This page outlines supporting articles and studies to the common recommendations we have for projects and plans within 1/4 mile of major transit stations, transit corridors, and downtowns in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.  These examples are often used in our comment letters.

The references are in support of following goals (click on goal to be directed to section)

  1. Compact Development
  2. Community and Economic Benefits
  3. Pedestrian Priority
  4. Transportation Management
  5. Energy & Resource Efficiency

Please note that the notes below are in the following format


  • Article Brief.......................................................(Title, Publication, Year)
    • "Quote." or Note ......................................(Takeaway)
      • Citation: ...............................................................(Formatted Citation of the article; can be used as a foot note when referencing the article in comment letters)


Compact Development

Affordable Housing Units

  • A Re-Evaluation of Travel Behavior in California TODs, By Lund et al.
    • "Affordable units will attract more transit-dependent residents from suburban car-dependent areas."
      • Citation:  Lund, Hollie, Richard W. Willson, and Robert Cervero. "A Re-Evaluation of Travel Behavior in California TODs." Journal of Architectural and Planning and Research 23, no.3 (Autumn 2006): 247-263.

Place Making

  • A Re-Evaluation of Travel Behavior in California TODs, By Lund et al.
    • Ensuring attractive place-making plays an important role in attracting residents to TODs.
    • Attractive place-making increases the length of residency, which has a significant positive relationship with transit use.
      • ​Citation:  Lund, Hollie, Richard W. Willson, and Robert Cervero. "A Re-Evaluation of Travel Behavior in California TODs." Journal of Architectural and Planning and Research 23, no.3 (Autumn 2006): 247-263.

Mixed-Use Development

  • Americans Prefer Smart Growth to Sprawl (Sustainable Industries) April 8, 2011 
    • "In the U.S. the demand for housing in mixed-use neighborhoods is higher than demand for single-family car-dependent neighborhoods."  
      • ​Citation:  Jonathan Hiskes, Americans Prefer Smart Growth to Sprawl, Sustainable Industries (April 2011),
  • The Future of Downtown (SPUR Report) March 1, 2009
    • The decision about whether or not to take transit to work is more based on where one works, not where one lives.
      • ​​Citation:  San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, The Future of Downtown, Bringing work back to the city, (March 1, 2009),​.

​Infill Development

  • Letter from OPR to John Laird on implementing SB226
    • "An essential component of good infill, therefore, is the ability to significantly reduce driving."
    • "If our policy objective is to promote infill by streamlining the normal CEQA process, that streamlining benefit must be meaningful and the process must be relatively simple to understand. SB 226 provided wide discretion in developing the performance standard."
      • CitationSecretary John Laird, California Natural Resources Agency, Gaverner's Office of Planning and Research, (June 25, 2012)

High Density Development

  • Density Reduces Traffic Congestion, Planetizen, May 2012
    • "Comparing one suburban corridor to two of the streets in the more dense neighborhoods, the study found that on the more urban streets, traffic congestion was 'much lower,' or about half as high (measured by the ratio of the capacity of the roadway to the actual volume of cars on it)."


Community and Economic Benefit


Facebook-Menlopark Community Benefit Agreement

  • Facebook may have to give Menlo Park another round of dollars to develop West Campus, (Mercury News) August 2012.
    • ​ ​Such an agreement brought millions of dollars in "public benefits" for the city of Menlo Park when Facebook sought permission to add thousands of employees to its new headquarters at the corner of Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road.


Pedestrian Priority

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Pedestrian Elements

  • Making City Streets Safer,  (New York Times ) February 6, 2012
    • Road designs like speed humps, marked crosswalks, and pedestrian islands that slow motor vehicles and separate them from pedestrians and cyclists enhance pedestrian safety and encourage physical activity and health of residents of all ages.
      • Citation: Jane E. BrodyMaking City Streets Safer, The Newyork Times, Health (February 6, 2012),
  • S.F. parklets: a little tour of a major trend, December 2011.
    • The most significant change to San Francisco's landscape in 2011 involves a conjuring act that turns parking spaces into pedestrian nooks.
    • Having recieved a positive responce from residents, the City of San Francisco has 22 Parklets, with six more approved and 44 in various stages of review.

