Welcome to the City of Longmont 1st & Main Station project website.
The City is currently conducting a 10-month master plan and revitalization study for the 1st & Main Station project near the site of the old flourmill near 1st Avenue and Main Street.
The study will examine both short-term and long-range development potential for the site (well in advance of actual rail station construction) and will include preparation of transit-oriented development concept plans and market analyses for the area. The plan will also examine multi-modal connections to the site, including development of potential alternative bus service options for the City to better serve the site and surrounding areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
(March 13, 2012)
Q. What is the purpose of this study?
A. The purpose of this study is two-fold:
1. To produce a master development and economic plan for the area around a future transportation center for the City of Longmont near First Avenue and Main Street and the old flour mill; and
2. To develop a Strategic Transit Plan for the revamping of bus service within the City of Longmont, with the aim of consolidating local bus service at the future rail station site.
Q. What outcomes would the City like to see as a result of this study?
A. There are four major outcomes the City would like to see as a result of this study:
1. A vision for the 1st& Main station area incorporating stakeholder and community input and participation;
2. A market analysis of economic development potential for the station area as well as concept plans and land use strategies for short-, mid-, and long-range development in the station area;
3. An evaluation of the current and proposed infrastructure in the station area (including the RTD station plan concepts) and recommended improvements needed to facilitate development; and
4. A new Strategic Transit Plan for Longmont that can build on and improve existing RTD service for the community and consolidate that service at a centralized 1st & Main site as quickly as possible.
Q. Why is the City conducting this study when RTD is still unsure when it will implement rail service to Longmont?
A. Regardless of the timing of rail service, the City and RTD would like to begin development of a bus transfer facility and park-n-Ride at the 1st& Main site. This proposed facility would initially serve bus riders in the City and would eventually be converted to serve both bus and bus rapid transit and/or rail riders once the RTD system is implemented.
Q. Why is the City moving now to consolidate bus service at this site?
A.This study has been undertaken by the City of Longmont partly in response to two ongoing RTD activities:
1. First, RTD has designated up to $17 million in early action funds to finalize land assembly for a park-n-Ride in downtown Longmont at the 1st & Main site. The construction of a new park-n-Ride is partly in response to the long-range fiscal issues being confronted by RTD, which makes the timing of the Northwest Rail corridor implementation and passenger rail service to downtown Longmont uncertain. Both the City and RTD would like to begin assembling land for the longer-term transit station and its park-n-Ride that can be used in the interim years before rail service begins.
2. Second, RTD would like to work with the City to develop a new local transit service plan that consolidates bus service at the new 1st & Main location as soon as possible to improve operational efficiencies for RTD and mobility services for the Longmont residents. RTD implemented service changes in January 2012; the City would like to have this study’s recommendations on bus service changes completed by January 2013.
Q. How long will it take to complete the study?
A. The City plans to complete the study in the spring of 2012. The current target is to have all recommendations finished by May 2012.
Q. How will the project examine development in the study area?
The project team will examine a number of short-, mid-, and long-range options for development around the station area. Any economic development will depend on the local market and consumer demand, so the project team will attempt to analyze local market conditions and forecasts for the next 25 years to help determine the appropriate level, density, and timing of development around the station.
Q. What type of development is anticipated around the station?
A. The City will examine the potential for transit-oriented development around the station. Transit-oriented development (or TOD) is a development framework that attempts to attract new population and employment growth around a transit station to help improve the local economy and reduce the need for auto travel. In other words, if more people live and work around a transit facility, such as a rail station, those people have less need to drive to everyday activities, reducing auto congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Longmont currently has a Mixed Use zoning category that allows flexibility in what uses are allowed while encouraging a walkable, bike- and transit-friendly neighborhood in this area around the proposed transit center.
Q. What are characteristics of TOD?
A. Transit-oriented development has many definitions, but in general it has four major characteristics:
1. It has a mix of uses. Instead of land being designated for just one purpose such as single-family housing, TOD zoning allows a mix of uses on the same piece of land. Often this means having retail or office uses on lower floors of buildings, with residential above; or it could mean having different uses located next to each other on the same block.
2. It is pedestrian-oriented. It provides the ability for residents or employees to walk to and from their origins and destinations, reducing the need for driving. For example, local residents might have easy walking access to stores and restaurants, or employees who arrive at the site by transit could easily walk to their offices.
3. It includes compact development. In other words, it allows higher density – or units per acre – than other traditional neighborhoods. As mentioned above, it might have residential development located above ground-floor retail or office uses, meaning that more and different types of development could occupy a smaller ‘footprint’ of land than traditional development. Obviously, downtown Longmont is not necessarily appropriate for high-rise, very-high-density development that you might see in much larger cities. But the area around the rail station might be appropriate for higher density development than is seen in other areas of Longmont. Higher-density development means that local governments do not need to spend as much to serve those areas with utilities such as water and electricity since development is closer together.
4. It has a transit focus. In other words, it is located in walking distance of a transit facility such as a rail or bus rapid transit station to promote mobility to other parts of the region by transit. Once again, the goal is to reduce the need to drive and encourage the use of alternative travel modes such as bus, rail, bicycle, and walking.
Q. Does TOD around the station mean that all nearby property owners will need to move?
A. Any new development around the station will need to be sensitive to existing property owners in the area. One of the purposes of the study is to determine not only the appropriate types of development for the area (focusing initially on undeveloped land near the station) but also how that development can be phased in over time to meet market conditions and the needs of existing property owners. All local property owners have been invited to participate in the study and to give their ideas on how the land around the station should develop over time.
Q. When does RTD plan on making a decision about bringing rail service to Longmont?
A. The RTD Board of Directors has tentatively decided to hold an election in 2012 asking for approval of an additional sales tax in the RTD service area to help finance the completion of the FasTracks program. Currently, residents in the RTD service area pay a 1% sales tax to finance RTD’s ongoing operations and a portion of the FasTracks program. Currently RTD staff is recommending an additional 0.4% tax increase (1.4% total RTD tax) to provide additional funds to complete the entire FasTracks system by 2024. The RTD Board of Directors is considering: 1) whether to go forward with a request for a tax increase in 2012 and 2) whether commuter rail or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is the best transit mode for the Northwest corridor. More information will be available from RTD by the end of March 2012.
Q. How can I stay informed about this project?
A. Up until this study is completed in May 2012, you can stay informed by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting to be added to the project database. We will then email you periodic e-newsletters providing you with study updates, links to study documents and other information. At any time, you may click the link at the bottom of the e-newsletters to unsubscribe. Once this study is completed in May 2012, questions about the project may be emailed to email@example.com. We appreciate your interest and participation in this important process, which will positively transform our City, contribute to economic development and influence how we travel throughout the region.
For more information about the 1st & Main Station Transit and Revitalization Plan, contact Phil Greenwald at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 303-651-8335
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