5. Integration of TDM at the Statewide Planning Level
|CHAPTER ACRONYM LIST
||Central Business District
||Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality
||Commute Trip Reduction
||Center for Urban Transportation Research
||Department of Transportation
||Developments of Regional Impact
||Federal Highway Administration
||Growth and Transportation Efficiency Center
||Highway Emergency Response Operations
||High Occupancy Toll
||High Occupancy Vehicle
||Intelligent Transportation Systems
||Level of Service
||Long-range Transportation Plan
||Mobility Enhancement and Trip Reduction Index to aid in Comparison
||Metropolitan Planning Organization
||National Transit Database
||Strategic Highway Safety Plan
||Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plans SMART Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound
||Single Occupancy Vehicle
||Surface Transportation Program
||Travel Demand Management
||Tolled Express Lane
||Vehicle Hours Travelled
State DOTs maintain and operate large and complex infrastructure systems. State DOTs typically control the high-capacity, high-speed components of the state's highway system that provide connectivity, accessibility, and mobility between centers of activity and with the rest of the nation, especially along key trade routes and corridors. Most DOTs are responsible for planning, constructing, and operating all of the interstate system and most of the major arterial systems in their states. DOTs have an interest in maintaining system mobility, reducing congestion, and addressing policy issues in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible and thus have a stake in initiating and partnering in TDM policies and programs.
The circumstances within which states can embrace TDM more fully have never been more compelling. Financial challenges are forcing agencies that had spent the past few decades growing their transportation systems to re-think their expansion plans toward preservation and efficiency – to squeeze every last bit of capacity out of their existing systems.
The state can assume a great variety of roles to establish, develop, and enhance the effectiveness of traditional TDM. Potential roles range from coordination to grant provision to direct operation of TDM programs. Clearly, the state's resources, its size, and economic complexity are factors that will point the way toward the most appropriate practices to institute. To be effective at any level of commitment, though, TDM needs to be in the "fabric" of the decision-making process.
A state DOT's everyday decisions and activities impact highway demand significantly, whether or not the state agency has a formal TDM program. These activities may not be organized within a single decision-making structure, because a DOT's operations, planning, and policy functions have evolved as separate and independent procedures. It is highly likely that state transportation agencies can take cost-effective steps to recognize, harness, and amplify the demand management activities they are already engaged in, by strengthening departmental linkages as a low-cost way to build the foundation of a TDM initiative.
A scan of statewide plans found that several had adopted a "capacity-last" policy or had set or reached absolute limits on the amount of highway capacity that they would provide in certain corridors or subareas. Others, in response to a policy decision to limit the transportation sector's contribution to global warming or to support statewide energy conservation policies, had set VMT growth limits or had set targets for an absolute reduction in VMT, relative to current levels. Both of these policy directions are quite compatible with the introduction or expansion or TDM strategies into statewide plans.
States operate facilities that are vital to the well-being of residents and businesses, and states have a stake in managing demand on their system.
States can assume a variety of appropriate roles, from coordination and grant provision to direct operation.
To be effective, TDM should be in the "fabric" of the decision-making process concerning mobility.
The statewide management and/or coordination of TDM activities offers several benefits: 1) it helps to ensure a strong level of performance accountability; 2) it promotes higher levels of program visibility through marketing efforts that have a pervasive and consistent theme and message, and 3) it promotes efficiency by reducing or eliminating duplication of effort.
5.1 What Plans Should TDM be Included In?
Federal requirements for the development of statewide plans are generally less prescriptive than those for MPO plans. Therefore, very few states develop plans that follow the traditional planning procedures most commonly found in their metropolitan-level counterparts. Moreover, state DOTs have far greater responsibility for system preservation and operations over multiple modes and have a limited role in land-use planning. Typically, statewide transportation plans reflect these differences in policy orientations, requirements, and responsibilities.69 In general, statewide plans are policy-based and include discussions on the plan's purpose, its visions, goals and guiding principles, transportation trends and needs, the issue of transportation financing, and recommended actions. Statewide plans generally fall into one of three categories: 1) policy-focused plans, which articulate goals, objectives, and the desired level of future funding levels/allocation among expansion, preservation, and operations functions; 2) corridor-based plans, which describe desired investments and policies to meet statewide corridor-level strategic needs; and 3) project-based plans, which provide a list of prioritized potential individual projects for implementation.70
A wide variety of statewide transportation plans and planning processes could include TDM as an integral element, as enumerated in Table 5.1:
Table 5.1: Statewide Planning
|Type of Plan
||How to Integrate TDM/Role of TDM
|Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plans (SLRTP)||
- Adopt a "capacity-last" policy setting limits on the amount of highway capacity a state will provide in certain corridors or subareas.
- Set VMT growth limits or targets for an absolute reduction in VMT, relative to current levels (in support of energy conservation policies).
|Land Use Policies and Plans||
- Work with regional and local governments to assess the need for TDM to mitigate the impacts of large-scale developments (Developments of Regional Impacts [DRIs]) on adjacent highways.
- Initiate "smart growth" programs to provide technical and policy guidance in local land use and zoning decisions that align a state's ability and intention to provide state system highway capacity with a locality's need and desire for land development or redevelopment.
|Tolling, Pricing, and Taxing Policy||
- Implement variably priced HOT facilities that allocate capacity based upon market demand. These pricing strategies help state DOTs better manage demand and achieve better performance of their system.
- Note: Some states feel that equity issues and other consequences associated with such pricing measures require additional study and understanding prior to committing to their implementation.
- Identify, sign, and map key truck routes on roadway segments and corridors that have the appropriate functional and alignment characteristics (e.g., turning radii, adequate shoulders, etc.) to accommodate single and multiple-unit vehicles in the traffic stream.
- Identify locations at which low-cost improvements can improve traffic flow and throughput significantly with little or no additions to capacity.
|Operations and ITS Plans||
- Operate variable signing and other infrastructure control mechanisms to permit flexible system management in peak and off-peak periods of demand by, for example, changing hours of operation, permitting one or two way operation, changing vehicle occupancy requirements, etc.
|Construction and Development Plans||
- Employ variable message signing, flexible signal timing and public relations campaigns for high-impact capital projects to alert motorists of construction activities, allowing them the opportunity to reroute their trip or to change their travel times.
