Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Breaking the Car Habit in Fairfax

Fairfax's Vienna Metro station - stuck in the Interstate 66 median and surrounded by parking lots - has long been an example of how not to develop the land around a transit system. But Fairfax planners may require the developer of a proposed 13-tower residential and commercial project near the station to create a transit-oriented 'mini-city,' says the Washington Post.

A consultant tells the county it can use a carrot-and-stick approach to discourage people from using or even owning cars. If you ride Metro, you get a cash reward. If you want a second parking space, it'll cost a lot.

D.C.-based UrbanTrans developed the plan, which would aim to cut by nearly half the number of residential car trips generated by Pulte Homes' MetroWest development. Pulte could even be fined if residents and tenants don't ditch their cars.

"What we're talking about is creating a financial incentive structure to attract households with fewer numbers of cars," Kevin Luten, planning director for UrbanTrans, told the paper.

Can Fairfax really break the habits of the surburban car culture? Maybe not, but it might not have to. One county supervisor predicts the project will attract people who want to be near Metro and get out of traffic.

Arlington's thriving Ballston-to-Rosslyn Metro corridor shows what transit-oriented development can do. But isn't Rep. Tom Davis planning to kill the high-density project?


At 12:20 AM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

If we create a financial incentive structure to discourage people from owning or even using cars, what does that say about the argument that people should pay their own full marginal costs?


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