets. Partners in the planning effort include the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara. Final outcomes will include a list of multimodal access projects for station areas, schematics of TOD opportunity sites, and innovative financing tools, such as value capture, to implement TOD.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in partnership with the City of South Gate and Eco-Rapid Transit, will receive funding to plan cooperatively to increase economic development throughout the proposed West Santa Ana Branch Light Rail corridor between downtown Los Angeles and Artesia. The planning effort seeks to address several major barriers to TOD, including high truck traffic, high levels of air pollution and primarily industrial development. Final outcomes will include conceptual TOD plans for 15 station areas, urban design improvements for the corridor, zoning code updates, and TOD implementation resolutions for adoption by the cities in the corridor.
Regional Transportation District
The Regional Transportation District and City and County of Denver will receive funding to help alleviate barriers to TOD in the East Colfax Avenue corridor, the location of a proposed bus rapid transit project. Barriers to TOD include perceptions of high crime and a harsh pedestrian environment. Final outcomes will include urban design guidelines for the corridor, an affordable housing strategy, a small business retention and development strategy, and a financing plan for implementation of TOD and related infrastructure.
Miami-Dade County will receive funding to conduct a comprehensive planning effort that will inform transit planning in the East-West Rapid Transit Corridor, a 12-mile corridor linking the Miami Intermodal Center with Florida International University and the western communities of Miami-Dade County. The corridor requires deliberate planning for TOD given that it is mostly low-density and split by a major expressway. Final outcomes will include land use policies, identification of infrastructure priorities for the corridor, financing strategies for TOD, and affordable housing strategies.
Valley Regional Transit
Valley Regional Transit will receive funding to conduct transit-supportive planning in the State Street corridor, where a bus rapid transit project is being planned in the Boise region. The transit agency will work with its partners and stakeholders to develop comprehensive plan strategies, zoning code changes, TOD concept plans for four sites, and assessments of affordable housing and infrastructure needs for the corridor. Partners in the effort include the cities of Boise, Garden City, Eagle and Star; and Ada County.
City of Detroit Department of Transportation
The City of Detroit Department of Transportation will receive funding to coordinate planning and development efforts in the East Jefferson Avenue corridor, for which the city is considering a transit investment. The coordination effort would advance the city’s goal that all residents live within a 20-minute walk or bike ride of essential services. The city will identify development opportunities, conduct an employment analysis, formulate strategies for economic development, and identify services that are missing from the corridor, and pair those needs with local entrepreneurs willing to locate new businesses around transit.
Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit
The Metropolitan Council will receive funding to plan for economic development and revitalization in the METRO Blue Line Extension corridor, where a 13.5-mile light rail transit line is under development. The planning effort will also provide municipalities in the corridor with tools to implement the plans and encourage redevelopment. Partners in the effort include the five municipalities in the corridor, Hennepin County, and several private organizations. Final outcomes will include TOD policies and zoning codes, infrastructure plans, housing and economic development strategies, and financing strategies.
Bi-State Development Agency (Metro)
The Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) will receive funding to plan for ways that diverse populations can benefit from a proposed 17-mile, 28-station Metro Link light rail line that will connect downtown St. Louis with the city’s northern and southern limits. A significant portion of the corridor, particularly on the north side of St. Louis, is economically distressed and requires careful planning and incentives to attract development. Partners in the effort include the City of St. Louis, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and the St. Louis Development Corporation. Final outcomes will include station-area multimodal access plans, land use and zoning policies, financial tools and incentives to implement TOD, and a citywide TOD implementation commission and program.
Rio Metro Regional Transit District
The Rio Metro Regional Transit District will receive funding to develop a cooperative, unifying vision for the corridor along the planned University Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit project. The diverse corridor is New Mexico’s educational and health care center. Partners in the effort include the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, the University of New Mexico, and Central New Mexico Community College. Final outcomes will include a report on the spatial structure and character of the corridor, identification of infrastructure investments needed for TOD, development standards, and recommended funding mechanisms. The University Boulevard project is planned to intersect with the planned Albuquerque Rapid Transit project on Central Avenue.
Lane Transit District
The Lane Transit District, in partnership with the City of Eugene, will receive funding to examine ways to increase density, mixed-use development and bicycle and pedestrian access while maintaining desired aspects of neighborhood character in a corridor where a bus rapid transit line is planned. Final outcomes will include comprehensive plan changes, zoning code changes, amendments to the city’s capital improvement program, and an analysis of the plans’ impacts on transit ridership and revenues.
Metro will receive funding to identify housing, workforce training and economic development needs, and to improve access to economic opportunity in a proposed light rail (LRT) corridor from downtown Portland to the nearby cities of Tigard and Tualatin. The planning project will take a holistic approach to planning for affordability and livability in a corridor forecasted to grow significantly with implementation of LRT. Final products will include affordable housing, services, transportation and education strategies that aim to improve the quality of life of residents in the corridor, as well as a plan that prioritizes the strategies for implementation.
North Central Texas Council of Governments
The North Central Texas Council of Governments, with support from Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and the cities of Dallas, Garland and Richardson, will receive funding to prioritize pedestrian and bicycle connections to light rail stations along the Red and Blue Line Platform Extension project corridor and identify policy changes to foster more effective TOD. Final outcomes will include a list of priority last-mile pedestrian/bicycle access projects, parking policy changes for municipalities’ implementation, and proposed changes to local land use policies. The Red and Blue Line Platform Extension project will modify and extend platforms at 28 DART stations in order to accommodate longer trains.
Utah Transit Authority
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), in collaboration with the City of Ogden, the Utah Department of Transportation and other local stakeholders, will receive funding to inform local TOD planning and implementation for a proposed BRT corridor in Ogden. The detailed planning effort will also examine strategies to foster equitable TOD. Final outcomes will include priority pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, housing affordability and equitability strategies, and land use policy and zoning changes.
County of Fairfax, Virginia
The County of Fairfax will receive funding to expand an ongoing comprehensive plan amendment process to improve access to transit and enable high quality mixed-use development around future BRT stations along Richmond Highway (Route 1). The planning work will support the continued expansion of Fort Belvoir, which currently has over 50,000 employees, by improving transit access to the facility and mitigating traffic congestion. Final outcomes will include station area concept plans, urban design guidelines, and a conceptual street grid layout.
City of Milwaukee
The City of Milwaukee will receive funding to support the revitalization of underserved neighborhoods adjacent to downtown and to facilitate multimodal connectivity and accessibility in conjunction with two proposed streetcar extensions. The city anticipates strong development interest with the extensions and will develop strategies to minimize displacement of current residents. Final outcomes will include revised zoning code text, development plans and policies for key sites, streetscape and pedestrian/bicycle access plans, affordable housing development strategies, and TOD financing strategies.