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TOD Revisited

Transit Slug

Member
Messages
14
Points
1
Thanks for everyone's reply's on my last TOD question. I have a new question for you now. Has anyone come across any reports that list all the projects across the country that have used TOD designs or are in the progress of creating TOD areas? I have found numerous studies that have examined specific sites, but nowhere can I find a comprehensive list.

I suspect that no one out there has taken the time to compile such a list, but if they have and you are aware of it, please let me know.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I suspect that such a list would be impossible to assemble. There is no central reporting authority to which these plans are submitted. Even then, how do you define a TOD? I once did a plan for a village of 1,500 people. It included a concept for a downtown rail station on a proposed commuter route. Some infill opportunities were identified, but mostly, the plan advocated re-use of under-utilized space in the historic buildings. The retail component of the commuter station was no more than the idea of a news and coffee stand. The concept certainly incorporated the ideas of TOD, but is it a true TOD? I ask because I have seen too many instances of developments called something, where questions have to be asked. The Pabst Farm development in the Milwaukee area comes to mind. Its developers call it "mixed-use" because it has an office park, commercial strip, and detached homes on one-acre lots, with an internal path system but no sidewalks.
 

Transit Slug

Member
Messages
14
Points
1
You are right that a list of every major project would be quite overwhelming, but there are many projects out there that claim openly to be TOD projects (although I suspect most would really have to be considered Transit Adjacent Design rather than true TOD). I have already been asked the question, "How many communities around the country are doing such projects and where are they located" to which I have no answer for them. I can make a list numerous case studys out there where people have looked at projects that claim to be TOD and looked at if they really are, but I have found no estimates as to how many communities are claiming to have TOD projects. Is there 5 communities in the country developing TOD areas, 50 communities, or 500? Community leaders like numbers, it would be nice to have a very rough guestimate of how many communities at least claim to be designing new or refurbishing existing transit stations with TOD principals.

Again, I doubt that anything like this exists, but its worth a try.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,155
Points
58
here is a link to real TOD's along Metra commuter rail stations in the Chicago area:
transit oriented development in Chicago area

The one in Palatine is really quite good and just at the beginning, and would be a great example. Also, Arlington Heights is good.

EDIT: sorry, I actually read your second post and I would ask: What would be the point of saying there are XX number of true TODs in progress or done?

Seems stupid to me.

If they want to encourage or do TOD then they need to have you spend your time actually trying to get TODs created. Not running around after numbers.

Cardinal has it right in the following post.
 
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Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Maybe Mendelman has suggested a good approach. Instead of giving them numbers, you should be able to get by saying things like "many" and "communities around the country." Use plenty of examples from many different metropolitan areas to drive home the point. I think you would be safe in saying that there are hundreds of places where, at least to some degree, TODs are being constructed.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
Sorry to be so late to reply on this. Since you say you can already cite some case studies, and there isn't a list -- and how could there be? how would you keep something like that current?? -- I think you need to not allow yourself to be fenced in by the language of the question they are asking and you should work on trying to figure out how to communicate in a way that addresses their real concern or objection. It is not at all uncommon for people to ask questions that are framed in a way that suggests a certain type of answer -- "yes" or "no", a number, etc -- but it is also very common that such questions are not really answered very well if you accept the framework they presume for the answer. You see this all the time in court room dramas on TV: the lawyer for each side asks a series of questions intending to paint the picture a particular way. Often, the person being questioned does not want to answer "yes" or "no" -- it just isn't that simple!

Since it seems to be a common question, you might want to come up with some resources, try to start a dialog or do a survey to determine what they are REALLY trying to find out (a "number" is probably not really it), or something like that. Numbers are not the only measure of something and may not even be a good measure. There are different rubrics that can be applied to various things. And I also see no reason why you can't honestly say "This is so cutting edge, that comprehensive statistics do not exist for it. It is the wave of the future. I would be happy to refer you to some case studies, but a precise answer does not exist to the question you have asked. If you want numbers, I would be happy to talk to you about cost-benefit analyses that do exist.....blah blah blah"

People usually ask questions like that because they have No Clue (and know how much they are inthe dark and definitely do not like it) and they are looking for some "simple" means by which to judge a complex decision: should we or shouldn't we? What can you tell them which will put their mind at ease? (Does that make any sense??)
 
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