For serious transportation policy wonks lately every day is like Christmas. Climate change, bailout, deteriorating infrastructure, reauthorization, aging baby boomers, bailout, stimulus, new administration, economic development, global competition, urban redevelopment, bailout, etc. One has all they can do to just keep up with all the relevant news and positioning say nothing of understanding it. In fact, I don’t understand it.
As attention to energy efficiency and climate change continue to pervade the thinking and planning of the future transportation system, we are increasingly challenged to make very real decisions about the prudence of various investments. The current context for decision-making offers perhaps the greatest uncertainty regarding the future witnessed in the lifetimes of people in the planning profession today.
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) refers to communities with high quality public transit services, good walkability, and compact, mixed land use. This allows people to choose the best option for each trip: walking and cycling for local errands, convenient and comfortable public transit for travel along major urban corridors, and automobile travel to more dispersed destinations. People who live and work in such communities tend to own fewer vehicles, drive less, and rely more on alternative modes.