Incentivizing Pedestrian Areas Near Houston's Light Rail

City officials in Houston are set to consider plans to incentivize broad pedestrian walkways near existing and planned light rail stations within the city.

"The city's urban transit corridors ordinance, which it began developing in June 2006, is expected to be considered by the City Council in July. It would offer incentives for developers in six light rail corridors to include a 15-foot "pedestrian realm" with broad, unobstructed sidewalks and other features intended to create appealing, walkable environments.

The new development created under this ordinance will become part of the daily lives of more than 160,000 people the Metropolitan Transit Authority expects to be riding its trains by 2030. Within the next five years, the agency plans to add five new rail lines to the Main Street line it opened on Jan. 1, 2004.

The impact of the ordinance will depend on developers' willingness to comply with its mostly voluntary standards. Those who agree to create the pedestrian zone will automatically be exempt from rules requiring buildings to be set back a specified distance from the street, giving them more space to build revenue-generating offices, homes or shops."

Thanks to Reconnecting America

Full Story: Houston's hope: Easier to catch a train

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