Arlington County has been leading the way on Transit Oriented Development for decades now. The County is so committed to the concept because statistic after statistic shows that it works; there is simply no better way of managing growth known to contemporary planning.
As I sat in a meeting this morning, I heard a couple of statistics that have recently come out of research by Arlington’s Department of Transportation that offer incredibly compelling evidence of the power of TOD:
1. Auto traffic counts in the Pentagon City area are level today compared with counts from 1975. Despite all the development that has occurred there in that time frame, including construction of one of the region’s largest and busiest shopping malls, there has been no measurable increase in traffic congestion.
And if you can believe it, that’s the less compelling of the statistics I heard. Sit down for the next one:
2. 1,000 units of urban-format TOD housing generates fewer auto trips per day than a single suburban-format McDonalds or 7-11. You can build 1,000,000 square feet of residential TOD and generate less congestion than 2,000 square feet of auto-oriented retail.