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TOD plans for the City of Thornton

City of Thornton

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Over the past ten years, the City of Thornton has been working cooperatively with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and other entities to develop a multi-modal transportation investment that will connect the City to the rest of the region along the North Metro corridor. Just over a year ago, FasTracks schedule uncertainties meant that the North Metro Rail Corridor and the 88th and 104th Avenue stations would not be constructed before 2044. The timing of this project has dramatically accelerated, with construction now beginning in 2014.

Our role

It is with this backdrop that SDG is working with the City of Thornton to ensure it can respond to development pressures generated by the station as the local and regional economies improve.

How we did it

Steer Davies Gleave has partnered with Leese & Associates, CDR Associates, and ArLand Land Use Economics to develop station area plans.

The Station Area Master Plan will:

  • Ensure orderly development by outlining a path forward for both the public and private sectors and allow the City to begin realistically planning an implementation scheme.
  • Help improve the sustainability of the City by focusing development around transportation investments to maximize opportunities in the station area. (Creating development opportunities of a higher intensity can generate revenue at a corresponding higher level and take advantage of the lower cost per capita of providing infrastructure for sites already served by major infrastructure.)
  • Promote increased usage of bicycles and walking, allow the City of Thornton to begin moving now to reduce local Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and corresponding greenhouse gases.
  • Show the benefits of good planning to the region and help quantify economic, social, public health and environmental benefits.

Our approach focuses on several key themes:

  • We are employing an integrated planning approach that focuses on how the station areas and nearby redevelopment sites link with the public realm, including pedestrian and bicycle access, auto and bus access, operational requirements, and future physical and construction requirements.
  • We are ‘putting the user first’ – in other words, ensuring that station area planning is focused on the people who will move in and through the station vicinity every day, and discover the benefits of living and working in Thornton.
  • We are incorporating the viewpoints of locals through the use of a developer forum. Local and national developers will be invited to provide a third-party critique of the concepts our project team is developing for the station areas.

Throughout the project, we are collaborating with a technical advisory staff comprised of a cross-section of city departments as well as local and regional stakeholders to ensure proposed recommendations are both technically sound and publicly supported.

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