Op-Ed: David Alpert on TDM recommendations

Leading edge TDM strategies showing the way in Washington D.C..

* Report from David Alpert, Executive Director of Surface Transit of Greater Washington D.C.

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52 Better, Faster, Cheaper measures that your city could start to do tomorrow morning to reduce traffic accidents, save lives, strengthen the economy and improve quality of life for all.

We often hear that transportation reform  is going to require massive public investments, large construction projects, elaborate technology deployments, and above all and by their very nature are going to take a long time before yielding significant results. This is quite simply not true. This approach, common in the last century and often associated with the “American transportation model”, no longer has its place in a competitive, efficient, democratic city  And we can start tomorrow, if we chose to.

couple crossing street in Penang trafficTo get a feel for this transformative learning reality let’s start with a quick look at a first lot of ideas for Slow Street Architecture as a major means for reducing traffic related nuisances, accident prevention and improving quality of life for all.  These approaches are not just “nice ideas”.  They have proven their merit and effectiveness in hundreds of cities around the world. There is no good reason that they cannot do the same in your city. Starting tomorrow morning.

(For further background on external sources feeding this listing, see Sources and Clues section below.)

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A Mayor’s-Eye View of Sustainable Transportation: Politics as the art of the possible

no excuses sir 2The letter that follows is, as you will quickly surmise, not an actual communication from one elected official in one case, but rather a composite, a distillation of experience that I have had over these last years of trying to push the sustainable transportation agenda in many parts of the world, almost always in conjunction and in dialogue with mayors and other city leaders.

As you will see, it is not that they are uniformly adverse to or not interested in the concepts behind sustainable transportation and sustainable cities. It is just that they have a great many other things on their mind, including staying on top day after day of the considerable challenges of managing their city — and, in not very long, running once again for reelection. This is the political reality of which those of us who would be agents of change must be aware, that politics is the art of the possible. Now let’s turn the stage over to our mayor: Continue reading

International Symposium on Travel Demand Management (TDM) Taipei invites Penang

* * * SPECIAL RATES FOR PARTICIPANTS FROM PENANG * * *

The 8th International Symposium On Travel Demand Management is taking place in Taiwan from 27-29 September. All details at http://2017tdm.ntu.edu.tw/.

In recognition to those who are involved in the present vigorous public debate on a viable transport strategy and plan for Penang, the organizers are offering sharp discounts to anyone working on these issues in Penang – whether government, university, NGOs, civil society, researchers, consultants and investigative media. Instead of the full price (USD 350.00) as per 1 August the following prices are available for participants from Penang:

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International Symposium on Travel Demand Management (TDM) , Taipei, Taiwan, September 26 – 29, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We are excited to announce the 8th International Symposium on Travel Demand Management (TDM), which will be held in Taipei, Taiwan, September 26 – 29, 2017. This conference seeks to link the international communities of researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers who are concerned about or experienced in the theory and implementation of TDM. Within the intensive two-day discussion and opinion exchange, we are looking forward to the spark of innovative and visionary ideas that inspire the present and future direction of TDM, on both academic and industrial tracks.

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Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Fall 2016 Newsletter

This carefully compiled seasonal report from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute is a fine tool and up to date source guide for researchers and policy makers worldwide. We are pleased to present it in its entirety here, together with references you will find handy to take these entries further. Thanks Todd for your fine continuing contributions. You are definitely part of the solution.

Vtpi Litman Canada

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52 Better, Faster, Cheaper measures that Penang could start to do tomorrow morning to reduce traffic accidents, strengthen the economy and improve quality of life for all.

We often hear that transportation reform in Penang is going to require massive public investments, large construction projects, elaborate technology deployments, and above all and by their very nature are going to take a long time before yielding significant results. This is quite simply not true. This approach, common in the last century and often associated with the “American transportation model”, no longer has its place in a competitive, efficient, democratic city  And we can start tomorrow, if we chose to.

couple crossing street in Penang trafficTo get a feel for this transformative learning reality let’s start with a quick look at a first lot of ideas for Slow Street Architecture as a major means for reducing traffic related nuisances, accident prevention and improving quality of life for all.  These approaches are not just “nice ideas”.  They have proven their merit and effectiveness in hundreds of cities around the world. There is no good reason that they cannot do the same in Penang. Starting tomorrow morning.

