Report: Houston should align transit projects with land use planning

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The Houston Business Journal highlights a report issued by the Urban Land Institute that says Houston needs to address infrastructure issues related to a car-dependent society:

Houston is one of 23 large metro areas in the United States facing an infrastructure challenge, according to an Urban Land Institute report released Tuesday.

ULI reports that Houston and other Sunbelt areas such as Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix, “choke in suburban car dependence and a history of disconnected regional development just as driving becomes increasingly expensive.”

Among the challenges facing these cities are expanding road capacity and retrofitting pedestrian-unfriendly subdivisions with mass transit, the report says.

[snip]

Cities like Houston need to align transit projects with land use planning, or people will remain car-bound, the report suggests.

Although transit budgets constitute about 50 percent of aggregate expenditures in long-range plans (approximately $610 billion), the expected share of transit commuting averages a measly 5.5 percent,” the report says. “Although most plans seek behavioral changes in driving habits, they assume continued growth patterns toward the suburban edge, where car-dependent lifestyles predominate out of necessity.”

The Urban Land Institute’s website is here, what appears to be a summary of the report is here, and ULI’s mission statement is here.


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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.