Transit oriented development in Connecticut may rely on 'value capture'
Regional planners envision a finance system in which the state helps municipalities, and vice versa.
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In most communities, it’s hard to get an appealing mix of uses and a pleasing network of buildings and streets positioned around a new or previously sleepy train station.
So as Connecticut looks toward establishing to a commuter rail line though the center of the state — from New Haven to Hartford to Springfield, Massachusetts — the big question is whether transit-oriented development (TOD) will flourish around the new or expanded stations.
The Regional Planning Association (RPA), which encompasses parts of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, thinks Connecticut will have to use “value capture” to orchestrate effective, compact, transit-served development along the approximately 80-mile route.
Value capture, the lead topic of the Jan. 2012 Better! Cities & Towns, is not new. New York City is, for example, using it to pay for the extension of a subway line into Manhattan’s Far West Side.
“The city is paying for the $2.1 billion project by selling bonds, which are to be paid off through taxes on the district around the new station,” RPA Vice President David Kooris explained in a recent RPA article.
RPA would like Connecticut to use value capture to ensure that public investment in rail expansion generates a series of successful compact