Stantec’s Urban Places practice will lead two Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) programs, located in Raleigh, North Carolina and Riverside, California.
The planning programs will support the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) stated goals of increasing access to affordable housing options, combating climate change, advancing environmental justice initiatives, and promoting equitable delivery of infrastructure to underserved communities.
The programs are funded through the FTA’s transit-oriented development planning grant program.
Stantec will identify barriers to building transit-supportive mixed-use development for each project.
- Engaging members of the community on their needs
- Examining ways new developments are approved,
- Looking at regulations for parking or development that limit new development opportunity,
- Recommending approaches to mitigate the adverse effects of gentrification
- Understanding the physical barriers to better connect residents to transit
In Riverside, the TOC plan will address the Metrolink commuter line connecting communities in Riverside County to Los Angeles and Orange Counties for the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC).
“The price of a single-family home in Riverside County has jumped over 30 percent in just the last year while wages have remained flat, making it increasingly difficult for many buyers to afford to live in the Inland Empire,” said Adam Maleitzke, Stantec’s project manager for the RCTC TOC Strategic Plan. “California is in a housing crisis, and this process is an opportunity to promote inclusive communities. The TOC Strategic Plan will be a resource for jurisdictions as they plan for a variety of new housing options, allowing more residents to live in walkable, affordable communities with excellent access to transit.”
In Raleigh, design is underway to add a bus rapid transit (BRT) route along New Bern Avenue. It is set for completion in 2023. Stantec’s process will be guided by the city’s Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Playbook, which will identify recommended zoning changes, new or expanded housing affordability and equity programs, urban design strategies, necessary first/last mile safety improvements, and other related considerations.
“Continued investment from government agencies to build better transit across the U.S. bodes well for the future of urban development,” said Craig Sklenar, project manager for the New Bern Avenue Station Area Planning project. “A holistic planning approach that considers community impact will yield improved outcomes – from better mobility options to opportunities for new amenities, housing, and jobs that meet the growing needs of evolving urban communities.”