As travel demand increases in Northern Virginia, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and other local transportation agencies face considerable challenges in providing efficient, reliable transportation service. A major part of this effort is managing the demand on existing highways and providing a wider range of travel options. VDOT has already taken important steps, such as introducing managed express lanes on its most congested highways. In addition, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) has developed a vision for transit and transportation demand management (TDM) in the Northern Virginia (NOVA) region. DRPT also provides grants for local TDM work programs.
To make the best use of its existing and planned infrastructure capacity well into the future, Virginia is looking to new and innovative data analysis of vehicular travel. Access to relatively recent data from Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled automobiles will strengthen TDM efforts throughout the region. The use of such Big Data provides back-checking of travel predictions, informs geographical boundaries of future TDM projects, and draws from other initiatives and best practices in use around the nation.
The study goal was to identify pilot TDM projects that could raise overall accessibility to destinations by targeting contributors to recurring delay and identify appropriate TDM techniques, enhanced alternative travel options and/or more direct routes to reduce and better distribute travel patterns. The data and findings of this study were provided to stakeholders to inform project proposals under the HB 2 prioritization process. The study also provided a simple online mechanism to visualize and share data to further empower local and regional TDM practitioners and planners.
General Needs and Existing Approach – Presents the current state of practice for TDM in the NOVA region. Highlights findings from regional and jurisdictional plans, needs assessments, and more specifically explores the process and thinking that helped shape priorities and perceived limitations of current and planned TDM activities and projects.
Assessment of Existing Local and Modal Programs and Plans – Compilation of TDM program major activities and assessment of modal program/plans, identifying jurisdictional similarities and variations in the set of strategies, programs, services, and capital improvements made available to influence travel behavior by mode, frequency, time, route, or trip length.
Best Practices for TDM and Improving Accessibility – Outline of approaches to improving accessibility and making more efficient use of existing transportation infrastructure without requiring large investments in the physical capacity of roads and transit. Further consideration is given to the practical mechanisms for implementing various TDM measures and accessibility improvements at different levels of government and administration.
Data Analysis and Case Studies - Summarizes GPS data for the NOVA region that traces actual passenger vehicle trips within and between geographic areas called traffic analysis zones (TAZs). The report highlights areas of opportunity for reducing these trips and describes more than 15 case studies where lower-cost TDM measures may be most impactful as evidenced from the data findings.
Tableau – Online graphical interface providing stakeholders with access to a sample of study data showing the top origins and destinations for about 15 employment centers within the region.