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The Hon. John Robert Smith - Chairman

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January 28-29, 2008
St. Louis, Mo

The First Carmichael Conference
on Transportation

Planning For Mobility:
Cynthia Hoyle


Delivered at the Carmichael Conference, January 28-29, 2008

First Appearing In NCI’s Destination:Freedom Weekly Newsletter
Vol. 9 No. 9 - March 3, 2008

 

Planning for Mobility:
How to Create a Multi-Modal Transportation System In Your Community

By Cynthia Hoyle, AICP, Member, Sierra Club Livable Communities Committee

 

[ Publisher’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of addresses--- last week’s was by former FRA Administrator Gilbert Carmichael --- from the Carmichael Conference on the Future of American Transportation held January 28-29 at the Hyatt Regency, St. Louis, MO.

Destination: Freedom will publish addresses from this important American conference each week, so that those who could not attend can also participate in the debate, and also benefit from the thoughts of the impressive list of American transportation leaders who did attend, and spoke to us. It is also our intention to collect the speeches, and presentations, into a single CD-ROM so that the proceedings can be more widely distributed. ]

Some of the addresses given at the Carmichael Conference were in the form of Power Point presentations, as is often the case in large conferences.

Cynthia’s presentation, “Planning for Mobility: How to Create a Multi-Modal Transportation System In Your Community is a case-study overview of how one community successfully created and implemented --- and continues to implement --- a transportation plan to better serve its residents, businesses, and visitors.

Destination:Freedom readers are encouraged to access the Power Point presentation, and scroll through it to see how the process worked in one Illinois community, and to get ideas for their own cities and towns. As America struggles to build its outdated infrastructure and regain its mobility and freedom, he kind of work outlined in this presentation will need to be replicated over and over again, and it is a process that will not be lead by the politicians, for on this issue the people, like the readers of Destination: Freedom, are far ahead of the politicians.

 

I want to thank the National Corridors Initiative for inviting me to speak at the Carmichael Conference in St. Louis. As I listened to the various speakers during the first day of the conference I heard several themes repeated. There is concern that the public does not understand our message regarding the degraded state of our transportation infrastructure and that the public does not understand what we need to do to correct the problems. I am suggesting that part of the reason for the public lack of understanding is because we are not asking them the right questions and we are not listening to the responses we are getting. I believe that the public can and will respond appropriately if we engage them in a dialogue and listen carefully. I want to tell you how we have been attempting to engage the public in an extensive discussion in Champaign-Urbana about the future of mobility for our community. This process is called miPLAN, which is short for Mobility Implementation Plan.

One important point I want to make is that the CU community is not that exceptional in its location, demographics, or economy; but CU does have a high non-SOV trip rate for a mid-sized Midwestern community in the USA. Slide 7 provides a brief summary of the history and framework for the project. It is important to point out that the miPLAN project was subsequent to the development of the community’s long range transportation plan. miPLAN is intended to implement the recommendations from the community’s transportation plan – the Long Range Transportation Plan 2025 (LRTP 2025).

In the LRTP 2025, which was approved in 2004, the community acknowledged that it could not afford to continue business as usual with how we are building our community, infrastructure, and transportation system. If our current development patterns were to continue our community would experience a significant increase in congestion and costs due to the increasing number of residents who would be forced to drive their vehicles for everyday trips. The LRTP 2025 called for more mobility options, less sprawl, and more infill, redevelopment and mixed-use land uses.

The first phase of miPLAN was an extensive market analysis and public involvement process. We asked people, “How do you travel around the community now and how do you want to travel in the future?” (Slide 12) Transopoly is a new public input process that the participants responded to very positively. I can say that in my 20+ years of being a transportation planner I had never attended a public input meeting for a transportation plan at which people who came told me afterwards how much fun they had at the meeting!

People really enjoyed the Transopoly process that was developed by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. I believe that the rules of the game that require the participants to spend money on infrastructure of various types in a short period of time, (with the assistance of a trained facilitator at each table) elicited thoughts and dreams from participants that they otherwise are uncomfortable or too embarrassed to articulate. Because of the game-like format of the process people felt free to articulate their dreams. The results are somewhat surprising in that the overwhelming majority of the people who participated did not buy new road construction. They bought things like better street lighting, more direct transit routes, more bicycle routes, and more sidewalks and better interconnections.

The Mobility Enhanced Development Report, is another report developed as part of the miPLAN process (slides 20-21). The report demonstrated that when residents seek to buy a house at a lower cost in fringe developments, as opposed to the core, they do not take into account the significantly increased costs of transportation. We need to make sure the public is aware of the true costs of living in lower density development. They may save money on the initial purchase price of the home, but they will spend far more than what they saved on the cost of the house paying the increased transportation costs. When families live in low density single family developments they often have to have 2-3 cars in order to get to necessary destinations. Many of these are trips that can be made by walking, biking, or transit in high density, mixed-use neighborhoods.

Developing a seamless multi-modal transportation system is one of the goals of miPLAN. The process will provide important information for local government, businesses, and developers. miPLAN will help us to make choices that will create a community that offers residents mobility and housing choices that are affordable and offer a high quality of life.

Cynthia L Hoyle, AICP
Transportation Planning Consultant
Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
1101 E. University
Urbana, IL 61802
217-278-9059

Planning For Mobility: How To Create A Multi-Modal Transportation System In Your Community

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NCI’s Summary:

“PLANNING FOR MOBILITY: HOW TO CREATE A MULTIMODAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN YOUR COMMUNITY was presented by Cynthia Hoyle, AICP, at The National Corridors Initiative Carmichael Conference on the Future of American Transportation January 29, 2008

Champaign-Urbana, IL is a “typical Midwestern community” in Illinois, with 120,000 residents plus a large university, with an intensely urban campus in a medium-sized rural community, an excellent transit system/quality neighborhoods adjacent to the campus. Many faculty/staff walk, bike, or take the bus to work. Students and staff have universal access to the transit system.

