TOD Reading List
April 2007
Volume 3, Number 1

The Returning City: Historic Preservation and Transit in the Age of Civic Renewal (2003)

By Dan Costello with Robert Mendelsohn, Anne Canby and Joseph Bender
Produced by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with support from the Federal Transit Administration

The Returning City demonstrates how transit and historic preservation act in complementary ways to invigorate urban and suburban neighborhoods. In case studies from around the country, the authors offer detailed accounts of transit-oriented developments that have been spurred by, and serve to reinforce, historic preservation efforts and transit investments. The study concludes that public-private collaboration, community involvement, creative and flexible financing, and parking strategies that are both pragmatic and context-sensitive, are among the keys to achieving development that respects a community’s historic assets and encourages the use of transit.

Getting to Smart Growth II: 100 More Policies for Implementation (2003)

By Smart Growth Network and ICMA

This manual for Smart Growth implementation offers 10 policy recommendations for each of 10 Smart Growth goals. To achieve one of those goals — providing a variety of transportation choices — the guidebook suggests a number of strategies, including the creation of car-share programs, the transformation of park-and-ride lots in multi-use facilities, comprehensive bike programs, and providing transit riders with customized travel information. In addition to proposing public sector actions, the manual also points to private-sector opportunities that correspond with Smart Growth goals. Intermingled with suggested policies are “Practice Tips” and “Finance Tips” that offer lessons learned from actual projects.

Parking Spaces/Community Places: Finding the Balance through Smart Growth Solutions (2006)

By U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Parking Spaces/Community Places, a report from EPA’s Development, Community and Environment Division, provides a summary of the financial and environmental costs of parking, describes the dubious criteria on which most parking requirements are based, and offers a list of alternative parking strategies that support TOD and other Smart Growth efforts. The list of alternative strategies includes those that reduce the over-supply of parking (e.g., transit zoning overlays, shared parking and in-lieu parking fees), and those that manage parking demand (e.g., car sharing, improvements to transit, better pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and employee cash-out programs). The report also contains case studies that show alternative parking strategies in action, such as the elimination of minimum parking requirements in Portland, OR, and the use of shared parking facilities in Wilton Manors, FL.

High Cost of Free Parking (2005)

By Donald C. Shoup

In this innovative book, UCLA planning professor Donald Shoup challenges traditional parking methodologies and strategies. Free parking, Shoup argues, has contributed to auto dependence, rapid urban sprawl, extravagant energy use, and a host of other problems. The concept of “free” parking distorts transportation choices, results in bad urban design, hurts our economy, and damages the environment. Shoup proposes new ways for cities to regulate parking, namely, charge fair market prices for curb parking, use the resulting revenue to pay for services in the neighborhoods that generate it, and remove zoning requirements for off-street parking.

Transit-Oriented Development: Developing a Strategy to Measure Success (2005)

By John L. Renne and Jan S. Wells (Research Results Digest 294, National Cooperative Highway Research Program)

This digest offers a strategy to systematically evaluate the potential success of transit-oriented development. Renne and Wells identify and evaluate various indicators of the impacts of transit-oriented development, and single out 10 indicators, based on a national survey of transportation professionals working in the field, that can be used to monitor and measure those impacts.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Capturing the Demand for Housing Near Transit (2004)

A Report by Reconnecting America and The Center for Transit-Oriented Development

This report studies the demand for housing near America's existing rapid transit systems and finds that demand for such housing will likely double (to 14.6 million households) by 2025. Whether or not this potential demand for higher-density transit-oriented living can be met depends on the ability of the market to provide attractive and affordable options and the public sector's ability to accommodate and encourage such development.

The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development (2004)

Edited by Hank Dittmar and Gloria Ohland

In this book, the demographic trends that favor increasing demand for TOD are outlined, as are the key issues of design, supportive public policy, and finance that often determine TOD's fate. The later chapters provide critical case studies that point out successes and failures of the "first generation" of TOD while suggesting the lessons that can be taken forward.

Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects (2004)

A Report by the Transit Cooperative Research Program of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

This comprehensive analysis of TOD practice examines its impacts, benefits, and barriers, as well as the public policies, implementation tools, and financing mechanisms that developers and public officials have found to be most useful. The report also provides detailed case studies of TOD in 10 parts of the country, from New Jersey to San Francisco.

