Stamford “Transit” Oriented Development

Stamford has Connecticut’s busiest station on the New Haven Line. And it has lots of pre-war development. Naturally, this presents opportunities for transit-oriented development, right?

Some $40 million was approved for the project to transform the Stamford Transportation Center (STC), the busiest Connecticut station on the New Haven Line, into a multi-modal commuter complex designed for customer service and satisfaction. The project has three objectives: replace the aging 727-space original parking garage with convenient, low maintenance, long service life facilities with a minimum of 1,000 new spaces; improve multimodal traffic and pedestrian flow around the facility; and promote transit-oriented development (TOD).

In other words, build a new $35 million parking garage — which will improve “multimodal” traffic and ped access. And what is this “multimodal” traffic anyway?

The commission allocated $50 million to replace MTA Metro-North Railroad’s bridge over Atlantic Street in Stamford, which was built in 1896. The project is designed to improve vehicular accessibility, increase the bridges’ vertical clearance from 12 feet, 7 inches to 14 feet, 6 inches, add four new travel lanes and improve pedestrian safety.

Hard to imagine how adding four travel lanes will improve pedestrian safety, or encourage transit-oriented development. Particularly when the project demolishes a beautiful 99-year-old building to make way for turning lanes.