City of Richardson
Richardson, Texas

Calthorpe Associates
Berkeley, California

City of Richardson, TX - Transit Oriented Development Study

The City of Richardson, spanning an area of around 27 sq. miles is located northeast of Dallas-FortWorth area across Dallas and Collin Counties in Texas State. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), a regional transit organization, undertook a massive expansion of northeast line that now traverses Richardson and creates 5 transit stations within its limits; Spring Valley, Main Street, Arapaho Center, Galatyn Park and 190 Station.

Calthorpe Associates was hired as transit planners to study the redevelopment potential of areas around the first two stations in Richardson on the DART extension, Spring Valley and Main Street. I chose to be a part of the team (of three) to continue to be involved with the public planning and workshop process, and this time on an actual Transit Oriented Development project.

1. Inventory of Resources & Prepare Public/Stakeholder Workshop Maps.
2. Conduct Public/Stakeholder Workshops.
3. Analyze Maps from Workshops.
4. Prepare Illustrative Alternative(s) Scenarios.

Regional Context Map

1. Inventory of Resources & Prepare Public/Stakeholder Workshop Maps:

An inventory of resourceful maps was created for the Public and Stakeholder Workshops in order to present the orientation and highlights of existing land uses, zoning, natural features, building landmarks around the 1/2-mile(10-minute walk) and 1/4-mile(5-minute walk) radii of the two station areas.

The adjacent Two-Stations Land Use Map slide presents a scope of the project and captures the salient features of the two station areas. It also presents a greater context of the surrounding areas and their relation/connection to each other.

Two-Stations Land Use Map
Lower Mile Radii: Spring Valley Station
Upper Mile Radii: Main Street Station

Adjacent Opportunity & Constraints Map Slides presents the observed constraining features to each of the station areas. Participants and Stakeholders use these maps for reference. In addition, the maps contain existing and future routes of buses, walking and biking routes, trail ways and pathways. Icon locations of civic and park amenities are identified. At the same time, visual points of conflict and discontinuity are shown.
Spring Valley Opportunity
& Constraints Map
Main Street Opportunity
& Constraints Map

The Armature maps are the actual base-maps that workshop participants are expected to work on. They represented all existing natural features, wetlands, civic uses, landmark names and a highlighted flexible boundary of study. The participants use this base-map to design their own land uses using accompanying icons of land uses.

Spring Valley Armature Map

Main Street Armature Map

2. Conduct Public/Stakeholder Workshops:

Public workshops were conducted at the Civic Center on April 24th (Spring Valley) and April 25th (Main Street) of 2002. Calthorpe staff of 3, flew into Richardson to engage as Facilitators for the workshops. Additional facilitators were city staff officials.
The City sent out around 1,500 invitations for the two combined stations. Stakeholders included Residents, Business-owners, Employers, Shoppers, Housing Associations Members etc. within the half-mile radius of the transit station.

The strength of each table was restricted to 6/7. The community members are expected to work towards a common scheme and thus help create a land use map using the icons. Facilitators are instrumental in guiding them in creating this map, encouraging them to think, plan and design for their community. There were going to be as many land use plans as the number of tables.

After much icon-play, facilitators at each table asked for a volunteer to present the consensual land use scheme at each table.

Finally, Principal Joseph Scanga concluded the workshop by summarizing the findings from all presented tables. We promised to return to the workshops with findings and analysis of these maps through illustrative alternative(s).

I am a Facilitator at one of the tables
Invited community members from within the half mile radius of transit station.

Keith Krum, Senior Planner, City of Richardson is one of the Facilitator.

Community members play with icons of various land uses.

After icon-play, volunteers from groups present their scheme to all present.

Principal Joseph Scanga (foreground seated) summarized design of all tables.

3. Analyze Maps from Workshops: (Contd.)
4. Prepare Illustrative Alternative(s) Scenarios: (Contd.)