Utah’s new rubric provides a clear TOD framework


A Utah Transit Authority (UTA) FrontRunner train at the North Temple station in Salt Lake City. (Image: Ricardo630, Wikimedia)

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is using a new points system to select three TOD project sites on agency owned land that will be available for joint development with outside partners. The points system provides a fair, objective way to select TOD sites.

Along with the points system, a new TOD Policy and Procedure system was put in place to guide the development process from start to finish—from prioritization of projects along the regional rail system all the way to the management of property. New rules also limit UTA to eight total TOD projects at a time; with five existing projects, only three new projects could be chosen via the point system.

UTA recently announced their selection of the three new TOD sites, which were also the highest scoring sites under the points system: the Salt Lake Central and North Temple stations (in downtown Salt Lake City about .8 miles apart), Ogden Central FrontRunner Station (where a BRT line is also under development), and Clearfield FrontRunner Station.

According to UTA officials, the TOD system analysis the agency used was designed to favor projects which are best suited for development now, primarily in denser parts of the region with existing markets. But there was also weight given to projects that could generate more affordable housing or catalyze investment in a station area.

Now that the sites have been chosen the agency will seek development partners and follow through using standard operating procedures laid out in its TOD policy. By creating a development framework with objective standards, the process for developing agency land should be clear and beneficial to long-term goals along the Wasatch Front.

For more information about creating development frameworks, systems, and strategic planning for TOD, visit TODresources.org and check out Oregon Metro’s TOD Strategic Plan which lays out systems for deciding which stations are ready for development and how to determine program next steps.

What’s new on the pod?

This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we head to Chicago to get a closer look at the city’s new TOD policy that was adopted in January. As we’ve covered in previous newsletters, the updated TOD policy expands the scope beyond rail stations to a number of high-ridership bus corridors. But as Kendra Freeman, the director of community engagement for the regional Metropolitan Planning Council explains, the real promise of the new policy is the focus on equitable development. Catch this episode on Soundcloud, Stitcher, iTunes, Overcast or wherever you get your podcasts.

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.

  • UTA celebrates double tracking and new development on S line (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Connecticut governor creates new position to oversee housing and transportation (CT Post)
  • Envisioning equitable and thriving TOD in Los Angeles (ULI)
  • New Midtown Complete Street would provide vital MARTA link (Curbed Atlanta)
  • New zoning could be applied more broadly in Rochester (Post Bulletin)