As energy costs rise (namely oil), the importance of developing with transportation costs in mind has become paramount. If energy costs rise to unaffordable rates, consumers will be left without an affordable form of transportation to their places of work. This is why it is so important that transit oriented development is implemented.
Places should be designed with an inherent and natural connection to public transportation which can affordably get people where they need to go. This development is considered “transit oriented” because the development is based around the principal that its inhabitants will use the conveniently provided public transit often. The transportation forms will be very close to their residences rendering the expensively fueled automobile unnecessary.
Transit oriented development can be utilized while retrofitting suburbia. It is important that new residential districts are constructed in close proximity to existing public transportation. It is equally as important that existing residential districts be provided new forms of public transportation wherever possible.
Marlton, New Jersey is a very good example of a town which is not transit oriented. The vast majority of its residents commute to Philadelphia for work every day by car. They take route 70 which inevitably becomes a huge mess at both rush hours. I live just off route 70 in between Marlton and Philadelphia. For years Marlton has been trying to get Cherry Hill to widen route 70 near my house so these traffic jams can be avoided. I think this is a perfect opportunity to implement transit oriented development. Instead of widening the road, why not decrease the number of cars that need the road? By placing a convenient form of public transportation in Marlton, this could be done. It could be as simple as creating a bus which transports Marlton residents to the nearest train station which could then take them to Philadelphia. This is a prime example of transit oriented development benefiting everyone involved.