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Transportation Planning

Council plays a broad and varied role in transportation planning efforts in the Region. As stated in the Strategic Regional Policy Plan (SRPP):

The Region’s transportation system should be one that integrates alternate modes of travel into one balanced system that supports community goals, enhances urban life, increases mobility, and provides for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.

Any approach to achieve these multiple objectives must include an analysis of the way we use our land, the manner in which we choose to travel, and the institutional and financial arrangements we have developed to meet our travel needs. In short, these objectives can only be achieved through a better integration of transportation and land use planning.

Towards the mission set forth in the SRPP, Council maintains extensive working relationships with the various transportation entities in the Region, collaborating with the Florida Department of Transportation, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, various Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Transportation Planning Organizations (TPOs), local governments, transit providers, and others.

Improving the relationship between transportation and land use planning is a challenging goal. Vast portions of the Region are characterized by low-density suburban development patterns. The relatively low densities and inefficient land use pattern in these areas make them difficult to serve with transit, thereby limiting travel options. In the older portions of the Region, especially along the coast, local governments have capitalized on urban conditions and existing infrastructure to achieve successful redevelopment initiatives, many of which center around historic downtowns and the existing railroads. Densities in these more urban areas tend to be higher, making transit service a feasible option.

One means by which transportation and land use planning has been integrated successfully across the country and internationally is through transit-oriented development or TOD, which is generally defined as a compact, mixed use development within a quarter- to half-mile of a transit station or along a transit corridor that serves housing, transportation, and neighborhood goals. TOD is typically characterized by a high quality pedestrian environment, urban arrangement of uses, and parking approaches that improve efficiency, all tending towards a setting which encourages residents and workers to drive their cars less and ride mass transit more. The Transportation Research Board (October 2002) noted the common features of TOD as follows:

• mixed-use development
• development that is close to and well-served by transit
• development that is conducive to transit riding
• compactness
• pedestrian- and cycle-friendly environs
• public and civic spaces near stations
• stations as community hubs

It is important to distinguish between TOD and TAD, or “Transit Adjacent Development,” a term referring to development hat is physically near transit, however, due to inefficient design, lack of connectivity, or inappropriate land use composition, fails to promote transit ridership or otherwise capitalize on its proximity to transit (TRB, October 2002, p. 6).

Council is involved in many varieties of TOD projects in the Region and throughout the State. Several of these are identified below.

Chain of Lakes/C51 Blueways Project

The Chain of Lakes/C51 Blueways Project represents an opportunity to reconnect the inland chain of lakes in Palm Beach County with the Intracoastal Waterway, Lake Worth Lagoon, and Atlantic Ocean.  Open and navigable until the 1970s, the current C51 canal includes a saltwater control and drainage structure that prevents navigational access for motorized and nonmotorized watercraft.  The proposed project would enable both motorized and nonmotorized watercraft to safely traverse the control structure, enabling access inland from the Intracoastal Waterway and ocean-ward from the Lake Clarke and the interior chain of lakes.

TCRPC has assisted in the conceptualization and evaluation of the project, with project funding from the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization.  There are several project-related documents available for download:

* Chain of Lakes / C51 Blueways – Overview Presentation (summary power point)
* Chain of Lakes / C51 Blueways – Overview Brochure
* Chain of Lakes / C51 Blueways – Overview Video
* Chain of Lakes / C51 Blueways – Preliminary Feasibility Analysis
* Chain of Lakes / C51 Blueways  -- Pier Concepts (revised 12/22/2015)

 

South Florida Regional Transportation Authority

In July 2003, the State of Florida passed legislation that transformed the Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority (Tri-Rail) into the South Florida Regional Transportation SFRTA (SFRTA.) The SFRTA was created with a vision to provide greater mobility in Southeast Florida, thereby improving the economic viability and quality of life of the community, region, and state. The SFRTA's mission is to coordinate, develop, and implement a viable regional transportation system in South Florida that endeavors to meet the desires and needs for the movement of people, goods, and services.


The SFRTA is a partner agency of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, along with other entities. Through this partnership, the “Tri-Rail Station Evaluation Project” project was developed as a collaborative effort between the SFRTA, TCRPC, and the South Florida Regional Planning Council to provide land use, development, infrastructure, demographic, and development information via data collection, field work, mapping, and analysis. This information is being utilized by the SFRTA, regional planning councils, local governments, and other entities to continue to improve the overall mobility of the Southeast Florida region. The initial products of this effort are posted on the SFRTA website (http://www.sfrta.fl.gov/stations.html).

Florida TOD Guidebook

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity developed A Framework for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in Florida to address how TOD can be a part of transforming Florida’s existing auto-oriented, largely suburban patterns of development into more compact, livable patterns that support walking, biking, transit, and shorter-length auto trips. This effort was initiated as local governments in Florida increasingly encountered TOD concepts and projects characterized as “TOD” for adoption in their comprehensive plans, land development codes, and development review processes. A working group composed of agency and local government representatives was formed to develop Florida-specific TOD design guidelines and implementation strategies. FDOT held a series of ten workshops across the state to present draft TOD materials. In response to input received during those workshops, the scope of the effort was expanded to also address broader transit planning, interagency coordination, and TOD implementation issues. In March 2011, the Phase I, the Florida TOD Framework was completed.

Working at the direction of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDOE), the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) helped produce the Florida TOD Guidebook as a statewide TOD resource.  The Guidebook examines how TOD can be implemented in Florida’s various development patterns.  This resource provides planners, developers, elected officials, and the general public with a Florida-specific set of tools to assist in analyzing and planning for successful transit in their areas of concern.  More information on the TOD Guidebook and related efforts can be found on the project website: http://www.fltod.com/

 

Town of Jupiter TOD

At the request of the Town of Jupiter planning staff, and with funding from the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) has begun analyzing three potential station areas for the location of a future transit station along the FEC rail corridor. Council prepared a summary memorandum evaluating these three areas and a PowerPoint presentation for the Town Council (links below). Additional evaluation regarding these sites is currently underway.

Jupiter TOD - Preliminary Station Area Evaluation Memo

Jupiter TOD - Preliminary Station Area & TOD Presentation (includes Town Evaluation and Appraisal slides)

Jupiter TOD Charrette

West Palm Beach Transit Village

Lake Worth TOD Charrette

Tri-Rail Coastal Link Study

Links to TOD Resources
Definition - TOD Defined (TDM Encyclopedia:Victoria Transport Policy Institute)  
Report - TOD: Moving from Rhetoric to Reality (The Brookings Institute)  
Background Information - TOD Transit Resource Guide (American Public Transportation Association)  
Organizations - NewUrbanism.org - Center for Transit-Oriented Development  
TOD Example - Smart Growth Tool Kit - Transit-Oriented Development  
Listing of Various TOD Reports - Reports  
 
 

Staff contact: or at (772) 221-4060.