The city of Rochester is currently undertaking a significant planning and economic development effort that aims to almost double employment in its downtown over a 20-year period. Much of the employment growth will come from the city’s largest employer, the Mayo Clinic, and associated and ancillary businesses including biotech, medical service providers, hospitality, retail, and other service industries. To assure an active and vibrant downtown, the city seeks to accommodate this growth with little increase in parking capacity. To achieve this goal, the city is studying investments in transit, active transportation, TDM, and parking management. UrbanTrans is part of the parking and TDM planning team and is working with the city to identify strategies to reduce parking demand, increase use of non-drive alone travel modes, and assure that city investments in transit and active transportation are maximized.
Part of our work includes the development of recommendations regarding what TDM strategies should be provided and the organizational structure through which those strategies should be delivered. Answers to these questions are being developed through stakeholder involvement that includes interviews, surveys of area employers, and a series of facilitated meetings to educate and obtain feedback from employers, government agencies, transit providers, and other key stakeholders. The effort is further supported by an analysis we are conducting of current and future transportation and employment conditions and a feasibility assessment of organizational options for delivering TDM services. The ultimate recommendations will be supported by new developer regulations that encourage the implementation of TDM strategies. UrbanTrans has conducted best practices research regarding developer TDM regulations and will assist the city with the development of policies to encourage new developments to fund and implement TDM strategies that reduce parking demand and vehicle travel.
Simultaneous to our TDM planning work, UrbanTrans is helping the city plan and implement a pilot TDM program for city staff. The effort includes surveying employees, identifying applicable TDM strategies, and developing and implementing marketing and educational efforts to encourage travel behavior change. The program will be expanded to cover all employees within the city, and UrbanTrans staff will ultimately help the city transition the program to a long-term management organization.