Center Identification Number: 576-11
Project Title: Incorporating TDM into the Land Development Process
Sara J. Hendricks
Phone: (813) 974-9801
Phone: (813) 974-5723
Center for Urban Transportation Research
External Project Contact:
I. Project Objective
The objective of this research study is to determine ways in which transportation demand management strategies can be implemented through the land development process and to gain a better understanding of the motivating factors behind how local governments set priorities in their negotiations with land developers, so that TDM can better position itself to enlist local governments to champion TDM strategies throughout the land development process.
II. Project Abstract
Interest is growing among TDM professionals working for public transit agencies, transportation management associations and commuter assistance programs, to engage land development and property management processes to incorporate TDM strategies at work sites. The creation of development orders is a complex process of negotiation, the results of which may be enhanced by an increased comprehension of the issues and desires of the involved parties. This proposal was conceived as a result of the difficulty cited by commuter assistance programs and transportation management associations to convince local governments to implement and support transportation demand management strategies through land development.
Since the advent of ISTEA, more attention by government transportation planners has been placed on maximizing the use of the existing transportation system. Recognizing the escalating costs involved in widening existing roads and building new ones, in addition to noise, air pollution, traffic congestion, and other problems associated with private automobile travel, the federal government and many state governments want to encourage the use of transportation demand management (TDM) strategies by local governments and developers as a low cost solution to increasing mobility. TDM is a set of specific strategies that foster increased efficiency of the transportation system by influencing travel behavior by mode, time of day, frequency, trip length, regulation, route or cost. TDM discourages drive-alone travel through better management of existing transportation infrastructure, services and resources. TDM strategies include public transit services.
In addition to TDM, the state of Florida requires that adequate transportation service be provided concurrent with land development. Concurrency management planning directly affects local capital improvements programming and the land development process. However, it is typically in the most urbanized counties, such as Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, that concurrency is the driving issue behind negotiating roadway or transit improvements in a development order. Broward County is currently developing its own transit-oriented concurrency approach, in which the proposed development pays a fair share toward transit improvements as an alternative to constructing or paying for roadway improvements. Florida’s transportation concurrency law has become more aligned with the objectives of TDM as the law has evolved over the years to provide local governments with flexible options. These options include transportation concurrency management areas, transportation concurrency exception areas and the more recent multimodal transportation districts to address traffic congestion and ensure a standard of transportation service through alternative travel modes. While some Florida local governments have used these mechanisms, many other local governments perceive preferences that the traveling and voting public does not desire alternative transportation and land development geared toward alternative transportation. These preferences relate to local home and car buying decisions, perceived travel mode preferences, minimal use of transit and land development styles promoted by the private sector. Making TDM work depends upon the results of negotiated trade-offs between competing visions for future land development and how local governments set transportation priorities based upon political realities.
While federal and state governments encourage alternative transportation, local governments have been slower to respond to the call to strengthen transportation options through the land development process. Local governments work most closely with the regulation of land development activities, in both devising generalized long-range plans guiding future growth as well as negotiating development orders that will shape travel characteristics at the site-specific level. Generally, local governments must balance the desire for increased tax base as a result of land development against the public infrastructure costs of that land development. Local governments recognize that a development has the potential to vitalize the local economy as a new office building becomes the site of new business activity and employment opportunities and the property becomes taxable at a higher rate. New residential development provides more desirable housing stock and attracts taxpaying residents to live there. Ideally, local governments want to attract and locate desirable land development to the most appropriate locations but in reality, some proposed land development is less desirable than others and some proposed locations are not optimal. These circumstances necessitate discernment on the part of the local government when negotiating with land developers, particularly with respect to what the municipality has to offer the land developer and the extent to which the local government can place conditions for transportation upon the development site without forcing the deal to fall through.
TDM includes an extensive list of strategies. The selection and use of some combination of strategies in connection with land development, depends on the nature of the development, how the development will be occupied and used and the context provided by its location. Various TDM strategies can be implemented based upon the stage of the land development process. There are generally five stages as listed below.
