August 08 2013

Coddingtown Mall Anchors Santa Rosa’s TOD Development

Proposed site for the North Santa Rosa Station on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa, CA

In 2012, the city of Santa Rosa approved a plan to guide development practices around the site of the future North Santa Rosa Station, the second of the two Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) stops in the city. The station area is split by Highway 101 and contains a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional land uses, including the Coddingtown Mall and Santa Rosa Junior College. The goal of the plan is to preserve these current uses, but also to incorporate transit-oriented development practices to provide access to SMART, local bus lines, and contemporary new neighborhoods.  

Coddingtown Mall is currently the main anchor point for the neighborhood, but it is one that suffered a significant blow from the recent economic recessions. The SMART station and its future build out is anticipated to revitalize the mall by drawing investors who want to bank on the increased traffic of people, and their desire to live closer to transit. Codding Enterprises has already begun re-branding the mall by modernizing its façades and introducing hip new businesses, such as a B.J’s Brewhouse and Restaurant and Whole Foods Market. And what is currently a swathe of empty parking spaces and vacant land will soon be home to multi-use paths, community gardens, parks, and affordable housing.

The South entrance of Coddingtown Mall

An estimated twenty-four daily weekday stops will be made at the North Station, with a daily ridership of 5,050 projected by 2025. The demographic will most likely consist of commuters, either working or going to school in the Bay Area or Santa Rosa. However, the area as a whole will experience a surge of non-motorized transportation traffic, due to users of the SMART multi-use pathway and the continued ridership on Sonoma County Transit and the Santa Rosa CityBus.

The Coddingtown Transfer Center is located less than a quarter mile from the SMART station

Rail transportation is only as good the communities it services. A lonely train platform surrounded by bland architecture and parking lots does not satisfy the appetites of transportation users. However, through intelligent  urban design and transit-oriented development, cities can increase transit ridership and the success of livable neighborhoods .

Where does public transportation lie on the list of issues that cities should be addressing?

Credits: Images by Nick Danty. Data linked to sources.

Nick Danty

Nick Danty is a graduate of the Geography and Planning Department at California State University, Chico and currently works at the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) in Santa Rosa. Nick has been involved in several programs at RCPA, but is most proud of the 2013 Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Project, for which he served as the project manager and outreach coordinator. A Northern California native who calls his single-family detached dwelling home, Nick is not a stranger to the ills of suburban sprawl and the toll it takes on human and physical environments. Nick’s travels to Europe and throughout North America have shown him preventing and retrofitting sprawl is possible through intelligent neighborhood design, beautiful architecture, mitigation banking, innovative transit systems and visionary urban and rural plans. He is very excited about writing for The Grid, and plans on discussing projects and programs happening at his agency related to transportation planning, climate adaptation, livability, urban land development, and environmental conservation.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 8th, 2013 at 9:16 am and is filed under Infrastructure, Transportation, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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