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TDM Ordinance seeks to limit drivers on the road

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  The city’s Transportation Planner appeared before the City Council during Monday’s Legislative Affairs Subcommittee meeting to discuss the Transportation-Demand-Management at City Hall. Transportation Planner Jay Monty said negative trends include displacement of businesses for the purpose of accommodating parking and an inability to produce affordable housing. It consists of a nonprofit, funded through grants, made up of governing board of members.

  “Approximately 70 percent of residents in Everett drive a car,” Monty said. “We want to encourage other modes of travel, such as Rideshare and public transit.”

  The ordinance, which aims to reduce air pollution, was passed in 2021. Monty noted Somerville and Cambridge only have 30 percent of population that drive, which means Everett has twice as many people on the street.

  For example, Encore Boston Harbor has a maximum number of parking spaces (2,800) to encourage guests and employees not to drive there. That includes shuttle buses, taking the T or bike share. “They subsidize T passes and [do] not let employees out at the same time to prevent traffic jams,” Monty said.

  Monty said the board sets thresholds on new developments, which include 10 units of new housing, 10,000 square feet of commercial space for street side access, and parking under or over the existing zoning requirements by generating an impact source.

  Part of the ordinance includes creating the right amount of parking spaces to support a development. It also involves asking developers to pay for a shuttle service or Rideshare. “We don’t want to see more spaces,” Monty said. “We want to provide access to a car or bicycle, such as Rideshare, if residents need it.”

  Monty said there are 16 to 17 projects happening in the city, including two on lower Broadway, five in the business district and one in the residential district. Four are in construction with an estimated time of completion of a year or so. He said other projects in the works are the MBTA Silver Line extension and a Route 16 reconstruction.

  Councillor-at-Large Stephanie Smith, who asked for the addresses of the projects, said she’d love to get a council representative on the board.

  Ward 3 Councillor Darren Costa said some may be concerned about taking the T due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Another big issue is parking,” Costa said. “Signage needs to be enforced, and we have an understaffed parking crew here.”

  The matter was referred to the Planning Department office for a response on the addresses and recommended changes to mitigate risks.

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