- Form partnerships (highway and transit providers) to increase transit service opportunities, and to mitigate congestion in construction zones.
|Multimodal Plans (various State DOT plans that deal with multimodal issues including new infrastructure projects)||
- Operate statewide TDM programs and perform planning that includes the means to integrate TDM activities with other state functions.
- Incorporate telecommunication technologies that have the potential to improve the efficiency of the transportation system, relieve congestion, decrease energy consumption, and improve air quality by reducing the need to travel.
5.2 What Is Your Capability with TDM at the State Planning Level?
This desk reference will be utilizing the guidance based on different levels of existing experience with TDM and transportation planning. Table 5.2 provides examples of how existing state DOTs might integrate TDM into their planning processes. This should assist users in determining the nature and location of key guidance within this section that is most applicable to their state. Three levels of TDM integration are presented: ad hoc, defined, and optimized. These levels correspond to the Institutional Capability Maturity Model proposed by FHWA in its Guide for Improving Capability for Systems Operation and Management.71
State DOTs with minimal experience in integrating TDM (ad hoc level) into their plans and policies might only include TDM when suggested by outside interests or when TDM might be required to mitigate the immediate impacts of a specific project (such as highway reconstruction projects). At the next level (defined), a state DOT might include TDM in most plans and policies as a means to increase travel choices and meet certain policy objectives, such as clean air or congestion reduction. Finally, when TDM becomes optimized (level 3), TDM is a key strategic element in most or all statewide plans and policies and is viewed as a primary means to efficiently operate the transportation system and meet most statewide policy objectives.
Table 5.2 provides specific examples of how a state DOT might work to integrate demand management into statewide transportation planning efforts at different levels of capability.
This matrix is intended to assist the reader in determining where his or her organization fits in terms of the capability levels described above. Once the reader has determined the appropriate capability level and identified the critical step on which the agency is focused, specific actions to move from one level to the next are suggested in the next section.
In terms of developing goals and objectives, most DOTs have the same fundamental mission: to provide a safe, efficient, cost-effective, and reliable transportation system for both people and goods that supports economic development, improves the quality of life, and is sensitive to the environment.72 Nearly all states clearly articulate that they will shift their focus from constructing new facilities to meet current and future demand to one of managing demand and improving the efficiency of existing supply. To justify this shift in focus, many plans educate the public on the benefits of TDM and why the state is pursuing such strategies. Most states identify a wide range of options that will improve system efficiency by reducing demand. Strategies include maximizing the efficient use of the existing system, coordinating land use and transportation planning, encouraging sustainable development patterns, promoting and increasing transportation choices for people and freight, enhancing transit and rail service, deploying advanced technology, and various forms of pricing.73 Using that mission and rationale as a touchstone, states should develop explicit, specific goals and SMART objectives for TDM.
Performance-based planning serves an important function for communicating and coordinating between a DOT's decision makers, policymakers, and the public and for assessing progress toward achieving the goals and objectives outlined above. Combined with data and analysis tools, performance measures serve an important role in helping to provide a basis for prioritizing investments. When coordinated with planned operations activities such as the implementation of ITS infrastructure and TDM programs, the data collection efforts required for performance measures can be supported with limited additional cost. These performance measures can then be utilized in other documents as well as regional and corridor planning efforts. TDM performance measures can suffer from two issues. First, TDM is more often measured in terms of "output" (e.g., how many carpools were formed or employers registered) than "outcome" (e.g., system impacts such as VMT reduction, delay reduction, or increases in person throughput.) Second, TDM performance measures are often not readily translatable to metrics used by highway planners. For example, VMT can be converted to delay reduction with some simple assumptions, but VMT reduction, in and of itself, is really only a surrogate, suggestive of other impacts, (delay, emissions, etc.) Specific TDM performance measures are enumerated and discussed in Chapter 3.
Agencies should collect data and develop a tracking system to evaluate progress in relation to these measures. Performance measure tracking can also be used to identify deficiencies, which can feed into regional, corridor, and sub-area planning. Monitoring impact of TDM strategies in reducing travel demand is as important as assessing the impact of capacity enhancements in accommodating unmet demand. While there are no standard TDM effectiveness approaches, Chapter 5 provides some techniques to collect and evaluate TDM performance.
Table 5.2: State-level Self-Assessment Matrix
|Establishing Vision and Goals||
- TDM is acknowledged as part of the vision in the State but no true commitment in terms of remaining steps
- No consensus around the concept of demand management as a policy option
- No high-level political or decision-maker support for the idea
- State has created a policy statement and identified their role on TDM
- Treated as substantial goal of the planning efforts
- Political support emerging on this topic
- State plays an important role in TDM Coalition/Stakeholder building
- Demand management is treated on par with supply-side solutions
- Buy-in to TDM as an operational philosophy to meet multiple priorities of the region
- Success in crafting enabling policies, legislations and ordinances
- Long-term strategy for TDM identified
|Setting Objectives for TDM||
- Minimal to no role for TDM in planning objectives
- Primarily linked to one or two objectives such as conformity
- Not developed using a “SMART” approach
- No linkage to strategies identification and selection
- Multiple objectives for TDM identified for a diverse set of State needs
- Some objectives are “SMART”
- Still a strong disconnect between objectives and strategies identification
- All objectives are SMART and based on real-world information
- Objectives drives the strategy identification
- Consensus around objectives
|Definition of Performance Measures||
- State role in TDM performance measurement is minimal to none
- State develops framework and consistent performance reporting for TDM for various levels within State
- Fulfillment of statewide objectives are based on clear performance measurement
|Assessment and Selection of Strategies and Programs to Support Objectives||
- No rigorous analysis/modeling of potential for TDM strategies to meet objectives
- Typically, at this stage, TDM strategies are not considered
- Selection of any TDM strategy is ad-hoc and limited to existing approaches or constituencies. Public Transit is seen as the primary alternative
- TDM does not drive any of the alternative analysis scenarios
- TDM is a integral part of many alternatives
- Some off-model analysis/modeling of TDM strategies and impacts on par with operational strategies
- All travel choices are assessed including active transportation, ridesharing etc
- TDM strategies typically still are stand-alone and not fully integrated with other programs/projects/strategies
- Demand management considered before supply side alternatives. A demand-management scenario identified
- Developed a rationalized means of assessing TDM strategies
- TDM strategy decisions are based on benefit-cost analysis
|Integration of Strategies into Plans and Funding Programs ||
- Resulting projects/programs do not link back to objectives
- The level of detail for TDM projects is significantly lesser than that for other projects, e.g., signal timing improvements
- Tend to support traditional TDM efforts such as ride-sharing etc
- TDM is better integrated into larger and capital projects
- Greater level of detail for TDM projects
- Pilot programs or experimental approaches included for TDM
- Dedicated program/funding identified
- TDM projects as fleshed out as other projects in the plan
- Dedicated and sustained program and funding
- Fewer pilots and more mainstreaming of TDM
|Monitoring and Evaluation of Progress Toward Objectives||
- Limited to no role for State in evaluation
- Support tools and framework for TDM evaluation
- Follow a standardized approach to TDM evaluation
Integrating planning and programming are essential to ensuring that the SLRTP and other statewide plans are realistic in their assessments of available resources and that they result in the identification of implemented projects that support goals and objectives. Programming at the statewide level in order to produce the STIP requires the careful balancing of projects identified to meet system needs with the appropriate funding resource. In terms of TDM funding, one sign of a successful integration of TDM into the statewide planning process will be the specific programming of resources in order to fund TDM efforts that are expected to address specific objectives and meet quantifiable targets.
Goals and objectives identified in the SLRTP, Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), and other planning documents should lead to development of policies, strategies, programs, and investments that support attainment of objectives. Currently, there is little documentation within long range transportation plans (LRTPs) that explains how, or if, various TDM projects are specifically evaluated and prioritized. Some MPOs award "bonus" points if a given project supports or explicitly includes elements of demand management. By linking the strategies to the objectives, states have a more clear rationale and expectation of TDM projects and programs.
What follows are specific actions that could enable state DOTs to move from Level 1 (ad hoc integration) to Level 2 (defined) and from Level 2 to Level 3 (TDM as an optimized part of the planning process).
5.3 Actions to Move Statewide Planning Process from Level 1 (Ad-Hoc) to Level 2 (Defined)
Several specific actions can be suggested to move a state DOT's planning process from Level 1 (ad hoc integration of demand management) to Level 2 (defined integration). For each action, a rationale is provided, an explanation of how to implement the action, and examples are provided where available. Table 5.3 highlights the relative ease or difficulty of implementing the actions.
Action 1 – Develop a TDM policy statement and define a specific role/organizational structure for TDM
Rationale and Explanation – Development of an overall statewide policy statement on TDM will assist with most planning efforts by establishing the overall role of TDM in meeting statewide goals. A policy statement legitimizes the inclusion of TDM in plans by setting an overall vision and allowing planners and policy makers to reference a higher level of policy direction. A statewide TDM policy might be developed as part of a transportation visioning exercise, a plan development process, or as a stand-alone exercise to develop strategic direction for TDM. In addition, TDM often gets lost in the organizational chart of a state DOT, sometimes with no true "home." It is important that TDM, if it is to be integrated into the planning process, have a clear organizational home. This is to establish clear roles for who is to develop, consult on, and approve TDM strategies and the lines of communication during the process.
Example – A good example of a TDM policy statement that has been in place for over 5 years is provided by NJDOT. NJDOT's overall policy for TDM is to "develop new strategies, incentives, and pilot programs to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and improve air quality, and to expand the state's park-and-ride system to encourage more multimodal trips." The policy statement was developed to guide existing TDM efforts and help develop a new statewide TDM strategic plan. This policy statement helps NJDOT make decisions about which TDM strategies to include in their planning and programming efforts. NJDOT funds about $10 million of TDM activities, largely through a network of Transportation Management Associations (TMAs). The policy also includes a clear performance measure in VMT reduction.74
Table 5.3: List of Actions and Associated Level of Difficulty to Move Statewide Planning Process from Level 1 to Level 2
||Ease of Implementation
|Establishing Vision and Goals|
|1||Developing a TDM Policy Statement and Define a specific role/organizational structure for TDM||Moderate||Moderate||Low||Moderate||Moderate|
|2||Establish leadership position among key internal and external stakeholders for consensus building on TDM||Moderate||Difficult||Moderate||Moderate||Moderate|
|Setting Objectives for TDM|
|3||Developing SMART objectives for TDM||Low||Low||Low||Low||Low|
|Definition of Performance Measures|
|4||Identify concrete performance measures for TDM beyond air quality and conformity||Low||Moderate||Low||Moderate||Low|
|5||Create a report card or dashboard for TDM performance||Low||Low||Low||Low||Low|
|Assessment and Selection of Strategies and Programs to Support Objectives|
|6||Draw upon existing tools to improve TDM modeling and analysis||Low||Low||Low||Low||Low|
|7||Integrate TDM into obvious projects such as reconstruction and mega projects||Moderate||Low||Difficult||Difficult||Moderate|
|8||Take advantage of existing programs to further TDM strategies||Low||Low||Low||Low||Low|
|Integration of strategies into Plans and Funding Programs|
|9||Incorporate TDM into all other possible plans for illustrating the linkages of TDM to other activities||Moderate||Low||Low||Moderate||Moderate|
|10||Broaden the availability of eligible funding beyond CMAQ||Moderate||Moderate||Low||Low||Moderate|
|Monitoring and Evaluation of Progress Toward Objectives|
|11||Provide technical assistance on TDM performance evaluation and monitoring tools||Low||Low||Low||Low||Low|
In the Atlanta region, the Georgia DOT (GDOT) brokered a "TDM Framework" to establish roles and responsibilities for the various partners in TDM, including GDOT, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Clean Air Campaign, area TMAs, TDM service providers (e.g., vanpooling), and program evaluators.
Action 2 – Establish leadership position among key internal and external stakeholders for consensus building on TDM
Rationale and Explanation – When integrating TDM into the planning process, it is important for it to have a clear organizational home. This placement establishes clear roles for who is to develop, consult on, and approve TDM strategies and the lines of communication during the process.
Example: In Utah, the Utah DOT (UDOT) established a statewide TDM program (TravelWise - Figure 5-1) and strategic plan by convening key stakeholders at the state, regional, and local levels, including service providers, policy-makers, and planning agencies. This was intended to establish a leadership role for UDOT and address the governor's policy on energy conservation.
Figure 5.1: TravelWise TDM Program Solutions
Source: Utah DOT
A statement from the governor, on the TravelWise Utah website75 underscores the goals of the program:
"An efficient transportation system supports Utah's economy and enhances our quality of life. We can each help make the transportation system a little more efficient with TravelWise, ultimately reducing energy use, reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality. We're not asking one person to do everything, we're asking everyone to do something. As individuals, businesses and organizations embrace and implement TravelWise strategies, our roadways will function more efficiently and all Utahns will benefit."
Action 3 – Developing SMART objectives for TDM
Rationale and Explanation – As with many transportation-related policies, objective setting often results in rather vague targets. In TDM, appropriate objectives areas might be: offer more travel choices, reduce congestion, improve air quality, or assist commuters. Using a SMART objective setting process, TDM goals and objectives should be made as precise as possible. This requires a more involved planning process to reach consensus, especially with regards to measurable targets, but it allows for a more robust planning and evaluation process that in turn allows for better monitoring of objective attainment, strategy correction, and funding decision-making.
Example – The Washington State 2006 Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Efficiency Act continued a state mandate that goes back to 1991.76 Cities and counties are able to set their own specific goals and targets for employee commute trip reduction, as long as they met the minimum state targets of a 10% reduction in single occupant commute trips by 2011 to address congestion and a 13% reduction in VMT to address greenhouse gas emissions. In the first three years of the program, 154 million VMT have been reduced at over 1,000 worksites representing over a half a million commuters. This is estimated to have reduced highway delay by 8% in the Central Puget Sound region and almost 70,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) statewide. While the state legislation behind the CTR Efficiency Act was a major policy effort, the need for and ability to set quantifiable targets was fairly straightforward.
Action 4 – Identify concrete performance measures for TDM beyond air quality and conformity
Rationale and Explanation – TDM has largely been used as a means to achieve conformity between transportation and air quality plans. As such, VMT reduction, which can easily be transformed into emission reduction, has been the primary performance measure. As TDM is used to address other policy objectives (congestion, livability, land use, and economic development), additional performance measures will need to be developed. For example, the meta-analysis of how land use influences travel provides weighted average travel elasticities of VMT, transit use, and walking with respect to the built environment variables.77 These variables include: density (population, employment, commercial floor area ratio); diversity (land use mix [Entropy Index], jobs-housing balance); design (street connectivity indexes [e.g. intersection densities, % of 4-way intersections, link/node ratios, etc.]) ; destination accessibility (access by mode); and distance to transit, shopping, central business district (CBD). The effect of these strategies is cumulative. While the effect of any one on VMT reduction and mode shift is small/moderate, the combined effects from improving upon several of these can be substantial.
Additional identified performance measures include: traditional National Transit Database (NTD) statistics; emissions; household transportation costs; housing and transportation affordability index; and Dissimilarity Index (level of racial integration). Other quality of life indicators such as per capita income, Wealth Index, and Gross Regional Product could also be included given the economic benefits of improving modal balance. For example, $1 million in reduced fuel expenditures equates to a net increase in 4.5 jobs.78
Example – The State of Florida has developed and adopted multi-modal LOS standards for comparison among and between modes and projects. FDOT's Quality/Level of Service Handbook of 2009 (Figure 5.2) provides a methodology and analysis tools to develop and use multimodal performance measures for car, transit, bike, and walk travel for a given urban corridor.79
Action 5 – Create a report card or dashboard for TDM performance
Rationale and Explanation – TDM is seldom reported to policy-makers and the public in an accessible and user-friendly manner. The development of a report card or dashboard for reporting TDM performance can help in this regard. This requires the timely collection of overall TDM performance in meeting stated objectives and the means to report them in a simple manner. Some states and regions have developed report cards, state of the commute reports, and TDM dashboards.
Example – The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) has developed a multi-modal dashboard to report on performance of the commonwealth's multimodal system, including:
- Transit ridership.
- Transit efficiency.
- Energy efficiency.
- Freight rail.
Figure 5.2: Florida State Multi-Modal LOS Standards
Source: Florida DOT
TDM performance reports will be available on the statewide dashboard soon.80
Additionally, the process for creating a TDM report card has been developed by several sources, including the METRIC (Mobility Enhancement and Trip Reduction Index to aid in Comparison) process that allows for benchmarking of a state or region's TDM efforts, based on over 100 criteria.81
Action 6 – Draw upon existing tools to improve TDM modeling and analysis
Rationale and Explanation – TDM analysis can often be very piecemeal and based on anecdotal evidence, rules of thumb, and sketch planning techniques, at best. However, several tools are available to assist with the evaluation of TDM strategies as part of the planning, alternatives analysis, and project selection process. Utilizing these tools largely requires the time and commitment to learn about them in advance of the planning process.
Example – Chapter 9 includes a description of several existing tools aimed at allowing for the quantification of TDM impacts for various strategies and packages of strategies. This includes the FHWA TDM Evaluation Model and the TRIMMS available from the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR; see more discussion in Section 9.1 on Tools and Techniques for Evaluating TDM).
Action 7 – Integrate TDM into obvious projects such as reconstruction and mega projects
Rationale and Explanation - TDM can be integrated into large-scale highway projects as a mitigation strategy or even as a means for reducing overall vehicle volumes. The most obvious projects are highway reconstruction projects, where TDM can be called upon to provide travel alternatives during highly congested construction periods. This allows new and existing TDM strategies to be applied to larger travel markets and exposes travelers to new options that they might continue to use after reconstruction is complete.
