Walkable and livable communities...
Whatever it's called, local governments across the Washington region are recognizing the importance of integrating land use and transportation planning at the community level. Some jurisdictions are working to promote more development closer to mass transit. Others are looking at ways to bring jobs, housing and shopping in closer proximity to reduce the need to drive everywhere. Still other places want to revitalize existing communities to make them more walkable and accessible for people without cars.
The projects vary across the region, but the challenges are often similar. How do planners engage with the public to improve planning decisions and avoid future objections? How can they address public concerns about increased traffic, affordable housing or changes in a community's identity? What small improvements—such as streetscaping, sidewalks or lighting—can make a good project even better?
The Transportation Planning Board's TLC program has been designed to provide support to local jurisdictions as they work through these challenges, and to share success stories and proven tools with local governments and agencies across the region.
What is TLC?
Beginning as a six-month pilot in January 2007, the TLC program has two components:
1. The Regional TLC Clearinghouse is a web-based source of information about transportation/land-use coordination, including experiences with transit-oriented development and other key strategies. In addition to offering brief information and website links on a broad sampling of projects, the clearinghouse more thoroughly documents the technical assistance provided through the TPB's TLC program.
2. The TLC Technical Assistance Program provides focused consultant assistance to local jurisdictions working on creative, forward-thinking and sustainable plans and projects. Technical assistance may include a range of services, such as:
- Public involvement facilitation
- Development and utilization of visualization techniques
- Streetscape and infill design assistance
- Assistance with scoping longer term planning studies
- Help with other challenges related to strengthening transportation and land use coordination
TLC and the Region
Congestion is bad, and it's expected to get worse. But regional studies have confirmed that there are real actions we can take to make a positive impact on future transportation conditions. Among other things, these actions include locating housing and jobs closer together, promoting development closer to transit stations, and expanding our network of public transit lines to support regional activity centers.
The TLC program will assist communities in taking these steps to improve transportation/land use coordination, and will share information among regional leaders as they seek to make communities more vibrant and livable.
To apply for TLC technical assistance or for more information, contact TPB staff at TLC@mwcog.org.