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Thread: Alternative transportation plans?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Alternative transportation plans?

    If you have one, how in-depth is your alternative transportation section in your Comprehensive Plan? Improving things such as Bike, Rail, Trolley, Bus, and pedestrian traffic. Do you have measures included to reduce automobile dependency in your plan?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Diversifying transportation is always a good goal. Look at the possible benefits of successful projects: increased mobility for those without cars, improved air quality, improved congestion, safer places for kids to bike than in the street, fitter public (I know thats a streach, but thats what the advocates look for), and of course less complaining from the advocates!

    We have a comprehensive transportation plan that gets updated regularly, but alas I am from an MPO, if we did not have one, we would not get paid.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I was just thinking about almost every transportation plan that I have read (for a US city) and it is all Auto based. I am just wondering if places like Chicago, New York, or even smaller places have long term plans to decrease the dependency on the automobile.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I was just thinking about almost every transportation plan that I have read (for a US city) and it is all Auto based. I am just wondering if places like Chicago, New York, or even smaller places have long term plans to decrease the dependency on the automobile.
    Portland does. One of the goals of the Oregon Transportation Planning Rule is to reduce total Vehicle Miles Traveled by 20% by 2025 (maybe it's 2020, I can't quite remember). But Portland has actually been successful in the past few years at decreasing total VMT per capita.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    m'skis, We've been moderately successful in this state with regional pathways and feeders to those paths (i.e., Kal-Haven trail). I know the Detroit area passed a transit expansion plan unanamously a couple of years back as an extension of the regional transportation plan. DDOT is an imporant component for moving the poor in Detroit. Even though much of the city is suburban in land use (single family lots), the city remains with an astounding number of households without cars. These folks need to get around somehow, though I think it is exagerated because many of the folks who live in Detroit do things such as buy their cars and register them through their parents or suburban friends to take advantage of car insurance at half the cost of what it is to insure in the City itself.

    Well I digressed (again). I think you should also look to your MPO for transportation planning. It would be nice if you city's and the MPO's transportation plans agreed.

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    Quote Originally posted by City-zen
    Portland does. One of the goals of the Oregon Transportation Planning Rule is to reduce total Vehicle Miles Traveled by 20% by 2025 (maybe it's 2020, I can't quite remember). But Portland has actually been successful in the past few years at decreasing total VMT per capita.
    Do you know off of which study they based that 20% decrease target? Perhaps an air quality goal?

    We're trying to come up with something similar for NJ.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I work for a town of about 5,500 that is COMPLETELY auto-dependent as it is a transforming exurb. I'd say that discussion of transportation alternatives like biking and walking take up about a third of the plan (only because there are a lot more figures like street sections, etc. associated with the auto). It mainly focuses on setting the groundwork for creating a trails/sidewalk/bike system from scratch. It doesn't have much discussion of buses or rail because those will not be feasible in the area for at least 20 years. People out here love their cars, so most of our discussion of pedestrian facilities focuses on how pedestrian life can enhance a feeling of community and promote a small-town village atmosphere..

    The plan focuses on taking bites for pedestrians by creating trails in the areas most likely to get use. I'm working with TxDOT on a project now involving one of our state highways. Our survey indicated that people would let their kids walk to school if their were safe sidewalks or trails to get them there. This state highway has an intermediate school, junior high, elementary school, and entrances to two of the largest neighborhoods in the City (don't get me started on placing schools along state highways--I've already had that discussion with the school district). I am submitting the City's recommended design to TxDOT with a trail/sidewalk connecting all of these With some additional pedestrian safety measures and pedestrian friendly landscaping. I know a lot of you probably snicker at such a small project, but when you're starting from nothing this is a great beginning.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by jbrugger
    Do you know off of which study they based that 20% decrease target? Perhaps an air quality goal?

    We're trying to come up with something similar for NJ.

    Thanks.
    I wish I could tell you more, but I have unfortunately been unable to locate an online document of the Oregon Transportation Planning Rule. (I'm a student, not a professional). It was published by the Land Conservation and Development, so I'm sure it's around somewhere. But you can find out a little more about it here:

    http://www.friends.org/resources/qanda2.html (Go to the section on Transportation Planning).

    Or here: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP/TPR.shtml

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