Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stadium Implosions and TOD

Well today was the day. 39 year old Texas Stadium was imploded as its functioning life was deemed over. However the death of a stadium opens up new opportunities for urbanism and some challenges.

The Loop 12 station is going to be located here when the development is finally ready for it but I question the planning of a station along a freeway or in a place where the freeway can severely hamper residential development. Part of the problem with getting cozy with the highway is that you cut off half of the walk shed from the station. In this instance, it's even more than half with the number of freeways that exist in criss cross. Below is the map of the regional transit plan and below that is the station location sourced from the environmental impact statement.

You can see Texas stadium where the main redevelopment opportunity is on city owned land. But the planned station is on the other side of a major freeway, and most of it is a private shipping company under the white blob I've drawn to show the area without a freeway barrier near the station. It's likely that this area will be best for office and some dense residential, but a grid network needs to be reintroduced on both sides for it to become a walkable urban place. It might be even better to route the transit through the center of the white blob to maximize the station area. It does move the station further away from the stadium parcel, but at the same time, it increases the probability of transit accessibility for buildings within the vicinity of the station.

It's a hard decision, but ultimately we need to stop building stations and alignments that are based on the previous freeway paradigm. Creating walkable urban places that connect to others through transit means that we need to connect opportunities, not freeway medians.


John said...

Given the freeway access and limited potential for dense walkable development, maybe this would be a good site for a large park and ride facility. I think high capacity transit lines should mostly serve walkable developments, but there should also be an occasional park and ride for those who do not live within walking distance of transit.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I might be inclined instead to say that this is a great place for densification. The problem and benefit of freeway access is that it also points to places where there will be a market because of the access. Unfortunately the Dallas region is currently based on freeway access and likely anything that has transit only access is going to die on the market vine unless you push a whole lot of subsidy into it. I see your point about park and ride but I also think the places that should be park and ride are those that are less accessible by the freeway because they have less market potential.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Additionally, to avoid sounding contradictory, I would say that because you're going to have the freeway access anyway, you might as well use it to your advantage. However I would rather not run a rail line up the center of a freeway, parrallel with space, but not in the center.