METRO AREAS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS – Fewer newcomers move to city
A common misconception is that people abandoned urban neighborhoods in droves last year to avoid catching the novel coronavirus, which spread more easily in denser areas. The reality rather was in the other direction. Most large and more expensive cities like Denver experienced a significant drop in young renters moving in. Denver was among the more expensive large metro areas that saw a big decrease in urban in-migration and a small increase in urban out-migration. The decrease in those moving in was 2.4 times as large as the increase in those moving out between April and September. And it was mostly driven by young renters, not homeowners, who didn’t shift their migration patterns much, aside from favoring the suburbs, even more, when it came to buying. That shift among renters is problematic for urban neighborhoods that have high turnover and count on a steady flow of newcomers to fill vacant apartments.
Here’s Why Two Economists Think Clarity’s On The Horizon For Troubled Office Sector
Among large cities, the roster of post-pandemic office standouts include the usual suspects of Austin, Denver, and Raleigh. Phoenix and Raleigh closed out 2020 with year-over-year reductions of a minimum of 60 basis points in office vacancy rates, according to Moody’s Analytics Reis data, the economists note in their report. The experts’ annualized average effective-rent 2021 forecast for so-called “old guard” office markets like Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco clocks in at negative 8.3%.
Denver to open a new public restroom downtown
Denver City Council Member Chris Hinds reports that five years after launching a pilot program to address a need for publicly accessible restrooms in the central part of the city, the City and County of Denver is installing a freestanding, permanent public restroom on Champa Street, just off the 16th Street Mall. It is anticipated to be available for public use this spring after utility connections and other site work details currently underway are complete. The new restrooms, with a colorful and inviting blue wrap, will be convenient, clean, and safe facilities for the whole community, with an attendant present during operational hours and touchless entrances, hand sanitizer stations and space to queue – all critical features during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new facility, measuring approximately 18’ x 7.5’ and installed in what was previously the parking lane along Champa Street near the 16th Street Mall, includes two restrooms (one standard and one ADA compliant), an area for the attendant.
RTD launches app that fully integrates regular bus and rail services with FlexRide service
The Regional Transportation District (RTD), working in partnership with Kyyti Group, has developed an app that allows customers to book their FlexRide trip and see connections with bus and rail in real time. RTD’s FlexRide provides service in specific Denver metro areas, allowing customers first- and last-mile connections between bus and rail routes and other destinations. The fully integrated route planner for bus, rail and FlexRide includes step-by-step navigation and on-demand ride hailing for FlexRide trips.
Riders Are Abandoning Buses and Trains. That’s a Problem for Climate Change
In some places, fear of the virus has driven people into cars. In the United States, used car sales have shot up and so have prices of used cars. In India, a company that sells secondhand cars online saw sales swell in 2020 and its own value as a company jump to $1 billion, according to news reports. Elsewhere, bike sales have grown, suggesting that people are pedaling a bit more. The worry about the future is twofold. If commuters shun public transit for cars as their cities recover from the pandemic, that has huge implications for air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Most importantly, if transit systems continue to lose passenger fare revenues, they will not be able to make the investments necessary to be efficient, safe and attractive to commuters. There are a few outliers. In Shanghai, for example, public transit numbers took a nosedive in February 2020, but riders have returned as new coronavirus infections remain low and the economy rebounds.
MOBILITY AND REAL ESTATE
How FOMO Is Driving People Back to the Office
As vaccines continue to roll out, companies across the globe are taking a hard look at how to safely bring their people back together. Enthusiasm for a return to the office is growing among workers who have spent the last year in relative isolation. And with many colleagues getting back into the workplace, remote employees are experiencing a new kind of FOMO—the fear of missing out on useful updates, critical intel, and key connections. Information shared in person contains rich layers of nuance and context that simply cannot be conveyed through a computer screen.
Why mobility hubs are crucial to making transport more sustainable
The very phrase ‘mobility hub’ is not perfect (no label is). These are places which bring together public, shared and active travel modes with some public realm improvement and an identifying sign. This can range from a bus stop with parking for shared bikes by a cycle route, up to megahubs in large-scale new developments, at major transport interchanges, motorway service stations, hospitals and so on. They deliver significant improvements for the environment, boost mental and physical health, and create places which everyone living nearby can be proud of. They present economic opportunities too, with many of these hubs attracting new shops and commercial ventures as more people flock to use them.
Buffalo ended parking requirements. What did developers do next?
For the research, Hess and Rehler reviewed public data on parking plans for 36 developments approved in Buffalo within the first two years after the reform went into effect. All told, the 36 developments built 502 fewer parking spaces than they would have needed to under the old rules, a 21 percent decline. The 14 mixed-use projects (mostly residential plus retail) led the charge, providing 813 fewer spaces (the aforementioned 53 percent decrease) than the previous code required.