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April 2007
Volume 3, Number 1

Rail~Volution Conference 2006 a Success in Chicago
and Headed for Miami in November 2007

More than 1,000 TOD advocates gathered last fall, November 5–8, in Chicago for Rail~Volution 2006, the 12th annual conference dedicated to promoting community livability around transit. Attendees from 39 states and eight countries enjoyed a wide variety of speakers, workshops and mobile tours. The U.S. Transportation Secretary, Mary E. Peters, opened the conference to an enthusiastic audience as she shared her support for more transit-oriented development. Jan Gehl from Denmark and John Norquist of the Congress for the New Urbanism led the closing plenary session with a lively presentation and discussion about the need for a strong commitment to pedestrians. Many of the workshops focused on preserving and promoting diversity in TOD, highlighting presentations from community development representatives. There were also timely sessions on energy and green building.

The 2007 national Rail~Volution conference will take place October 31–November 3 in Miami Beach, Florida. Information can be found at http://www.railvolution.com/

Maryland — Exploding with TOD Activity

The State of Maryland is nationally recognized for its leadership in policies and programs that link transportation and land use to economic development and community revitalization. Specifically, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been committed to transit-oriented, joint and transit-adjacent developments that support economic growth and neighborhood revitalization in close proximity to transit facilities. As a result, Maryland is becoming the state to watch with its impressive array of TOD projects in process:

Rockville Town Square  
New condos will be opening this month in Rockville Town Square, located two blocks from a Metrorail station.  This is a 15-acre redevelopment in the heart of downtown Rockville — a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use community anchored by a public plaza and the town’s new library.  It will include 600,000 square feet of office, 170,000 square feet of retail and 620 residential units.

North Bethesda
North Bethesda Center, the largest joint development project ever approved by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, includes approximately 1.2 million square feet of office space, 1,350 residential units and 200,000 square feet of retail space. Construction commenced on the first phase of development in June 2006 for a 312-unit high-rise apartment building and a 65,000 square foot Harris Teeter grocery store. With an estimated value of $850 million, this town-center development is expected to generate approximately 5,400 new jobs and almost 6,500 additional daily trips at the White Flint Metrorail station.

RockvilleTownSquare
Rockville Town Square
Courtesy of Dan Reed
justupthepike.blogspot.com

Greenbelt
Greenbelt Station, a new transit-oriented development, to be built near the Greenbelt Metrorail station on a 240-acre site, will include 1.2 million square feet of office, 1.2 million square feet of retail, 2,200 residential units and a 300-room hotel. Its collection of homes and shops, separated with bands of greenery will mirror the “garden city” elements of the original Greenbelt community built in the 1930s. Greenbelt Station will also emphasize pedestrians over cars, featuring wide sidewalks lined with benches and plantings.

Hyattsville
University Town Center is a massive mixed-use project in Hyattsville near the Prince George's Plaza Metrorail station.  It will include a 14-screen movie theater, a 57,000-square foot Safeway, nearly 1 million square feet of office space, 1,760 residential units and 360,000 square feet of retail. The residential units will include housing for students at the University of Maryland, Catholic University and Howard University, all of which are relatively close to the Metrorail station.

 
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