Transforming Office Parks into Transit VillagesEPA Grant Number: X3832210
Title: Transforming Office Parks into Transit Villages
Investigators: Raney, Steve , Paxson, James , Wornum, Chris
Institution: Cities21 , Cambridge Systematics, Inc. , Hacienda Business Park Owners Association
EPA Project Officer: Bauer, Diana
Project Period: January 1, 2005 through March 1, 2007
Project Amount: $204,604
RFA: Collaborative Science & Technology Network for Sustainability (2004) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development
San Francisco Bay Area office parks, like most around the country, are segregated from nearby residential communities and retail centers. They are single-use, auto-dominated and isolated. The workers employed in them have poor commute mode splits (78% drive alone, 16% shared ride, 3% transit) and rely heavily on cars for mid-day trips as well. Community needs for in-fill housing, green space, and services cannot be accommodated in these areas because the non-office space is taken up by parking lots. A groundbreaking study of Palo Alto's Stanford Research Park identified a new concept to significantly reduce driving, provide non-auto transportation to workers and the community, reclaim 50 acres of parking for critically needed housing, and connect the 20,000 workers with the surrounding community. The new concept includes elevated personal rapid transit and "comprehensive new mobility."
Duplicate the study methodology for Stanford Research Park at another Bay Area office park, Pleasanton's Hacienda Business Park. Compare outcomes and issues, create an inventory of similar Bay Area sites, and create a guidebook for similar analyses based on the two original studies.
The study is comprised of nine main tasks:
- conduct GIS journey to work analysis;
- design "advanced corridor sweep" service;
- create automated shuttle alignment;
- refine the previous survey script and protocol;
- conduct on-site and web-based employee surveys;
- investigate the response of Spanish-speaking hourly workers to the service;
- compare Hacienda Business and Stanford Research Park results;
- compile inventory of Bay Area office parks;
- and create study guidebook.
In the long term, success is cumulative decreases in air, water and soil contamination from auto use, deferment of road and parking infrastructure increases, a better jobs/housing balance for the Bay Area with more proximate commutes by foot, bike, and transit, job creation and increased mid-day business for merchants near office parks, and more socially dynamic, pedestrian-friendly communities. In the short term, success is a validated model for analyzing and planning the transformation of one office park at a time.
Project results, lessons learned and the guidebook will be shared regionally and nationally through a combination of website publication, regional workshops, and national conferences. Groups representing key audiences (planners, local governments, MPOs, transit agencies) will be used to disseminate information to their members.
Long-term beneficiaries include employers, employees and management groups at office parks, persons needing affordable housing close to jobs, local governments, and all members of the local communities via better transportation options and access to goods and services. Short term beneficiaries include office park managers, local governments and in-fill developers seeking new approaches to reduce auto impacts and re-use reclaimable land.
Science and engineering involved include location-tracking wireless cellular applications for commute-alternative support, GIS ‘commute shed’ map, stated preference demand analysis surveys, and innovative transportation design with excellent inter-modal connections.