1. The application of TDM can and should begin with the long-range comprehensive land use and transportation planning process in conjunction with funding of infrastructure. This includes the planning for future transit service networks with supportive land use planning, roadway networks that are more conducive to serving alternative transportation modes, providing for favorable mixes of community services, such as public schools, libraries and recreation centers at the neighborhood level, and the capital planning for bike lanes, bike paths and side walks.
2. To implement the plans through the land development process, TDM strategies should be incorporated into land use regulations, such as provisions in zoning and parking ordinances.
3. At the level of site-specific land development, TDM can be implemented through transit-oriented building design, the provision of transportation facilities and amenities to encourage alternative modes as well as temporary measures such as traffic maintenance during construction.
4. TDM implementation continues through the process of property management such as maintaining a TMA membership, providing location-oriented mortgages or offering office leases with parking provisions unbundled from other service provisions provided in the lease.
5. TDM strategies can continue to be provided for occupants of the completed land development. Examples include direct provision of transportation services, such as shuttles, vanpools and guaranteed ride home, technical support for telecommuting and proximate commute strategies, or brokering arrangements for carpools, car share programs, short-term auto rental programs or other third-party service providers. TDM can focus on information provision, such as information kiosks, real time transit information and the designation of employee transportation coordinators.
The challenge is to incorporate TDM into all stages of the transportation planning process and land development negotiations so that it is an integral part of the transportation planning and congestion management approach rather than an afterthought. This proposed study will emphasize an investigation of incorporating TDM into stages 3-5 above of the land development process. It also is understood that stages 1 and 2 are critical to creating the foundation and making the effectiveness of TDM strategies more possible. In the case of incorporating TDM into negotiated development orders, developers/property owners would be responsible for carrying out TDM strategies. Local governments want to make it easy for developers to fulfill conditions to contribute to transportation improvements. Local governments want transportation improvements that can be demonstrated to benefit the contributing development, achieve or maintain adequate transportation level of service, and be of reasonable cost so that the local government does not use up all of its bargaining chips requiring the developer to satisfy the transportation needs of the site. Local governments also tend to favor stipulations requiring the construction of physical transportation improvements due to the ease of implementing the stipulations. All of these preferences pose challenges to the inclusion of TDM strategies in development orders.
This proposed study will:
III. Task Descriptions
Task 1: Literature Review and Local Government Contacting
Starting at the level of long range comprehensive planning policies and regulations to implement them, a literature search will be conducted to identify what other municipalities in Florida and across the nation, have incorporated TDM strategies into comprehensive plans and land development codes. The search will begin with an existing CUTR database of municipalities nationwide that have trip reduction ordinances (TRO), to determine:
It is anticipated that the impetus behind many TROs nationwide are the fulfillment of state requirements. For example, the TRO developed for the City of Boca Raton was in response to DRI requirements. However, there may be some TROs that were motivated by factors at the local level and it would be informative to find out what these factors were. Local governments will be contacted to select and examine development orders to determine what elements still required negotiation in the implementation of TRO requirements.
A search will also be conducted to identify and describe municipalities with cases in which development orders were negotiated with TDM provisions, without the existence of regulations. In the negotiation of development orders, for example:
As issues are articulated, more questions may be identified.
Interviews with TDM professionals of Florida transit agencies, commuter assistance programs and transportation management associations will be conducted to determine what are the particular TDM strategies that are consistently desired but fail to be implemented or whether the desired TDM strategy is significantly different for every case of new development.
Task 2: Case Study Development
Based upon the findings of the literature review and government contacting, a sample of three municipalities will be selected for the development of in-depth case studies to illustrate the process of negotiations by local governments with land developers. The case studies will include contacting key participants in the negotiations and approval process for each municipality.
