TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENTS ALONG MAJOR TRANSPORT CORRIDORS: A CASE OF MLOLONGO TOWN

Transit oriented developments can be defined as a type of town/community development that includes a mixture of housing, offices, retail and or other amenities intergrated into a walkable neighbourhood and is located within a half mile of quality public transport systems (transit stations)1. The essentials of a transit-oriented development are to ensure that it creates ease of access of within all areas physically and in terms of employment, shopping/retails and housing for all ages and all income levels. These developments ensure that one can live through all stages of life from childhood to retirement in the same environment and they will be able to access all facilities and opportunities equal to anyone in other towns or major cities.
The characteristics of a transit oriented development are;
Pedestrian oriented connectivity/walkable areas
Mixture of uses
Many transportation choices
Moderate to high density population
High quality design
Reduced parking areas
There has been a steady rise in these types of developments all around the world. The main reason behind this includes the rise of singles to being one of the majorities of the population in towns and thus the need of housing has moved from suburbs to apartment blocks that are located near the town centre to create ease of access from work to home. Increase of traffic jams due to increase in car ownership means the majority of people prefer to live within the same areas as their work. Lifestyle changes lead people to prefer having rooms with a view in a city compared to having a house in the suburbs as this makes it closer to coffee shops, offices, restaurants, art theatres and cultural centres. The availability of different modes of transport and their accessibility from train stations – cars, biking, motorcycles and streetcars – are an easier alternative to trains. Examples of increased modes of transport include the streetcar, which has been used heavily in the Pearl district located in Portland, USA. The advantages of such transport options include that they are cheaper to build in comparison to trains, they also have been very successful in promoting private investment in compact walkable areas compounded by the fact that they also do not need parking lots as they are always on the move.

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