Transit-oriented development is key to Long Island's future

By Nancy Rauch Douzinas

One concept that addresses many of Long Island's economic and social needs is transit-oriented development. It should become a prominent focal point in this election season, as Long Islanders discuss our future ambitions.

Transit-oriented development refers to any development — housing, office, retail or any combination of them — located adjacent to transit stations, for us the Long Island Rail Road. What is especially impressive is the number of priority needs it addresses on Long Island.

From an economic standpoint, we need to grow job opportunities, and transit-oriented development provides settings for office and retail jobs, as well as housing. We need to increase our population in order to expand our economy and reduce the individual tax burden, and this development enables higher-density growth without impacting less commercial areas. We need to provide more varieties of housing — smaller units and more rental options that appeal to young people as well as those looking to down-size from larger homes — and transit-oriented development can accommodate those varieties as well.

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