As part of the Buffalo Green Code Implementation Program, Fisher Associates worked with the City of Buffalo’s Office of Strategic Planning to develop the City’s first Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Policy Guide. TDM refers to a set of strategies that are designed to increase overall transportation system efficiency by encouraging fewer single-occupancy vehicle trips while emphasizing other modes of travel.
The Policy Guide, adopted by the City Planning Board, establishes the methods and requirements to ensure a project’s compliance with the TDM performance standards identified in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), the City’s new form-based zoning code. The Policy Guide includes methods and requirements for estimating travel demand, choosing and applying TDM strategies, providing accommodations for travel demand, time-frames for implementation of TDM strategies, and guidance on reporting the progress of a project’s TDM Plan.
The development of the Policy Guide included the following:
Precedent Research: Several TDM plans and ordinances from around the U.S. were compared and evaluated. Several municipalities were contacted directly to learn about their experiences implementing TDM programs and strategies.
Travel Demand Estimating: Estimating travel demand combined methods from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, and Urban Land institute. Utilizing these multiple sources resulted in estimates that more accurately reflect the dense, mixed-use, transit-rich nature of the City.
TDM Plan Requirements: Working collaboratively with the City, the Policy Guide details TDM Plan requirements that standardizes the plan format while providing applicants the flexibility they need for implementation.
TDM Strategies: Through the precedent research, and in collaboration with the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), TDM strategies were developed with detailed requirements and the anticipated effect on travel demand.
The Buffalo TDM Policy Guide is the first in the nation to address transportation demand management without city-wide minimum parking requirements. This groundbreaking document provides a solid foundation for reducing automobile dependency while working toward a more sustainable future for the City.