More MetroRail TOD Coming

A new, exciting development will soon be taking shape along the Red Line.   Next week, Foundation Communities will break ground on the M Station, Austin’s first tax-credit funded, LEED-rated affordable apartment housing development.  The M Station will be right across the street from the MLK, Jr. Station providing access to rail and bus service.

The M Station Apartments will be located across the street from the MLK, Jr. Station.

According to Foundation Communities, the M Station will be a model of eco-friendly, transit-oriented development and affordable housing that includes a childcare center, a Community Learning Center  and a neighborhood computer lab.

The ground-breaking ceremony takes place next Wednesday, May 12 at 4 p.m. at 2906 E. MLK Blvd, followed by a neighborhood block party from 5-8 p.m. at the Redeemer Presbyterian Church (2111 Alexander St.).


7 thoughts on “More MetroRail TOD Coming

  1. This isn’t transit-oriented development; it’s transit-adjacent development.

    http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm45.htm

    Scroll to:

    “What’s the difference between a true transit-oriented development, which will deliver promised social and economic benefits, and a transit-adjacent development? A true TOD will include most of the following:”

    the most obvious thing missing, of course, is:

    “Transit service is fast, frequent, reliable, and comfortable, with a headway of 15 minutes or less.”

  2. Erik

    More info about this $20 mil project:
    http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/housing/roi/m_station.htm

    The development targets lower income families, right? The most obvious questions to be asked of this so-called TOD: Is there a grocery store accessible via walk, rail or bus within 7-10 minutes? Is there an elementary, middle, and high school equally as accessible. I’m pretty sure we all know the answer.

  3. Erik,

    Those are kind of low bars to meet – all that really says is that the area is sufficiently urban. TOD is a higher bar still – it implies that transit must be as easy and convenient as the car if not more so.

    I don’t know the area as well as I should, but I’d guess that some of your metrics can actually be met thanks to fairly frequent bus service on MLK. The schools in E Austin are also much more transit-accessible than is typical in our region.

  4. Erik

    M1EK, you’re missing my point. Given the ‘mission’ on a project such as this, it appears to fail at a very basic level in terms of achieved accessibility goals. The existing bus service along MLK doesn’t solve it. The Rail rolls by three of the only major supermarkets in the area, but has not a single stop within walking distance.

  5. Erik,

    My point is more that it’s very easy for a TAD to claim to be TOD due to existing bus service and/or existing density in the area. In this case, that existing bus service is pretty good; meaning if you just set the bar at “can I get to a grocery store on transit within N minutes”, you might be giving them too much credit.

  6. cyndi

    more to the point: i bought a house with a creek AND a railroad track behind it thinking i might be safe from encroachment. not to be. not only did “they” build on the other side of the tracks, now “they” are building beween the creek and the tracks. so, behind my house i have a creek, a soon to be monster multi-building with folks looking down into my yard, a railroad track, and a huge church.
    the fact that most folks living in this area are not going to be renting, purchasing, or otherwise these eco friendly dwellings. instead it means more folks pushing out the already taxed outa their family homes residents that call this neighborhood home makes this doubly repulsive. be looking for flood light instalations in my backyard making it difficult to enjoy a balcony view. and, i’ll be sure to NOT wear a shirt while my 250 pound body does yard work. plus, we are training our dogs to bark more often these days, ya know, for the neighbors.

    1. Scott Wood

      If you don’t want them to build on your land, don’t sell it to them.

      What’s that? It’s not your land? You just thought that development in the area would stop once you bought *your* house, and everything would stay the same forever?

      Never mind then.

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