(For further background on external sources feeding this listing, see Sources and Clues section below.)

Continue reading

No Parking, No Business 3: Walking and cycling perspectives

Continuing  our coverage of the open “No parking, No business” conversation, more on walkability impacts/local economic development impacts, this time  from Todd Litman: selected references  from the “Walkability” chapter of the Online TDM Encyclopedia of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.  Continue reading

Toolkit: International TDM practices under review

From the Sustainable Urban Transport Project (SUTP): Training document on Transportation Demand Management.


Cities across the globe need innovative and effective solutions to solve their transportation problems in the short, medium and long term. Increased economic growth, coupled with a resulting increase in motorisation in recent years, has created greater congestion than has ever been seen in the world. Solutions to these problems are possible through improvement of conditions of public transport and conditions for pedestrians and bicycle users, and also in the implementation of measures which promote a rational use of the automobile.

Transportation Demand Management (TDM) aims to maximize the efficiency of the urban transport system using a wide range of measures, including Congestion Pricing, Public Transport Improvement, Promoting Non-motorised Transport, Fuel Taxation and Parking Management. This document presents an overview on international practices, approaches and supports the design of a TDM strategy.

To download click here. (Unregistered visitors can register (at no cost) and then proceed to download.)

This report covers the following key issues:

1. Challenging traffic growth in developing countries
2. Developing a comprehensive TDM strategy
3. Improving mobility options
4. Economic measures
5. Smart growth and land use policies

Authored by Andrea Broaddus, Todd Litman and Gopinath Menon, this GTZ training document advocates that a three-pronged approach, utilizing 1) Improve Mobility Options, 2) Economic Measures, and 3) Smart Growth and Land Use Management is the most effective way to manage demand and create a resilient and efficient transport system. The document contains 118 fully illustrated pages, 27 tables, 51 boxes and 92 figures.

About SUTP: The Sustainable Urban Transport Project (SUTP) is a global partnership which aims to help developing world cities achieve their sustainable transport goals, through the dissemination of information about international experience and targeted work with particular cities. SUTP developed the publication “Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Policy-makers in developing cities” consisting of more than 26 modules. The sourcebook addresses the key areas of a sustainable transport policy framework for a developing city. It is also complemented by a series of training documents and other material. More on www.sutp.org

Op-Ed: Privatizing Street Parking

There are a lot of good reasons for cities to charge for public parking. It is more efficient and equitable. Urban parking facilities are a valuable resource, costing $10,000 to $50,000 to construct, with a typically annual value of $1,000 to $2,000 in land, construction and operating costs. Many vehicles are worth less than the parking spaces they occupy; underpricing parking forces people who own fewer than average vehicles to subsidize their neighbors who own more than average vehicles.

Currently in North America, most parking is provided free, financed through development costs and municipal governments, and therefore borne through mortgages, rents and taxes. Charging motorists directly of using urban parking facilities typically reduces automobile trips by about 20%; in other words, about 20% of parking facility costs, traffic congestion, accidents, energy consumption and pollution emissions results from the common practice of paying for parking indirectly rather than directly.

That said, it is probably best for municipal governments to maintain tight control over their parking pricing systems. Chicago recently leased its parking meters to a private company for 99 years, simply as a way for the city to collect a short-term windfall (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/transportation/chi-parking-meters-20-mar20,0,871852.story).

Privitization could be fine if designed to maximize user convenience and economic efficiency, but not if the goal is simply to maximize revenue. At a minimum, privitization should require state-of-the-art payment systems, gradual and predictable price changes, performance standards, and a much shorter lease period so future councils can change their policies.

