Over the last several months, PPS, Reconnecting America and the Regional Plan Association have been working with communities along the Interstate 287 corridor to leverage their transportation investments in correlation with the construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge.  The project team has led two-day workshops in Westchester and Rockland counties where stakeholders of all backgrounds – including local officials, developers, practitioners, advocates, and active community members – have participated in training seminars on transit-oriented development (TOD), placemaking around transit stations, financing, smart parking, and a series of hands-on place evaluation and design exercises that map out a vision for the future.

Workshop participants on a site visit in Tarrytown evaluating future TOD opportunities.

According to an article in Mobilizing the Region, many of the communities involved have found the workshops to be a worthwhile experience:

“Local officials praised both the content and the presentation, saying that they had been introduced to new tools and case studies, and that the quality of the presenters was high.”

As Rockland County and Westchester County grow in size and importance for the regional economy, it is imperative that they plan to the full potential of the areas around their transit stations and transit routes. Planning for TOD, and placemaking around transit stations, can improve the efficiency of the entire transportation system, add needed revenue to the tax base, create job opportunities and contribute to the quality of life and character of any community.

The challenges and opportunities of TOD, however, are not unique to Rockland and Westchester County. They are applicable to urban and suburban areas throughout the country. For more information on TOD and transportation based placemaking, please visit these links.