Monday, May 13, 2013

Reading Response: TOD

Assuming if you are in this class, or randomly reading this blog post for whatever reason, you are well aware of the benefits to Transit Oriented Development (TOD). After reading the material for this week, I thought a lot about where I come from, Kansas City, MO. A recent survey bestowed Kansas City the honor of most highway lanes per-capita, 1.262 lanes per 1,000 people (Schmitt). Although the ranking casts KC in a bad light , the infrastructure is much needed. It’s a city where you hop in your car to go anywhere. The city even lacks basic transportation modes like adequate sidewalks. To walk from my home to a bus stop requires walking on the side of four lane highway for 3 miles. Be careful! Additionally, KC, like most manufacturing / industrial cities, faces economic decline. When residents spend $50 plus a week on gas, it makes outside spending difficult.

After reading this weeks article on TOD I questioned how could a city like KCMO, redevelop its infrastructure to be more transit oriented? How could planners convince an auto-centric city that it was a good idea?

Researching successful examples of suburban transit oriented development, I found   Richardson, Texas. A 28 square mile suburban community, 10 miles NE of Dallas is currently working with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to develop a transit oriented solution to their sprawl. The city committed to working with DART long term on TOD. The first major public / private partnership, Galatyn Park Urban Center, is mixed use residential, office, and retail located near the DART orange line. After the success of the first project two similar developments have opened bringing new employment and residents to the community. The developments also serve as a transit hub, offering busses and shuttles to the single family residential areas of the community, increasing the areas access to transit (Urban Land Institute).

The success of Richardson, raises questions about the viability of projects in a city like Kansas City.Kansas City doesn't really have a public transit system or infrastructure to speak of. In what ways would this limit development? Could it create more opportunities for creative development? If a TOD project is implemented and successful, what impacts could that have on the outlying areas of the city? Although it raises many questions, its a definitley a possibility worth considering.

Thanks to Luanda Fiscella for editing!!!!

Macleery, Rachel. "Richardson, Texas: A Leader in Suburban TOD." - Urban Land Institute. N.p., 26 Feb. 2013. Web. 13 May 2013.

Schmitt, Angie. "" Cities With the Most Highway Miles: A “Who’s Who” of Decay. N.p., 20 Apr. 2013. Web. 13 May 2013.

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