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473700-00046-1 Report Abstract

An Examination of Successful Mixed Use in Transit Oriented Development as Conceptually Applied to the Proposed Ambassador Way Transit Station in Houston, Texas

Tammye Davis and Carol A. Lewis, Texas Southern University, September 2005, 64 pp. (473700-00046-1)

Through the implementation of a state of the art light rail system, Houston has relinquished its title as the largest city in the US without a fixed guide way transit system. METRORail has been designed with the intent to enhance environmental, social, and economic development. The rail is one of a number of mobility improvements to counter Houston’s ranking as among the top ten worst cities in terms of traffic congestion. This is in some measure due to lower density, vast residential and commercial development patterns that force people to drive more frequently and over longer distances. However, in recent times people have rediscovered that building in proximity to “good public transit connections” is an amenity that attracts the interest of renters, homebuyers and many businesses. This realization has been formed out of a 30-year debate about rail transit systems. It has become apparent that a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in Houston can work.

According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI), TOD is considered a major way to create more securely clustered, pedestrian friendly, mixed use projects that can increase rail ridership. The purpose of this study is to investigate, analyze and evaluate the suggested and implemented successful principles of Transit Oriented Development system and relate the patterns to the Houston’s Ambassador Way Transit Station. This research will be useful for transit organizations and other stakeholders engaged in Houston’s new transit developments, to ensure that nearby growth will produce adequate numbers of riders to nourish transit and initiate a desire to optimize land use around the Ambassador Way Transit Station community. This work also will serve as a guide to communities, designers and developers who may not initially recognize the basic valuable principles that underlie any Transit Oriented Development project.

Keywords: Transit-Oriented Development, Transit Land Use Coordination

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 1.3 MB)