Every city that we love is a city in which we want to walk. We vacation and often choose to walk in beautiful neighborhoods and downtowns that are not characterized by 4-lane roads of high-speed traffic and acres of unshaded parking lots. Most people are in fact drawn to vibrant places defined by a certain level of congestion with its inherent lower-speed car travel. So rather than respond to increasing population and driving by only building more vibrancy-killing road and parking infrastructure - that take up a significant percentage of city land (33% of St. Paul as of 2018) and return little in property taxes - cities and developers can invest in infrastructure changes shaped by transit-oriented design (TOD), and can shift car-oriented incentives and infrastructure through travel demand management (TDM). Both result in more cost-effective use of existing transportation infrastructure and change the overall transportation mode mix from single occupancy vehicle use to other modes - such as walking, biking, carpooling, ride-sharing and transit - that deliver multiple public and private benefits.
TOD brings moderate to higher-density development within easy walking distance of transit stops, generally with a mix of residential, employment and shopping opportunities oriented toward pedestrians without excluding the auto. TDM strategies are incentives and infrastructure that lessen the demand for more/bigger roads by shifting an area's mode share away from solo drivers. Both TOD and TDM decrease parking lot acreage, allowing more people and businesses per acre and thus higher property tax collection per acre.