Community Organization Actions for Efficient Transportation
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Updated 25 January 2010
This chapter identifies TDM policies and programs suitable for implementation by community organizations such as neighborhood associations, environmental advocacy organizations and other stakeholder groups.
Community organizations (also called non-governmental organizations or NGOs, and advocacy groups) include a wide variety of organizations that represent the interests of residents or other stakeholders, and advocate for specific objectives such as environmental protection. They range from small, informal local groups to major international organizations with significant membership and funding.
TDM strategies can help achieve many community organization goals, including reduced traffic and parking congestion, improved mobility for non-drivers, improved public fitness and health, and reduced pollution emissions. Because TDM can provide multiple benefits it can provide an opportunity for building partnerships and coalitions among various interest groups. For example, organizations interested in neighborhood livability, global environmental issues, public health and improving employment opportunities for poor people all have reasons to support TDM programs.
Community groups can support TDM implementation in the following ways:
The following strategies are particularly suitable for implementation by community organizations. For more detailed information see the TDM Summary Table.
Car-free planning strategies reduce automobile travel at particular times and places, and to create pedestrian oriented streets.
Creating vibrant downtowns, business districts, urban villages and other accessible, mixed-use activity centers tends to support many TDM strategies.
New Urbanism (also called Neotraditional Design) includes various design and development practices that create more accessible, walkable, multi-modal, and livable communities. People who live and work in such communities tend to drive less and rely more on alternative modes than in more automobile-dependent locations.
Various management strategies can result in more efficient use of parking resources. These include sharing, regulating and pricing of parking facilities, more accurate requirements, use of off-site parking facilities, improved user information, and incentives to use alternative modes.
Public Bike Systems (PBS), which are automated bicycle rental systems designed to provide efficient mobility for short, utilitarian urban trips.
Sharing parking facilities among various users can increase efficiency and support various TDM strategies.
Special programs can help managed transportation efficiently during major events, construction projects and emergencies.
Reducing traffic speeds tends to improve walking and cycling conditions, increase safety, reduce air and noise pollution, encourage more compact development, and reduce total automobile travel.
Street reclaiming involves various strategies that increase community interaction on neighborhood streets.
TDM can help achieve sustainable transport planning objectives.
Provide wayfinding improvements and other multi-modal navigation tools that offer guidance for walking, cycling, driving and public transit use.
A comprehensive plan for integrating bicycling infrastructure into the city's street network, including on- and off-road facilities, and ancillary facilities such as bicycle parking, signing and other amenities.
The City of Portland has developed extensive pedestrian, bicycling and public transit facilities and services.
The City of New York has developed an award-winning plan that identifies more than 900 miles of on- and off-street facilities and recommends a series of policies and programs that would promote bicycle use, encourage integration with transit, and link to the City's greenway system.
The organization Walkable Communities has participated in dozens of community planning charrettes, in which residents and experts work together to design and organize roadway improvements, many of which include Traffic Calming.
Living Streets turn public roads into quality environments that encourage walking, cycling and social interaction. The UK the Pedestrians Association is sponsoring a Living Streets initiative with a 10-point plan detailing ways the government and local authorities can make streets more pleasant.
Living Streets give priority to pedestrians and cyclists, and create safe places for people to walk, cycle, play and meet friends. Cars and other motor vehicles are not excluded but the street is designed to make drivers aware that they are driving in an area where pedestrians and other users have priority. A Living Street encourages better driving behaviour and discourages heavy trucks and through traffic. Any street that is not a motorway or expressway can become a living street.
As part of the scheme, residents who have their streets developed as Living Streets sign a Community Contract declaring that if their street becomes a living street they will consciously reduce their speed in other residential streets.
Every time you dry your hair, make toast, or drive a car you are using energy made from fossil fuels, and that creates air pollution. It's a grim picture, but sources of pollution are also opportunities for change. The Center for Neighborhood Technology designed AirHead.org to provide People with simple ways to reduce their energy use and improve the quality of our air.
With AirHead's emissions calculator you can learn how much air pollution you create in the course of your everyday life, and compare your personal profile to other people in the U.S. and around the world. And AirHead offers many simple ways to reduce the impact of your day-to-day behaviors on the environment. Our product search, with over 60,000 products, ranks common products like cars, computers, refrigerators, VCRs and dishwashers by their energy-use emissions. AirHead helps users consider pollution and energy-use in their purchase considerations. We've also written extensively on the links between air pollution, health, products, and community.
AARP (2005), Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide, AARP Public Policy Institute (http://assets.aarp.org).
AirHead Website (www.AirHead.org) is an online tool to give people more information about the air pollution impacts of their everyday decisions.
Stephen Burrington and Veronika Thiebach (1995), Take Back Your Streets; How to Protect Communities from Asphalt and Traffic, Conservation Law Foundation (www.clf.org). Guide provides justifications and information on implementing traffic calming.
CCAP (2005), Transportation Emissions Guidebook: Land Use, Transit & Transportation Demand Management, Center of Clean Air Policy (www.ccap.org/guidebook). This Guidebook provides information on various smart growth and mobility management strategies, including rules-of-thumb estimates of VMT and emission reductions.
City Repair (2003), Placemaking Guidebook, City Repair Project (www.cityrepair.org).
Reid Ewing (1997), Transportation and Land Use Innovations; When You Can’t Build Your Way Out of Congestion, Planners Press (www.planning.com).
Go Green Choices (www.gogreen.com) is a Vancouver regional program to encourage reduced commute trips.
Living Streets Initiative (www.livingstreets.org.uk) is a campaign to create streets that give priority to walking, cycling and play.
MTE, Moving On the Economy Online Best Practices Database (http://w4.metrotor.on.ca/inter/mte/mte.nsf/$defaultview?OpenView&Count=5) is an ever-expanding searchable inventory of economic success stories in sustainable transportation.
Project for Public Spaces (www.pps.org) provides information on “placemaking” and community redevelopment techniques.
PTI, Slow Down You’re Going Too Fast, Public Technology Incorporated (www.pti.org/index.php/ptiee1/inside/190). Good introduction to traffic calming.
Seattle (1996), Making Streets that Work, City of Seattle (. Handbook for residents describes how to request various street improvements, including traffic calming.
Walkable Communities () helps create people-oriented environments.
This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.
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