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Transit-Oriented Development in San Diego County: Incrementally Implementing a Comprehensive Idea

Listed author(s):
  • Boarnet, Marlon G.
  • Compin, Nicholas S.

While transit-oriented development (TOD) has become an increasingly popular planning idea, very few studies have examined how localities plan for and implement transit-oriented projects. This paper helps fill that gap by studying the TOD implementation process near stations on the oldest of the current generation of light rail lines – the San Diego Trolley. Interviews with planning directors in the region, supplemented by zoning data, archival research, and inspection of station-area land use, all suggest that TOD is a niche market in the region. There are several barriers which have constrained TOD implementation in San Diego County. TOD projects have been pursued most aggressively in cases where those barriers are less severe or do not apply. Overall, we argue that each city, while being sympathetic to regional rail goals, works within a framework of local goals and constraints. The net result is regional TOD implementation which resembles the incremental model of policy-making first popularized by Lindblom (1959). One implication of this is that a comprehensive reshaping of station-area land use will, at best, take years to be realized.

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Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt52v7c5rr.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1996
Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt52v7c5rr
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  1. Giuliano, Genevieve, 1991. "Is Jobs-Housing Balance a Transportation Issue?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4874r4hg, University of California Transportation Center.
  2. J Landis & R Cervero & P Hall, 1991. "Transit joint development in the USA: an inventory and policy assessment," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 9(4), pages 431-452, August.
  3. Cervero, Robert, 1994. "Transit-based housing in California: evidence on ridership impacts," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 174-183, June.
  4. Cervero, Robert & Bernick, Michael & Gilbert, Jill, 1994. "Market Opportunities and Barriers to Transit-Based Development in California," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2c01z5hw, University of California Transportation Center.
  5. Cervero, Robert, 1994. "Transit Villages: From Idea to Implementation," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3f8600n9, University of California Transportation Center.
  6. Genevieve Giuliano & Kenneth A. Small, 1993. "Is the Journey to Work Explained by Urban Structure?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 30(9), pages 1485-1500, November.
  7. Boarnet, Marlon G. & Crane, Randall, 1995. "Public Finance and Transit-Oriented Planning: New Evidence from Southern California," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4v95x0tm, University of California Transportation Center.
  8. Giuliano, Genevieve, 1995. "The Weakening Transportation-Land Use Connection," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1dn8t3w7, University of California Transportation Center.
  9. Boarnet, Marlon & Crane, Randall, 1995. "L.A. Story: A Reality Check for Transit-Based Housing," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt28130050, University of California Transportation Center.
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