Building TODs Without The Transit

<p>With pedestrian-friendly urban design increasingly popular, many suburban communities are building urban village-type developments usually designed around transit stations -- except they don't have transit.</p>
June 12, 2007, 2pm PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is typical of dozens of developments sprouting along the nation's light-rail lines and near subway stations: stores, theaters, restaurants, offices and housing connected by sidewalks to mimic a walkable urban neighborhood.

Just one thing is missing: transit.

There is no light rail or subway in Rancho Cucamonga, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. Victoria Gardens is typical of most Southern California developments: It's on one freeway and next to another.

Transit-oriented developments are so popular with residents who crave the opportunity to live in a walkable community that at least a dozen cities and suburbs across the USA are embracing the concept - even if they don't have rail.

"I call it transit-ready development," says Robert Lang, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech and author of Boomburbs, a study of large and fast-growing suburbs where many of these centers are appearing. "It's a mixed-use lifestyle center with high-density housing that looks like it should be with light rail but isn't." "

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Published on Monday, June 11, 2007 in USA Today
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