Brief

San Francisco aims to boost alternative transportation with new development regulations

Dive Brief:

  • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has approved a points-based measure that will require developers who want to include free parking with their projects to also provide features that will promote alternative transportation methods, such as bikes, car-sharing and shuttles to buses, according to Wired.   
  • The Transportation Demand Management program establishes a target points level for the amount of parking planned for each type of land use — such as residential, retail and office — and offers possible ways for developers to meet their points goal.
  • The first developments subject to the new regulations won't get underway for another 18 months to two years, and officials said they will adjust the new program to make it more precise as time goes along.

Dive Insight:

San Francisco officials are trying to decrease the vehicle miles traveled resulting from new development, particularly because the city anticipates that 100,000 new households by 2040 will bring more than 600,000 new cars to city streets.   

The type of projects that most aggressively pursue the use of mass transportation today are likely transit-oriented developments (TODs). These mixed-use villages have at their core some kind of mass transit method — usually rail — and welcome the high density residential developments necessary to fuel ridership. The developments also typically include office, retail, dining and entertainment components, all within walking range. TODs are becoming more popular, primarily in areas where significant development is welcome, and feasible, around rail stations.

Americans' preference for owning their own vehicles rather than choosing mass transit has also been cited as a factor holding back high-speed rail in the U.S. Attorney Anthony Leones told Construction Dive last year  that U.S. residents love their automobiles, and in many parts of the country there is no culture of mass transit.

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Filed Under: Commercial Building Design Infrastructure Legal/Regulation
Top image credit: Joe Parks