What is TDM?
Traditionally, transportation strategies have addressed increased demand for roads by supplying more roads and by, in other ways, increasing the capacity of the road system (adding left-turn lanes, adjusting signal timing etc.). This approach has been termed a “supply-side” tactic.
Increasingly, it is being realized that this strategy meets with very limited long-term success. Many cities have noted that as capacity is increased, demand increases at a similar, if not more rapid, rate. In the long-term, drivers experience no net travel time advantages, and society suffers the impacts of costly road bills and environmental degradation.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) aims to overcome this situation by instead focusing efforts on reducing the demand for roadway space. TDM is the planning and implementation of programs that seek to reduce road space demand by influencing travel choices and the amount and timing of travel. TDM aims to encourage more walking, cycling, public transit use, car-pooling, and tele-commuting.
The overall goal of the Central Okanagan TDM program is to reduce peak period automobile traffic in the region by 12% by the year 2013, relative to trend growth in traffic volumes.
Central Okanagan Developments
There is a growing realization on the part of government that it is no longer possible, or even acceptable, to totally meet the increasing demand for road and highway infrastructure. Limited local, provincial and federal funding will not enable government to supply all regional transportation infrastructure demanded in the future. Similarly, environmental, economic and community concerns are prompting government agencies to favour mobility strategies which provide a more acceptable balance between transportation and other important objectives.
In many respects, the stage has been set in the Central Okanagan for a new approach to managing growth and providing transportation services. This is evident in the plans and policies of all agencies involved in the provision of transportation services in the region.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan has embarked on a regional growth management strategy with transportation as one of the key issues to be addressed. The regional growth management strategy will stress land use and other strategies that support modes of travel other than the automobile as well as promote transportation demand management (TDM).
The City of Kelowna’s Official Community Plan and Transportation Plan stress adherence to land use policies that are supportive of transit, cycling and walking. These policies emphasize the development of town centres in which higher densities and a mix of complementary land uses are encouraged. The City’s Transportation Plan also stresses the development of other modes of travel and emphasizes TDM.
The government agencies share the desire to follow a more balanced strategy of not only supplying transportation infrastructure but also managing demand. In 1998, the Regional District, City of Kelowna and the Province together developed a business plan for an expanded TDM program in the Region. The Regional District and City of Kelowna have since formed a partnership to implement the program, with the Regional District taking on Regional TDM as a new function and then contracting with the City for their staff to provide the service.
Kelowna Transit Survey 2000
TDM Survey 2000