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Transportation on university campuses? And the New Mobility Agenda?

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  • Eric Britton
    Summary: Transportation on university campuses? Anything interesting going on that might be identified as somehow part of a New Mobility Agenda? And if so
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 10, 2005
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      Summary:

       

      Transportation on university campuses? Anything interesting going on that might be identified as somehow part of a New Mobility Agenda? And if so where? Who? Anything that could usefully be done? By whom?  What might we do as an informal pickup group with some capabilities in this area?

       

      Introduction:

      As you may have noticed from an indiscrete note traitorously posted to this forum by Dave Brook I have for the last week been the guinea pig for an environmental group e-interview at grist.com.  And since I didn’t get hurt, I have to consider it a narrow escape of sorts.  But it turned out to be a good learning and reminding experience, and when one young person asked me the following, it spurred a thought for an eventual enquiry or even perhaps group activity of some sort that I would now like to share you all, bearing in mind that a good number of you have close academic links.  Here was Chris’s question:

       

      Chris’s question:

      “I have been charged with the task of researching ways to make my Big 10 school more sustainable. I've had a few ideas such as converting our bus system to biodiesel, reducing the "food miles" for our many cafeterias, and performing energy audits on all campus buildings. However, I am not sure if these ideas will be the most effective. Do you have any other ideas that I could use or research? Also, any tips for dealing with a conservative administration that is not likely to back any idea based on environmental merit alone?”    -- Chris Kurtz, Columbus, Ohio.

       

      Response – Round 1 (my words in the e-journal)

      “Chris, I really want to help you with this since I consider it an important issue, not only for a more sustainable present but also since it is in the university where we take on so many of the habits and attitudes that shape us for all our lives. I am sure that a sustainable university -- or at least one that gives this a serious, visible, and heavily participatory try -- is going to have a major influence on the students in their future lives, and of course on the surrounding community.

      ”Now, my problem in this respect is that I simply am not in the swim on this one. There have to be some kinds of examples around. My first step would be an outreach program to start to identify the winners and losers -- and the why's and how's.

      ”I know that one huge headache and budget item for many
      U.S. universities is that of parking. And if you rationalize parking, you are taking a big step toward rationalizing the entire movement system, which simply has to become more sustainable.

      ”So while I have no ready answers for you, I do know a good question when I see one, and you have one there. I hope you will try to answer it for yourself. And I would be pleased to do a bit of background work on this with you if you really wish to pursue this.”

       

      Round 2: - Following shows up in the “News Alerts” on our New Mobility site this morning:

       

      “UVic faculty, staff and students can choose between several parking and commuting options this fall as UVic continues to work toward its goal of reducing vehicle traffic to campus.  Improvements to facilities for cyclists, a new employee bus pass program and a new flexible parking pass are among the more than half-dozen programs being offered as part of the university’s transportation demand management (TDM) strategy. Reducing single occupant vehicle traffic to campus is one of the goals of UVic’s campus plan.

       

      “The volume of vehicle traffic to campus has been steadily dropping over the past decade. A 2004 traffic audit showed that traffic to UVic has declined 13 per cent since 2000 while cycling trips have risen by 12 per cent in the same period. The audit showed that, for the first time, less than 50 per cent of the trips to campus were in single-occupancy vehicles.

       

      “Information about the new TDM initiatives will be included with parking pass renewal forms and is available on the facilities management website at web.uvic.ca/fmgt/TDM-main.html.

       

      Source and full text: http://ring.uvic.ca/05jun09/news/parking.html

       

      My question to you:

      Should we be sharing information and insight on this I think rather important topic? And if so how?

       

      I look forward to this.  And so too, I am sure, does Chris.

       

      Eric Britton

       

      PS. When was the last time you checked out the Kyoto World Cities Challenge at http://kyotocities.org?  It’s a moving target and maybe worth a visit.

       

       

       

       

    • Craig Townsend
      Eric, I don t know if Chris Kurtz is on this list, so you can pass on my comments if you wish. My answer to the questions you raised is that there is a lot
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 11, 2005
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        Eric,

        I don't know if Chris Kurtz is on this list, so you can pass on my comments if you wish. My answer to the questions you raised is that there is a lot going on that could be described as part of the New Mobility Agenda at Canadian universities. In Vancouver, discounted transit passes for university students (a programme inspired in part by successes south of the border in the USA) were introduced a couple of years back and are credited with contributing significantly to a 13% rise in public transit use across metropolitan Vancouver in 2003-4 and increases of 35% and 53% to the two largest universities. You can learn more from the University of British Columbia's Trek Programme website ( http://www.trek.ubc.ca/). Similar projects are going on at most universities in Canada.