Example – The Colorado DOT (CDOT) employed TDM as part of the reconstruction of I-25/225 in the Denver region, which included the building of a new light rail segment (Figure 5.3). TDM was promoted, as part of the public information campaign, to increase the use of transit, vanpooling, and carpooling utilizing a temporary HOV lane.82 CDOT project managers cited the existence of TDM as reducing their overall risk on the project and providing travelers with enhanced options that market research studies show travelers very much appreciated (even if they did not use them). CDOT worked closely with FHWA and local agencies to identify a preferred alternative, which included the following elements:
- General Purpose Lanes.
- Tolled Express Lanes (TEL).
- Upgraded Interchanges.
- Express Bus Service/Stations.
- Commuter Rail Service/Stations.
- Commuter Bus Service/Stations.
- Congestion Management Improvements.83
Figure 5.3: HOV Use during I-25 Construction
Source: Colorado Department of Transportation
Top: Before Construction
Middle: During Construction Showing Temporary HOV Lane Created by Restriping
Bottom: Post Construction - New Capacity Including Light Rail
Action 8 – Take advantage of existing programs to further TDM strategies
Rationale and Explanation – TDM strategies should not be considered nor implemented in a vacuum or by themselves. TDM can enhance many other types of strategies aimed at meeting mutual policy objectives. For example, smart land use strategies can create the demand for more travel choices, especially for shorter trips, such as bicycling and walking. Therefore, TDM should take advantage of other programs and initiatives, including those related to transit improvements, HOV systems, and ITS strategies.
Example – Tennessee's 25-year Transportation Plan views TDM as a complement to ITS as stated in the plan itself:
"TDM can be considered as transportation system support "software" as a parallel strategy to ITS as "hardware" because it focuses on managing travel demand to make better and most
cost-effective use of transportation capacity through strategies oriented to influencing and
incentivizing travel decisions on making trips: the need to travel, when to travel, where to
travel in fulfilling the trip purpose, what mode to take, whether to travel with others, what path
to follow, so on."84
Action 9 – Incorporate TDM in all other possible plans illustrating the linkages of TDM to other activities
Rationale and Explanation – As shown in Table 5.1 previously, TDM can be incorporate into many planning efforts conducted by state DOTs (and other agencies, such as air quality). It is important to establish TDM as an integral means of planning, managing, and operating the transportation system. As such TDM should be utilized, or at least considered, in all planning efforts that seek to more efficiently and effectively operate the transportation system in order to achieve policy goals, such as mobility.
Example – Table 5.1 enumerates a number of plans that could incorporated TDM, many of which go beyond the highway system and vehicle travel (land use, freight, tolling/taxing, etc.).
Action 10 – Broaden the availability of eligible funding beyond CMAQ
Rationale and Explanation – CMAQ is the most prevalent source of funding for TDM, at the state, regional, and even local level. TDM is one of the few strategies that can address both congestion mitigation and air quality simultaneously. However, as TDM rises in importance as a solution strategy for a myriad of policy objectives, additional funding sources will likely be needed. Making the case for funding TDM with traditional highway funds will be the hurdle to be overcome. However, as TDM becomes accepted as a rational approach to maximizing the efficiency of highway management and operations, this barrier should be lowered. One obvious source of federal funding is the dedication of Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds to TDM. Additionally, state funding sources, such as gas tax set-asides or other funds, could be used as well.
Example – The Oregon DOT operates its "Flexible Fund Program" using STP funds.85 Through the Flexible Fund Program, MPOs and other agencies submit applications for projects that improve modal connectivity, mobility, the environment, and access. Projects likely to be funded include transit, bicycle and pedestrian, TDM, and the planning, research, and project development that supports those projects as well as related programs and services. In 2011 ODOT set aside $21 million in STP funding for this program to fund multimodal and non-highway transportation projects.
Action 11 – Provide technical assistance on TDM performance evaluation and monitoring tools
Rationale and Explanation – States can play a key role is developing and supporting standardized methodologies and related tools to monitor and evaluate TDM program and strategies. This allows for comparisons over time and across regions and programs in order to provide accountability for funding decisions based on the fulfillment of stated TDM objectives.
Example – As mentioned earlier, the California Air Resources Board provides assistance to agencies throughout the state on the methods to evaluate TDM efforts. The State of Florida has developed a standardized methodology for evaluation of commuter assistance programs that are partially funded by the state. The use of the Commuter Assistance Program Evaluation Manual is required for continued funding.86
5.4 Actions to Move Statewide Planning Process from Level 2 (Defined) to Level 3 (Optimized)
Several specific actions can be suggested to move a state DOT's planning process from Level 2 (defined integration of demand management) to Level 3 (optimized integration). Table 5.4 highlights the relative ease or difficulty of each action in moving from Level 2 to Level 3.
Action 1 – Involve public in TDM visioning
Rationale and Explanation - Creating a broad consensus on the need for and benefits of TDM should involve input from travelers themselves, since much of TDM is about enhancing travel choices to improve the quality of life for citizens. In order to involve the traveling public, many states (as well as regions and municipalities) are adopting visioning exercises as part of their long-range transportation plan updates. This seeks to gain insight on the choices that travelers want and the kind of urban form they desire. This, in turn, provides rich information with which to craft TDM strategies and their role in addressing key policy objectives.
Example – Several states and regions have used visioning exercises as part of their long-range transportation plan update process. Many of these processes are entitled "Envision," including Envision Utah (Salt Lake Valley) and Envision Missoula. In the case of Missoula, three scenarios were extensively discussed with the public, including: a "business as usual" case, a focus on growth to suburban satellites, and then a "focus inward" scenario to concentrate development and improve travel choices, especially in an "in-town mobility district." This last scenario involved improved transit, bike, and walk facilities and services to improve access combined with increased density to manage travel demand.87
Action 2 – Develop supporting regulations and policies
Rationale and Explanation – State DOTs can support TDM planning and implementation through the development of regulations and policies that enhance the implementation and effectiveness of TDM. This might include land use policies that support increased densities to support alternative modes. Regulations on employers and new development have been adopted by many states to provide regions with this ability (such as the Washington State CTR law mentioned above). Such regulations and policies provide the mandates that allow regions and cities to bring key players to the TDM arena and increase the effectiveness of TDM efforts.
