Conference: Promoting Transit-Oriented Development in Southwestern Connecticut

Imagine a series of tightly knit communities and a mix of residential and commercial development within an easy walking distance or bicycle ride from a transit center. Sounds like we are dreaming? Not really! These Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) exist across the country. Many neighboring states have already successfully promoted these developments, and now Connecticut is starting to advance the TOD concept with proposed legislative initiatives and budgetary support. In this half-day conference, you will learn:

  • Why TOD is important;
  • Hear about other state’s and Connecticut’s initiatives to promote TOD;
  • View emerging examples with Antares and Georgetown in southwestern Connecticut;
  • Consider where TOD can be replicated in our region and other places in Connecticut.

Examples of these features include mixed-use, more dense development to promote transit use, excellent high quality pedestrian crossings, and narrower streets that encourage alternatives to automobile usage.

The keynote address will be delivered by Connecticut’s newly appointed Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, Joan McDonald.

  • Dave H.

    Isn’t this great: for a TOD conference, in a very transit accesible area (maybe ten, at most fifteen minute walk from Stamford train station, many buses make the trip regularly) the rather extensive directions are all on how to get there by car. (And don’t worry, FREE PARKING is promised).

    Well, much worse from the annals of CT development and transit hypocrisy: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2007/09/sprawl_invades.php. This Yale professor has gotten tenure by criticizing sprawl, is now curating an exhibit on its evils in a New Haven museum, but how does she get to work? She drives every day (she lives in sprawlsville Guilford, which, even though sprawlsville, has fairly decent train and bus service to New Haven).

    We can talk about things as much as we want, but if all we do is talk, don’t expect a lot of change… ever…

  • Dave H.

    Sorry for the bad link. Here’s the right one (if even anyone cares about this).

    http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2007/09/sprawl_invades.php

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I care, Dave. Sadly, that seems typical for Connecticut. On the PDF for the conference, there’s a lot of nice Mapquest driving directions, but the walking directions seem to have been typed on there with an old Selectric. At least they put them there.

    I was just in Stamford last month, and I can confirm that UConn is just a short walk from the train – my hotel was a block away – and that the downtown is very walkable. But the number of “parking pedestals” in that town really freaked me out. It’s a big stretch to consider Stamford as any kind of TOD; it may not be sprawl, but it’s definitely parking-oriented development.

    The two examples mentioned, Antares and Georgetown, are emerging very slowly. Both contain lots of parking. Maybe they’re more transit-oriented than other recent developments in the area, but is it enough to make a difference?

    I encountered lots of environmentalists living in sprawl when I was active in the New Mexico Green Party. But they have excuses: they were mostly back-to-the-land hippies, and sprawl is much hard to escape in NM.

    Hayden and her colleagues are urbanists; why don’t they practice what they preach? It’s not like she was forced at gunpoint to live in Guilford; there are plenty of towns along the Metro-North line that have convenient train service to New Haven. She could even live in Stamford.

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