Too close for comfort?
The question of how far people will walk to reach a transit stop has a pretty significant impact on the shape of cities. Australian urban planners conventionally draw the line of ‘walkability’ at 800m, in line with our American colleagues’ line at about a half-mile. Sometimes these distances are reduced for bus stops or less frequent rail services, however the consensus has held that no one makes it farther than 800m on foot.
The impact of this thinking can be seen clearly in the planning rules a city creates for its transit-oriented development. Many states across Australia have released Transit Oriented Development (TOD) guides to encourage increased development intensities near transport infrastructure. Victoria’s ResCode requires that 95 per cent of new dwellings within a subdivision be located within street walking distances of 400m, 600m, and 800m from existing or proposed bus, tram and rail stations respectively.
However new research from the University of New Orleans suggests that some cities indeed might be selling their “TOD” footprint short. In examining property values around mass transit stations, the researchers found a transit-oriented price premium which extended up to one mile (1.6km) from rapid transit systems.
Read more about the findings here.
Do you agree with these findings?