CNT in the News

Dallas Priorities Informed by CNT's AllTransit Ratings

TransitCenter | August 9, 2017

Dallas’ transit agency, DART, may be poised to change its decades-long priority of building suburban rail at the expense of city transit service. With the Dallas City Council’s appointment of four new DART board members in June and Walkable DFW founder Patrick Kennedy last December, a long-overdue conversation is unfolding about what a regional public transportation system ought to look like and who it should serve. Dallas performs poorly on the measure of frequent transit. According to an analysis using the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s AllTransit tool, roughly nine-tenths of Dallas residents live within a half-mile of transit service – but just 2% live within a half-mile of frequent transit. That’s fewer than in Houston, Denver, Miami, or Charlotte.

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CNT's H+T Index Can Aide Households in Personal Financial Development

Public Square | August 8, 2017

Houses appreciate. Cars depreciate. That simple contrast is a key to building wealth over a lifetime, writes Todd Litman, a researcher with the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

Even though housing is more expensive in walkable, transit-rich neighborhoods, vehicle costs are substantially lower. Households in such neighborhoods shift their spending from transportation to housing. Over 40 years, this shift will add a million dollars of net worth to a typical household, Litman calculates.

The potential savings are demonstrated in the Housing & Transportation Affordability Index (H+T Index), created by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. The Index makes the case that households should not spend more than 45 percent of their income for housing and transportation combined. This goal is best achieved in walkable neighborhoods, even though the cost per square foot of housing may be higher in those neighborhoods.

CNT founder Scott Bernstein notes that poor and working-class families are routinely given financial advice on how to get a car loan, but they are not educated on the financial advantages of reducing transportation expenses.

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CNT Receives Grant from Enterprise Community Partners for Climate and Cultural Resilience

Enterprise Community Partners | August 8, 2017

COLUMBIA, Md.  – Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) has awarded $100,000 to each of five community-based organizations nationwide to use arts and culture to make their communities more resilient. The grantees are based in Atlanta; Chicago; Duluth, Minn.; San Francisco; and Wayne, W.Va.

As part of its Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program, Enterprise selected these organizations based on proposals that use creative placemaking strategies to strengthen the connection between cultural resilience and climate resilience. The winning proposals identified a local climate resilience issue and defined projects in which residents, artists and other creative practitioners will build cultural resilience in response to the climate challenge.

Through its work rebuilding communities after natural disasters and strengthening them in preparation for future extreme weather and climate change, Enterprise has learned that for a community to be truly resilient, it must also focus on human networks and be sensitive to its unique culture. The Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program aims to connect climate and cultural resilience through creative placemaking, which is the intentional integration of arts, culture and creativity in community development.

CNT will create a social and environmental justice initiative with local partners, developing four site-specific art and green infrastructure installations within a half-mile of transit stops in areas of high economic hardship.

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CNT's GreenTrip Connect Tool Proves Useful as Car Ownership Declines

The Business Journals | August 1, 2017

As car ownership levels decline in large cities, developers are feeling the pressure to reduce parking spaces included in residential projects.

There’s a financial incentive for developers to build less parking. Each space costs tens of thousands of dollars to build – in some cases over $60,000 if it’s underground – and eats into real estate that could be more profitable housing units. Residents and advocacy groups have also pushed for less parking. They say it helps the environment and reflects a reality where walkable neighborhoods and ride-hailing apps have made car ownership optional. Self-driving cars could make parking more obselete.

“It’s a sad way to plan a city, where the first priority is housing for the cars,” said Ann Cheng, GreenTrip program director at Transform, a transit advocacy group.

In 2014, Transform and the Center for Neighborhood Technology studied 80 Bay Area housing projectswith a combined 13,823 parking spaces. They found 3,882 spaces, or 28 percent, went unused. Those spaces cost nearly $200 million to build.

“People are recognizing the cost of building parking. Developers are willing to think through different parking opportunities,” said Peter Haas, chief research scientist of CNT.

Transform and CNT created an online tool, GreenTrip Connect, that lets developers pick parcels and see the likely parking usage.


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Complex Factors Contribute to Decline of MTA

Mic | July 25, 2017

As the decline of New York's MTA affects the city's most vulnerable populations, CNT's Scott Bernstein delineates a number of factors that have led to the diminuition of public transporation in New York City.

According to Scott, the current state of the MTA is the result of a confluence of factors, including historical underfunding, urban sprawl, and competition with new forms of transporation like Uber and Lyft.

"All of that adds up to a system that, for the last couple of decades, has been suffering," Scott comments. "We're seeing it now in the drop-off in service."


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Two CNT-Identified Brownfield Sites Cleaned with EPA Grant

Forest Park Review | July 21, 2017

Two properties on the 7200 block of Circle Avenue were determined to have no environmental liabilities, according to Cook County officials. 

The areas were part of a seven-town U.S. EPA-funded grant program to redevelop old industrial sites. According to CNT research, there are nearly 90 brownfield parcels located in western Cook County. In Forest Park specifically, CNT estimates that there are 20 brownfield parcels covering roughly 60 acres. 

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