CNT in the News

Balancing Growth and Livability as Neighborhoods Change

The Potrero View | July 25, 2016

An influx of new inhabitants is altering Dogpatch, Potrero Hill and surrounding neighborhoods’ character, particularly from the perspective of longtime residents. There’s concern about an imbalance between intensifying land uses without additional amenities, such as sidewalks, greenery, grocery stores, public spaces, and transit.  “People are sort of shell-shocked,” commented Katherine Doumani, Dogpatch Neighborhood Association member. “The Eastern Neighborhoods Planspecifically said that the critical elements of San Francisco complete neighborhoods include public amenities and that funding will be provided for this. None of that has been addressed.”

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One development ordinance does not serve all neighborhoods

Crain's Chicago Business | July 22, 2016

For a closeup of our changing city, take a trip out to Milwaukee Avenue and look at the construction near the CTA's Blue Line stations. Thanks to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2015 "transit-oriented development," or TOD, ordinance, the corridor is gaining more than 700 apartments within a couple of blocks of its transit hubs.

The ordinance allows developers to dramatically cut the amount of parking per residential unit and allows more units on the same building footprint. It's an excellent strategy to fill vacant lots, develop underutilized parcels and build CTA ridership.

But as community protests have shown, this ordinance can also tip the balance away from affordable housing in gentrifying areas like Logan Square. And it's had little impact so far in communities where development is needed most: on the South and West sides.

One extra word—"equitable"—can change that dynamic. To achieve equitable transit-oriented development, we'll need one strategy for areas with a strong real estate market and another for weaker or emerging markets.

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Las Tres Cosas Que la Gente Realmente Quiere de Su Transporte Público

Univision | July 21, 2016

Es triste pero cierto: no todas las autoridades que toman decisiones sobre el transporte público en realidad usan el transporte público.

Esta desconexión puede conducir a que ciudades hagan inversiones en cosas como tranvías que recorren el centro de ciudades o flotas de autobuses equipadas con wi-fi. De por sí no son malas inversiones, pero no siempre son conducentes a un transporte público realmente eficaz. “La verdad es que el buen transporte público consiste en lo mismo de siempre”, dijo Steven Higashide, analista sénior de programas en TransitCenter, una fundación dedicada a investigaciones sobre el transporte. “Se trata de llevar a alguien adonde quiera ir rápida y confiablemente”.

Una nueva encuesta de TransitCenter confirma esto. Basado en las respuestas de 3,000 pasajeros de transporte público en 17 regiones en todos Estados Unidos, el reporte halla que hay tres cosas importantes que conducen al servicio de transporte gratificante y eficaz: frecuencia, rapidez y caminabilidad.

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What Makes Transit Successful? Survey Says It’s Frequency, Reliability and Shorter Travel Times

Government Technology | July 13, 2016

Houston, in particular, was highlighted in the report as a “poster child for a frequency- and ridership-oriented bus system redesign,” based on its recent bus route overhaul. “Though system planners caution it will take years for the full effect of the reorganization to be felt, ridership on the local bus network has increased by 3 to 4 percent overall, with double-digit percentage increases on weekends.”

Spieler and TransitCenter have, however, differed on the definition of “high-frequency” routes. TransitCenter only considers lines that run, on average, every 15 minutes every day of the week to be high frequency. And according to the Center for Neighborhood Technology and TransitCenter’s AllTransitinteractive database, Houston’s transit network serves some groups better than others. So, while black and Latino residents comprise 69 percent of those living within walking distance of transit, they are only 54 percent of those living close to these high-frequency lines. For white people, the figures are 24 percent and 36 percent respectively. METRO officials have questioned the organization’s definition of high-frequency service.

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What Transit Riders Really Want

CityLab | July 12, 2016

Across all three rider types, most survey respondents said they typically walked to access transit. But all-purpose riders did so overwhelmingly, with 80 percent typically getting to transit on foot, compared to 53 percent of commuters and 57 percent of occasional riders. In an additional, more fine-tuned analysis of spatial data from TransitCenter’s national transit database AllTransit, the researchers identified a similar relationship: “If someone can walk to transit, he or she is more likely to be a frequent transit rider,” according to the report. Walking seems to be super important for accessing transit—which may indicate that transit agencies shouldn’t assume that new partnerships with ride-hailing companies—where Uber and Lyft rides to and from transit stations are publicly subsidized—will dramatically boost ridership.

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New Proposal Could Breathe Fresh Life Into Central Manufacturing District

Chicagoist | July 8, 2016

Now, the Center for Neighborhood Technology has stepped forth with an appropriately grand ambition: a "vertical, green, and urban industrial park" and food manufacturing outpost, with a network of related firms. So-called EcoDistricts—which integrate energy, transportation, water, and land use—would drive everything from bakeries to soybean processing to technical support for area growers.

"CMD is obviously a big project," Stephen Perkins, communications director at CNT, told Chicagoist. "It takes a big, compelling vision—which has been lacking. Something that makes companies and tenants be more productive, create more jobs, be more profitable than they would be elsewhere."

Perkins is convinced food manufacturing makes the most sense. "Food is a huge opportunity. There's a lot of growth potential there. So many places are just not structured to take advantage," he said.

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