Does it take Pokemon Go to improve livability – notably transportation and commuting? As the United States moves away from its twentieth-century reliance on single-occupancy vehicles (SOV), transportation choices such as carpooling, transit shuttles, bicycling options, and public transit are becoming more prevalent.
Giving residents and commuters better options doesn’t just happen on its own. It often requires public-private cooperation. But what about this “carpooling” option:
“I will drive you around Portland Metro area while you play Pokemon Go.
Rides include snacks and beverages.
Includes 2 hours of driving around to all the PokeStops and Gym Trainers.”
(Read more about this here.)
Well, technology does help with transportation and mobility (think ridesharing, electronic wayfinding), but Pokemon carpooling might not be the best option to take SOVs off the streets and improve traffic conditions.
Forget Pokemon – Here Are Some Real Local Transportation Options
And yet, it’s the “local” in “Think Global, Act Local” that really makes things better.
For example, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission annually funds projects through its Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) grant program. TCDI provides a “mechanism for municipalities to undertake locally-directed actions to improve their communities.”
W+A is pleased to be a part of one of these locally directed projects – a transportation demand management (TDM) program to help the Fort Washington Office Park in Upper Dublin Towship enhance the accessibility and mobility of the park to meet the needs of employers, commuters, and residential growth.
The Value of TDM vs Pokemon Go
It’s true that the Pokemon Go app craze is getting more people out walking and riding. And that’s great. And while it might even make an interesting add-on to a great TDM program (we’ll be ruminating on that idea), here’s what TDM does that Pokemon Go can’t. TDM:
- encourages convenient alternatives to driving through systematic initiatives
- reduces SOV travel demand by changing human behaviors, particularly at peak commute hours
- creates strategic ways to get cars off the road, to create work-life balance, and to reduce stress
In many cases, commuters and residents aren’t aware of the transportation options that are open to them. In other cases, employers and office parks don’t realize that they can offer amenities – including on-demand shuttles, bicycle maintenance and storage facilities, and real-time transit information – that give employees improved ways of commuting.
But that is not all. When TDM programs are enacted, communities benefit from improved health and a cleaner environment. Everyone benefits by the economic stimulus of empowering people to live and play in their own communities.
For the Fort Washington Office Park, W+A will work with the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association and Upper Dublin Township to improve accessibility and mobility, but also to attract and accommodate expected employer and residential growth in the future. As such, we are proud to be a part of the first TDM plan of its kind in the region.
Now, if you are still just looking for your best transportation options to play Pokemon Go, then we’re happy to oblige, via Chicken’s YouTube channel. Gotta catch ’em all!!