For more information see:

“Parking Pricing” ( http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm26.htm )

Richard Arnott and John Rowse (2007), ‘Downtown parking in auto city’, Boston College Working Paper 665 (http://econpapers.repec.org); at http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/bocbocoec/665.htm.

Marcus Enoch and Stephen Ison (2006), “Levying Charges On Private Parking: Lessons From Existing Practice,” World Transport Policy & Practice, Vol. 12, No. 1 ( http://ecoplan.org/wtpp/general/vol-12-1.pdf), pp. 5-14.

Daniel B. Hess (2001), The Effects of Free Parking on Commuter Mode Choice: Evidence from Travel Diary Data, Lewis Center for Public Policy Studies, UCLA ( http://www.sppsr.ucla.edu/lewis/WorkingPapers.html).

Douglas Kolozsvari and Donald Shoup (2003), “Turning Small Change Into Big Changes,” ACCESS 23, University of California Transportation Center (www.uctc.net), Fall 2003, pp. 2-7.

Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management Best Practices, Planners Press (www.planning.org).

Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management: Strategies, Evaluation and Planning, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org/park_man.pdf ).

Todd Litman (2006), Parking Taxes: Evaluating Options and Impacts, VTPI ( http://www.vtpi.org/parking_tax.pdf).

Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management: Innovative Solutions To Vehicle Parking Problems, Planetzen ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/19149).

Gary Roth (2004), An Investigation Into Rational Pricing For Curbside Parking: What Will Be The Effects Of Higher Curbside Parking Prices In Manhattan? Masters Thesis, Columbia University; at http://anti-bob.com/parking/Rational_Pricing_for_Curbside_Parking-GRoth.pdf ).

Tom Rye and Stephen Ison (2005), “Overcoming Barriers to the Implementation of Car Parking Charges at UK Workplaces,” Transport Policy, Vol. 12, No. 1 ( http://www.elsevier.com/locate/transpol), Jan. 2005, pp. 57-64.

Donald Shoup (2002), Curb Parking: An Ideal Source of Public Revenue, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (www.lincolninst.edu), Presented at “Analysis of Land Markets and the Impact of Land Market Regulation,” (Code CP02A01).

Donald Shoup (2005), The High Cost of Free Parking, Planners Press (www.planning.org). This is a comprehensive and entertaining book of the causes, costs and problems created by free parking, and how to correct these distortions.

Donald Shoup (2006), The Price of Parking On Great Streets, Planetizen ( http://www.planetizen.com/node/19150).

USEPA (2006), Parking Spaces / Community Places: Finding the Balance Through Smart Growth Solutions, Development, Community, and Environment Division (DCED); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/parking.htm).

VTPI (2003), Parking Cost, Pricing And Revenue Calculator, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org/parking.xls).

Todd Litman
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Victoria BC, Canada

Op-Ed: David Alpert on TDM recommendations

Leading edge TDM strategies showing the way

When any new building appears in the city, its residents, office workers and/or shoppers have to travel to and from the building. The traditional planning approach is to require enough parking so that all of the users could drive there. But that’s not the ideal outcome, since our roads can’t handle more traffic. Instead, many cities now push for other elements that make it easier for people to travel by other modes. These elements are called Transportation Demand Management strategies.

At the Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing for the Whitman-Walker project at 14th and S, DDOT planner Chris Ziemann proposed several TDM strategies, including bicycle parking, car sharing spaces, free initial Zipcar or SmartBike memberships, and free SmarTrip cards for new residents. These come from a September DDOT memo on TDM which I was able to obtain.

These are the TDM strategies DDOT considers when looking at a new project:

* Bicycle parking: One space for each 20 car spaces, locked bicycle storage, and shower facilities for workers. That can include facilities for workers at residential buildings as well as office workers.

* Carpools: Reserved spaces in good locations for carpools and vanpools, and discounts against parking rates in pay garages.

* Parking costs: Ensure that the garage charges market rates for parking. If employees or residents get free parking, allow them to take a payment (“cash-out”) for the market value of their space instead.

