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Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Environmental Review

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) - Building Quality Communities around Transit

Sustainable community development — called "transit-oriented development" (TOD) when located near transit facilities — is concerned with the design of charming, successful communities that allow residents to enhance their quality of life with convenient, attractive choices for work, play, travel, and peaceful living.

In recognition of the importance of sustainable community development, the Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Corridor Project implemented a technical assistance program on TOD to assist local communities in the two counties the Project will impact most directly. The initiative, called "transit-oriented development (TOD) — Building Quality Communities around Transit," has the same intent as the State's Smart Growth initiative.

It aims to support municipalities, in this case, those potentially affected by the Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Corridor Project, by providing them with training and other resources. This way, they will be able to avail themselves of the many opportunities that new transit services might bring, optimize the potential of existing transit facilities, and/or make other improvements to streets,sidewalks and parking areas, to better control growth and enhance their quality of life in the process.

Program Development

In June 2009, the Project Team announced the new technical assistance initiative, and held meetings in Westchester County and Rockland County to introduce the concept to leaders and representatives of corridor municipalities. Participants included local elected leaders and planning officials of corridor municipalities, and other community representatives. Those interested in having their communities serve as the case studies for the site-specific portion of the actual training workshops were invited to formally express their interest by completing a form and providing letters of support from their highest elected officials and, if they chose, supporting letters from other interested parties.

In July 2009, the Project Team received Expression of Interest packages from six municipalities in Rockland County and five in Westchester County. The team announced its selections on October 21, 2009.

The Project Team also retained the services of three locally and /or nationally prominent firms to facilitate the work with the local communities (The TOD Training Team).

Preliminary Training

In the Fall of 2009 (November 16th and 19th in Westchester County and
Rockland County, respectively), the Project Team launched its technical assistance initiative, hosting two county-wide workshops to deliver training on basic TOD principles to all municipalities in both counties.

Advanced Workshops

Beginning winter 2009 and continuing through the summer of 2010, the Project Team hosted two-day workshops in corridor communities, teaming TOD consultants with local chief elected officials, planners, engineers, board members, planning commissioners, business owners, and other community members. The hands-on portion of these in-depth, highly interactive workshops featured case studies based on local sites and scenarios.

  • Tarrytown TOD Workshop 1 of 2 on February 24, 2010
  • Tarrytown TOD Workshop 2 of 2 on March 8, 2010
  • Nyack TOD Workshop 1 of 2 on March 25, 2010
  • Nyack TOD Workshop 2 of 2 on April 5, 2010
  • White Plains TOD Workshop 1 of 2 on May 1, 2010
  • White Plains TOD Workshop 2 of 2 on May 10, 2010
  • Airmont TOD Workshop 1 of 2 on June 23, 2010
  • Airmont TOD Workshop 2 of 2 on July 13, 2010
  • Elmsford TOD Workshop 1 of 2 on June 25, 2010
  • Elmsford TOD Workshop 2 of 2 on July 15, 2010
  • Port Chester TOD Workshop on June 29, 2010
  • Suffern TOD Workshop 1 of 2 on July 20, 2010
  • Suffern TOD Workshop 2 of 2 on July 28, 2010
  • Clarkstown TOD Workshop 1 of 2 on July 22, 2010
  • Clarkstown TOD Workshop 2 of 2 on July 29, 2010

The Project provided municipalities in Westchester and Rockland Counties with tools and resources for developing and implementing TOD planning and land use solutions that meet a broad range of community goals and objectives. The outcome of the technical assistance process will reflect a transportation-specific conceptualization of communities as envisioned by municipal leaders, planners, and those they serve, such as citizen groups, residents, business leaders and all community members who participate. Products of all exercises were meant to be instructive and not actual community visions. The intent was to familiarize participants with the process and steps associated with TOD concepts and issues and challenges covered in the training.

Topics at the county-wide sessions and local in-depth workshops included:

    • Community Appropriate TOD
    • Quality Community Design
    • Multi-modal Transportation Choices
    • Complete Streets Design
    • Sustainability
    • Model Planning and Zoning Concepts and Ordinances
    • Placemaking
    • Housing Options and Property Value Preservation
    • Parking Management
    • Project Financing

The team of TOD experts that facilitated the workshops have prepared final reports reflecting the discussions and the products of charettes, other interactive exercises and site audits for distribution to host/subject municipalities.