TOD Planning Process

Puzzle Piece infographic displaying elements of Transit-Oriented Development

Source: CTOD.org

The process for planning for TOD may vary by community. A TOD study may be initiated once a community has adopted a transit-supportive regulatory framework (including comprehensive plan and codes).  The purpose of a TOD study is to determine the need for improvement of a community’s transit-served area(s) and assess the potential for TOD around a future transit station/hub. Components of a study process may include:

  • Identification of issues, opportunities, and constraints;
  • Preparation of a master vision plan;
  • Development of circulation plans, transportation/transit access, and parking plans;
  • Development of design standards and/or streetscape design features;
  • Development of transit-supportive land use recommendations; and
  • Recommendations for implementation priorities, potential funding partnerships, and project phasing.

To ensure input from all stakeholders, public engagement plan should be devised. A town’s planning commission, a special TOD study committee, or advisory can be formed to oversee the planning process and engage community members. To facilitate the planning process, a community may wish to enlist consultation services. Metropolitan planning organizations, such as the Wilmington Area Mapping Council (WILMAPCO) and Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization, have assisted communities by conducting public visioning workshops, preparing public participation plans, crafting transit-center neighborhood plans and design guidelines, and preparing regional TOD plans.


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