Connecting University Circle
Brought to You by PNC

Share This

Close

« back to news list

A new approach to easing traffic jams starts with CEOs

Posted March 09, 2018 in Articles

Author: Paul Mackie

When people talk the power of CEOs, they generally mean over their businesses, their workforces, political lobbying, or the economy. It’s time to add traffic to the list.

That’s right: It might sound strange, or unrelated to business objectives, but CEOs could be the key to eliminating traffic jams.

When you think of transportation, you probably think about infrastructure: roads, bridges, and trains. But transportation options are only half of the equation for rush hour traffic. The other half is how people use those options, which is referred to by transportation-planner types as “transportation demand management” (TDM).

Business leaders have influence over this latter factor, and some are beginning to use it to encourage employees and customers to cut down on single-passenger car travel in favor of public transportation.

Some examples can seem unusual. Facebook, for instance, is offering $10,000 for workers to move closer—which would reduce the amount of time their cars spend on the road (and eliminate cars from some commutes altogether).

But TDM doesn’t have to be this extreme. For example, a chairman of the board could donate his parking space to bike parking, like Coke’s chair did in car-clogged Atlanta. That gesture seems minor, but small changes can set the tone for how a workplace prioritizes employees who don’t drive.

An office move can also do wonders. Only 4% of Panasonic employees took transit when the company was headquartered in a suburban office park. When it moved to downtown Newark, New Jersey, the combination of location and a robust TDM program boosted the transit rate to 57%.

Even more amazing, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had a drive-alone employee rate of 88% in 2010, but within one year of introducing an internal TDM program —disincentivizing parking by charging at a daily rather than monthly rate and incentivizing carpooling and other ways to get to work—at a new downtown Seattle location, that number dropped to 42% and continues to decrease.

The value of changing transportation behavior

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to learn how to ride the bus or bike to work, right? Perhaps not, but it does take some fundamental hand-holding. We have been trained for so long to take the car that we literally are at a loss as to how to handle the alternatives. Not to pick on Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, but even in California’s “smartest city,” a full 19% of those who wanted to ride the bus did not know how to ride it. Brain surgery or not, TDM is greatly needed.

Some cities, for this reason, have begun to invest in TDM. In Arlington, Virginia, for example, the county invests about $12 million each year in educating businesses, residents, and visitors about the strategy. The think tank where I work, Mobility Lab, estimates that this takes more than 40,000 single-occupancy car trips off the roads each workday, spreading those out into transit, biking, carpooling, and walking trips, as well as people working from home.

Part of the case programs like this one make for why CEOs should participate in TDM is that doing so is good for business.

First, it may help with recruiting efforts. An average 30-mile, drive-alone commute in the US costs a worker $16.50 per day, far more expensive than other ways to get to work, according to research by real-estate firm Avison Young (PDF).

The New York City Department of Transportation discovered in 2013 that establishing bike lanes on 8th and 9th Avenues in Manhattan increased local business retail sales up to 49 percent. A 2009 Toronto study found non-driving consumers had more money to spend on local businesses, and visited more often.

CEOs and small-business owners may not be seeing much happening in the way of a New Deal-type plan to rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems. But they can get smarter about the parking and the other space that they control outside their front doors. And they can incentivize healthy and sustainable transportation options for their workforce.

All of those efforts will lead to better business outcomes—and will kick a traffic jam or two to the curb in the process.

Original Article: https://work.qz.com/1225131/traffic-jams-the-surprising-power-of-ceos/

Thank you @cityofcleveland for a safer crossing at Martin Luther King Jr Drive & Jeptha Drive. Much better for bike + ped connections t...