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD) carries approximately 10 million riders per year. System is reaching capacity on UIUC campus. In 2007 CUMTD was classified as a “Small Transit Intensive City.” In 2002 CUMTD sought community support to conduct an alternatives analysis for a “fixed guideway” system and consider applying for New Starts funding through FTA. There was little community support for the idea of a light rail or “tram” and this process was discontinued.

A Long Range Transportation Plan 2025 (LRTP 2025) was adopted in 2004. LRTP 2025 called for more mobility options, less sprawl, and more infill, and mixed-use development: a “big.small.all” countywide visioning process called for more housing and mobility choices, less sprawl, with “miPLAN” – Mobility Implementation Plan --- meant to implement LRTP 2025

The “MiPLAN” purpose is to find out what mobility options Champaign, Urbana & Savoy would like as a community, both now and in the future, and is meant to implement the LRTP 2025. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) office provided a $500,000 earmark grant to the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD) to “Study the future of transit in the community,” and with a local match of $625,000 the project was funded.

The LRTP “Preferred Scenario” Calls For:

  • Express bus service between core and fringe areas of the community 
  • An enhanced arterial fringe road system that provides improved mobility around the fringe of the community
  • Transit intensive corridors
  • High capacity transit system in the University District
  • Mixed use, denser development and redevelopment

If Implemented, LRTP Will:

  • Create higher population density, less sprawl
  • Promote alternative transportation modes
  • Save money on infrastructure
  • Create walkable activity centers and reduce reliance on automobiles
  • Make travel safer for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Increase mobility for motorists
  • Educate residents about alternative transportation modes, safety, and new transportation concepts

MiPlan Design Phase (see Slide 11 in the Power Point presentation and print out if desired)

In the MiPlan Public Input phase resident were asked:

  • Do you know what mobility options are currently available?
  • What kinds of transportation services do we want in our community right now?
  • How will we want to move around in the future?

The notion of a neighborhood Transopoly was developed. See slides 13-17, with strong public input, resulting in these recommendations:

  • Direct bus service along major arteries
  • Bicycle routes

In April 2007- e-surveys went out to employees (communitywide) and students (UIUC only), receiving 3,262 responses from 22,384 employees (14.5% response rate) and 3,319 responses from 41,342 students (8% response rate).

E-Survey Results:

  • Non-SOV modes are the primary mode of transportation for students (87%) even if they own a vehicle. UIUC students utilize transit at about twice the rate of peer institutions.
  • SOV is the primary mode for non-students (faculty/staff) at 73%.
  • Users are satisfied with level of transit service overall-80% were satisfied or better.
  • Market segmentation was done to assess potential to increase use of non-SOV mode choices. We asked what would encourage them to switch modes.

The Mobility Enhanced Development Report:

  • Identifies opportunities for mobility enhanced development in the region, e.g. development with mobility choices.
  • Analyzes costs of housing and transportation to households.

An Affordability Index Formula was developed:

  • Affordability Index = Housing Costs + Transportation Costs*
  • Income
  • *Transportation Costs include the modeled cost of Auto Ownership, Auto Use, and Transit Use

MED findings: transportation costs in the core area are significantly less than in the fringe. Average $/month spent:

  • Core=$832 or less
  • Fringe=$1372 or less.

MED recommendations are to:

  • Build on current density and urban form.
  • Maximize options and choices in alternative forms of mobility.
  • Provide tools to create mixed-use, mixed-income market-rate developments through infill and redevelopment.
  • Maintain affordability through community development programs and by factoring in both household housing and transportation costs.

In summary, of input to date, strong consistency found for the following top priority mobility improvements:

  • Improved bicycle infrastructure and routing
  • Better street lights
  • Additional sidewalks
  • Later evening MTD service
  • Additional direct MTD routes along major arterials

Especially noteworthy: the consistency of the message among the stakeholder interviews, focus groups, Neighborhood Transopoly, and the on-board survey for above improvements.

What More Is Coming for Champaign-Urbana transportation?

  • Upgrade to transportation models used by MPO
  • Land-use based modeling – impacts of growth patterns (Land Evaluation and Assessment Model LEAM)
  • Framework for improving community mobility will be proposed
  • 3 Scenarios based on community input will be proposed
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • Select preferred scenario
  • Preferred Investment Plan Development
  • 5-10 Year Plan
  • Final Report (by September 2008)

This article was based on work prepared by:

Cynthia Hoyle, AICP
Transportation Planning Consultant
217-278-9059
choyle@cumtd.com

 

About Cynthia Hoyle

Cynthia Hoyle is one of the most widely known and respected transportation planners in America.

A transportation planning consultant currently located in Urbana, IL, she has over 20 years of experience as a transportation planner, specializing in traffic calming, pedestrian and bicycle planning, mobility oriented development, and visioning and comprehensive plan development. She graduated with a Master of Regional and City Planning from the University of Oklahoma in 1981; has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 1987; is a Fellow in the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and has held various leadership roles within the American Planning Association.

She is the author of Traffic Calming published in 1995 by the American Planning Association’s Planners Advisory Service, a contributing author to Planning and Urban Design Standards, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2006 and was co-author with Dr. Reid Ewing of an article titled, “Traffic Calming for New Residential Streets Enhances Housing Value” published in Land Development by the National Association of Home Builders in 1996. She currently serves on the Illinois Safe Routes to School State Network and the Building Healthy Communities Campaign of the Sierra Club.


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