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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded

2009

Month Degree Awarded

September

Keywords

Transit-Oriented Development Sustainability Parking Strategy Policy

Abstract

This thesis identifies and explores the effects that new parking strategies and policies could have on transit-oriented development (TOD) success levels. Additionally, it makes the case for TOD parking regulation reform, and is designed to educate planners and stakeholders on how to successfully and responsibly shape parking regulation in the planning and implementation process, so that land use in the region allows the synergistic provision of sustainable transportation specifically to the Boston region.

Transit-Oriented Development is viewed and defined differently throughout research and literature, with its most common traits being compact, mixed use development near transit facilities and high-quality walking environments. Due to automobile dependency in the United States, developments (including TOD) are required to provide a specific level of parking to accommodate automobile usage. Excessive provision of parking decreases urban density, walkability, housing affordability, and transit ridership. In order to comply with governmental regulations and still meet TOD goals and objectives, expensive measures such as parking garages are implemented to accommodate automobile users, leading to a less affordable development and smaller profit margins for developers.

An assessment of land use characteristics around transit stations, literature pertaining to TOD and current parking regulations and policies is conducted. Best practices and strategies are proposed with the overall goal of decreasing automobile-dependency and its impacts on the urban environment. Due to TOD’s heavy reliance on extensive transit systems, the focus of the study is specifically on the 101 cities and towns in the Boston metropolitan region. Somerville, MA, which contains previous transit-oriented developments and future projects in the design process, is used as a case study for transit-oriented development.

First Advisor

Mark Hamin

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