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Planning Board updated on benefits of TDM Ordinance

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  During his recent presentation before the Planning Board, Transportation Director Jay Monty said a change in transportation behavior remains a primary objective of the city’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance.

  He said 71 percent of Everett residents still currently use cars. “We want to bring that number down,” Monty said during the board’s April 4 meeting, adding that a figure in the 50 percent range would be ideal. In contrast, 67 percent of Revere residents use cars followed by 60 percent in Chelsea, 46 percent in Boston and 46 percent in Somerville.

  “We want to change the way things are done,” said Monty. “TDM is really about changing behaviors.”

  Monty also spoke about the impact and credit scores that are used when a new development is proposed. “It forces developers to provide what they need,” he said.

  He said a development’s impact score measures how disruptive the project could be to the surrounding neighborhood. According to the TDM, traffic flow and parking are the two primary factors that effect impact scores. “Above 20 points, you’ve got to negotiate some infrastructure,” said Monty.

  He also said the impact score is not meant to be a punitive measure. “We want developers to be partners in this,” said Monty. “I don’t want to be beating them over the head with a stick to do this.”

  In addition, he said credit points are awarded for things such as providing parking management programs, on-site amenities and rideshare and transit programs.

  Monty also said the city has received numerous monetary contributions from developers. “It’s significant – it’s in the millions,” he said.

  In addition to Everett, he said, Boston and Somerville both passed TDM Ordinances last year and that Somerville adopted a TDM in 2017. However, Monty said the premier TDM Ordinance belongs to Cambridge. “It’s been in place since the mid-90s,” he said. “They have a whole department devoted to this.” As result, 33 percent of Cambridge residents use cars.

  Planning Board Member Leo Pizzano said traffic volume has always been a problem in Everett. “Moving traffic is one of the things I’ve always complained about in this city,” he said. “Traffic Demand Management is so much more than parking. If we can’t move in this city, there’s reasons why.”

  Pizzano also said Boston transportation officials have allowed traffic congestion to spiral out of control, particularly on Causeway Street by the TD Garden. “You can’t move over there,” he said.

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