Homeowners Trade Trees For Tracks

People are increasingly swapping homes in idyllic Nowhereland for ones close to transit hubs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Says WSJ:

Tom and Pat Kelly spent 22 years living what many people consider the American dream: They owned a four-bedroom home with a pool and a big yard in Turnersville, N.J. They traded that in to live near a train station.

With two of their three children living on their own, the couple no longer wanted to spend time raking leaves, shoveling snow and doing other maintenance their large home required. So they moved to LumberYard, a mixed-use condominium development near their son’s and daughter’s homes and within walking distance of the local train station.

Now, instead of spending two or more hours commuting daily in his red Volkswagen Beetle, Mr. Kelly, 56, hops on the Patco high-speed train line and gets to his Philadelphia law-firm job across the Delaware River in about a half-hour. “It’s just a much more enjoyable life,” he says.

LumberYard is a transit-oriented development, or TOD, one of a growing number of mixed-use developments that combine town houses or condominiums with retail shops, hotels and other businesses—all perched near a train station.

Stories such as this, about scads of people moving into housing centered around train stations and mixed use buildings, are fairly frequent, and largely anecdotal. It’s hard to measure just how many people are giving up large suburban homes for something nearer the train.

But reporter Dawn Wotapka notes the price of gas is a factor in substantial growth of transit usage-there were 36 million boardings in the fourth quarter, she says, up 1.2 million from the prior year.

It’s helped remove a stigma about train station area living.

Housing near a train station or along tracks used to be undesirable, as trains rattling by would shake apartments and residents endured the engine’s horn and wheels’ screech on the tracks.

Thanks to JerseyJim for the link.

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1 Response to Homeowners Trade Trees For Tracks

  1. toori says:

    As I remind myself constantly:

    The good thing about living near a train station is that you have very good, nearby mass transit that runs well in both directions at all hours of the day and well into the night. My husband and I are a zero car commute family living within spitting distance of a Metro North Harlem line station. I work from home, he walks to the station and snoozes all the way to NYC. We love the fact that we don’t have to cringe every time the price of gas goes up 20 cents. It has also given us our choice of Catholic high schools without worrying about whether New York is going to significantly reduce out of district bussing (Kennedy? Fordham? Iona Prep? Ursuline? Maria Regina? – they all provide van or connecting bus service from the local train station or have a station nearby).

    So, the good thing about living near a train station is having the convenience of a train station. The bad thing about living near a train station is that, well, we live near a train station. 🙂

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