Thank you @cityofcleveland for a safer crossing at Martin Luther King Jr Drive & Jeptha Drive. Much better for bike + ped connections to @clevelandmuseumofart, @clegarden and @gocmnh from the Lakes to Lake Trail, Rockefeller Park and E 105. #walkablecity #safestreets #doanbrookwatershed

Thank you @cityofcleveland for a safer crossing at Martin Luther King Jr Drive & Jeptha Drive. Much better for bike + ped connections to @clevelandmuseumofart, @clegarden and @gocmnh from the Lakes to Lake Trail, Rockefeller Park and E 105. #walkablecity #safestreets #doanbrookwatershed

Monday, June 10 2019 | 5:58pm

In celebration of bike month, we are SUPER excited about this FREE bike education class on May 6th at 5pm with @bike_cle. Participants ...

In celebration of bike month, we are SUPER excited about this FREE bike education class on May 6th at 5pm with @bike_cle. Participants are encouraged to join the @slowrollcleveland community bike ride, departing from Wade Oval immediately following. Space is limited to register today! #confidentcycl...

In celebration of bike month, we are SUPER excited about this FREE bike education class on May 6th at 5pm with @bike_cle. Participants are encouraged to join the @slowrollcleveland community bike ride, departing from Wade Oval immediately following. Space is limited to register today! #confidentcycling #bike101 #beginnerfriendly Visit www.uGOinthecircle.com/events and find the Eventbrite link to register.

Tuesday, April 23 2019 | 2:41pm

May kicks off the beginning of bike season! Thanks to everyone who responded to our bike month poll. Stay tuned for more updates on bik...

May kicks off the beginning of bike season! Thanks to everyone who responded to our bike month poll. Stay tuned for more updates on bike events in @universitycircle this May on uGOโ€™s event page. @bike_cle

May kicks off the beginning of bike season! Thanks to everyone who responded to our bike month poll. Stay tuned for more updates on bike events in @universitycircle this May on uGOโ€™s event page. @bike_cle

Wednesday, April 3 2019 | 12:41pm

โœ… stop requested โœ… out of hub Happy Valentineโ€™s Day ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

โœ… stop requested โœ… out of hub Happy Valentineโ€™s Day ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

โœ… stop requested โœ… out of hub Happy Valentineโ€™s Day ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Thursday, February 14 2019 | 1:00pm

Mayfield at Circle.

Mayfield at Circle.

Mayfield at Circle.

Wednesday, February 13 2019 | 5:03pm

Like a goat on a snow covered mountainside! #wintercommute #walkabilityhacks #yaktracks #pleaseclearyoursidewalks

Like a goat on a snow covered mountainside! #wintercommute #walkabilityhacks #yaktracks #pleaseclearyoursidewalks

Like a goat on a snow covered mountainside! #wintercommute #walkabilityhacks #yaktracks #pleaseclearyoursidewalks

Tuesday, January 22 2019 | 11:57am

*On the importance of marking crosswalks.* What a driver sees (top picture) versus what a pedestrian sees (bottom picture).

*On the importance of marking crosswalks.* What a driver sees (top picture) versus what a pedestrian sees (bottom picture).

*On the importance of marking crosswalks.* What a driver sees (top picture) versus what a pedestrian sees (bottom picture).

Friday, December 28 2018 | 10:40am

@bird sighting! ๐Ÿ‘€

@bird sighting! ๐Ÿ‘€

@bird sighting! ๐Ÿ‘€

Friday, August 17 2018 | 10:49am

Company bike fleet โœ… employee showers โœ… @uhbikes corporate sponsorship โœ… monthly cash out for alternative commuters โœ… congratul...

Company bike fleet โœ… employee showers โœ… @uhbikes corporate sponsorship โœ… monthly cash out for alternative commuters โœ… congratulations to @universitycircle for the #BikeFriendlyBusiness silver-level designation! #uGObybike #TDM #bicyclefriendly @BikeLeague

Company bike fleet โœ… employee showers โœ… @uhbikes corporate sponsorship โœ… monthly cash out for alternative commuters โœ… congratulations to @universitycircle for the #BikeFriendlyBusiness silver-level designation! #uGObybike #TDM #bicyclefriendly @BikeLeague

Tuesday, August 7 2018 | 2:39pm

Bold & bright ๐Ÿ˜

Bold & bright ๐Ÿ˜

Bold & bright ๐Ÿ˜

Tuesday, July 24 2018 | 3:12pm

Centric is going to add 270+ units adjacent to the @ridertacleveland Little Italy rapid station and provide indoor bike storage for res...

