Why TOD in St. Louis? Many St. Louisans say “What is TOD? Why do you keep talking about TOD?” Well, TOD or Transit Oriented Development is a trend happening across the country where transit systems are used as a tool to create development. When we say development, we aren’t just talking about any development but we are talking about compact, livable walkable areas with mixed uses that create places that people want to live, work and play.
So why keep pushing TOD in St. Louis some may ask. Well, St. Louis has 43 miles of light rail with 37 stations and an interconnected bus system that serves 97% of St. Louis City and County. The region has invested millions in this system, yet for many, it is still only about getting from point a to point B. There is so much more beyond the actual trip that light rail and an interconnected system can do for a region. Since we have already made the investment in transit, let’s leverage it to create neighborhoods that foster economic development, healthier lifestyles, a cleaner environment, walkable, pedestrian oriented communities that are sustainable.
CMT has a large toolbox of programs to promote just that. One tool that communities can look at is changing their zoning to allow for higher density developments near transit. Form Based Overlay zoning is a tool that helps communities build compact, walkable urban environments that are economically viable, connected, physically active, job friendly, and accessible through affordable and convenient transportation. CMT is working on a pilot project now to create form based overlay zoning around the Rock Road and Grand Stations.
Form Based Code assessment is the first step communities take to lay the groundwork for future development and creating the kind of urban environment that is less car dependent and more friendly to the interests described above.
Please find the attached Form Based Code Policy Brief to use as a resource for encouraging Form Based Code assessment in your communities and contact CMT at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 314-231-7272 to explore the benefits of TOD further.