* Car sharing: Free parking spaces(s) for carsharing vehicles, accessible 24-7 to the public. Also, cover the initiation fee and first year membership fees for initial residents.

* Bike sharing: Allocate space for a SmartBike station, or possibly fund the station entirely.

* SmarTrip: Give new residents and building employees complimentary SmarTrip cards. DDOT suggests $20 for residential tenants and $60 for employees of residential buildings.

* Information: Put links on buildings’ Web site to CommuterConnections.com and goDCgo.com. Include signs or brochures in lobby kiosks, information in welcome packets, or bulletin boards with information on transportation options.

* Technology: Have a business center in residential buildings with a copier, fax, and Internet access. This makes it easier for people to telecommute.

Keep in mind that this is just a menu of possibilities, not rules. DDOT can decide which are most appropriate for each project. The developers can voluntarily agree to implement some, and if not, BZA or Zoning Commission ultimately decides whether to impose any as conditions of approvals. Some, like bicycle parking, are also part of draft future zoning rules, but these may go beyond the absolute requirements of zoning.

– David Alpert, http://greatergreaterwashington.org
Washington DC

National Journal Panel: What Can America Learn About Transportation From Beyond Our Borders?

Contribution to the National Journal Transportation Panel
Organized by Eric Britton, submitted by international colleagues http://transportation.nationaljournal.com/contributors/Britton.php
New Mobility Partnerships, Paris and Los Angeles. 4 February 2009

Great question National Journal, thanks for asking it. Of course as soon as I read it I, surely like most of the others on this panel, immediately hunkered down to prepare and present my best thoughts on the subject.

But as I was sweating out the details, it suddenly occurred to me that I had a unique opportunity to report back to you on this far more usefully than in my own words. All it would take would be for me to step back and find a way to offer this bully pulpit in some efficient way to the thousand or so well-paced colleagues in countries in cities around the world with whom we regularly work and exchange ideas on just these matters under the New Mobility Agenda collaborative program — leaving them to tell you in their own words what THEY have to share with us all on this subject. So I thought, why not, let’s see what we start to have ideas and inspirations from all these diverse and highly informed people, which we can then fashion into a sort of . . .

Mexican Christmas (“A piñata of ideas”)

So to get the job done I drafted a round-robin email inviting them each to submit a single idea or concept together with up to “250 words” of background and explanation. Thus far more than fifty of my distinguished colleagues have already piled in with contributions. The latest round of these messages follows.

To be perfectly honest this is not such an easy read. It kind of reminds me of traffic on a holiday weekend as large numbers of people with different agendas compete for road space to make their way to wherever it is they want to go. If you do not have a taste for traffic you are not going to be comfortable here.

Moreover you will see that there is great variety in what you will find here. And as the person who has undertaken to organize this widely varied collection , I have to say that just because they appear here does not mean that I necessarily concur with every point being made. I can say however that every point that is brought up here is a competitor for your mental space that is worth serious consideration. In fact for my part I find more than 90% of the points brought up here by my international colleagues right on target. You will have your own views on this so for now let me just step out of the way and let you get to it

In the coming weeks I, and perhaps some of my colleagues, will sit down and see if we can draw from this certain number of central lessons, albeit they will reflect our own understanding of the issues and priorities. Stay tuned and we will get to that when we can.

I hope that this will be read by students, activists, transportation user groups of wide range of times and places, city leaders, people working in government and transportation agencies, the media, and certainly by as many young and less young people working at DOT in Washington and the other agencies that are there to provide counsel and help for government policy in light of the to be a very important area.

One of the most interesting things about our sector is that of all of the areas of activity which are creating large-scale environmental and social impacts, this, transportation, is by far the easiest one for us to face and fix. But it does require a genuine desire to do so, true intellectual curiosity, willingness to listen and learn from all points of view, high energy levels, and a capacity for synthesis and communications. And if you don’t really like people and children, well you just don’t belong here. ;-)

The latest copy of the report can be downloaded at www.messages.newmobility.org.

