Urban Fold

Editorial: Connecticut Must Do More to Support Compact Development

Though Connecticut is well served by commuter rail, a new report indicates that only half of the communities with Metro-North station have land use regulations in place to maximize development around them.

"Despite the seemingly obvious advantages of TOD, only about half the Connecticut communities along the Metro-North New Haven Division rail line have adopted plans to foster development around their railroad stations," says a recent study released by the Regional Plan Association. 

"Only 50 percent of station areas allow the kind of construction densities appropriate to transit-served neighborhoods, those with a mix of homes, stores and services within walking distance of transit. Finally, only 19 percent of stations have parking regulations that 'acknowledge the ability of TOD to reduce the need for parking ... through improved transit and walkability,' the study says."

"A train station surrounded by a vast sea of asphalt is not what we are looking for here," adds the editors of The Hartford Courant. "Connecticut has a choice. The state can keep building low-density suburban sprawl, until we (shortly) run out of open land, or we can build denser urban communities around transit — to create vibrancy, save energy, reduce pollution, improve the housing mix and take pressure off the dwindling green space. It is a moment for TOD."

Full Story: Towns Should Build On Their Transit Stops

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