As transit-oriented and mixed-use development become increasingly hot in the Bay Area, one thing remains a challenge for developers: providing the required parking. Bisnow caught up with Ann Cheng, GreenTRIP program director for TransForm, a Bay Area organization focused on transportation reform.
The Oakland Community Investment Alliance — a coalition that includes East Bay Housing Organizations, which represents nonprofit developers, the Greenbelt Alliance, nonprofit law firm Public Advocates and transit group TransForm — is organizing the rally. Renters and religious leaders are also expected to take part.
For example, in Sacramento County, Regional Transit was a big cap-and-trade winner this year, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the program, according to the nonprofit Transform, which has mapped out projects funded by cap-and-trade.
TransForm, an organization based in Oakland, has been working to support developments that rely on these alternatives. The GreenTRIP program certifies projects that work to incorporate free transit passes or car-sharing. These projects are building for the next generation of lifestyle preferences.
Jeff Hobson, deputy director of transportation advocacy group TransForm, lauded the efforts to run more trains during crowded commute periods.
But the half-mile “catchment area” is an industry standard. And as Ryan Wiggins, a cap-and-trade campaign manager for TransForm, points out, plenty of cities already have potential developments within that radius. “There are a limited amount of cap-and-trade dollars in this program, a lot of demand and a lot of projects that meet the current guidelines for being within a half mile,” he writes in an email. “Rather than suggest loosening a requirement that is based off a large body of peer-reviewed literature … SANDAG and its members should be pursuing meaningful TOD.”
In addition, work done by TransForm shows that parking demand in many of these kinds of buildings is much lower than cities think it is.
A recent report published by Circulate San Diego and TransForm detailed that SANDAG has substantial flexibility to accelerate transit and active transportation (walking and bicycling) projects into earlier periods of their plan, without changing the list of projects approved by voters in 2004 through the TransNet ballot measure. Unfortunately, a majority of the SANDAG board appears unwilling to accelerate construction of transit lines.
"For most people, the reason they want to live in Uptown is because they don't own a car," Jean Long, of the transit group TransForm, told Levin. "They are thinking, 'I can take BART to San Francisco for work. I can walk to restaurants and bars.' You want to encourage pedestrian activity and biking. But when you build parking, you induce driving."
That group runs a program called GreenTRIP, which encourages developers to build less parking and instead invest in more affordable housing or amenities that promote alternative transportation, such as free car-share memberships and transit passes for tenants. "For most people, the reason they want to live in Uptown is because they don't own a car," said Jean Long, GreenTRIP planner with TransForm.
Safe Routes to Schools, Alameda County Program Director Nora Cody is interviewed on KTVU's Bay Area People.
The editorial calls the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program a “dubious” use of cap-and-trade funds. Streetsblog would like to recommend they check out the excellent work done by TransForm, a coalition of advocates that has studied this issue for a long time.
“We’re all stuck in soul-crushing traffic, and we know building more roads is not going to get us out,” said TransForm’s regional planning director Joel Ramos after the press event. “And we don’t have to force people to take transit. It’s about choices. The more people we can get to take transit, the better for people who don’t, or can’t, take transit.”
Denny joined state Senator Ben Allen and Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian and Richard Bloom, as well as trasit advocates Ryan Wiggins from Transform and Hilary Norton from FAST, at a press conference at the Palms Station on the Expo Line today (Friday) to call for increased transit funding from the state, using some of the 40% in Cap & Trade revenues not yet allocated to specific programs.
Jason Laub did not want to dig a giant hole in the ground in North Oakland. On a recent morning, Laub stood in front of a chain-link fence protecting a vacant lot on Telegraph Avenue between 47th and 48th streets in the Temescal district. Laub, vice president of the Nautilus Group, an Oakland-based development firm, was giving me a tour of his company's three residential projects underway in the neighborhood — all located in a three-block radius in the center of the bustling commercial district.