SMART Station Concept Design and TOD/PeD Policy Framework

Sonoma and Marin Counties, California

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART)

Lead Consultant

2003 - 2009

Starting in 2003, CD+A led a multi-disciplinary team in station area planning for commuter rail in Marin and Sonoma County, working with SMART in several capacities.

CD+A's concept planning for the ten proposed stations focused on integrating the stations with their surrounding environment. Project objectives were to minimize negative impacts and link the rail platforms with bus service, park-and-ride facilities, and pedestrian and bicycle access, including a planned continuous multi-use path that will run the full length of the SMART system. The station planning process began with studies on station locations, land use and access context and constraints, and alternative design options. The analysis and designs were then presented to key stakeholders to get input and involve the community in decision-making.

In 2008 and 2009, CD+A worked with SMART on several more detailed station design efforts in Novato, Larkspur and Downtown Petaluma Station. This included developing access concepts for negotiation with adjacent property owners and coordinating station design with the design of the Calpark Multi-use Path and the Central Marin Ferry Connection path and overcrossing of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.

In addition concept design, the CD+A team prepared a Transit-Oriented Development and Pedestrian-Oriented Design (TOD/PeD) Policy and Program Framework; this enables SMART to work with local communities to undertake urban design, station access, and station area planning prior to system startup, in order to maximize the benefit of public investment in the SMART system. CD+A and Strategic Economics also implemented a Joint Development Program, assisting SMART in pursuing specific opportunities at several station locations. In downtown Santa Rosa, CD+A and SE worked with SMART and City staff to select a potential development partner and then worked to refine the proposal and negotiate the joint development parameters. SMART and the developer signed a contract in the beginning of 2009 and the developer is continuing to move forward.

The station access and TOD policies, as well as CD+A's efforts with SMART to coordinate with communities the rail will serve, were an important part of MTC's decision to focus their 2009 station area planning grants on the SMART system. Starting in 2010, five station area plans are being undertaken by local communities adding to the three that have already been prepared for stations along the SMART line.