LEED-ND works well enough for now

As the local TOD-lady, I spend a lot of time trying to explain why transit needs good neighborhood development and why good neighborhood developments need transit. LEED-ND both legitimizes those efforts and gives metrics for those who want to do the right thing. It's not perfect, as all of the participants in this effort know. We don't even all agree on which sections need revision, much less on what revisions should come first. All the knotty challenges that were argued through resulted in a system that we can use, we can share, and we can be proud of in the interim until we come up with better solutions. Using LEED-ND will help us promote development that makes our existing transit operate more efficiently, and gives us a tool to explain what is needed for new transit to be efficient.

Here in Austin, we found that about 2/3 of our local bus routes have enough service to meet the basic LEED-ND standard for transit service, and at least one major corridor meets the 7-point credit standard. One of our newest proposed infill sites has gone through a preliminary grading; it looks like a LEED_ND Gold and possibility even Platinum project. So we think LEED-ND is workable and look forward to getting some of our Austin projects certified as soon as LEED-ND is formally adopted.

As someone who came to this effort later than others, I am deeply grateful for all of those who gave so much talent and effort to creating this useful system. In large part, I am in CNU because of the empirical, practical, and immensely visionary initiatives like LEED-ND.


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