Thursday, March 29, 2007

Transit and Big Developments

I made note of Srdjan's recommendation that, if the city were to create a Planned Business District zoning district, the city require equal allocations to roadway and transit changes. (I'm hesitant to use "improvements" because not all changes to a roadway can be considered an improvement.)

In my own comments to the Zoning and Planning Committee, I took a different approach, recommending a requirement of 30% (or greater) transit use, meaning that the developer would have to have to demonstrate a likely transit use by 30% of all people coming to or leaving the site.

Which would be better?

Srdjan's recommendation has the virtue of being concrete and immediately measurable. The developer's commitments will either meet or not meet the requirement. It's not based on predictions and assumptions, like my proposal.

And, Srdjan's recommendation would nearly always result in desparately needed money for transit improvements.

On the other hand, a transit use requirement would help shape developer decisions and act as a disincentive to develop too far from transit. Also, an equal allocation requirement would act as a cap on transit improvements. If a potential development is not well connected to transit, but requires no or little roadway change, no or little transit improvement would be made.

The answer, I think, is to combine the requirements.

A developer shold have to spend as much on transit as on roadways and enough to provide for 30% transit use.

Previously: Planned Business District Public Hearing

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