Transit Oriented Development (TOD): Identification of Optimal Characteristics in Delaware

In recent years the concept of transit oriented development (TOD) is being more widely implemented by communities throughout the United States as a tool to promote smart growth, enhance mobility, curb sprawl, foster multi-modal transportation options, and boost transit ridership. Many of the successfully implemented TODs in the United States are centered around transit hubs; involve public-private partnerships; and feature compact, mixed-use development with high quality pedestrian environments. As part of the plan for Reducing Delaware's Transportation Energy Use, the Delaware Transportation Energy Use Workshop Group recommended on December 24, 2008 that "TOD [be promoted] as a Smart Growth approach based on multi-modal transportation." As a design tool, TOD has the potential to create livable, healthy communities that are integrated with public transit and linked to connected network of walkable/bikeable streets. The DCT 2007 Transportation, Education, Research & Security Forum document also recognizes the need to further study the issue of TOD as it relates to the transportation system in Delaware and the Northeast Corridor. Specific sections in the DCT document that relate to TOD include Design (interconnectivity and internal circulation), Local/Town Issues (town center projects and infill development), Planning and Multi-Modal (Planning process for interconnectivity, outreach on planning vision , supportive concepts for complete streets/complete trips, and link between healthy communities, land use, and complete streets). This problem statement builds on work previously conducted by IPA. Previous work explored the concept, financing requirements, private sector experience, and model code aspects of TOD and produced an informational brochure. This subsequent phase of work will involve research analysis of optimal characteristics of TOD in Delaware. An overview will be provided of possible TOD sites and corridors in Delaware based on the optimal characteristics analysis.