will require deemphasizing the role and importance of the automobile.
The following examples show how alternative plans and designs can help
reduce dependency on traditional transportation modes.
Transit Oriented Development: Development with
People in Mind
Oriented Development (TOD) advocates the importance of coordinating
land use and transportation decisions and the need to cluster housing,
commercial activities, and overall density along transit routes. According
to architect Peter Calthorpe and Henry Richmond, "The TOD concept
is simple: moderate and high-density housing, along with complementing
public uses, jobs, retails stores, and services, is concentrated in mix-use
developments at strtegic points alon and expanding regional transit system.
The TOD provides an alternative to standard development by emphasizing
a pedestrian-oriented environment and reinforcing the use of public transportation."
(Calthorpe, Peter, and Henry Richmond. 1993. "Sustainable Growth: Land
Use and Transportation.") .
Ballston Station in Arlington, VA is a
good example of transit-oriented development. The area around the
station consists of residential development adjacent to retail and service
providers -- a transit village. Ballston State was a low-density
suburban area until 1984. Since that time, 2,471 residential housing
units and 3.7 million square feet of commercial space were built within
a one-third mile radius.
Arlington County and the Washington Metropolitan
Area Transit Authority assisted with planning and financial incentives.
County zoning has also concentrated density development at its five transit
stations. To promote commercial growth in Ballston Station, the owners
of the site, a private developer, and minority-owned business enterprises
established the Ballston Metro Limited Partnership to market the area and
New transit villages are occurring in metro
areas across the country.
San Francisco, CA's Bay Area Regional Transit
(BART) announced November 5 that a new BART station, surrounded by
a hotel, offices and apartments, could arrive in west Dublin in about three
years under an unusual deal between BART and one of the world's largest
The proposal to build a station with a private
developer is a first for BART, as is the proposed construction of transit,
businesses and housing in a so-called ``transit village'' on BART property.
The agreement calls for BART and Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle to build
a $100 million development on 17 acres of BART-owned land straddling Interstate
580 just west of the I-580/I-680 interchange.
Using All the Tools From the Toolbox: Portland
Links Transportation and Land Use Planning To Maintain Livability.
The city of Portland is recognized nationwide
for its innovative transportation and land use ideas. Much of the
vision for the area's transportation plan derived from the Land Use, Transportation,
Air Quality (LUTRAQ) project. LUTRAQ initially formed in 1988 by
1000 Friends of Oregon to fight a suburban freeway and has subsequently
produced numerous comprehensive studies illustrating the impact highways
have on development patterns. It was LUTRAQ research that convinced policy
makers in the region that residents needed more transportation alternatives.
Portland has since made a concerted effort to deemphasize the automobile
downtown: To encourage walking, the city has converted a large downtown
parking lot to a pedestrian square called Pioneer Courthouse Square.
The city also replaced a riverside freeway with the Tom McCall Riverfront
Park. Public bus transit is free within a twelve block downtown area and
a light-rail system connects all major downtown points. (Ecology of Place,
Portland's downtown has accomodated 30,000 new
jobs in the last two decades without significant increase in the number
of parking spaces or vehicle trips. Assisted in part by the region's excellent
light-rail system, there has been a 50 percent increase in public transit
trips to downtown, and 43 percent of all work commuting trips in Portland
-- many times the national average-- are made on public transit.1
(Greenfields page 153)
"Traffic Calming" Slows Traffic Down
To provide a safer and more accessible environment
for walking and biking, many American cities are recognizing the virtues
of "traffic calming" measures that slow traffic down, restrict the areas
in which cars are allowed, and otherwise manages the flow of traffic and
its negative impact on communities. A variety of methods exist including,
narrowing of streets, traffic circles, raised center pavements and barriers
and road bumps.2 These methods have been used successfully in
Europe. In his design for Laguna West in Sacramento, CA,
Peter Calthorpe used tree wells to both slow traffic and eventually (when
the trees reach full cover) cool the streets.3
Pedestrian Malls Help Create Vibrant Downtowns
Pedestrian or walking malls prohibit or greatly
restrict car use on designated streets. More prevalent in Europe
than in the U.S., these malls help decrease dependency on the auto by opening
up safe space for walking, shopping, and socializing. Several pedestrian
malls exist in the U.S.: Charlottesville, Virginia; Burlington, Vermont;
and Boulder, Colorado are good examples. After closing downtown streets
to through traffic, these cities have seen a more vibrant downtown economy
as well as a mixture of housing and commercial areas.4
Bike Friendly Design
Davis, (CA), Boulder (CO), and Eugene, (OR),
have broad bike lanes and plenty of bike parking -- infrastructure that
bicyclists need to make shopping and other activities feasible without
Some cities -- Portland (OR); Austin (TX);
Madison (WI); Orlando, (FL) --have tried experimenting with providing
public bicycles at transit stops and other public places.6
1 Benfield, F. Kaid, Matthew D. Raimi, and Donald
D.T. Chen, Once There Were Greenfields: How Sprawl is Undermining America's
Environment, Economy and Social Fabric.
2 Timothy Beatley and Kristy Manning,
The Ecology of Place: Planning for Environment, Economy, and Community
(Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1997), pp 65.
3 Ibid., p. 116.
4 Ibid., pp .65-66.
5 Ibid., pp. 68-69.
6 Ibid., pp. 68-69.