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Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

CAMPO discusses travel demand management

Funding for programs that focus on freeing up existing roadway capacity may yet make the cut in a draft program of regional mobility projects under consideration by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

CAMPO staff’s initial recommendation for the organization’s latest Transportation Improvement Program excluded money for specific programs submitted under the travel demand management category. Citing a lack of reliable criteria by which to judge those initiatives, staff instead offered to conduct a study of regional TDM strategies, which generally aim to discourage peak-hour single-occupant vehicle use by incentivizing public transit, carpooling, telecommuting or driving during off hours.

“We’re not saying we don’t think these activities are worthwhile. We’re not making value statements about the category itself,” CAMPO Executive Director Ashby Johnson assured the organization’s Transportation Policy Board at its monthly meeting on Monday evening. “We’re just saying that the tool that we have available to us to analyze this category for you was not a perfect tool and needs to be reworked.”

However, CAMPO Short-Range Planning Manager Ryan Collins informed the board that it could potentially add an extra $1 million worth of TDM programs to the TIP. Of the four proposed initiatives submitted by various jurisdictions under that category but initially rejected by staff, Collins suggested that the board could fund two.

During a public hearing on the draft TIP, several stakeholders urged the board to consider TDM.

Andrew Hoekzema of the Capital Area Council of Governments, which had submitted its Commute Solutions program for potential inclusion in the TIP, pointed out that the CAMPO 2040 Regional Transportation Plan identifies TDM as a mobility strategy alongside expanding capacity.

“We are having a situation where a higher percentage of the commuters are choosing to travel by single-occupancy vehicles,” he said. “So it’s important to have strategies, to have the whole toolbox available, and travel demand management is one of those.”

CAMPO is hosting several open houses across its six-county domain through the month of April. The board is expected to hold a final vote on the TIP at its May 7 meeting.

Photo by Bill Jacobus made available through a Creative Commons license.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

CAMPO: The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is the regional planning organization for Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties. Its membership is drawn from the elected officials of those municipalities, as well as various cities that fall within the region, including the City of Austin. CAMPO's focus is on regional transportation issues.

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