In a July 16 press release, the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) announced that it had developed a set of online Planning Tools for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) that provides information to county elected officials and planners about furthering TOD projects in their communities. From the press release:
An interactive map features a TOD profile tool that enables users to delve into demographics, employment data, transit use, land use and development projects around every Metro and MARC station in Maryland. For those researching potential TOD sites, the profile tool provides a detailed snapshot of conditions around each station.
The resource also details TOD policies, programs and implementation efforts around the state, describing each rail and subway line along with their progress and potential. Rounding out the resource are summaries of best practices to support creative development projects.
The press release also noted that the Maryland Department of Transportation assisted in the development of the planning tools.
The release of the MDP TOD planning tools coincides with a July 16 Sustainable Cities Network article reporting that demand for TOD has been increasing, driven by retiring baby-boomers and young millennials.
Baby boomers, the ones who originally settled in the suburbs with their families, are now empty nesters and have a desire to live in neighborhoods where they can go to work and out to dinner without using their car. These senior citizens live side-by-side with millennials — a generation born since 1982 — who have shunned cars and prefer to live in cities with available public transportation.
More than half of millennials surveyed said they would consider moving to another city if it had more and better options for getting around. Another 66 percent said that access to high quality transportation is one of the top three criteria they would consider when deciding where to live, according to a survey released by The Rockefeller Foundation and Transportation for America. This same survey, released in April, said almost all millennials (91 percent) believe that investing in quality public transportation systems creates more jobs and improves the economy.
The article also examined the benefits and challenges posed by TOD.