Site-Specific Transportation Demand Management: Developers’ Response to Seattle’s Transportation Management Program

The central theme of U.S. transportation planning policies has shifted in recent decades to include a focus on accessibility, sustainability, and the efficiency gained by strategic coordination with land use planning. To reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips and promote transit and non-motorized transportation, cities often implement Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs intervening with new development during the municipal permit and design review process. In Seattle, one program involves a commitment from developers to implement select strategies from six TDM element categories: physical improvements, bicycle/walking programs, employer-based incentives, transit, car/vanpooling, and parking management. Under a joint Director’s Rule (DR) from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Construction and Inspections, the Transportation Management Program (TMP) targets new developments and requires some TDM elements, recommends others, and leaves to negotiation the rest. The result is an individualized TMP contract that is site-specific, reflecting both City policy and developer needs. This paper presents a qualitative analysis of the guiding DRs and TMP contracts implemented in Seattle’s Downtown and adjacent South Lake Union area since 1988. A content analysis of TMP documents reveals that the average number of required elements ultimately implemented in a contract falls short of expectations set by DRs. Despite differences in development patterns and transportation resources, the results reveal limited consistency or patterned response in implementation of TDM elements by category between cases. However, the opportunities exist to structure the guidelines in DRs to better leverage developer self-interest in transportation management to align more closely with City policy.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01764119
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-01036
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:20AM