Table of contents of draft report – 4 Feb. 09 :

Message from Australia 4 Slowing down 4
Message from Australia 5 Three “easy” strategies 5
Message from Austria 7 America, Know thyself 7
Message from Canada 8 Mobility Matters – Reducing car use on a long term basis 8
Message from Canada 9 On value capture finance 9
Message from: Canada 1 Transportation Redevelopment Administration (TRA) 10
Message from Canada 11 The importance of image – inspired by Bogota Colombia and elsewhere 11
Message from Canada 12 It’s all about choice. 12
Message from Canada (+ cities around the world with shared & service taxis) 13
xTransit: The Key to reducing VMT and congestion and … 13
Message from Canada: 14 Sustainable airport strategies 14
Message from Colombia 15 Learning from the developing countries 15
Message from Europe: 16 Comments from P. L Crist, OECD and the International Transport Forum 16
Message from France: 18 The route to a global mobility policy 18
Message from Germany 19 Purchase of tickets and multi-door entry 19
Message from Germany 20 Inter-state, inter-disciplinary collaboration 20
Message from Iceland 21 A strategy for increased Cycling ,integrated in National Transport Plan. 21
Message from Iceland 22 Demanding Commuter equity contracts and TDM (public institutions / area-regulation) 22
Message from Iceland 23 Make train tickets purchase and route-finding sexier than for plane-travel 23
Message from India: 24 Basics are being sidelined 24
Message from Indonesia/USA/Germany 25 Learn from international experiences in terms of sustainable transport development. 25
Message from the Netherlands 26 Learning from different choices for sustainable mobility design 26
Message from the Netherlands 27 A distributive approach to transport 27
Message from the Netherlands 28 Reducing Size, Weight, Power, Speed of Vehicles most urgent solution to America’s oil addiction 28
Message from New Zealand 29 Carpoolers Need Meeting Places Not Databases 29
Message from New Zealand: 30 Get pricing right 30
Message from: Philippine/Japan 31 Role of women and of different disciplines in sustainable transport system planning/development 31
Message from Singapore 32 Change from automotive-based economy to bicycle based economy 32
Message from Sweden 33 Combating climate change and peak oil with free public transport 33
Message from Sweden 34 The key is density 34
Message from Sweden: 35 Combinations of measures promoting sustainable transport 35
Message from Switzerland 36 Make the connections 36
Message from Switzerland 37 Learn from the best European practices 37
Message from the United Kingdom 38 Community Safety Drives save fuel, money and lives and change attitudes 38
Message from the United Kingdom 39 School Travel Health Check – The evidence based approach. 39
Message from the United Kingdom 40 Developing a Conceptual Framework for Changing Travel Behavior 40
Message from the United Kingdom 41 Nurture and value cycling and walking 41
Message from the United Kingdom 42 Ridesharing – In search of the simple solution: 42
Message from the United Kingdom 43 Reduce commute distances to increase accessibility by walking and cycling . 43
Message from the United Kingdom 44 Reducing vehicle size, weight, power, speed most urgent solution to America’s oil addiction 44
Message from the United Kingdom 46 Traffic lights are an unnecessary evil 46
Message from the United States of America 47 Raise gas tax to fund reduction in vehicle miles traveled 47
Message from the United States of America 48 More attention to national level policies 48
Message from the United States of America 49 Offset Incentives for Auto Use 49
Message from the United States of America 50 Educational Infrastructure For Safe Cycling IN US 50
Message from the United States of America 51 Speed Mitigation 51
Message from the United States of America 52 From countries with better safety records that the U.S., we can learn that: 52
Message from the United States of America 53 Preserve the transit we already have 53
Message from the United States of America 54 Get ready to learn (from Europe) 54
Message from the United States of America 55 Message from California: 55
Message from the United States of America 56 Educational Infrastructure For Safe Cycling In US 56
Message from Global South 57 Share taxi lessons 57