Parking and Transportation Services is gathering feedback from the Colorado State University community on a new Transportation Demand Management Master Plan that will serve as the blueprint for optimizing transportation on campus over the next five to 10 years.
The outreach effort to gather input for that plan includes presentations to more than 35 campus organizations, focus groups, a survey and several “pop-up sessions” to provide information at booths/tables in key locations at CSU.
The transportation plan will become part of the overall campus master plan that is expected to be finalized in 2024. Campus Planner Gargi Duttgupta said that the larger plan will cover all aspects of the built environment at CSU, from academic and research facilities to residence halls, classrooms, support facilities, stormwater systems and transportation needs, amongst others – all through the lens of sustainability and resilience for the future. Many elements of the plan will hinge on enrollment projections, she said, as well as the vision for the future of teaching, research and learning.
Supporting CSU’s mission
“Facility master planning is important since its role is to enable and enhance the academic master plan strategy for the built environment to support the university’s mission, vision and goals,” Duttgupta said. “CSU has been around for more than 150 years, and this is an opportunity to ask what we want to be and how to get there over the next 150 years. Transportation is a key element of that – if you don’t have a good transportation demand management master plan, you’re not serving the campus well.”
According to Jamie Gaskill of Parking and Transportation Services, members of the CSU community get updates about the plan and can submit a request to be part of a focus group on the new Transportation Demand Management Master Plan website. Additionally, the website includes a schedule of various pop-up sessions that have been planned on campus. The outreach effort will also include a survey that will be sent to a randomly selected sample of the university population, Gaskill said.
The site also features a timeline for the project. Gaskill explained that this input-gathering phase will be followed by a phase dedicated to collecting feedback on a set of recommendations that will be drafted later this spring. The final phase will involve presenting the finalized plan to the CSU community in June.
Carbon neutrality goal
The new plan is expected to help CSU achieve its goal of carbon neutrality as detailed in its Climate Action Plan. CSU officials contracted with the consulting firm Kimley-Horn last August to begin developing the plan and analyze existing data.
Parking and Transportation Services Director Dave Bradford noted that CSU has seen a lot of growth over the past decade. It’s also seen rapid changes in both modes of transportation and how they are used. A couple of examples are the emergence of e-scooters and the impact of the pandemic on driving patterns.
“Those different modes interact, and we want that interaction to be less about conflict and more about a planned integration,” Bradford said. “We want to make campus more permeable. We want to make sure everyone can get to campus safely in the mode they choose.”
A self-supported enterprise
Parking and Transportation Services is a self-funded auxiliary, meaning that it must pay its own expenses, whether it’s for an expensive parking garage or less-costly improvements related to alternative transportation, for instance. That makes master planning even more important, Bradford said, as CSU projects what its needs will be in the future.
CSU’s first transportation master plan was issued in 2014, and Bradford said the current outreach effort to gather feedback from the community is much larger than it was 10 years ago.
“We hope that many faculty, staff and students participate in this effort to shape the future of transportation at CSU,” Gaskill said.