The Town Council’s Transportation subcommittee seeks to control traffic in town by having new developments come up with a traffic demand management plan, but they must figure out how to enforce the plans.
The traffic demand management plans, or TDMs, will be required for projects of 10,000 square feet or more, or a residential project of 10 units or more. Also, any project that generates more than 150 average daily trips (a car coming and going would be two trips), or more than 15 trips during peak hours.
Each plan would have a set of goals, and measures planned to reduce the number of solo commuters. Some examples would be providing free MBTA passes, organizing car- and van pools, having showers for bicyclists and a guaranteed ride home for people who used public transportation or take car pools if they have an emergency or must work late.
The goal would be based on the average for the town. Assistant Town Manager Steve Magoon said the reduction would be a 20 percent reduction off the current rates of single occupancy vehicle trips, which are which is 75 percent for office buildings and 68 percent for residential now. That would make the goal 60 percent for offices and 54 percent for residential.
If a company or apartment complex is not meeting the goals, there are potential fines as penalties. One suggestion was for $25 for the first infraction, $50 for the second and $100 for the third. There was also a suggestion for a maximum fine of $300.
While the fees would pile up each day the company or complex does not comply, Councilor Vincent Piccirilli said the proposed fines seemed to contradict each other.
“It doesn’t seem like it would eventually get to $300,” said Piccirilli.
Councilor Tony Palomba said he does not think $25 would make much of a dent on a multi-million dollar company or large apartment complex.
“You make a lot more money with 1,000 units vs. 50 units,” Palomba said. “Twenty-five dollars is nothing for them. Maybe (fine them) each day by vehicle under the Target number.”
Palomba first suggested making the maximum $1,000, then agreed to compromise and make the maximum $500.
Magoon said he and the Planning Department staff will write up a final proposal and run it by the town’s attorney before bringing it to the full Town Council to be considered.