The TOD Priority Tool presents a collective set of actions recommended to encourage the fullest realization of TOD across the Capital Metro high-capacity transit system. Acknowledging that a variety of stakeholders – public sector, private developers, and property and business owners – all have a role in community development, the recommendations include public infrastructure needs, development opportunities, and plans or policies. The recommendations range in scale from small to large, immediate to long-term, and mundane to visionary – something for everyone! Refer to the TOD Priority Tool report to review the full Implementation Plan.
Suggested Implementation Strategies
The utility of the Readiness Score is in helping to identify areas where individual station areas may not yet be fully “Arrived.” Planning action based on metrics scored Medium or Low presents a way to focus attention on factors that may make a difference in the station area’s development progress. The end goal is not to increase the Readiness Score, but to change the real conditions underlying the score.
- Connectivity – improve the physical access to and through a station area by all transportation modes, as well as increasing access to the potential pool of riders who might visit or use the station area
- Market Strength – enhance the fundamental conditions necessary for successful real estate development and competitive position relative to other areas within the Austin region
- Land Availability – look for creative possibilities to “find” sites in mature areas by spinning off portions of underutilized areas of existing properties, and by setting the stage for desired re-use over the medium or long term as properties turn over
- Government Support – update public policy, investment strategies and administrative controls and processes to be consistent with or support the ability to achieve the aspirational vision of the Place Typology categories, as well as the overarching goal of maximizing the high-capacity transit network
Station Area Needs
Detailed and unique station specific opportunities and needs to improve the future TOD success are based on current conditions in each station area and an analysis of best practices in place-making across North America. These tie back to the Readiness metrics categories, although not in a one-for-one relationship as many Readiness metrics can be influenced by a variety of project and policy activities. The station area needs are organized into six topic areas:
- Safety and security – amenities to increase safety (in actuality as well as the perception of safety) through techniques such as improved lighting, signage, and placement and maintenance of infrastructure
- Streetscape improvements – improvements to the aesthetics and function of the experience for bicyclists and pedestrians
- Development and redevelopment opportunities – new construction, renovation and revitalization of station area property
- Station amenities – additions to the Capital Metro station facilities, such as shelter, seating, information, etc.
- Other amenities – other enhancements to the station and station area not captured above, to improve the vitality, quality of live, and navigation of the station area
- Public space / Placemaking / Arts – additions to the public spaces at the transit station as well as throughout the station area neighborhood that reinforce the character and identify of the neighborhood and take advantage of Austin’s innovative funding techniques
Programmed Capital Projects
Some of the Station Area Needs documented in the TOD Priority Tool are already planned to be addressed by the City of Austin, through various bond programs and other Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funding sources. The City’s publicly available CIVIC database lists capital projects that are funded, in planning or design, under construction, or in a post-construction phase. The projects include discrete projects within ½ mile of each high-capacity transit station, as well as a number of larger-scale or citywide initiatives that affect or pass through the station areas, such as American with Disabilities Act (ADA) sidewalk improvements.