Example – Some states are also using TDM in mitigating the impacts of new development, a role more commonly assumed by local government. The Massachusetts Office of Transportation Planning's Public/Private Development Unit coordinates state DOT review of private development projects that require certain state approvals, such as highway access permits for new or modified access to state highway. As stated in the Commonwealth's 2006 LRTP, "the Office of Transportation Planning is developing a monitoring system to verify implementation of transportation demand management programs, as well as a follow-up evaluation once projects are built." By encouraging developers to incorporate bicycle and pedestrian facilities into their site development plans, MassDOT is ensuring that project site designs accommodate walking and bicycling, consistent with the principles of its award-winning Project Development & Design Guide.88 Project proponents are also required to work with the local/regional transit authority to determine the viability of public transportation at their site and, if feasible, make provisions to make public transit available.
Table 5.4: List of Actions and Associated Level of Difficulty to Move Statewide Planning Process from Level 2 to Level 3
||Ease of Implementation
|Establishing Vision and Goals|
|1||Involve public in TDM visioning||Low||Low||Low||Low||Low|
|2||Develop supporting regulations and policies||Moderate||Moderate||Moderate||Moderate||Moderate|
|3||Train all levels of management on TDM||Difficult||Difficult||Low||Moderate||Difficult|
|4||Create incentive-based approaches for TDM||Low||Low||Moderate||Moderate||Low|
|Setting Objectives for TDM|
|5||Define SMART TDM-related objectives for a variety of policy issues||Moderate||Moderate||Low||Moderate||Moderate|
|Definition of Performance Measures|
|6||Develop performance measures that express TDM effectiveness in operational terms||Low||Moderate||Low||Moderate||Moderate|
|Assessment and Selection of Strategies and Programs to Support Objectives|
|7||Develop procedures for considering demand management strategies prior to other, more capital intensive alternatives||Difficult||Moderate||Low||Moderate||Moderate|
|8||Develop new tools/approaches to incorporate all travel choices into the analysis approach||Low||Low||Moderate||Moderate||Low|
|Integration of Strategies into Plans and Funding Programs|
|9||Develop capability to include TDM in all projects in appropriate manner||Moderate||Moderate||Low||Moderate||Moderate|
|10||Adopt or develop a standardized approach to reporting TDM performance||Low||Low||Low||Low||Low|
Action 3 – Train all levels of management on TDM
Rationale and Explanation – Even if top policy support is gained for integrating TDM into the planning (and implementation) process, TDM will not be fully accommodated if planners, project managers, and department administrators are not educated on the benefits and impacts of TDM. Staff training may be required to make sure all involved in the planning (and implementation) process are up to speed on TDM, especially the broadened definition offered in this desk reference. Training could include in-house education by staff specializing in TDM, the use of external trainers, or participation in professional organizations and conferences that focus on TDM.
Example – Two states that have developed an extensive in-house knowledge base on TDM are Washington State and Colorado. Washington State DOT's Public Transportation Division assists cities with their CTR requirements, informs the public, supports transportation providers, contains a research library, and serves as an in-house resource for all travel choices. As stated on the WSDOT Public Transportation Division's webpage:89
More than ever, people in Washington are choosing to share a ride, catch a bus, ride
a bicycle and use other efficient transportation choices to get around with driving alone
less often. Our bottom line: make a measurable, meaningful difference for individuals,
communities, the economy and environment.
Likewise, Colorado DOT has developed tools to assist its planners and project managers, as well as local government and business, with TDM implementation. Their TDM Toolkit and the TDM Corridor Projects Study offer a complete list of strategies with TDM successes throughout Colorado and the U.S.90
Action 4 – Create Incentive-based Approaches for TDM
Rationale and Explanation – As discussed in Chapter 6, incentives are a key component of the most effective TDM strategies. State DOTs can champion the need for and form of such incentives. This may require the need for substantial buy-in from decision-makers to provide the funding and support enabling legislation. Some decision-makers view incentives as "as paying people to do what they should be doing" rather than viewing incentives as short-term measures to induce a longer-term behavior change that supports multiple policy objectives.
Example – In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly approved new tax credit legislation aimed at encouraging private sector telework. Teleworking is considered, by the General Assembly, to be an effective congestion management strategy to reduce highway traffic. It has also been shown to improve employee productivity, retention, and satisfaction. The purpose of the Telework Tax Credit is to remove auto trips by eliminating commute trips to and from work. Only employees who travel to an office in Virginia qualify. The legislation provides for a tax credit (for new teleworkers) of up to $1,200 per employee and up to $50,000 per organization for eligible telework expenses incurred during taxable years 2012 and 2013. Additional legislation is required to continue this tax credit after 2013. Any business subject to Virginia income tax is eligible to apply for the tax credit. This is done through approval by the Virginia Department of Taxation. Employees must telework at least once a week in order for expenses incurred under the telework agreement to be eligible.91
Action 5 – Define SMART TDM-related objectives for a variety of policy issues
Rationale and Explanation – Once TDM is recognized as a means to address many policy objectives, specific objectives, beyond congestion or air quality, can be set. This includes areas heretofore not commonly associated with TDM, such as goods movement, livability, and land use. This will require careful selection of SMART objectives that are meaningful and measurable in areas that have not historically involved a connection with TDM. While some guidance is emerging, such as with livability and TDM, connections with other policy objectives are quite new. However, for TDM to realize its full potential, such objective-setting exercises will be needed. One key role for state DOTs is not only to encourage a connection between TDM and key policy objectives (and exemplified below with land use) but also to develop sample performance objectives that can be used in order to realize the full benefits of TDM.