Task 3: Information Synthesis and Final Report
Summaries of the case studies and general findings from Tasks 1 and 2 will be synthesized and described in a final report. The objective will be to draw conclusions about what circumstances lead to development orders that include TDM strategies and ways in which TDM professionals can work with local government officials and participate in the process to encourage development order provisions that support alternative transportation.
IV. Student Involvement
Graduate students will assist in research and data collection. Other anticipated student benefits will include synthesis of information and technology transfer support.
V. Relationship to Other Research Projects
Some related research has been conducted or is ongoing, as described below, which will serve to inform this proposal as part of a literature review. However, no studies have been found that address the particular objective proposed by this study. The TCRP Report 51, A Guidebook for Marketing Transit Services to Businesses, addresses how various transit services can meet private sector needs and provides a list of potential actions that could be of interest to this proposal study. Alternatively, this proposal would focus upon the land development process and the role of local governments, and how to work with governing bodies to incorporate transit and TDM strategies into development orders. The TCRP Report 27, Building Transit Ridership, An Exploration of Transit’s Market Share and the Public Policies That Support It, concluded that the local land development process is the most powerful level at which public policies can support transit. The report also concluded that the ability to increase market share of public transit does not lie in the characteristics of transit itself, but in conditions affecting private vehicle ownership and use. To affect car ownership and use, the study recommended increasing parking pricing, among other considerations. TCRP Report 40, Strategies to Attract Auto Users to Public Transportation, contains a chapter regarding the political feasibility of increasing parking prices.
This proposal would take some of these recommendations to the next step to explore what conditions make local governments hesitant and how these conditions can be overcome to incorporate various public policies into the land development process at the level of the individual development site. TCRP Report 33, Transit-Friendly Streets: Design and Traffic Management Strategies to Support Livable Communities, also provides related research, but focuses upon the development of the transportation network itself, while this proposed study would focus upon the private sector land development process.
Recent short term technical support was provided by CUTR to the Sarasota Transportation Management Initiative on the topic of whether transportation management associations in Florida have been able to secure private land developer contributions either toward TDM measures to meet concurrency requirements or to support the operations of the TMAs. Two out of eleven surveyed TMAs have received such support although the specifics of such support were not investigated in detail. CUTR submitted a proposal in January through the Florida TDM Clearinghouse to interview staff of these two TMAs. Inquiry will focus on understanding local processes used to engage transportation concurrency, to implement TDM strategies and TMAs as an organizational mechanism, for the purpose of identifying issues and opportunities in applying these processes in Sarasota. The research would also focus on what Florida can learn from TMAs outside Florida who engage regulatory processes to receive budgetary support for TMAs. The research will also summarize status of Florida’s development and application of multi-modal level of service measures and standards, to determine how this may have a bearing upon developer contributions to TMAs and TDM strategies. This proposal includes two other unrelated elements with a proposed total budget of $3,000. As a result, the research results will not be in-depth.
The NCTR Report, Land Developer Participation in Providing for Bus Transit Facilities/Operations, provides a detailed discussion about the various mechanisms, both regulatory and non-regulatory, for engaging the land development process. However, it specifically focuses upon support for public bus transit facilities and operations with transit agencies and local governments as the main audience for the study. Additionally, the NCTR report, Building Transit Oriented Development in Established Communities, also looks carefully at the land development process for lessons learned in assisting suburban communities to make changes that enable transit to effectively serve their communities. This proposal will examine the broader range of TDM strategies, with the main audience being TDM professionals working for public transit agencies, transportation management associations and commuter assistance programs.
Other related research includes CUTR technical assistance provided to the City of Boca Raton, for the creation of a citywide trip reduction ordinance. From this effort, a database was compiled of trip reduction ordinances from approximately forty municipalities nationwide. This proposal will not focus exclusively on regulatory measures. CUTR also recently provided technical assistance to Hillsborough County to incorporate TDM into the long-range transportation plan. The previous research may provide experience and lessons to share more generally with other local governments, as examined by this study.
