Transportation challenge - Gazette-Times

December 4, 2019

 

Approximately 32% of the 30,000 or so students and employees who show up at Oregon State University each weekday do so in single-occupancy vehicles.

 

How big a problem is this?

 

Well, if the university is unable to persuade folks to use other transportation modes the future looks kind of bleak. Even with the flat to modest enrollment growth the university has seen in recent years the no-change model looks like this:

 

More than 1,600 new parking spaces needed at a cost of between $16 million (surface lots) and $100 million (a garage).

 

• A 22% increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

• Open space losses to parking from 1.6 acres to as many as 16 acres.

 

That’s why the university has embarked on a transportation demand management plan involving campus transportation and planning officials as well as consultants.

 

The project began in March, said Meredith Williams, transportation services director, with completion set for next spring.

 

The goal, Williams said, is to “reduce traffic and parking demand by distributing trips across many transportation modes.”

 

That means OSU needs to convince more folks to come to campus via walking, biking, public transit or car-pooling.

 

The project work between now and spring will focus on determining which strategies might get the university there and how much they might cost.

 

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