Centric is going to add 270+ units adjacent to the @ridertacleveland Little Italy rapid station and provide indoor bike storage for residents. Opening in August 2018! @bike_cle #transitoriented #urban #livenearwork #multimodal

Centric is going to add 270+ units adjacent to the @ridertacleveland Little Italy rapid station and provide indoor bike storage for residents. Opening in August 2018! @bike_cle #transitoriented #urban #livenearwork #multimodal

Tuesday, May 15 2018 | 8:48am

May Mobility is piloting level 4 autonomous electric shuttles in Detroit. Wouldnโ€™t this be cool in @universitycircle? #futureisnow

May Mobility is piloting level 4 autonomous electric shuttles in Detroit. Wouldnโ€™t this be cool in @universitycircle? #futureisnow

May Mobility is piloting level 4 autonomous electric shuttles in Detroit. Wouldnโ€™t this be cool in @universitycircle? #futureisnow

Wednesday, April 25 2018 | 5:28pm

Canโ€™t wait for @cwru and @clevelandclinic to open the Health Education Campus in Summer 2019. Itโ€™s conveniently located right on @G...

Canโ€™t wait for @cwru and @clevelandclinic to open the Health Education Campus in Summer 2019. Itโ€™s conveniently located right on @GCRTA HealthLine with high frequency transit service to downtown and University Circle. #Innovation #future #developmentgoals #partnership #TOD

Canโ€™t wait for @cwru and @clevelandclinic to open the Health Education Campus in Summer 2019. Itโ€™s conveniently located right on @GCRTA HealthLine with high frequency transit service to downtown and University Circle. #Innovation #future #developmentgoals #partnership #TOD

Tuesday, February 20 2018 | 3:36pm

Log your carpool trips on Gohio Commute between Feb 1-14 (with or without your Valentine ๐Ÿ˜‰) for a chance to win a $100 restaurant gi...

Log your carpool trips on Gohio Commute between Feb 1-14 (with or without your Valentine ๐Ÿ˜‰) for a chance to win a $100 restaurant gift card!

Log your carpool trips on Gohio Commute between Feb 1-14 (with or without your Valentine ๐Ÿ˜‰) for a chance to win a $100 restaurant gift card!

Monday, January 29 2018 | 3:14pm

Tomorrow is a great day to leave your car buried in snow and take @GCRTA to work. Check out your options http://ow.ly/C7OE30hsdhJ

Tomorrow is a great day to leave your car buried in snow and take @GCRTA to work. Check out your options http://ow.ly/C7OE30hsdhJ

Tomorrow is a great day to leave your car buried in snow and take @GCRTA to work. Check out your options http://ow.ly/C7OE30hsdhJ

Wednesday, December 27 2017 | 2:38pm

On the 2nd day of #HolidayCircleFest, my true love gave to me, 3 types of shuttles, 2 ๐Ÿด drawn carriages and @UHBikes to get from A t...

On the 2nd day of #HolidayCircleFest, my true love gave to me, 3 types of shuttles, 2 ๐Ÿด drawn carriages and @UHBikes to get from A to B โ„๏ธ

On the 2nd day of #HolidayCircleFest, my true love gave to me, 3 types of shuttles, 2 ๐Ÿด drawn carriages and @UHBikes to get from A to B โ„๏ธ

Sunday, December 3 2017 | 1:51pm

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Tuesday, November 21 2017 | 9:12am

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive alerts and/or uGO's seldom email communications.

Calculate Your Commute

How much are you spending on your way to work?

Show Me

Photo Gallery

1 of 22