Planning for Transit-Friendly Land Use: A Handbook for New Jersey Communities (1994)


This is still an invaluable tool even after 10 years in circulation! The Handbook is designed to assist elected and appointed planning officials, planning and zoning boards, technical staff and the general community in creating an environment around a transit stop that is a safe, clean, vibrant and active place.

Communicating the Benefits of Transit-Oriented Development (2006)

By Cali Gorewitz and Gloria Ohland, Reconnecting America’s Center for Transit-Oriented Development,
Carrie Makarewicz, Albert Benedict, and ChaNell Marshall, Center for Neighborhood Techology and
Dr. Jan Wells and Martin Robins, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center
(Prepared for the US EPA's Development, Community and Environment Division)

Communicating the Benefits of Transit-Oriented Development, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, examines two sub-regions that have capitalized on the benefits realized from transit-oriented “redevelopment” — Hoboken and Jersey City in New Jersey, and Evanston, Illinois. Formerly in economic decline, both areas are now economic engines, attracting businesses and residents to a growing inventory of new development.

In the Hoboken and Jersey City example, Dr. Jan Wells and Martin Robins, both of Rutgers University’s Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, trace how once derelict and abandoned properties facing Manhattan are now large, mixed-use real estate gold mines. The recent introduction of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line which serves the area has added a positive mobility dimension to these locations. In the Evanston example, Carrie Makarewicz, Albert Benedict, and ChaNell Marshall, of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, recount how the city launched its 1986 economic revitalization plan to transform the downtown by attracting new construction to locate near its under-utilized Metra and El rail stations. Both sub-regions now boast healthy and vibrant economies that appeal to urban dwellers who are taking advantage of the ready access to the New York and Chicago metropolitan areas via public transit.

The study can be downloaded from Reconnecting America.

Building Livable Communities with Transit: Planning, Developing, and Implementing Community-Sensitive Transit (August 2006)

By the Federal Transit Administration

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), through its Livable Communities Initiative (LCI), issued this manual to help local governments, transit agencies and transit planners address community concerns as they develop and enhance transit facilities, such as light rail stations. This LCI guide strongly emphasizes that transit planning should knit itself more closely to its community planning counterpart. A community-sensitive transit facility, for example, would include readily available customer information, provisions for a safe and secure environment, sufficient bike and pedestrian access, and architecture reflecting the values of the community. Using a five-step process for the development of transit facilities — metro planning, programming, project development, project implementation, and operations/maintenance — this manual suggests that active civic involvement should be sought at each phase. Active participation of the stakeholders, especially those traditionally underrepresented, will ensure the transit facility meets the needs and expectations of potential users.

The LCI has helped fund 21 projects across the country. Two examples are projects in Baltimore and Chicago. In Baltimore, the Maryland Transit Administration, using an LCI grant, built a child care center and police substation at the Reisterstown Road Metro Station Park and Ride. The station also received landscape improvements, covered walkways, and enhanced customer information. Similarly, at the Tech/35th Street Station along the Chicago Transit Authority’s Green Line, an LCI-funded project improved bus connections, added safety and security features and enhanced pedestrian walkways, among other improvements. The Building Livable Communities manual summarizes each of the LCI-supported projects in the appendices.

Creating Walkable Places (2006)

By Adrienne Schmitz and Jason Scully
(Urban Land Institute)

Richly illustrated with color photographs, site plans, and diagrams, this new book explains how to create pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use developments including those with “transit-oriented cores.” Topics cover the need for active lifestyles in light of today’s health and obesity concerns, how to get financing for mixed-use, new urbanist, and higher-density projects that don’t “fit the mold,” the role of the public sector, how to reconfigure old places and plan and design new projects, and what to do about parking. Case studies describe walkable, mixed-use town centers, and pedestrian-focused communities in urban and suburban settings. This is the perfect gift for planning board members and community leaders to help them understand and see the possibilities of more compact, well-designed development focused around walking and biking.

Transit Village Symposium: "Progress and Future"
Symposium Proceedings

By Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center
and New Jersey Department of Transportation
with support from The New Jersey State League of Municipalities

Now available on line: Summary of Proceedings from the Second Transit Village Initiative Symposium, “Progress and Future,” held Friday, June 9, 2006 and sponsored by the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers — The State University of New Jersey. More than 150 leaders from the public sector, private industry and non-governmental organizations gathered at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy in New Brunswick to take stock of New Jersey’s effort to support the Transit Village Initiative and transit-oriented development.

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