Example – In the case of land use, most state DOTs can only play a role of encouraging local jurisdictions to make better land use-transportation decisions and set concomitant requirements. For example, Colorado DOT's long-range plan states that the DOT is working on leadership opportunities that coordinate transportation and land use planning to minimize impacts and manage demand on the state highway system. Likewise, the Ohio DOT's plan encourages local governments with land use authority to implement land use policies that promote or facilitate the use of alternative modes, park-and-ride lots, carpooling, and other TDM concepts.
Action 6 – Develop performance measures that express TDM effectiveness in operational terms
Rationale and Explanation – The most prevalent performance measures for TDM are either output based (e.g., number of carpools formed) or outcome based (e.g., resulting VMT reduction). However, these metrics are sometimes foreign to other transportation planners, engineers, and especially policy-makers. There is a need to translate TDM effectiveness into terms that traditional transportation planners and engineers can better understand, such as reductions in delay, increase in person throughput, and reductions in needed lane miles. While one might argue that performance measures that are expressed in terms of the utilization of sustainable modes or increases in quality of life indices are just as important, TDM will be partially judged by those focused on the efficient operation of the road system.
Example – Using VMT reduction, volumes, and speeds, estimates of reduction in delay can be derived. Going one step further, the CUTR has developed a methodology that merges mode shift data with a highway micro-simulation model to graphically show how employer trip reduction programs can reduce delay for a given highway segment.92 This research was originally conducted using CTR data from the Seattle region as applied to a portion of I-5 through downtown Seattle. The methodology and recommended approach are contained in a report entitled "Impact of Employer-based Programs on Transit System Ridership and Transportation System Performance."93
Action 7 – Develop procedures for considering demand management strategies prior to other, more capital intensive alternatives
Rationale and Explanation – While federal planning guidance suggests that alternatives be considered before options that accommodate the SOV, state DOTs may wish to consider structuring this philosophy in the planning process by requiring that specific corridor planning efforts first prove why TDM cannot be a primary solution before considering options that add capacity, or even efficiency improvements. This would require a fundamental change in thinking that involves viewing TDM not as a short-term mitigation strategy, but as a long-term approach to reducing overall vehicle demand.
Example – One example of the full institutionalization of TDM into the planning process comes from Sweden. In 2002, the Swedish National Roads Administration adopted the "four stage principle," which requires planners and engineers to evaluate options in the following order:
- Measures that affect the demand for transport and the choice of mode.
- Measures that foster the more efficient use of the existing road network.
- Measures that promote improvements to existing roads.
- Measures that make new investments in road capacity or major rebuilding.
Planners are, therefore, required to consider and rule of demand management before they can consider infrastructure improvements.94
Action 8 – Develop new tools/approaches to incorporate all travel choices into the analysis approach
Rationale and Explanation – Moving from the defined approach to a more optimized integration of TDM may require the development of tailored and specialized analytic tools to evaluate the effectiveness of TDM strategies in addressing key policy objectives. While many "off the shelf" tools now exist, in order to analyze the full set of TDM strategies and their impact across a myriad of objectives, specialized tools may be required. This might include new, tailored means of using the traditional four-step travel models or newer activity-based models. It might also involve other new tools, such as the micro-simulation tool, developed by CUTR and mentioned in Action 7 above, which uses employer TDM data and CORSIM (Corridor Simulation, sponsored by FHWA).
Example – The traditional four-step travel demand modeling process can be used to evaluate TDM strategies that can be analyzed in terms of time and cost variables. However, many off-model tools have been developed to analyze congestion pricing strategies, bicycle and walk strategies, and other strategies that cannot be expressed in terms of time and cost indicators. A good discussion of the means to incorporate TDM into regional travel demand models is provided by CUTR in a report entitled "Incorporating Assumptions for TDM Impacts in a Regional Travel Demand Model," which was developed for WSDOT and included a specific TDM Assessment Procedure that uses the CUTR TRIMMS model and processes resulting TDM impacts through trip tables.95
Action 9 – Develop capability to include TDM in ALL projects in an appropriate manner
Rationale and Explanation – Once TDM becomes optimized and managing demand becomes an overall philosophy of how to manage and operate the transportation system, then TDM strategies will become a part of most if not all projects. This requires a strong capability at the management and technical levels to assure that TDM is appropriately considered for all projects, both in the long-range planning process as well as individual project-level planning.
Example – The Colorado DOT has developed a means for moving from broad statewide plans to specific solutions. Increasingly, Colorado's long-range transportation plan is assuming a more corridor-centric look. The 2035 statewide plan includes "corridor visions," which discuss various proposed strategies aimed at meeting each corridor's unique transportation goals. Taken together, the corridor vision establishes an integrated, system-wide vision that balances local and statewide transportation goals and strategies.96
Action 10 – Adopt or develop a standardized approach to reporting TDM performance
Rationale and Explanation – In order to provide an effective feedback loop to the objective setting and strategy selection process, standardized TDM evaluation methodologies are required. This might involve developing a tailored approach for a given state DOT or adopting a widely accepted methodology. Such methodology development or adoption should be vetted with TDM professionals and researchers to assure that it is understandable, rigorous, and usable.
Example – The MAX-SUMO monitoring and evaluation approach developed in Europe is easily adaptable to the U.S. experience for many TDM strategies. The methodology is described in Chapter 9.
5.5 Best Practice Examples: State-Level TDM Integration
WSDOT is recognized for having one of the most comprehensive DOT-supported TDM programs in the nation. Since the early 1990s, the Washington State Legislature has enacted an evolving set of laws that spell out statewide TDM initiatives and the DOTs role in implementing them. One of the most significant pieces of legislation is the 2006 CTR Efficiency Act, which enhanced a 1991 law by requiring county and local governments in congested regions to develop and implement plans for employers to reduce SOV trips. WSDOT supports the Act and other TDM initiatives in the following ways:
- A state-level policy framework, called Moving Washington, has been adopted to guide decision-making. It has three principal tenets: operate efficiently, manage demand, and add capacity strategically. The DOT policy is aimed at aligning the objectives of all its partners to assure a reliable, sustainable, and responsible transportation system.
