HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced the award of $5 million to 11 cities, towns and regional planning organizations around the state for the planning and facilitation of “transit-oriented development” (TOD) projects – work aimed at better linking communities and their transportation infrastructure, such as rail and bus stations. In making the announcement, the Governor said the awards are aimed at fostering economic development in the various towns and surrounding regions by supporting local projects that connect state residents to job opportunities, housing, cultural centers and more.
“Finding smart, practical ways to connect housing and employment centers to transportation is a critical step in growing the state’s economy and making Connecticut a more vibrant place to work and live,” said Governor Malloy. “The projects that we’re supporting will help these towns and surrounding regions take tangible steps in making their communities more walkable, more accessible, and more attractive to residents and employers alike.”
The funding was approved by the State Bond Commission earlier this year and municipalities were encouraged to apply. Twenty-three applications totaling $13.2 million were received by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), which, together, made the final determinations on the awards. Input on the applications also came from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, the Department of Economic & Community Development, the Connecticut Development Authority and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. The TOD grants will be administered by DOT.
“The more convenient public transportation is, the more people will take advantage of it,” said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “We were impressed by the scope and variety of the applications that came in. Transit-oriented development keeps everyone moving toward that goal. Livable, walkable and ‘bike-able’ community development around and near transit stops and stations is what we are trying to achieve. Easy access means increasing ridership.”
The following is a list of communities to be awarded grants under the TOD Pilot Program, along with a brief description of their local projects:
• City of Hartford: $730,000 for site plan and development analysis, adoption of a TOD “overlay zone,” and creation of a public-private partnership to facilitate development around Union Station related to the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line and the planned New Britain-Hartford Busway.
• City of Meriden: $850,000 for market analysis, financial planning, environmental benefit analyses and preparation for studies/surveys related to the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line.
• City of New Britain: $750,000 for the implementation of a Streetscape Master Plan related to the planned New Britain-Hartford Busway.
• City of New Haven: $390,000 for market analysis, traffic management planning, finance planning, preparation of potential work schedule related to the New Haven Rail Line, Shore Line East and the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line.
• City of New London: $319,000 for water and sewer capacity evaluation, design and planning, construction and administration related to the Shore Line East rail line and other components of the New London intermodal transportation center.
• City of Norwalk: $486,000 for surveys, design, drawings for the linking of the South Norwalk Railroad Station and Intermodal Center to a multi-modal network of shuttles and city transit buses, and routes serving bicycles and pedestrians.
• City of Stamford: $460,000 for parking and redevelopment studies/assessments for the Glenbrook and Springdale station areas related to the New Canaan Branch of the New Haven Rail Line.
• Town of Stratford: $250,000 for a TOD plan linked to the Stratford station on the New Haven Rail Line and the development of a model TOD ordinance by the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council for its member municipalities.
• Valley Council of Governments (Derby & Shelton): $265,000 for studies/surveys for enhancing bicycle and pedestrian connections to the Derby/Shelton Multi-Modal Center and the Derby-Shelton Bridge related to the Waterbury Branch of the New Haven Rail Line.
• Town of Windsor: $250,000 for a TOD and station area plan related to the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line.
• Town of Windsor Locks: $250,000 for a TOD planning study related to the possible relocation of the train station along the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line to facilitate mixed-use development in the downtown area.
Each application was broken into specific “tasks” and OPM and DOT evaluated each task on its own merits. With $13.2 million in applications and only $5 million available under the TOD program, not every task of each application could be funded, and some applications were not funded at all (of the 23 applications, 11 received funding).
“It’s critical that when the state makes investments in local projects, those investments work in concert with broader state efforts to improve access to transportation and foster economic growth,” said OPM Secretary Ben Barnes. “This is especially important when the state is working hard to do more with less. There are many worthwhile TOD projects around the state, so the basis for these awards had to include how supportive each project was of broader efforts to grow public transportation ridership statewide.”
The original RFA, along with pertinent questions and answers regarding the selection process, can be viewed at http://www.ct.gov/opm/lib/opm/secretary/rfp/tod_pilot_programrfa5-19-11.pdf.