A look at traffic demand management strategies | PostIndependent.com

A look at traffic demand management strategies

Tom Newland

With the 2017 traffic bridge detour approaching, the Grand Avenue bridge team is strategizing about reducing traffic on the detour through Glenwood Springs by 20 percent during rush hours. Many people have asked, "How can something like this be done?" and our answer is traffic demand management.

TDM describes a wide range of programs and services that create the efficient use of existing transportation facilities by managing the actual demand placed on these facilities. TDM efforts are implemented through strategies including promotion of alternative transportation modes, increasing vehicle occupancy, reduction in travel distances and easing peak-hour congestion.

TDM measures are widely recognized and utilized in cities such as Los Angeles and New York. Our goal is to implement some of these strategies for our small community to create a smooth detour.

Some TDM measures include carpools, ride share matching, additional parking lots, walking, cycling, variable work hours, telecommuting and work schedule adjustment. This could also include covered bike parking or a bike sharing service.

Our team has also identified a few TDM measures that have not been included in other studies. The city's new transportation manager, Tanya Allen, is assisting the team with locating "slugging" locations around Glenwood Springs. Slugging is "casual carpooling," where people wait in certain identified lots and motorists pick them up and take them part or all the way to their destinations during commuting hours.

Other ideas for TDM have stemmed from the environmental assessment of the bridge project. There will be a strong campaign leading up to the detour that includes information on all pedestrian and bicycle routes around Glenwood Springs, as well as links to Roaring Fork Transportation Authority schedules.

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During the detour, RFTA service will be free from Parachute (on the Hogback route) to the 27th Street BRT station.

Two local businesses have offered their parking lots during the detour, and our team is looking for others to step forward and help our community. To assist with demand during the detour, large employers can use tools such as time shifting or commuter incentives. Our team has heard from contractors and construction workers in Aspen that they will begin their days at 5 a.m. to avoid the morning rush, and be home before the evening rush.

With all that said, we realize that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution here. In addition to TDM, our community working together and all of the above ideas, are what will make this detour successful. If you have any other unique ideas, please reach out to us — info@grandavenuebridge.com.

Please consider using one or more TDM measures when commuting during the bridge closure period. You'll be doing yourself and your community a favor.