Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Transit, density, and development

A rant about restrictive development in a transit oriented neighborhood in Washington DC raises a more interesting question:  should municipalities be more forceful to make neighborhoods more densely population in areas saturated with transit?

what’s the point of building good transit systems if we don’t then allow buildings to be built near the stations so people can use them?

It should be noted that this area has a walk score of 95.

This of course leads to Chicago and it's many vacant lots near transit nodes.  Chicago has made some recent stride at downtown infill, but has a lot of empty lots downtown.  Are there policies that Chicago can pursue to achieve the best possible development?  Here is a related story about development in the West Loop region.

"I'm just disappointed," said Dore, who earlier this year became the reluctant leader of a group of neighbors who fought a losing battle against the high-rise. The first phase of the project, a three-story retail building anchored by a Mariano's Fresh Market grocery store, is expected to break ground next month.

Their arguments that the project will block views, increase traffic and change the neighborhood's dynamic have been made by residents in up-and-coming locations for years. As neighborhoods like the West Loop, the South Loop or the Near North Side grow, residents can be at odds with business owners, developers and city officials over the kind of development they want in their communities."

And a map of the areaNote that there is a new L stop being installed a short walk from this site on Lake and Morgan.

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