New transit towns around the Bay Area's BART stations are attracting residents who value the convenience and savings of a walkable community and nearby transit.
"When DeeDee and Doug Ligibel saw the townhouse they now own in Hayward, DeeDee was taken by the old-fashioned brownstone look and the entryway's fragrant wisteria bloom.
Four years later, she's thrilled with something else: the luxury of living near a BART station, close by a downtown that includes a weekly farmers' market.
"I hardly ever drive," Ligibel said. "I love it, absolutely love it."
Ligibel is part of a small but growing slice of the Bay Area population that lives in a transit village, a term coined to describe high-density housing within easy walking distance of train and bus stops. Long touted by city planners as the cure for everything from sprawl to obesity, they're now being built across the region.
The trend is fueled by more than planning logic or consumer demand. Environmental considerations kick in as well, with the newest prod being concern over climate change. The state government has set a goal of reducing carbon levels to 1990 levels by 2020 - and many supporters say an essential tool is to emphasize compact growth patterns that make it easy for residents to leave their cars at home."