Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is land development that makes it easier and safer for people to get around by walking, biking or using public transit. Most new development in the past half century has been oriented to driving, with the result that land uses (like retail, housing, and office space) are strictly separated and buildings are surrounded by a sea of parking. TOD attempts to put public transit, bicycling, and walking on an even playing field with driving.
Market Street in the City of Youngstown has many older buildings in a state of disrepair, and vacant parcels ripe for redevelopment. The intent of the TOD plan is to use upgraded transit and multimodal infrastructure improvements and connections to create new economic initiatives like redeveloping and repurposing buildings that are in disrepair, and constructing new development on available parcels. The Boardman portion of the corridor needs sidewalk and crosswalk improvements to benefit pedestrians, and also offers many opportunities for in-fill development.
In many ways, TOD is a return to the way that Youngstown and its neighborhoods were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when most people traveled on foot or by streetcar. The ultimate goal of TOD is to create dense, walkable villages around key transit stations, in which most of the resident’s daily needs – groceries, coffee shops, health clubs, restaurants, schools, churches – are within a short (15 minute or less) walk, while jobs, educational and health care opportunities in other parts of the city are accessible by bus.