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A New Planning Template for Transit-Oriented Development
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  • Abstract:
    The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University assigned a project team to design a planning template for transit-oriented development (TOD) that incorporates an understanding of non-work travel, that is, trips for shopping, eating out, and engaging in recreational and cultural activities. Non-work trips are growing in significance and now account for four of every five trips. At the same time, TOD has become a popular planning response to the impacts of metropolitan growth. Some planners believe that TOD will induce more pedestrian and transit trips and will reduce the average length and frequency of household auto travel. This effect is assumed to result from improved accessibility to employment and non-work venues located in compact, mixed-use centers. Planning professionals in many MPOs also suggest that if multiple centers are linked by high quality transit, such as light or heavy rail, access is enabled to the broad range of non-work activities. The project arrived at these essential findings: (1) Venues for non-work activities are very numerous and geographically dispersed. (2) The spatial environment for non-work activities is the result of growing prosperity, technical innovation, and a dynamic, competitive marketplace. (3) The consumer marketplace will provide many more places to go than mass transit can cost-effectively serve. (4) Current metropolitan planning methods and modeling tools focus on the work trip and do not adequately account for the complexity of non-work trips and their linkage to work trips.

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