Improving Mobility Requires a Multimodal Consideration of Congestion

As urban populations increase and drivers seek to escape crowded commutes, America's urban transit systems are becoming increasingly congested. For TDM professionals to improve mobility for all, they must first change how they conceive of congestion.

The economic impacts of congestion are commonly limited to the lost productivity of drivers stuck on crowded streets and highways. But in cities like D.C., where transportation demand management (TDM) professional Stephen Crim lives, popular mass transit and bike share systems are straining under robust demand, proving that the costs of congestion aren't just limited to highways.

"I stand in crowded buses and Metro cars, jostling around to let fellow passengers on and off, nearly falling over as I try to read a book or edit a report for work," writes Crim. "In order to relieve congestion on all modes, we have to change the way we talk about congestion."

TDM/mobility management is commonly focused on "removing single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) trips from the road," he notes. But without a better accounting of the extent and costs of transit, bike, and pedestrian congestion, "an efficient, multimodal future" will remain difficult to achieve.   

"Why does this change in measurement matter?" asks Crim. "As the legendary 20th century management consultant Peter Drucker said, 'what gets measured gets managed.' "

Full Story: Congestion isn't just about highways

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00