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6 - Information Item: US 36 BRT/Northwest Rail Transit Oriented DevelopmentWEEKLY INFORMATION PACKET MEMORANDUM To: Mayor Ruzzin and Members of City Council From: Frank Bruno, City Manager Tracy Winfree, Director of Public Works for Transportation Micki Kaplan, Senior Transportation Planner Carl Castillo, Policy Advisor Ruth McHeyser, Acting Planning Director Louise Grauer, Long Range Planner Date: February 15, 2007 RE: Information on US 36 BRT/Northwest Rail Transit Oriented Development Workshop EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A US 36 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Northwest Rail Transit Oriented Development (TOD) workshop series was held the week of January 29. The purpose of the TOD workshop was to convey a corridor-wide perspective on the implementation of transit oriented development among the governmental stakeholders in the transit projects. The workshop was organized by RTD and the US 36 TMO; participants included representatives from the cities of Westminster, Broomfield, Louisville, Superior, Boulder and Longmont; and Boulder County. The first part of the workshop consisted of forums for loca] government staff (12/12/06) and elected officials (12/13/06) on TOD best practices and examples of their application to commuter rail and BRT. The second part was a week-]ong series of charettes with local government, RTD staff and RTD TOD consultants (1/29/07 thru 2/2/07) to evaluate whether community plans and the designs of the uansit projects would facilitate TOD in locations where it may be desired. A briefing on the workshop's preliminary findings was held for elected officials on the moming of Friday, Feb. 2. No city of Boulder elected officials were able to attend that briefing. Several city of Boulder staff participated in the workshop and asked the consultants to focus on TOD possibilities at the Transit Village Area Plan. City Council, Planning Board and Transpoftation Advisory Boazd members will receive a copy of this WIP which includes a preliminary summazy of some of the observations and recommendations that the consultant made for particular station areas and for the corridors as a whole. Topics such as the market-ready nature of the corridor (particularly the Boulder and Denver housing and job markets), the proactive land use planning occurring in all communities along the two corridors, [he design concems related to RTD's plans to build fencing along the commuter rail corridor to address safety issues, the need to focus on the Boulder station as an urban rather than suburban-style station, the advice [o do more detailed planning on the local bus loading areas, and other issues will be included in the staff summary. There will be a more formal summary that is produced by the workshop sponsors later in the spring. Detailed information on the TOD workshop summary follows. DETAILED SUMMARY AND KEY FINDINGS OF TOD WORKSHOP US 36 Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Design Charrette Key tindings and recommendations from out of town experts on Friday, Feb. 2, 2007 "wrap up" session A final report documenting the workshop and recommendations will be produced in April/May 2007. Lead Consultant: PB Placemaking, GB Arrington and team. Economic Consultants: Strategic Economics. Others present: RTD staff, city of Boulder staff (various departments) and other staff from local jurisdictions on the US 36 Corridor. KeV ~ndings from Strategic Economics for Bouider: • Denver and Boulder have strong, established residentia] and office markets and are "mazket ready." • Boulder and Denver will drive the TOD opportunities. • The rest of the corridor will benefit from "spillover demand" for office and housing from Denver and Boulder. • The overall corridor is being proactive with land use planning and, compared to the West Corridor, is better positioned to influence transit system design. Kev findinas from PB Placemakin¢ on Boulder: Opportunities: • TVAP is a well thought out and very good plan • Boulder has a proven transit market (called us "transit nirvana") • City and RTD own the I 1-acre site. Key site--great opportunity. • Innovative, mixed use strategy. • Boulder is a destination (more so than an origin). Constraints: • Need to resolve commuter (suburban style) vs. urban station issues (city & RTD), with advice to focus on designing for an urban station • Fragmented property ownership • Phasing between entities, development phasing • Resolve issues for the RTD CMAQ grant for the bus station early • Site-specific parking will need effective management to be adequate in all cases Recommendations: 1. Resolve underpass vs. overpass at the rail platform (ask RTD for a variance to their regulations at this location) Tim Baldwin, URS EA Consultants committed to analyzing this issue as soon as the project starts up (spring 2007). 2. Center the commuter rail platform with the plaza. 3. Consider at-grade crossing at the rail station. Resolve the safety issues/fencing issues (Boulder to ask RTD for a variance on fencing in this zone due to urban nature of sta[ion). RTD is planning to build fencing along the commuter rail corridor due to safety issues and potential requirements from the freight railroad. 2 4. Ensure adequate space provided for "kiss & ride" functions (near the rail platform) 5. Resolve the local bus staging and bus access through Bluff/Junction Place area (where will passengers board, how many bus bays needed, on-street or bus pull outs?) 6. Scale the plaza right (don't make it too big) 7. Resolve commuter parking-will there be a park-n-ride as part of the BRT and/or rail station? The city should establish their policy position on parking for the transit facilities. Also, consider the parking at this more urban location in the context of having more suburban-style stations at 63`d and Arapahoe and Gunbarrel. 8. Resolve location for the historic depodphasing 9. "Passenger Signage and Wayfinding Systems" will be important for passengers (due to the complex street layout of Junction Place) 10. Recommends considering the rail and BRT as "Urban Stations" (little to no parking needed) 11. This area will be one of the more important "places" on the corridor 12. Conduct post-modeling processing after EIS/EA new model runs are conducted to consider TOD and innovative land use and "urban" station factors. Traditional modeling won't work. 13. Easier to reduce pazking requirements on rentals than owner occupied housing. Observations from RTD TOD Mana¢er Bill Sirois, based on consultants' recommendations: 1. The bus staging azea by the rail platform needs attention. May need more buses, need to ensure there is adequate amount and location for staging. 2. Creating an at-grade crossing at the rail platform will be extremely difficult to overcome by RTD and BNSF. Consultant recommendations for the US 36 corridor 1. Integrate recommendations from the workshops into RTD Transit Station designs 2. Strengthen the partnership between RTD and local govemments. 3. Develop a TOD corridor strategy (work as a group, some common mazkets) 4. History of corridor unity (MCC) and cooperation is exceptional and works. Continue. Other information: RTD distributed a matrix outlining cost implications and cost responsibilities for project changes related to TOD for Northwest Rail and US 36 BRT Corridors. The opportunities for outside input decrease steadily with time as the design progresses; it is important to participate eazly. Next Steps: Staff will review the draft final report from RTD's consultants and will distribute the final report to council, TAB and Planning Boazd when it is available later this spring. Please contact Tracy Winfree 303-441-4164 in Public Works or Ruth McHeyser 303- 441-3292 in Planning for additional information or questions.