Task 2, the Existing Conditions Analysis and Baseline Assessment, involved a review of available transportation-related data, an evaluation of current travel habits and preferences of the APS community, and an analysis of existing practices, policies and responsibilities related to transportation. The APS GO! project includes student and staff travel to and from 41 APS sites, including both school and non-school locations. The findings from Task 2 are organized and presented in four sections, below.
All of the findings from Task 2 will inform subsequent tasks as part of developing the TDM Master Plan, including drafting goals and performance targets, proposing criteria for new school site selection, and recommending programs, policies and procedures related to TDM.
Section 2.1: Analysis of Existing Data and Travel Surveys
Section 2.1 provides the findings from the analysis of existing APS data on sites, staff, students and current TDM programs, as well as findings from a series of travel surveys that were conducted as part of this project. Four travel surveys were conducted in October and November of 2013 in order to evaluate the travel modes, habits and opinions of APS students and staff. These included Staff Surveys, Student Travel Tallies, 11th & 12th Grade Student Travel Surveys, Parent Surveys.
Section 2.2: Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Transportation Demand Manegement strategies help people and organizations reduce driving and they can lead to lower levels of transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For this reason, the GHG emissions related to transportation at Arlington Public Schools were estimated. The findings can serve as a baseline for measuring the impact of transportation demand management strategies on GHG emissions over time.This estimate of greenhouse gas emissions includes transportation-related emissions from student driving, staff driving and school vehicles (buses and other APS fleet vehicles).
Section 2.3: Multimodal Access Scores
Although the goal of the APS GO! Plan is to develop division-wide TDM strategies, it is important to acknowledge that not all sites/schools have the same opportunity for multimodal transportation. This analysis examined “Permanent” physical conditions, “Variable” local conditions, and “Cultural” elements offered by each school. The Multimodal Access Opportunity Scores were designed to get a sense of each site’s opportunity for multimodal transportation. A simple set of criteria was used to develop two Opportunity Scores for each site: a Walk/Bike Score and a Transit/Bike Share Score. (See the full Section 2.3 report for scores and details.) Input for the scores came from APS data and a field scan of each site, conducted by Toole Design Group in Fall 2013.
Section 2.4: Policy Review
Section 2.4 provides the findings from the review of existing APS policies which may impact travel to school. This task was not intended to identify specific policy recommendations, but to gain an understanding of the existing policy framework available to support TDM strategies, and identify possible areas of opportunity for APS. Specific policy recommendations will follow APS’s identification of desired goals and performance targets for the APS GO! TDM Master Plan.