Location efficiency News
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
Residential real estate sales prices for properties located near transit are healthier and more resilient than in the broader metropolitan region. That’s the conclusion of The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation, written by CNT and commissioned by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Although residential real estate prices dropped during the recession in the five regions studied (2006 to 2011 in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, and San Francisco), average sales prices for residential properties within walking distance of a heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station outperformed the region by an average of 42 percent.
In Boston, transit-served areas (transit sheds) outperformed the region by a staggering 129 percent. In Chicago, home values in transit served areas performed 30 percent better than the region; in San Francisco, 37 percent; Minneapolis-St Paul, 48 percent; and in Phoenix 37 percent.
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Monday, February 11th, 2013
If there was ever a reason for more transit it is embodied in the recently published report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institution (TTI). Its 2012 Urban Mobility Report details the enormous costs associated with the ever increasing traffic congestion blighting America’s major metro areas. It calculates, for example, that in 2011 commuters spent 5.5 billion hours sitting in traffic (equivalent to the total amount of time that businesses and individuals spend filing their annual tax returns), wasted 2.9 billion gallons of fuel and pumped out 56 billion extra pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Photo Credit: Steven Vance/Flickr Creative Commons License
The Chicagoland area ranks 7th overall when it comes to hours wasted due to traffic congestion, 8th in terms of wasted fuel and 5th in terms of total dollar cost. The average Chicago commuter spends 51 hours a year in traffic, consuming 24 extra gallons of fuel. Traffic congestion cost each Chicagoan commuter an average of $1,153 in 2011. This is not efficient use of resources. Chicagoland commuters are also contributing to global warming by pumping out more than 2.3 billion pounds of carbon dioxide while sitting in traffic.
I agree with some of the potential solutions cited in the report. The authors point out that in the absence of public transit services in the 498 major metro areas studied, the situation would have been a lot worse. Commuters would have suffered through an additional 865 million hours of wasted time and consumed 450 million extra gallons of fuel. This wasted time and fuel would have cost, according to the report, an additional $20.8 billion, a 15% increase over current congestion costs.
Photo Credit: Zesmerelda/Flickr Creative Commons License
While the report mentions increased highway capacity and more efficient use of highway infrastructure as part of a potential remedy, it emphasizes the importance of greater investment in expanding and improving public transit services in cities and their surrounding areas. Transit services don’t just take cars off the road improving traffic flow. They offer a safe, affordable and environmentally friendly alternative. The huge costs, financial and environmental, caused by traffic congestion highlighted in this report lend even more weight to the argument for greater commitment to transit infrastructure laid out in CMAP’s GOTO 2040.
Read the full report here.>>
Friday, February 8th, 2013
The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) today released results of a year-long study into the potential for transit-oriented development to unlock economic, environmental and fiscal benefits for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The report, “Transit-Oriented Development Typology Strategy for Allegheny County,” was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group under the auspices of its GoBurgh initiative and funded by the Heinz Endowments. Read more »
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
CNT will be participating in an upcoming summit on Building a 21st Century Transit System. Riders for Better Transit, a group dedicated to organizing Chicagoland transit riders to push for improved and expanded services in the city, will be hosting a summit at the UBS Tower Conference Center on February 25th. Bringing together a group of transportation policy leaders, the summit will discuss the challenges of creating a 21st century transit system. Focusing on issues like reform of the transit authorities’ governance structure and funding sources and investment strategies of the Chicagoland transit system, expert panels will discuss potential solutions to the problems facing the region. Read more »
Monday, January 31st, 2011
Chicago is northeastern Illinois’ historic center of commerce and employment, yet over the last half century, economic activity has continuously dispersed to outlying suburbs. For the most part nationally, the attention to neighborhood development around transit has focused on mixed-use development with residences, street-level retail and, occasionally, office space.
This paradigm ignores the fact that much vacant land within station areas is strictly zoned for manufacturing or commercial purposes that could attract businesses offering living wages. Next Stop: New Jobs, a new analysis by CNT, addresses these disparities by identifying opportunities to create transit-friendly employment in Chicago. Read more »
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
This map shows that cities produces less GHG's, per capita, than areas that require more Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).
CNT, through our partnership with the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD), has released, “Transit-Oriented Development and the Potential for VMT-related Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction.” This report provides a quantitative analysis of potential greenhouse gas reductions of transit-oriented development from the transport sector.
The research, led by CNT, finds that by living in a central city near transit, the average household can reduce its transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent. The number increases when living near the most location efficient transit zones, which can result in a 78 percent emission reduction.
“This research shows that, in a nutshell, location does indeed matter,” said Scott Bernstein, President of CNT. “Individuals and families that live near transit centers own fewer automobiles, drive fewer miles, and leave a much smaller carbon footprint than those who don’t.” Read more »
Friday, June 4th, 2010
Location Efficiency Trumps Sprawl, HUD’s Job is Housing AND Urban Development
At the recent 18th Congress for New Urbanism, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan made a tremendous declaration: “For the first time in the history of federal grant competitions, I want to announce today that HUD will be using location efficiency to score our grant applications”.
The energy in the room was tangible. “We’re breaking down silos”, Donovan asserted, and indeed, this commitment from HUD to weight grant applications with spatial context in mind will advance the comprehensive approach to community development that CNU, CNT and other smart growth advocates have urged for years.
Over the past year, HUD has taken on an impressive task of touring cities, meeting and listening—“from mayors and other officials of both small and large communities, to business leaders in growing regions, to governors of states that have been hit hard economically”—to design and tailor a program that reflects what communities want, with the ability to apply context-sensitive solutions that work for each community. And CNT believes that the outcome and the subsequent announcement by Donovan show a real commitment to developing tools and resources that will help regions become strong economic engines—with healthy communities and reduced household expenses. Read more »
Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
CNT promotes location efficient neighborhoods which have walkable streets, access to transit, mixed land uses, and concentration of retail and services. These neighborhoods require less time, money, and greenhouse gas emissions for residents to meet their everyday travel requirements. Walk Score was launched in 2007 to help people find walkable places to live. Walk Score is a web tool that calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, and now public transit.
CNT is working with the makers of Walk Score, Front Seat, on a project that was recently funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The Foundation awarded a grant to Front Seat to add public transit, transportation cost, and greenhouse gas emission data to Walk Score. CNT will provide Front Seat with the estimated transportation costs of a location as well as the household greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
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Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Last Friday, H.R. 2454 – the American Clean Energy & Security Act (ACES), also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill – successfully passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 219 to 212. This Thursday, a Senate counterpart to the plan was officially unveiled by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The bill calls for an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with programs to encourage renewable energy production. This landmark legislation is the first to focus on comprehensive and direct solutions to climate change. The bill successfully targets climate change by focusing on short-term solutions like provisions for creating energy-efficient buildings—solutions that can reduce energy usage and save Americans money.
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Thursday, June 25th, 2009
On Monday, June 22, U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, introduced a bill that would reauthorize federal surface transportation funding to the tune of $450 billion and reform how the federal government invests in transportation infrastructure. Illinois transportation advocates commend Rep. Oberstar for his leadership on renewing federal surface transportation funding, which expires within a matter of weeks. They are working actively in coalition with Transportation for America (T4America) to help shape the bill so that it goes even further to ensure federal transportation investments help the U.S. and Illinois meet broader economic, energy, climate and health goals.
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