a TOD in Portland
May 21, 2020
Photo by Nathan McNeil
Nathan McNeil and Jennifer Dill, Portland State University

Does living in a transit-oriented development (TOD) actually change the way people travel? That's the fundamental question that 15 years of research in Portland, Oregon seeks to answer.

Since 2005, Portland State University has worked with Portland’s Metro regional government to survey occupants of buildings for which developers had received funding from...

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15 years of travel surveys at portland transit oriented development
Mar 31, 2020
 

OVERVIEW

Since 2005, Portland State University has periodically surveyed occupants of recently developed  higher-density and mixed-use projects near transit, often referred to as Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs). The general objectives of the surveys were to better understand actual transit use, among other factors, of residents in these buildings. Between 2005 and 2018, the research team surveyed residents of nearly 50 TODs. With funding from Metro and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, the research team carried out a two-pronged study drawing on this wealth of data. First, we explore geographic differences within the Portland region in terms of travel behavior and attitudes of TOD residents, including differences between TODs within the city of Portland, in eastside suburbs, and in westside suburbs. Second, we conducted a second wave of surveys for select TODs to understand if travel behavior or attitudes changed over time, particularly as neighborhoods surrounding the buildings were built up. In this webinar, we will present select findings from both aspects of the study.

KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Learn about the concept and goal of transit-oriented development 
  • Understand who lives in TODs, and how they get around 
  • Learn about the potential impact of TOD on travel behavior, including variations by location and over time.

THE RESEARCH

This ...

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A bus pulls up to a stop
Nov 06, 2019
Photo by tupungato
Arthur C. Nelson, University of Arizona

Building upon seven years of research, NITC investigators used economic analysis to determine development outcomes and land use planning implications of different fixed route...

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Dec 15, 2017
Principal Investigator: Arthur C. Nelson, University of Arizona
Learn more about this research on the Project Overview page.

July 2018 Update

We originally published this story in December 2017 about a new study in progress. The data clearinghouse created by the researchers is now live and can be accessed here. Researchers have also provided a guide to using the data (PDF). The research team has made this resource publicly available to allow transportation researchers to use it as they see fit: micro-level analysis, in-depth longitudinal studies, or anything in between. We anticipate the publication of the full final report by the end of 2019.

Robert Hibberd and Arthur C. Nelson will give an interactive workshop on Thursday, September 13, 2018 as part of our Transportation & Communities Academy 2018....

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Aug 14, 2017
Principal Investigator: Brenda Scheer, University of Utah
Learn more about this research by viewing the related presentations and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Transit-oriented development, or TOD, could be the “poster child” for sustainable urban development. It concentrates land uses, including commercial and multi-family housing, near transit stations so as to reduce car dependency and increase ridership. The benefits are manifold; increased community health, positive economic impacts, less harm to the environment and potentially greater social equity.

But what about affordability? In exchange for all these benefits, do TOD residents spend more money on transportation?

A new NITC ...

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Apr 11, 2017
Principal Investigator: Gerardo Sandoval
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Gentrification is a common, and deeply controversial, outcome of urban development.

It's usually the same story: investments in new infrastructure draw the affluent, causing market forces to displace lower-income residents. Neighborhoods become renovated, and the people who once defined the neighborhood can no longer afford to live there.

NITC researcher Gerardo Sandoval shows in his latest project that it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right level of community input, transit-oriented development has the potential to bring needed services to low-income residents while revitalizing their neighborhoods.

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Mar 21, 2017

A new NITC report examines metropolitan centers: high-density developments in metropolitan regions.

Mixed-use transit-oriented developments are one example of a metropolitan center, but high-density developments in suburban areas without transit also fit the definition.

Across the country, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are steering cities toward this type of development for a variety of reasons.

Many of them are facing the same constraints: poor air quality and increased congestion without an increase in dollars to solve it. One response to the problem involves getting a better handle on land use.

NITC researchers Richard Margerum and Rebecca Lewis of the University of Oregon and Keith Bartholomew of the University of Utah evaluated the planning process surrounding metropolitan centers in two case study regions, Denver and Salt Lake City.

“A lot of regions are paying attention to regional growth patterns. How do you do this at a regional scale when you don’t have the authority? What planners and MPOs are really facing is the question of how to support the adoption of these kinds of concepts,” Margerum said.

The goal of the study was to examine...

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Jan 18, 2017

Smart Growth America hosted a webinar Jan. 31 on NITC research finding that standard guidelines lead to a drastic oversupply of parking at transit-oriented developments. That restricts the supply of housing, office and retail space while driving up the price.

The webinar marks the release of Smart Growth America's lay summary of the NITC report, called "Empty Spaces," which will be available to webinar attendees.

Watch the recorded webinar here.

The research, led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, is one of the first comprehensive data-driven reports to estimate peak parking and vehicle trip generation rates for transit-oriented development projects, as well as one of the first to estimate travel mode shares for TODs. Ewing analyzed data on actual parking usage and total trip generation near five transit stations: Redmond, Washington; Rhode Island Row in Washington, D.C.; Fruitvale Village in Oakland, California; Englewood, Colorado; and Wilshire/Vermont in Los...

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Jan 07, 2017

Saddling transit-oriented developments with parking requirements better suited to typical suburban developments can make housing and office space near transit scarce and overly expensive. That’s one implication of a NITC research report examining driving and parking at these centers.

It makes sense that transit-oriented developments—dense, walkable centers close to transit that combine residential, commercial and office uses—would generate fewer car trips and need less parking than other development types. But until now, no one has found out how much less parking.

NITC researcher Reid Ewing of the University of Utah took up the challenge and reveals the answer in a report: a lot less. The developments Ewing’s team studied generally generated less than half the driving, and required fewer than half the parking spaces, than standard guidebooks predict. They presented some of their findings Jan. 10 during the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the conference or download the paper.

Ewing’s team studied transit-oriented developments in five United States metropolitan areas and found the...

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Oct 17, 2016

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