Speed Limits

  • Why Bother With 30 Kph Zones? ECF Policy Talk, Throwing some figures into the debate (European Cyclists' Federation), March 7, 2012.
  • Elvik, R et al Speed and road accidents: an evaluation of the Power Model (2004);
  • Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London, 1986-2006: British Medical Journal, Sep 2009
    • ​ "30 kph limits applied to a zone will decrease the fatalities on the road. A Transport for London study TRL found that the introduction of 32kph limits (20mph) on residential roads produces a 50% reduction in cyclist “killed and seriously injured” (KSI) casualties."
    • "A report in April 2009, found reductions were still continuing including a 17% reduction in cyclist casualties and 38% reduction in fatalities and serious injuries for cyclists."


Transportation Alternatives

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Parking Strategies

  • A Re-Evaluation of Travel Behavior in California TODs, By Lund et al.
  • Tale of Two Ecosuburbs in Freiburg Broaddus,A. 2010
    • Unbundled parking has been shown to reduce car ownership and use, and increase the use of transit, walking and bicycling.
      • ​Citation 1: Lund, Hollie, Richard W. Willson, and Robert Cervero. "A Re-Evaluation of Travel Behavior in California TODs." Journal of Architectural and Planning and Research 23, no.3 (Autumn 2006): 247-263.
      • Citation 2: Broaddus,A. Tale of Two Ecosuburbs in Freiburg, Germany Encouraging Transit and Bicycle Use by Restricting Parking Provision, Transportation Research Record, (2010) 114-122,

Parking Utilization Survey of Transit-Oriented Development Residential Properties in Santa Clara County, SJSU and VTA, 2010

  • Parking usage rates at 12 transit-oriented developments (TOD) near VTA light rail and Caltrain stations were significantly over parked. Nearly 26 percent of residential parking spaces for the 12 survey sites were not utilized during peak parking times (overnight).
  • In 26 out of 28 projects, parking demand was under 1.5 cars per unit and generally closer to 1.3 cars per unit.
    • ​Citation: San José State University (SJSU), VTA, A Parking Utilization Survey of Transit-Oriented Development Residential Properties in Santa Clara County, Table 2.1, Parking demand research, (2010):


  • Parking Cash Out. Planning Advisory Service Report 2005
    • Parking cash out programs reduce parking needs by incentivizing an average of 25% of employees to carpool and take transit instead of driving alone to work.
  • Nimble Cities: Can Eliminating Parking Spots Make Cities More Efficient? (Slate) June 22, 2010
  • Car spaces on outer in more city buildings (The Age) March 13, 2012
    • "In Melbourne's CBD and neighbouring suburbs more apartments are being developed with fewer - or no - car spaces. Instead, inner-city residents are being offered bicycle parking or shared car spaces."
    • "A 35-storey apartment tower, The Crystal, planned for 284 Russell Street will not provide car parking and won't be subject to loading bay requirements. The basement, however, will contain ample bike parking."
  • Paved, but Still Alive (The NewYork Times) January 6 2012.
    • "There are said to be at least 105 million and maybe as many as 2 billion parking spaces in the United States."
    • "We ignore the stripes and take shortcuts when lots are not full, but then are inclined to slow down and become more alert to pedestrians when we do so, a fact that led a Dutch traffic engineer to remove lights and other markings in the town of Drachten. Traffic accidents there declined."
    • "Various cities in northern Europe have followed suit, experimenting with removing traffic controls in areas shared by cars, pedestrians and cyclists — creating lots that function, in effect, as public squares."
      • ​Citation: Donadio, Rachel. "With Work Scarce in Athens, Greeks Go Back to the Land." The New York Times. January 2012,

Commute Options:

  • Car Sharing Networks Flourish in the Bay Area (Mercury News) January 23, 2012
    • Car sharing provides transportation options and help reduce the number of vehicles on the road, which helps decrease traffic and vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

Multi-modal Transportation:

  •  Comprehensive Plan Toward a Sustainable Seattle: A Plan for Managing Growth 2004 – 2024 
    • To make the best use of existing rights-of-way for moving people and goods, the City must allocate street space carefully among competing uses to further the City’s growth management and transportation goals (to) promote safe and convenient access and travel for all users — pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and people of all abilities and ages, as well as freight and motor vehicle drivers.
  • Horizon 2035 Sunnyvale General Plan


