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· Victoria Transport Policy Institute, "Transportation Management Associations," Online TDM Encyclopedia. Victoria, BC, Canada. http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm44.htm (Webpage updated July 26, 2008). · TriMet, "MAX Light Rail Project History." http://trimet.org/about/history/maxoverview.htm (Website accessed June 3, 2009). Overall TDM Program Effects over Time--Bellevue, Washington Situation. The City of Bellevue is located across Lake Washington from Seattle. It is a suburb that since the late 1970s has sought to foster TDM through its employers, undergirded by municipal and state development regulations, and with support of transit improvements. TDM-related case studies covering individual Bellevue employers are found in Chapter 13, "Parking Pricing and Fees" (see "US WEST Parking Pricing and Management"), and Chapter 18, "Parking Management and Supply" (see "CH2M Hill Employee Parking Management"). This Chapter 19 case study, as an adjunct to the "Site- Versus System-Level Impacts" discussion in the "Related Information and Impacts" section, seeks to ferret out the combined effects of employer TDM strategies and public strategies on overall commuting to downtown Bellevue. Downtown Bellevue is relatively unique for a suburban activity center. The rectangle encompassing the downtown, approximately 3/4 of a mile on a side, had over 23,000 workers in 1986--60 percent of them office workers--and a 1.3 million square foot regional shopping center.22 The street system is an imperfect grid, with most streets forming superblocks 600 feet on a side. Building setbacks are reduced compared to the suburban norm. I-405, linking the Seattle area's east-side suburbs, is on the east side of downtown Bellevue. Actions. Bellevue operated between 1981 and 1986 under an incentive agreement between Seattle Metro (now King County Metro) and the City of Bellevue whereby Bellevue was rewarded with additional transit services in return for increasing employer densities and obtaining lower park- ing ratios in the downtown. The city continues to incorporate transportation demand manage- ment programs (TMPs) into new development approval conditions. Employment density has increased, with 34,250 downtown jobs in 2000, up almost 50 percent in 14 years. The ratio of park- ing to floor space allowed in new buildings is roughly one-half the minimum that applied prior to 1979, and individual employers have made parking pricing a part of their TMPs (see the case studies noted above in Chapters 13 and 18). During the 19871989 period, a Transportation Management Association (TMA) was established and HOV marketing, vanpool incentive, and guaranteed ride home (GRH) programs were tested, enhanced, and incorporated into the overall program. Over time the HOV and transit use incentives/subsidies have evolved regionally into Metro's heavily marketed FlexPass program of partnerships with employers (see "Response by Type of Strategy"--"Changes in Fare Categories"--"Unlimited Travel Pass Partnerships" in Chapter 12, "Transit Pricing and Fares"). Passage of Washington State's Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law, and the implementation of mandatory elements specific to Bellevue, further under- girds the Bellevue program. Specific bus service improvements have included restructuring and expansion over the years. The Bellevue Transit Center was opened in 1985. In the 19871989 time frame, almost one-half the bus services in the Eastside area including Bellevue were reorganized with the objective of establishing 22 Many downtown Bellevue statistics, particularly the newer ones, are for a slightly larger area, either a 1- × 3/4-mile rectangle that encompasses I-405 and the Bellevue interchange on the east, or an in-between-sized area covering the westerly half of I-405 and the interchange. 19-151
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a true Eastside Transit System. (One service approach tried and discarded was the provision of a Downtown Bellevue bus circulator, as described in Chapter 10, "Bus Routing and Coverage," under "Response by Type of Service and Strategy"--"Circulator/Distributor Routes"--"Workplace to Retail and Restaurants Circulators.") In the late 1990s, the suburban bus services of King County Metro overall were reorganized into a multi-centered "hub and spoke" system that more compre- hensively focused on selected non-Downtown Seattle employment areas while still serving the Seattle CBD. Core route frequencies and service hours were enhanced. Bellevue was the largest of the suburban employment center hubs where essentially all routes were brought through or terminated at the central transit center. The Bellevue/Seattle-CBD and Bellevue/University-District core routes were among those extensively improved for all-day bi-directional service with multi-destination connections (see the case study, "Service Restructuring and New Services in Metropolitan Seattle," in Chapter 10). Analysis. The primary measure of downtown Bellevue TDM impact available over a 20-plus-year time period is downtown employee commute mode shares. Those presented under "Results" in Table 19-40 have been obtained from periodic survey efforts which, in contrast to the more fre- quent CTR reportings, cover essentially all downtown Bellevue employers rather than just those large enough to be under CTR reporting requirements. (The more recent comprehensive surveys have made use of CTR reportings, combining them with supplemental surveys to obtain the broader picture.) The surveys have differences among them in methodology, highlighted in the Table 19-40 footnotes. These differences produce inconsistencies that make mode share compar- isons between surveys somewhat problematical, requiring extra caution in results interpretation. The downtown survey mode share data has been supplemented by U.S. Census "usual" commute mode results, along with additional information assembled to support a descriptive analysis, most particularly data specially developed by King County Metro on Bellevue transit service levels and ridership over the 19942005 period. Results. Table 19-40 presents the 19842005 downtown Bellevue comprehensive mode share sur- vey results discussed above. The U.S. Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP) provides similar data, but for fewer years. Downtown Bellevue "usual" commute mode shares from the CTPP for 1980, 1990, and 2000, respectively, were 79, 82, and 77 percent drive alone, 4.7, 5.1, and 8.0 percent transit, and 14, 12, and 13 percent carpool. All other modes were individually less than 0.5 percent, except walk. The reported 1980, 1990, and 2000 walk shares were 2.2, 0.4, and 1.5 percent, respectively.23 23 The walk shares pattern suggests that variations related to CTPP procedures, including sample size, may well be overwhelming trends or indications of stability. Also, the pattern of CTPP transit shares does not seem to track ridership data presented below in Table 19-41 as well as the downtown Bellevue survey transit shares in Table 19-40. 19-152
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Table 19-40 Surveyed Commute Mode Shares (Percent) to Downtown Bellevue over Time Modes 1984 1990 1996 2000 2003 2005 Drive Alone 79% 80% 76% 68% 68% 71% Bus 6 7 7 13 12 14 Carpool 13 10 14 17 12 10 Vanpool <1 2 1 Walk 2 2 Bike 1 1 Compressed 2 <1 Telework 1 2 Other 2 3 3 2 1 1 Notes: Changes in methodology from survey to survey render mode share comparisons problematical, especially among the 1984-2000 surveys. Workers in 1984 were asked to list all commute modes used. In 1990 they were asked their typical commute mode, as is done in the U.S. Census. The procedures documentation for 1996 was not available. Mode shares for 2000-2005 were based on worker reporting of modes used for each commute during the previous week. The 1984 all-commute mode shares provided here have been approximated by the Handbook authors -- starting with the 1984 multiple-responses-allowed office-commute shares of 77.7 percent drive alone, 7.4 percent bus, 16.2 percent carpool, and 2.1 percent other -- by normalizing to 100 percent to compensate for the multiple-responses-allowed survey procedure and then factoring by the 1990 mode-by-mode all-commute to office-commute share ratios. Where vanpool shares are not provided, vanpools were included with carpools. Where walk, bike, CWW, and telework shares are not provided, they may be assumed to be included within "other." For 1990, "Multi-mode" and "No typical mode" have been added to "other." The downtown Bellevue survey results seem to suggest moderately consistent trends for both the drive-alone and transit commute modes, downward over time in the case of drive alone, and upward for transit. The CTPP results seem to exhibit a lack of strong, consistent trends for all modes except transit. Together, the two data sources suggest a 20-year drive-alone commute share reduction--over somewhat different time spans--of somewhere between 10 percent (downtown surveys) and 2 percent (CTPP). Corresponding transit share increases are in the range of 133 percent (downtown surveys) to 70 percent (CTPP), roughly a doubling. (As noted in Footnote 23, the downtown survey findings are better supported by transit ridership data than the CTPP findings.) Carpool use shows no consistency over time in the mode share data. Despite efforts to improve the pedestrian environment, rendered less than optimal by busy streets, walking to work has shown no upward (or downward) trend. More . . . It is useful, in interpreting the mode share results over time, to examine how effective the overall Bellevue TDM program has been in achieving public transit improvement and parking management. Measures of bus service improvement and usage are illustrated in Table 19-41 for the 19962005 time period. Table 19-42 provides downtown Bellevue off-street parking inven- tory information for the 19872006 period. The parking inventory encompasses more than just employee parking--motor pool and customer parking are included--but provides at least an indi- cation of parking supply and pricing trends. 19-153
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Table 19-41 Downtown Bellevue AM Peak-Period Transit Service and Ridership Measure 1996 2000 2005 DB Bus Arrivals King County Routes 106 113 151 DB Bus Arrivals Snohomish County Routes 4 10 10 DB Passenger Alightings King County Routes 982 1,678 1,805 DB Passenger Alightings Snohomish Co. Routes n/a n/a n/a Notes: AM peak defined as 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM. DB = Downtown Bellevue. Passenger alightings include transfer passengers. Downtown Bellevue passenger alightings on King County routes grew to 2,219 in 2007. A possible contributing factor (and example of exogenous influences) is an improvement in the Bellevue CBD office vacancy rate from 9.12 percent in 2005 (11.07 percent in 2004) to 6.00 percent in 2007. Table 19-42 Downtown Bellevue Off-Street Parking Inventory Findings Measure 1987 1992 1996 2002 2006 DB Total Spaces 26,943 29,447 31,093 32,623 34,075 DB Occupancy Rate 