It's always a bit of a thrill to see the major media – in this case, a recent New York Times article on transportation on university campuses – discuss issues that you work on day-in, day-out.
We believe this article, titled "On the College Campus of the Future, Parking May Be a Relic," deserves as much circulation as possible. Why? Because ... along with our Wells + Associates university team, we help universities solve thorny transportation issues every day.
The article presents a few key ideas, among them:
- Parking on campuses has always been tight, with colleges encouraging students to walk, bike, and take the bus
- Despite master plans that call for more parking, colleges are increasingly averse to adding more (and expensive!) parking
- Universities are looking to newer solutions to provide more transportation options in the future, including ride-hailing, car-sharing, and possibly autonomous vehicles.
But the crux of the matter is pretty simple: How will universities provide better transportation options for their communities without building more infrastructure? The days of parking lots going off into the horizon are long gone.
Of course, creating better transportation without building more infrastructure is the goal of TDM – transportation demand management. Which is what we do at W+A. This means helping universities create solutions that work best for their particular needs, including:
- Developing strategies which encourages staff and students to give up their parking spaces,
- Maximizing the effectiveness of existing non-auto transportation serving campus,
- Working one-on-one with individuals to educate them on their transportation options.
Read the NYT article for a great discussion on these evolving transportation issues.