Raleigh Transit Overlay Districts (TOD)

I think the effect will be to direct some development pressure towards infill and away from sprawl. There will still be congestion in the corridor.


This also may sound insensitive to some but to a certain degree this isn’t all for existing residents but for future ones that are showing up in decades to come. I appreciate planning for a future Raleigh with 600,000 residents cause let’s be honest, we’re on track for that some day.


As I say, “Cities gotta City”.

In a do the right thing tone of voice.


Traffic usually doesn’t decline with transit. The people who are making car trips today are driving because that makes sense for their trip origins/destinations.

I wrote something about this before here:

What changes with TOD is that future growth in traffic slows (and eventually reverses). New people making new trips find origins/destinations (houses, offices, schools, shops) for which it’s more convenient to take transit / walk / bike than to drive. It’s not changing the lives of people today (hence they shouldn’t fear it!), it’s changing the lives of people tomorrow.

Giving those people tomorrow more choices means that they won’t be driving on the same roads as you. And you’ll have more travel choices, too.

Keep in mind that a huge proportion of the driving reduction that does take place (and not decline per se as much as avoided increase) isn’t substituted 1:1 by transit trips. People in transit-rich places take transit more, but they also walk and bike more, and when they do drive it’s for much shorter distances.


i know its not 1:1…got it. oddly enough, my own view is having a transit flow as a city service, with fares of course. i rode Raleigh Transit for 17 straight years. i guess my questions as a rider is how much expenditure, with various modes discussed, for no decline in vehicular traffic? and with the density, i guess that will come on new bern, what percentage of all these people will work on the brt t(here seemed to be an odd color chart months ago about commuter patters)? for example, would just more busses (maybe a rapid training scheme at wake tech) without any fixed infrastructure beyond signal priority, actually serve more people and serve more cheaper and nearly as often? just wondered how robust the debate was in raleigh? say if new bern gets twice as dense in 20 years…will there just be almost twice as many cars. is that still a question regardless of millions on brt?

and i bring this up because as i recall there was targeted Transit developed in the 90s for the handicapped and elderly with discount taxi vouchers and i think now there may be even more options with some of the health plans. no new fixed route and point to point service. my folks used it. were these types of schemes for the especially needy brought to much light?

From the consulting firm that did the most recent short-term Wake Transit Plan (and a principal there who went to Duke):

Often the loudest cries against new development focus on traffic and parking… As transportation professionals, we know that driving-dependent development can lead to terrible traffic. The root causes are not fundamentally development itself, but the sprawling form and accompanying transportation networks, typically featuring sparsely connected street networks, ample free parking, limited safe walking and biking infrastructure, and inconvenient to no transit service.
Our urban centers have lots of places—including those downtowns, village centers, and older inner suburbs—with better bones. In this kind of compact, mixed-use, walkable, transit-friendly place, we have years of evidence showing that traffic and parking work out just fine as more neighbors are added.
Transportation should not be used as an excuse to continue the exclusionary, inequitable practices of the past. Rather than yielding to fears of change, our job as transportation professionals is to help our communities look forward and articulate key goals and values through their planning processes. These often include sustainability, equity, and health. Creating more housing—and more diverse housing types—helps to meet those goals. Focusing this new housing around transit investments also supports fiscal goals by making efficient use of infrastructure.


I think that most people have a difficult time imagining change and a world where you don’t need a car for everything. I think that’s especially true for occupants of single family homes…often even those close to the city center. If you can’t imagine any part of your life without a car, then you likely automatically associate cars and traffic growing at the same rate as urban/dense housing and development.


9 posts were merged into an existing topic: Zoning and Density

Sharing this here as well.


Raleigh Forward’s email newsletter stated this today:

" Based on comments made by Councilor Harrison in her recent newsletter, Council may be leaning toward approving just the Transit Overlay District, without any increase in the allowable underlying residential density until after new affordable housing programs are designed, funded and implemented. If that’s what ultimately happens, it could accelerate the displacement that has been occurring over the last decade, particularly now that the New Bern Avenue BRT is under construction. If it’s not politically feasible to approve the New Bern TOD Rezoning as proposed, then council should at least upzone all non-residential property within the corridor. Increasing residential density and providing enhanced housing support for current residents are not mutually exclusive. Council should do both immediately. …
While Councilors are no doubt genuine in their concerns about displacement and gentrification, they are mistaken to suggest that delaying the upzoning portion of the TOD Rezoning will reduce displacement pressures. At a minimum, Council should approve the TOD Rezoning to permit higher residential density on all non-residential property. This will minimize impacts on existing neighborhoods, while still encouraging diverse residential housing options at varied price points along the BRTI corridor. The resulting increase in residential density will also better support the operation and maintenance of the New Bern Bus Rapid Transit Line. …
Please continue reaching out to City Council directly to express your support for the TOD Rezoning. If Council doesn’t vote on the TOD Rezoning on March 5, it’s likely to vote very soon thereafter to avoid turning it into an election issue this Fall. Email City Council at citycouncilmembers@raleighnc.gov , and let them know you support the New Bern TOD rezoning."


I think it was mentioned that the initial plan is to add the TOD designation now and focus on adding density in a later vote. @JonathanMelton mentioned that it’s important to make sure we get the TOD overlay added right now to stop any kind of development from occurring that is car-focused.

So, while I want the zoning in place now, it is much more important that we have a semblance of control as to what can and can’t be built there before the zoning item comes up in a later vote.


The “new” members of the City Council are clueless. The G-Train left the station years ago in East Raleigh. The New Bern Ave corridor is lined with panhandlers & drug addicts today. Why would you want that to remain???

Revitalization continues to creep East out of Downtown on NB & just look on the North side of NB. These morons can’t stop the private sales & price appreciation that has been driving East Raleigh’s revitalization for years. Delaying the density vote simply means there will be ZERO affordability because private transactions will be market-price only.


Tuesday March 5 is another Hearing and council meeting. You can sign up NOW if you wanna speak this time. Hoping the second go around, there’s some movement on it!


Yes. We could really use a continued show of support. I plan to attend and signed up just in case I want to add more thoughts, speak up again.


The new data that’s out that shows our rents currently going down due to supply is now an excellent example of how TOD supply can contribute to affordability issues going forward.


I signed up too. Work has me in Fayetteville that day so I’m hoping I’m back in time. :crossed_fingers:
I have no idea if there will be opposition folks this time or not—I half expected Liveable Raleigh’s social media to explode about this but so far it looks like they’re still basking in the afterglow of having CACs reinstated instead. But then again, the Pro- groups like Raleigh Forward and WakeUp haven’t posted much about it, either. :man_shrugging:


I was waiting for it to hit but Raleigh Forward just released a great resource page related to TOD. Pretty deep reading but plenty of resources to show that there is a strong argument FOR this stuff.


Got this in the email after I signed up to speak at Tuesday’s second hearing:
“Although the hearing was continued from a prior city council meeting and remains “open”, please note that the time allotment for public hearing comments has been exhausted. Staff anticipates that the City Council will continue deliberation of the rezoning case tomorrow evening and the public is, of course, able and encouraged to attend the City Council meeting.” :unamused:

Oh well. Instead of rushing to city hall for the meeting I think I’ll just use my time to write the council members again instead. (We may not be able to speak twice, but no rule against emailing twice, apparently.) :crazy_face:

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Looks like I got in, didn’t see that. At only 8 minutes per side, seems only a few will have a chance to say anything. Yes, email away!