54.3% 61.0% 61.1% 56.6% 55.3% DB Average Daily Fee $6.06 $6.58 $6.90 $11.30 $12.66 Same, Seattle CBD $7.50 $10.00 $12.12 $14.52 $21.33 Notes: Space count includes employee and customer, motor pool, free and pay, and public and private off-street parking. DB = Downtown Bellevue. Average Daily Fee is a weighted average for pay parking only, in current (not constant) dollars. At least up through 1996, 80 percent of downtown Bellevue parking spaces were free. The 19962005 transit service and ridership data in Table 19-41 illustrate that transit service improve- ment intentions have been followed through on and have been accompanied by increased ridership. The fact that AM bus arrivals in downtown Bellevue--a measure of bus service intensity--increased most between 2000 and 2005, while ridership increased most between 1996 and 2000, stands out as an apparent anomaly. However, the Chapter 10 case study, "Service Restructuring and New Services in Metropolitan Seattle," presents evidence that the jump in ridership was strongly related to a well-received late 1990s service restructuring into a fully formed "hub and spoke" operating pattern that allowed a major focus on serving suburban employment centers. For example, key trunk-line bus routes serving downtown Bellevue achieved 6 to 30 percent productivity increases (weekday passengers per hour of bus service) between 1994 and 1998. 19-154
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The 19872006 off-street parking data in Table 19-42 are a little harder to relate to employer responses to TDM, given that substantial non-employer parking is not separately identified. Nevertheless, the fact that an almost 50 percent increase in employment between 1986 and 2000 was accompanied by only a 21 percent increase in downtown parking spaces between 1987 and 2002 is strongly suggestive of a tightening parking supply. The doubling of all-day parking fees between 1987 and 2006, even though it is less than the near-tripling of fees in the Seattle CBD (provided for comparison), is also suggestive of demand management progress. The major post-1996 jump in all-day parking fees and its correspon- dence with the sharpest transit ridership and transit share increases, and the sharpest drive-alone share decrease, gives added credence to the apparent importance of parking-related employer TDM actions along with the public transit improvements in achieving vehicle trip reduction. Table 19-42 gives only a hint of parking price plateauing in the 20022006 period. Both the amount and cost of priced employee parking tended to decrease at employers with building leases negotiated in the 20012003 period following the "dot-com bust," which resulted in a period of high downtown Bellevue office vacancy rates. CTR survey results (not reported here) suggest a corresponding lagged response in the form of higher drive-alone mode shares and diminished carpooling. The 2005 surveyed commute mode shares in Table 19-41 are thus likely not a survey anomaly but instead a true reflection of mode shift "backsliding" traceable back through parking pricing to economic conditions. The overall downtown 20-year drive-alone commute reduction of 10 percent (or 2 percent per the CTPP results) represents a diffusion of higher reductions obtained at individual employment sites. Bellevue City Hall, CH2M Hill, and US WEST are examples of individual sites achieving estimated employee VTRs on the order of 30 percent or more.24 Performance at other involved employers was for the most part less dramatic. Throughout the 1980s, at least, gains in transit and ridesharing use in the downtown were limited primarily to those employers that located in Bellevue post-1980, suggesting the critical importance of the TMP-mandated parking management. Only post-1980 employers were compelled by formal city requirements to constrain parking supply. The TMA suc- cessfully gained broad membership, financing, and recognition, but not a broad commitment toward substantive TDM program actions. The municipal TMP and more recent state CTR require- ments have served as the primary impetus for stronger TDM actions. Sources: Kuzmyak, J. R., and Schreffler, E. N., Evaluation of Travel Demand Management (TDM) Measures to Relieve Congestion. Prepared by Comsis Corporation and Harold Katz & Associates for the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (February, 1990). · Samdahl, D. R., and Kenyon, K. L., Learning and Leading: Transportation Demand Management in Bellevue, Washington. City of Bellevue, WA (February, 1991). · Comsis Corporation, "A Case Study of the Experience of Seattle Metro in Fostering Suburban Mobility." Prepared for the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Silver Spring, MD (September, 1991). · Bellevue Economic Profile, "Employment" (May, 2005). · Washington State Department of Transportation, "TDM--Commute Trip Reduction (CTR): Commute Trip Reduction Results--It Works." http:/ /www.wsdot.wa.gov/ TDM/CTR/CTRworks.htm (Webpage dated 2007). · DKS Associates and Mirai Associates, "Modeling TDM Effectiveness: Developing a TDM Effectiveness Estimation Methodology (TEEM) and Case Studies for the SR 520 Corridor." Final Report and Version 5 draft "Downtown Bellevue" case study. Prepared for the Washington State Department of Transportation (April, 2003). · Gilmore Research Group, "1990 Bellevue CBD Transportation Mode Use Study." Prepared for City of Bellevue 24 These site-specific vehicle trip reductions are calculated not from time-series data, but instead by comparison with neighboring employment areas. 19-155