- A 2005 University of Washington study of the role of TDM at the state DOT concluded that "it is in WSDOT's strategic interest to employ TDM measures to increase existing system capacity during congested times and to minimize the need to build new roadway lanes."97
- Through the CTR program, WSDOT provides formula funding to local governments to work with employers that implement trip reduction programs in their jurisdictions. Local governments review employer programs, provide training and networking, and coordinate measurement surveys at worksites.
- WSDOT offers technical assistance and over 18 years of trip reduction performance data to agencies and companies to help implement trip reduction programs. Technical assistance includes training, support with data collection and analysis, providing policy and planning guidance to networks of partners, and documenting best practices.
- WSDOT provides technical assistance to Transportation Management Area-like regions called Growth and Transportation Efficiency Centers (GTECs), sub-areas areas of dense, mixed-use development. GTECs complement the CTR program (which targets larger employers) by focusing on providing trip reduction options for smaller employers, students, and residents.
- WSDOT operates an extensive HOV system and has initiated a HOT lane pilot program. Approximately 225 lane-miles of a planned 320-mile freeway HOV system have been built. WSDOT works closely with local agencies and construction project teams to find low-cost ways to minimize the risk of construction-related traffic backups, including traveler information, contractor incentives, and programs that boost people's use of carpools, vanpools, telework, and buses.
- WSDOT invests in local efforts to manage congestion through regional mobility grants. These grants fund a variety of capital and operating investments, including new buses, park and ride lots, bus lanes, and new transit services. More than $100 million has been invested since 2005.
- WSDOT provides capital assistance for the state's 20 transit agencies that operate vanpool programs across the state. Washington state vanpooling represents the largest public vanpool fleet in North America, with more than 2,400 daily vanpools and 20,000 daily riders in June 2010. WSDOT is developing RideshareOnline.com and other electronic commute management tools to strengthen local trip reduction and ridesharing programs by enhancing accountability, supporting performance measurement, and securing additional resources through partnerships.
- WSDOT supports the Lake Washington Urban Partnership Agreement, which provides federal funds to help WSDOT, King County, and the Puget Sound Regional Council manage congestion through a combination of tolling, transit service, trip reduction, and Smarter Highways technology.
GDOT's TDM program is a response to high levels of congestion, limited opportunities for additional roadway expansion, and serious air quality conformity challenges. Georgia DOT coordinates statewide TDM services, which are funded through federal CMAQ, state, and local funds, through partnerships with contractors and other public agencies. Figure 5.4 illustrates the organization of the Georgia program. GDOT provides support for local TDM programs as well as part of the statewide coordinated approach.
- GDOT's TDM support is conducted through its Air Quality Branch within the Office of Planning. The Branch has hired separate contractors with statewide and regional responsibility for specific functions, including ride-matching, guaranteed ride home, statewide and local employer services, and statewide marketing and coordination.
- GDOT supports TDM through federal CMAQ funds matched with GDOT's state funds and funds from other state agencies (Environmental Protection, Natural Resources) and with in-kind support from the Georgia Clean Air Campaign.
- GDOT has pledged $20 million (including the match) over the next 3 years to support TDM at the statewide level. This level of support reflects a commitment from the highest levels of the organization to manage congestion by managing demand. This level of support also reflects GDOT's recognition that reducing peak demand can produce maintenance and operations benefits.
- GDOT provides funding support for The Clean Air Campaign, a private non-profit organization that offers TDM incentive programs, public awareness campaigns, and employer and commuter outreach services statewide, especially in areas not served by TMAs. The Campaign has found an effective marketing strategy in communicating the monetary savings of using commute options.
- GDOT contracts with the Atlanta Regional Commission (the Atlanta region's MPO) to manage the operation of the Atlanta region's TMAs. The region's TMAs encourage the use of non-SOV commute options through promotion of statewide incentive programs and transportation services and statewide marketing campaigns. GDOT notes that managing the TMAs by contract through a single contractor has improved accountability and increased the effectiveness of the local programs.
- The Center for Transportation and the Environment, based out of Atlanta, monitors TDM performance in the state. In 2009, GDOT provided grants to support the center's evaluation efforts.
- GDOT operates over 90 miles of HOV lanes and 96 park and ride lots throughout the state.
- The Department funds highway emergency response operations (HERO) through CMAQ grants and offers incentives to clear crashes quickly. The Department's communications office publishes a report on incident response performance annually.
Figure 5.4: Georgia DOT TDM Program Coordination
Source: Georgia DOT
A Framework for TDM in the Transportation Planning Process – Technical Memorandum: State of the Practice Review – Appendix C – Integrating Travel Demand Management in the Statewide Transportation Planning Process: Draft, March 22, 2010
Black and Schreffler, Understanding TDM and its Role in Delivery of Sustainable Urban Transport, Transportation Research Record 2163, 2010.
Colorado DOT – www.coloradodot.info/content/programs/planning/2035CVCD/index.html
CDOT, Colorado 2035 Statewide Transportation Plan, Travel Demand Management Technical Report, March 2008.
Colorado DOT – Fact Sheet: North I-25 Environmental Impact Statement, August 2011, http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/north-i-25-eis/Final-EIS/documents/NorthI25FactSheet.pdf
FHWA, Managing Travel Demand – Applying European Perspectives to U. S. Practice, FHWA-PL-06-015, May 2006.
FHWA, Mitigating Traffic Congestion, the Role of Demand-Side Strategies, FHWA-HOP-05-001, October 2004.
NCHRP, State DOT Role in the Implementation of TDM Programs, Research Results Digest 348, based on NCHRP 20-65, July 2010
SHRP II, Guide for Improving Capability for Systems Operation and Management, TRB, prepared by Parsons Brinkerhoff, Report S2-L06-RR-2, 2011.
Washington State Transportation Center, "WSDOT's Role in TDM: Strategic Interests, Structure, and Responsibilities, "Report No. WA-RD-616.1, July 2005.
WSDOT, Incorporating Assumptions for TDM Impacts in a Regional Travel Demand Model, prepared by CUTR, report WA-RD-746.1, March 2010.
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