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Alma Bowl is Not
A Transit Village Project
by Hy Density
June 2003

The "transit village" concept:
keep people off the roads by housing families and businesses within walking distance of public transportation. It's an extension of the "urban village" concept, which gathers housing, businesses and retail together, obviating the need for people to drive everywhere. Transit villages have become a hallmark of applied smart-growth principles.

The original Specific Plan for the Tamien area called for mixed-use development at Alma Bowl. Mixed use adds value to the whole transit concept, because people all along the corridor can easily take transit to the retail and work sites at this stop. Non-mixed use subtracts this value.

Alma Bowl: residential only.
The Alma Bowl project doesn't adhere to these principles. It is residential only - it doesn't add any business or retail. When the people it adds need anything, they will have to drive to get it. This was a matter of concern when the planning commission reviewed the developer's proposal, and it's a matter of concern now.

No Parking.
Although the Alma Bowl project is not a "transit village," the developer gets a transit village cost break anyway. The City allows residential developments within 2000' of a transit stop to have 10% fewer parking spaces. The Alma Bowl project accordingly has only about 320 off-street parking spaces for residents - fewer parking spaces than bedrooms.

Parking spillover, perversely, will probably make it harder for people in surrounding neighborhoods to use Tamien Station. Transit-friendly - not!


Copyright 2003