Friday, June 18, 2010
8:00 am

Encouraging Transit Oriented Development in Connecticut

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is the exciting trend in creating and revitalizing vibrant, livable communities which are compact and walkable, centered around high quality transportation systems that make it possible to live a higher quality of life without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival.  It is development that responds to the concerns of the 21st century because it’s more environmentally and economically sustainable.

Throughout Connecticut, TOD is a topic of conversation in suburban and rural communities, in town and village centers, as well as in our large urban neighborhoods.  And transit is not limited to rail – we choose to examine the broad range of possibilities – be it rail, bus, trolley, ferry, jitney, pedi-cab, biking or walking.  It’s all about choice – providing living and travel options that are convenient and affordable to everyone, in every community, at every stage of life.

CT Main Street Center is pleased to announce that the 2010-2011 Downtown Revitalization Institute will be dedicated to the many aspects of TOD.  Over the next year, CT Main Street Center will hold workshops, forums and community conversations on a variety of TOD issues.  Experts with real-life experience will lead our workshops and discussions.  We will survey our attendees to inform our decisions on the topics that need to be covered next, including:

  1. Community engagement & visioning
  2. Collaboration: leveraging public-private partnerships, understanding our roles
  3. Station area planning: market opportunities, density and mix of uses
  4. Connecting all transportation modes, with focus on flexibility and simplicity
  5. Right-sizing parking, shared parking and other options
  6. Aesthetic zoning to achieve walkable and attractive neighborhoods
  7. Housing for a mix of incomes
  8. Land use and development
  9. Financing TOD: How to pay for it

Our statewide conversation kicked off with the Downtown Revitalization Institute workshop in June 2010.
We began our TOD conversation by examining and discussing best practices from neighboring states – and the good news is we don’t have to re-invent the wheel!  We can learn much from successful community engagement and planning in Maine, New Jersey and other states.  And we heard about one of the most renowned examples of transit oriented development in the country in Arlington, Virginia.  Whether you come from a traditional New England Village or Town Center or a larger urban neighborhood, there is something for everyone in this workshop.  Best practices are the real take-away here!

Gary Toth, Director, Transportation Initiatives
Project for Public Spaces
Kat Beaudoin, AICP, Chief of Planning
MaineDOT Bureau of Transportation Systems Planning
Christopher Zimmerman, Vice Chairman
Arlington County (VA) Board of Supervisors

Workshop Materials
How Communities and DOT Work Together – Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
How MaineDOT Plans for Transit
Arlington’s Transformation into a Livable Community – Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Get Ready! News You Can Use
Read up on the national conversation and learn about federal programs that encourage TOD and Sustainable Communities.