Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a popular urban planning concept that emphasizes the creation of mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods around transit stations. It has gained momentum in British Columbia in recent years, with several new TOD areas being announced in 2024. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what TOD is defined as in BC, as well as its benefits and potential drawbacks.
TODs are compact, walkable, mixed-use communities located around transit stations, with the goal of promoting sustainable transportation options, increasing affordability, and improving overall quality of life for residents. In BC, the new TODs will be located in key transit corridors, such as bus rapid transit routes and the SkyTrain. The designated areas will feature higher-density housing, commercial and retail spaces, and public amenities such as parks and community centers. By locating these developments near transit stations, the goal is for residents to have easy access to public transportation, reducing their reliance on cars and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.
The new TODs will be in several areas across BC. To name a few:
-Port Moody: Inlet Centre Station, Moody Centre Station
-Port Coquitlam: Coquitlam Central Station, Lincoln Station
-Maple Ridge: Port Haney Station
-Burnaby- Brentwood Town Centre Station, Burquitlam Station, Joyce – Collingwood Station, Lougheed Town Centre Station, Metrotown Station, Patterson Station, Rupert Station, Sperling – Burnaby Lake Station
While some of the benefits of living near a TOD include easier access to transit, proximity to great shopping and entertainment, and less reliance on your vehicles some potential drawbacks need consideration.
-Increased density and development can lead to more traffic congestion, especially during peak travel times
- Removing parking minimum requirements in TOD areas can lead to a shortage of parking spaces and increased competition for limited parking spots.
-TODs can be noisy and crowded. Being located close to public transport can mean dealing with the noise and congestion associated with buses, skytrains, Westcoast Express and other forms of transport. This can be a real problem for people who value peace and quiet. Additionally, the density of TODs can create a sense of overcrowding, which may not be desirable for some.
Overall, the new TODs in BC offer many benefits for those looking to live in a sustainable, walkable community with easy access to public transit especially when you consider the limited road infrastructure in many parts of the lower mainland and ongoing population growth. However, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons carefully and choose a location that aligns with your goals and values.