The Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is studying alternatives for mass transit along the 23-mile existing rail corridor from downtown Indianapolis, through Fishers to Noblesville. As required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for federal funding, the MPO is in the process of completing an Alternatives Analysis (AA) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Based on the recent history of federal investment in transit projects, the FTA has placed a higher priority on land use and economic development impacts of proposed transit projects. Case study evidence is showing that successful transit infrastructure investment can and should be leveraged to yield broader community and economic development benefits through transit-supportive land use planning and policies.
Concurrent with the AA/EIS process, the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Plan was prepared for the Indianapolis MPO by Greenstreet Ltd., EDEN Collaborative and the Center for Transit Oriented Development, an affiliate of Washington DC-based Reconnecting America, the only national non-profit focused on transit oriented development. The scope of work included an assessment of the planning and zoning currently in place within three municipalities to foster TOD. A physical inventory and market analysis of potential station areas along the corridors was also completed, which with the transportation engineering function, allowed a refinement of potential station areas. A framework of regional station area typologies was developed as well as a station area planning a design guide. Finally, Greenstreet and EDEN Collaborative worked with a citizen advisory committee of stakeholders along the corridor throughout the process.