Three other ongoing NCTR studies will be useful in the literature review, but will not address the specific objective of this study. These include the Worksite Trip Reduction Model and Manual, which will lend insight into effective combinations of TDM strategies with documented trip reduction results. To be available in 2005, this type of information will address the hesitation of local governments to substitute trip reduction strategies for roadway improvements. The ongoing NCTR study, Commuter Choice Program Case Study Development and Analysis, complements the quantitative results supplied by the Worksite Trip Reduction Model and Manual by providing a qualitative analysis of the institutional context in which commuter choice programs are implemented to determine what factors contribute to their success.
The NCTR project, Model Regulations and Plan Amendments for Multimodal Transportation Districts, currently underway, is different from this proposal in three respects. First, the intent of the multimodal transportation districts (MMTD) as written in the state statutes, is the application of community design features to enable walking, bicycling and creating the interconnectedness required for minimizing the number of vehicles miles traveled. In response, the Model Regulations project focuses on the physical design elements that encourage transit and pedestrian use. Alternatively, this proposal would examine the applicability of the toolbox of TDM strategies, which includes a larger array of non-design oriented strategies and services. Second, due to the parameters of the project, the Model Regulations project focuses on planning and regulation with respect to the land area within designated multimodal transportation districts, whereas this proposal will explore the use of TDM strategies throughout the entire jurisdiction.
Third, the outcome of the Model Regulations project will be the development of model comprehensive plan language and land development regulations. Comprehensive plans are long range in perspective and provide policy guidance generally applied. Land development regulations implement the planning policies by defining what is required and is often manifested in the development outcome as a minimum standard. While comprehensive planning language and land development code language will be examined with respect to TDM, this proposal is different in that it also examines the process at the level of the individual land development proposal and aims to explore the process of negotiation as part of the crafting of development orders. Issues include how the local government prioritizes the array of objectives it wants to achieve through land development negotiations. What are these competing objectives and how can TDM strategies be positioned to rate higher as a priority? One outcome of this study is to describe the land development process and the involved parties in order to determine how and at what point in the process, TDM professionals can work most effectively with governing bodies. The ultimate objective is guidance to create a well-crafted and enforceable development order that includes effective TDM strategies as a means to improve mobility and reduce traffic congestion.
The Association for Commuter Transportation also is developing the update to the TDM Reference Guide, which will present descriptions and case study examples of the contemporary enablers of TDM strategies, such as information, technology and financial incentives. The Guide will address TDM for both commute and non-commute trips. ACT has also embarked on the development of STAR, the Smart Transportation Archive Researcher, to create an archive of case studies of the use TDM. While both of these projects may lend persuasive information regarding the effectiveness and costs of TDM implementation, neither project looks specifically at the land development process.
VI. Technology Transfer Activities/Peer Review
The final report will be available on the NCTR website (www.nctr.usf.edu) in HTML and pdf formats. The results of this project will be made available at conferences in Florida such as Florida Public Transportation Association, APTA, TRB and other related organizations. A brief presentation by the PI will be recorded and available for playback as a streaming media presentation on the NCTR website.
Representatives from the following agencies will be invited as peer reviewers:
Florida Association of Counties
Florida League of Cities
Department of Community Affairs
Federal Transit Administration
TRB Committee on Transportation and Land Development
VII. Potential Benefits of the Project
This proposed project is intended to shed light on the poorly understood process of negotiation that takes place continuously between local governments and land developers, the outcome of which is a built environment with associated operational characteristics. The sum of these individual land developments cumulatively determines travel characteristics. Increased understanding of the process by which development orders are created as well as the motivating factors behind various outcomes, will strengthen the position of transit agencies and other TDM practitioners to positively influence the process to support alternative transportation.
VIII. TRB Keywords:
TDM, Transportation Demand Management, Land Development
1. Time Line
Notes: This budget does not reflect any federal participation.
The project team will include faculty, students, and secretarial and other support staff who will work directly on the project and whose costs are reflected in the direct costs of the project as listed above.
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