  • History of BRT in US cities (ITDP)
    • ​"Since 2005, five bronze-standard BRTs have opened: Cleveland, Eugene, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Las Vegas have become the national leaders. 
      And even more recently, plans that aim even higher—perhaps to the silver standard—have been developed by cities nationwide. But even in the most conceptual plans, no city is aiming for the gold standard."
      • Citation: Weinstock, Annie , Walter, Hook, Replogle, Michael, & Cruz , Ramon. "Recapturing Global Leadership in Bus Rapid Transit." Institution for Transportation and Development Policy. 


  • 10 Lessons from the World's Great Biking Cities (Grist, Sightline Daily) January 2012
    • "Better infrastructure recruits more people onto bikes, which creates more advocates for better infrastructure, which recruits more people onto bikes, and so on."
  • Wheelhouse: A Mixed-Use Building Serves Cycle Commuters (Residential Architect) December 19, 2011


Reduced emmisions:

  • Health Co-Benefits and Transportation-Related Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Bay Area (Neil Maizlish, PhD) November 2011
    • Walking and Bicycling to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions can reduce premature deaths due to cardio vascular disease, diabetese, drepression, dementia, breast cancer and colon cancer.

      • Citation:  Neil Maizlish, Health Co-Benefits and Transportation-Related Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Bay Area, California Department of Public Health (November 21, 2011),, 

Summary link:

  • EverCharge Announces Solution for EV Charging in Apartments and Condos, August 2011

    • Property Management Companies and Home Owner Associations can now offer onsite EverCharge electric vehicle charging as a new amenity to attract and retain tenants and residents.
    • Property Managers, Home Owner and Community Associations generate revenue while providing electric vehicle charging to tenants and residents.
    • Residents charge their vehicle in their own garage space with peace of mind from knowing that the charging equipment is safe, reliable, and accessible.
    • EverCharge pays for itself from the revenues generated from electrical charging.
      • ​Citation:  "EverCharge Announces Solution for EV Charging in Apartments and Condos." EverCharge. .

Urban Patterns:

  • Housing Density/Trip Generation Curve (John Holtzclaw, Sierra Club Researcher) 
    • Find diagram at-
      • Citation: We don;t have references/data to this so not sure if we can use it.
  • SPUR Report, Feb 2009
    • "The smart growth movement has long called attention to the problems of sprawl, but it has often focused on residential sprawl. And yet the dispersion of jobs into suburban and exurban office parks that can never be served by transit is just as much of a threat to the environment as residential sprawl — if not a greater one. To achieve a low-carbon future, Bay Area residents need to be able to commute to work without relying on a car."
  • Moving Silicon Valley Forward, 2012
Rebecca Henely, Times ledger, ​May 2012
  • Building design can promote physical activity and prevent obesity.
  • Newyork is trying to encourage physical activity through its “Active Design Guidelines.” These principles encourage the use of bicycles and recommend the construction of bike lanes or

indoor racks to make bicycling as a mode of transport more attractive and less subject to thefts.

Energy & Resource Efficiency

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Resource Recycle

  • Graywater for irrigation, Build it Green, Smart solutions from Ground up, (Marin county)
    • "Graywater harvesting reduces the need for imported irrigation water from the Sierras, the Delta, underground aquifers, and other sources. This conserves water for fisheries, wildlife, agriculture, and essential human needs and reduces reduce your water bill. ¾ Graywater harvesting saves energy associated with delivering water from distant reservoirs and treating it to drinking water standards. It saves even more energy by avoiding the need to treat it prior to discharge. Energy savings translate into reduced air pollution from power plants."

Design solutions

  • Rooftop gardening provides environmental benefits in urban areas, The washington post, July 2010
    • "Rooftop gardens provide environmental benefits similar to traditional green roofs, in which plants are used to reduce storm-water runoff, filter pollutants and cut heating and cooling costs. The gardens also can make it easier for city residents to get fresh fruit and vegetables, which is seen as a way of improving public health."