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More Development for Your Transit Dollar: An Analysis of 21 North American Transit Corridors

September 24, 2013 Comments off

More Development for Your Transit Dollar: An Analysis of 21 North American Transit Corridors
Source: Institute for Transportation & Development Policy

Increasingly, cities in the US, finding themselves short of funds, are wondering whether BRT, a lower cost mass transit solution initially developed in Latin America and a relatively new form of mass transit in the US, could also be used here to leverage transit-oriented development investments. This report provides an answer.

In the wake of the 2008 economic downturn, Cleveland, Ohio, along with other former industrial US cites, faced severe financial difficulties. While a tough regional economy and shrinking population forced many of the surrounding cities to cut public services and reduce jobs in the public and private sectors, Cleveland managed to transform a modest $50 million investment in bus rapid transit into $5.8 billion in new transit- oriented development. By putting bus rapid transit (BRT) along a strategic corridor and concentrating government redevelopment efforts there, Cleveland managed to leverage $114.54 dollars of new transit-oriented investment for every dollar it invested into the BRT system, adding jobs and revitalizing the city center.

Pittsburgh’s Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway BRT is quickly becoming a second success. While it has so far leveraged less overall investment than some of the other transit corridors we studied, the development is new and is happening rapidly. This BRT has been operational since 1983 and yet only in the last few years has development really taken off. It is a testament to the need for a strong planning effort but shows that this effort does not have to be initiated by the city. Most of the development that has occurred in the East Liberty neighborhood, adjacent to East Liberty BRT Station, has been the result of a concerted effort by East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI) and the local philanthropic community.

Cities in the US still have a way to go in transforming existing auto-oriented suburbs or blighted inner urban areas into vibrant, high quality transit-oriented communities. This report provides start-to-finish guidance on what it takes to make Transit-oriented Development happen.

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Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation

June 29, 2011 Comments off

Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation (PDF)
Source: Institute for Transportation & Development Policy
From press release:

European cities are reaping the rewards of innovative parking policies, including revitalized town centers; big reductions in car use; drops in air pollution and rising quality of urban life, according to Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation, published today (January 19th) by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. Click here for a copy of the report.

The report examines European parking over the last half century, through the prism of ten European cities. It found:

  • Parking is increasingly linked to public transport. Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich and Strasbourg limit how much parking is allowed in new developments based on how far it is to walk to a bus, tram or metro stop. Zurich has made significant investments in new tram and bus lines while making parking more expensive and less convenient. As a result, between 2000 and 2005, the share of public transit use went up by 7%, while the share of cars in traffic declined by 6%.
  • European cities are ahead of the rest of the world in charging rational prices for on-street parking. In Paris, the on-street parking supply has been reduced by more than 9% since 2003, and of the remaining stock, 95% is paid parking. The result, along with other transport infrastructure improvements, has been a 13% decrease in driving.
  • Parking reforms are becoming more popular than congestion charging. While London, Stockholm, and a few other European cities have managed to implement congestion charging, more are turning to parking. Parking caps have been set in Zurich and Hamburg’s business districts to freeze the existing supply, where access to public transport is easiest.
  • Revenue gathered from parking tariffs is being invested to support other mobility needs. In Barcelona, 100% of revenue goes to operate Bicing—the city’s public bike system. Several boroughs in London use parking revenue to subsidize transit passes for seniors and the disabled, who ride public transit for free.

Walter Hook, Executive Director of ITDP, commented: “This report shows that European cities lead the world in using parking as a tool to revitalize their cities.”

The ten cities featured are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Paris, Stockholm, Strasbourg and Zurich.

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