December 24, 2012

Sound Transit approves increased TOD policy

Seattle-based Sound Transit’s adopted a policy to intensify its efforts to increase transit ridership by promoting positive land uses and development within walking distance of transit facilities.

The Transit-Oriented Development Policy will guide future efforts to support TOD projects on its own properties (Agency TOD) as well as in surrounding areas (Community TOD), recognizing that both types of opportunities involve working closely with local jurisdictions as well as private partners.

Increased focus on TOD opportunities will span all phases of planning, constructing and operating regional transit expansions, including the up to 36 additional miles of light rail expansions approved through the 2008 Sound Transit 2 measure. In particular, evaluation of future TOD opportunities will play an increased role guiding the siting and design of facilities, and of how the agency buys, uses and disposes of the property needed to build them. Factors include the future availability of surplus property and air rights for future TOD development as well as access and connections between the transit facility and adjacent areas.

Increased focus on coordination and cooperation with other government entities and the private sector will seek to:

  • Identify and preserve right-of-way for transit facilities.
  • Develop regional and local policies and plans that support TOD.
  • Develop and implement financial, land use, and other strategies and tools to encourage and implement TOD.
  • Develop and implement stakeholder involvement and advocacy strategies.

The policy calls for the agency to develop a strategic plan, procedures and guidelines for advancing TOD. Staff will report at least annually to the Sound Transit Board on TOD activities and progress toward TOD goals and to seek direction on implementation priorities.

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