TPC Annual Report 2001

 

On behalf of the members of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Transportation Policy Committee (the Committee), I am pleased to submit our Annual Report for your review and comment.

Our year covered a tremendous amount of territory and I am extremely encouraged that it will serve as a strong foundation to build upon during the coming months. The Committee remains indebted to the efforts of those who preceded us.

Thanks to the work products we inherited, the Committee was able to embrace the
principles of an integrated "Transportation Demand Management" (TDM) program,
which will be tailored to support the unique requirements of the University. We
believe a TDM program is consistent with many of the ideas discussed by the Town
of Durham Master Plan Update Subcommittee on Transportation as well as the
existing UNH Master Plan. As noted below, we have recently formed two working
subcommittees to address the many nuances of a TDM program, as well as many of
the proposed recommendations contained within the Committee's Final Report and
Recommendations of June 2000.


Without question, the members of the Committee are clearly focused to take on
some of the more significant transportation related challenges that face the
University community. We have assembled a broad representation of interests on
the Committee and I feel certain that as we bring the curtain down a year from now
we will have made additional recommendations designed to strengthen the overall
mission of the University.

In review of the current year activities of the Committee:

Operating Charter

One of our first priorities was to refine the Committee's Operating Charter in
order to reflect both its broader mission and alignment with the Strategic
Academic and Master Plans.


The UNH Transportation Policy Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the President and shall be responsible for making recommendations on the full range of issues that relate to transportation management, including parking policy and regulations. Recommendations will be formulated taking into account the teaching, research, and public service missions of the University and its long-range Master Plan; the transportation needs of faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors; mutual interests of the University and the Town of Durham with respect to
transportation including regional transportation goals; and funding sources and levels that are realistic and feasible within UNH budgetary policies and constraints.
The overarching goal of the Committee is to guide the University toward a systemic
transportation management plan that emphasizes health and safety, efficiency,
cost-effectiveness, and fairness for all University constituents, consistent with
priorities set by the Strategic Academic Plan and the Master Plan, and that focuses
on both the supply and demand characteristics of transportation.

Committee membership will be as follows, and wherever possible members will serve for two-year terms:

Vice President for Finance and Administration - Chair
Four faculty members (nominated by Faculty Senate)
Four students (nominated by Student Government)
  • 1 graduate, 3 undergraduates (mix of commuter and on-campus)
    Two PAT staff (nominated by PAT Council)
    Two Operating Staff (nominated by OS Council)
    One Representative of Campus Visitors
    Ex Officio:
    Assistant Vice President for Facilities Director of Sustainability Programs
    Non-voting:
  • Director of Transportation UNH
  • Campus Planner
  • UNH Chief of Police
  • Durham Chief of Police
  • Durham Town Planner

The Committee shall submit recommendations to the President on an annual basis, except in a matter of urgency, by no later than May 31ST of each year.

Transportation Demand Management


Consistent with the Committee's Final Report and Recommendations of June
2000
, the Committee began a comprehensive review of the wide range of
transportation demand management strategies. To further this critical undertaking
two working subcommittees were formed to guide the University toward a systemic
transportation management plan.

The two subcommittees are:

_Mass Transit / Alternative Modes of Transportation
_Parking, Housing, and Scheduling


The subcommittees, chaired by Ed Hinson and Tom Kelly respectively, will undertake the
descriptive and analytical steps outlined below using as many examples from other university
communities as possible. Each of the subcommittees shall prepare:


1. A concise characterization of how the transportation modes and policy options
within the scope of that subcommittee should function under a robust
transportation demand management program. This characterization should draw, at
a minimum, from the Transportation Trip Report of September 15, 1999 and the
Final Report and Recommendations / Management Response of June 2000.

2. A situational analysis of how current UNH transportation modes and policies within the scope of that subcommittee serve (or fail to adequately serve) the UNH
communityÕs current and projected transportation needs. Projected needs should
draw from the existing Master Plan, as well as any updates of that plan and relevant
aspects of the Academic Strategic Plan that are available.

3. A prioritized set of long-term (> 2-5 years) initiatives, with financial consequences, and an articulation of the barriers to implementation, with suggestions for overcoming those barriers.

4. A prioritized set of short-term (< 2 years) initiatives, with financial consequences,
and an articulation of the barriers to implementation, with suggestions for
overcoming those barriers.


The first formal written report of the subcommittees will be due to the Committee by the end of October 2001.



Handicap Parking Policy


Prompted by concerns expressed by UNH freshman Sean Raymond and his family,
we completed a comprehensive review of the University's current policies and
system of managing and issuing handicap-parking permits. Although our findings
showed that the current internal process is in full compliance with the applicable
laws, we agreed to experiment with a policy change. Accordingly, all handicap-
permit applications must now be submitted and approved through the State of New
Hampshire. We anticipate a much more efficient process that may be less subject
to abuse. At the completion of the initial year, we will review the accrued benefits
and reevaluate the decision.

In addition, due to the discussions and insights offered by Sean, we have been able
to identify and improve the condition and quality of University handicap vans. As an
example, all handicap vans are now equipped with wheelchair tie down clasps, which
serve to better secure the wheelchair thereby enhancing safety conditions as the
van tries to maneuver around potholes and or winter frost heaves.

Additional Accomplishments and or Recommendations


_Increased the cost of certain resident parking permits from $100 to $150
commencing in fiscal year 2002 and then, effective July 1, 2002, an additional
increase to $200. The incremental revenues derived will be dedicated to increase
and improve mass transit services now available to the campus community.

_Working jointly with the University's Survey Center a UNH Transportation phone
survey was designed. A total of 807 people were interviewed, including 402 faculty
and staff and, 405 students including both commuting and resident. The focus of
the survey is to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the current
transportation habits of the campus community. Survey results will be available in
September 2001.

_At the request of the Student Senate, the current Winter Parking Ban (WPB)
policy was reviewed and modified. In brief, the WPB will start each year as early as
November 1st and no later than December 1st, depending on weather. The WPB will
terminate on March 31st.

_The current University policy, and it's interpretation, regarding the restricted
issuance of parking permits to freshmen and sophomore students who live on
campus was exposed as a potential factor contributing to the limited parking
capacity on campus. Because of these efforts, we have now incorporated a more
restrictive review policy between the Transportation Office (Dirk Timmons) and
the Office of Enrollment Management (Mark Rubinstein).

_At the request of the Student Senate, the Committee voted to recommend to you
that the University policy regarding the enforcement of restricted parking time be
modified to end at 4:30 PM rather than 6:00 PM in A Lot and B Lot. The change
would be effective September 1, 2001 and would be treated as a pilot program to
be reviewed at the end of a one-year period. The change is intended to provide
more parking options for students coming to campus for evening classes or study.

In closing, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of two departing members of
the Committee those being Lucia Verrier and Craig Trimbur, both of whom
represented our student population. Their enthusiasm was appreciated, and their
contributions were important to the Committee's overall success during this past
school year. We look forward to working as well with their replacements, Ken
Kruger, Anne-Marie Olsen and Hayley Scott.

At the completion of your review I would be pleased to address any questions and
or information needs you may have.

 

 

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