Central hubs for TODs

This is a photograph I took in Ballston in Arl...

More: people, vehicles, cost, etc.

Benefits are very questionable for coercing people into transit station areas.
Economic Development—while improving some areas, it can take capital and resources away from other areas; in other words redistribution. Areas that became “cheap” become more affordable to offer opportunity for investment. TIFs can take away future government revenue from normal services. Additional retail sales or similar in one area will mean less spending elsewhere.

Increased value—higher prices; this is like being pro-inflation. That would only be good for the original owner or first year renter. The additional cost could easily be equivalent to the transit fares, and if one keeps a car to, there’s about the same additional amount for parking. The actual structures are the same; more “stuff” around is not necessarily valued by all or needed to be paid for by higher rent or sales prices. Better schools don’t help people without children. Of course society does benefit overall.

More affordability—this is a direct contradiction with the previous assertion. Forced affordability is subsidized by the remaining 80 percent (or however the difference is distributed). That will also raise the overall median housing cost due to the difference being carried and the added expense of new housing being a barrier to entry of new builders. Lowering vacancy rates raises prices, it’ssimple demand and supply. Economists on both sides agree that (w/exaggeration) “next to bombing, rent control is a fine way to blight a city.”

Less traffic—highly unlikely. There are a few simple questions to figure that out. For each TOD, of say 160 acres (a ¼ sq.mi.), how many people lived or worked in that area and drove before it was built? After the TOD is built and occupied, how many are there now driving? And wherever these new drivers came from, there will be replacement people living or working there. And if the former place is razed, it will probably be replaced with more people.

Increased access to labor pool—this is rather vague, and for whom? The people living there don’t hire labor. The differences and vastness in job types and home types doesn’t necessitate a matchup. There are many areas where living and working areas are adjacent, across the street or several hundred feet apart. The fact that there is a transit hub doesn’t really matter. Each hub could alternate between all homes and all jobs; that would be the about the same as random. People’s choices of choosing a location each for a home and for a job, which are not simultaneous choices, is what creates the distance, which can average  five to ten miles between. There are plenty of other jobs and homes in between. Limiting either choice to be where you currently live or work, severely curtails your options.

Decreased parking costs—that is blatantly false. Exceptions with excessive taxpayer subsidization do not count. Intensive TODs need to have multi-level parking (including ground parking only with floors above), and that is incredibly more expensive than standard surface or street parking. Even with surface parking in higher densities, the land becomes more expensive.

Increased physical activity—this is a ridiculous supposed advantage. In that case, get rid of elevators and appliances, and other labor saving devices. For a five room home, make it five floors. For people who want real exercise, there are so many other more effective and faster methods. Walking is such minimal exercise. If a person is out of shape and walking a mile or so a day is it for movement, there are other personal issues for this type of individual to address. People are usually allowed to walk without having to go to a certain place. And in dense areas, there are more obstacles and dangers to walking.


About Randall
A contrarian, not for conflict, but because many decisions are made, without considering the full impact & consequences.

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