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8 Standards for Transit Oriented Development

Recently in the comment section of ATC, Lloyd Alter of Treehugger shared a great article talking about the 8 principles of Transit Oriented Development (TOD). "TOD" is one of those buzzwords (or buzz acronyms?) that gets thrown around a lot in city building and real estate circles. But I suspect that most people don't exactly know what it takes to design and build successful TOD projects and neighborhoods.

Which is why the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy came up with these 8 standards:

  1. WALK: Develop neighborhoods that promote walking
  2. CYCLE: Prioritize non-motorized transport networks
  3. CONNECT: Create dense networks of streets and paths
  4. TRANSIT: Locate development near high-quality public transport
  5. MIX: Plan for mixed use
  6. DENSIFY: Optimize density and transit capacity
  7. COMPACT: Create regions with short commutes
  8. SHIFT: Increase mobility by regulating parking and road use

What should be apparent from this list is that the standards are quite clearly stacked against cars. Number 2 is about prioritizing non-motorized transport networks. And number 8 is about regulating parking use and road use. It's about making a decision who you are planning for and acknowledging that when you do all of the above, you largely eliminate the need for driving.

If you're a "war on the car" kind of person, this might offend you. But if you look at the data I shared about a week ago (forgive me, I know the chart is a pain to read), you'll see that it's seemingly pretty difficult to design a city that's equally great for both cars and for people. The cities where people love to walk, cycle, and take transit are precisely the ones where few people drive.

Image: Flickr