        At my institution, Concordia University in Montreal, students have completed a sustainability assessment of the university ( http://web2.concordia.ca/sustainability/). At Concordia, I am now involved with a project being coordinated by the metropolitan transportation agency to introduce Travel Demand Management measures to encourage modal shifts away from Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV) by employees/students at large employers located in the downtown area. You can find some information about this project, called Allego, from the regional transportation authority in French ( http://www.amt.qc.ca/tc/entreprises/index.asp) or from an organization carrying out much of the work in English ( http://www.voyagezfute.ca/apropos.asp?lng=1). We recently undertook a survey of our university's students and staff to begin an assessment of what programmes could be introduced to reduce SOV trips. Compared with many North American universities we are in relatively good shape to begin with because about 50% of our students are arriving by public transit (most through a subway station below our downtown campus) and about 25% are walking or cycling. A new 17-storey building is opening this month and has been fitted with sustainable building features ( http://ctr.concordia.ca/2004-05/jan_13/01/) and has no parking provision but an underground connection to the Metro station so this will encourage more use of public transit.

        For more university transport ideas see Todd Litman's VTPI Campus Transport Management strategies ( http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm5.htm), the book Transportation and Sustainable Campus Communities: Issues, Examples, Solutions by Will Toor and Spenser W. Havlick ( http://www.islandpress.org/books/detail.html?SKU=1-55963-656-4), and a recent TRB report on universities and public transit (sorry but I don't have the reference handy).

        There is much that can be done so don't be discouraged by conservative administrators!

        Craig Townsend

        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Craig Townsend, Ph.D.
        Assistant Professor
        Concordia University, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment
        1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1M8
        Tel.: (514) 848-2424 ext. 5191
        Fax: (514) 848-2032
        Email: townsend@...
        Web site: http://artsandscience.concordia.ca/GEOG/faculty/Bios/townsend/




        At 02:17 AM 11/06/2005, you wrote:

        Summary:
         
        Transportation on university campuses? Anything interesting going on that might be identified as somehow part of a New Mobility Agenda? And if so where? Who? Anything that could usefully be done? By whom?  What might we do as an informal pickup group with some capabilities in this area?
         
        Introduction:
        As you may have noticed from an indiscrete note traitorously posted to this forum by Dave Brook I have for the last week been the guinea pig for an environmental group e-interview at grist.com.  And since I didn’t get hurt, I have to consider it a narrow escape of sorts.  But it turned out to be a good learning and reminding experience, and when one young person asked me the following, it spurred a thought for an eventual enquiry or even perhaps group activity of some sort that I would now like to share you all, bearing in mind that a good number of you have close academic links.  Here was Chris’s question:
         
        Chris’s question:
        “I have been charged with the task of researching ways to make my Big 10 school more sustainable. I've had a few ideas such as converting our bus system to biodiesel, reducing the "food miles" for our many cafeterias, and performing energy audits on all campus buildings. However, I am not sure if these ideas will be the most effective. Do you have any other ideas that I could use or research? Also, any tips for dealing with a conservative administration that is not likely to back any idea based on environmental merit alone?”    -- Chris Kurtz, Columbus, Ohio.
         
        Response – Round 1 (my words in the e-journal)
        “Chris, I really want to help you with this since I consider it an important issue, not only for a more sustainable present but also since it is in the university where we take on so many of the habits and attitudes that shape us for all our lives. I am sure that a sustainable university -- or at least one that gives this a serious, visible, and heavily participatory try -- is going to have a major influence on the students in their future lives, and of course on the surrounding community.

        ”Now, my problem in this respect is that I simply am not in the swim on this one. There have to be some kinds of examples around. My first step would be an outreach program to start to identify the winners and losers -- and the why's and how's.

        ”I know that one huge headache and budget item for many U.S. universities is that of parking. And if you rationalize parking, you are taking a big step toward rationalizing the entire movement system, which simply has to become more sustainable.

        ”So while I have no ready answers for you, I do know a good question when I see one, and you have one there. I hope you will try to answer it for yourself. And I would be pleased to do a bit of background work on this with you if you really wish to pursue this.”
         
        Round 2: - Following shows up in the “News Alerts” on our New Mobility site this morning:
         

        “UVic faculty, staff and students can choose between several parking and commuting options this fall as UVic continues to work toward its goal of reducing vehicle traffic to campus.  Improvements to facilities for cyclists, a new employee bus pass program and a new flexible parking pass are among the more than half-dozen programs being offered as part of the university’s transportation demand management (TDM) strategy. Reducing single occupant vehicle traffic to campus is one of the goals of UVic’s campus plan.

         

        “The volume of vehicle traffic to campus has been steadily dropping over the past decade. A 2004 traffic audit showed that traffic to UVic has declined 13 per cent since 2000 while cycling trips have risen by 12 per cent in the same period. The audit showed that, for the first time, less than 50 per cent of the trips to campus were in single-occupancy vehicles.

         

        “Information about the new TDM initiatives will be included with parking pass renewal forms and is available on the facilities management website at web.uvic.ca/fmgt/TDM-main.html.

         
        Source and full text: http://ring.uvic.ca/05jun09/news/parking.html
         
        My question to you:
        Should we be sharing information and insight on this I think rather important topic? And if so how?
         
        I look forward to this.  And so too, I am sure, does Chris.
         
        Eric Britton
         
        PS. When was the last time you checked out the Kyoto World Cities Challenge at http://kyotocities.org?  It’s a moving target and maybe worth a visit.
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