Young leaders rewarded for showing results on people-focused transportation - Mobility Lab

The transportation demand management industry – like many other industries – is changing.

TDM used to be about carpools and vanpools and bike-to-work days. But transportation, in general, has been getting more and more complex.

As TDM professionals get smarter with data and start to visualize less highway-centric transportation strategies, they’re still presented with the issues of population growth, the relationships of people to their private vehicles, and the continuing struggles of lifestyle choices like transit and bicycling and carpooling to gain market share.

Those are some of the reasons why it’s exciting to see what the next batch of leaders will do to improve the current transportation systems throughout the U.S.

The ideas and actions presented by the people just named to the “40 Under 40” list by the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) (see the poster here) make a strong case for TDM – people-focused planning – being a bigger component of how places are designed.

First off, the award winners who put real numbers and specific results to their work deserve the TDM industry’s highest regards. One great example of this is Ricki Hall (Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, Ala.), whose marketing strategies have driven a regional reduction of 14 million vehicle miles annually.

Educating business and policy leaders is a key top-down strategy for adjusting some of people’s worst transportation habits. And Jonathan Bollhoefer (Arlington Transportation Partners in Virginia) acted as the key transportation liaison for the relocation of Nestle to Arlington, informing and educating a headquarters of more than 1,000 employees who largely drove to work back in California but will have much better options in the D.C. region. Maggie Awad (also at ATP) is educating business clients via a massive increase in web traffic along with the publication of a glossy book spotlighting ATP’s clients – deeming them “Champions” in sustainable transportation. Emily Haar 
(UrbanTrans North America) is building commuter programs for companies like UPS, Mercedes-Benz, and Cox Enterprises throughout the Atlanta region. Mary Sell
 (Triangle J Council of Governments) has helped the Raleigh-Durham area to reach 100,000 employees for its Best Work Places for Commuters program – meaning one out of every seven employees there participates.

Leadership itself – having TDM movers and shakers – is how the industry will truly flourish. Lauren Bennett
 (Salesforce) helped eliminate an estimated 800 single-occupancy vehicles and reduced the number of employees driving to work to an impressive 7 percent at her company’s San Francisco headquarters. Gregory Rodriguez
 (Best Best & Krieger) filed comments to the first ever Federal Automated Vehicles Policy on behalf of local government interests and is quickly becoming, in general, a thought leader and press contact on transit tech.

From this point on, bikeshare has got to be a central part of transportation systems. Abby Bleything (University of Vermont) helped introduce it in Burlington, Ramond Robins (Anne Arundel Department of Transportation) is helping introduce it to the Maryalnd county, and Tim Ericson’s (Zagster) vision is to leave the big cities to all the other companies and bring bikeshare to cities with populations of less than 500,000.

Parking is increasingly becoming an area in which TDM professionals will become trusted advisors within their communities. Jane Wilberding 
(Sam Schwartz Consulting) helped Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center develop a parking master plan that reduced parking demand by 14 percent in its first year.

Video has always been a weak spot for the public-transportation industry, but the next generation, raised on YouTube, is sure to fix that. To help expand the reach of Seattle’s regional TDM social-media efforts, Zanna Worzella (ICF) produced a series of short, light-hearted animated videos with themes around the benefits of biking, carpooling, and taking the bus.

Finding more sustainable ways for people to travel falls under the TDM umbrella. In Oakland, Calif., Philip Kobernick (Alameda County) helps secure alternative fuel choices for a fleet of 1,100 vehicles.

Click here to read the full article: