Downtown Durham Map

PLAN 823 TRANSPORTATION PLANNING WORKSHOP

Instructor: Dr. Allie Thomas

Client:
American Underground and Downtown Durham, Inc.
Deliverables: Diverse strategies to encourage less driving, to reduce demand for parking, and to support more sustainable transportation overall.  As part of our transportation demand management study, our team created an interactive mapping tool for the City of Durham to analyze commute patterns and identify opportunities to shift auto dependence to public transit. Downtown Durham employees can use this tool to identify walking routes and bus lines.
Finding: Over 55% of all downtown Durham employees live within ¼ mile of a GoDurham bus stop. All GoDurham stops except routes 14 and 20 have a direct link to downtown.
Institutional Challenge: GoTriangle currently requires a 100-employee minimum for its GoPass contracts. This requirement severely limits smaller downtown businesses’ ability to provide employees with free or reduced-cost transit passes.
Opportunity/Recommendation: A marketing campaign targeting the block groups displayed on the map in conjunction with a reduction in GoTriangle’s minimum employee threshold for GoPasses could significantly increase GoDurham ridership to downtown and thus, reduce demand for parking in downtown Durham. Other municipal transit agencies have thresholds as low as 25-30 employees. The City of Durham, along with the business community could advocate for a lower threshold. This information has already been included in a report for American Underground and Downtown Durham, Inc.
Downtown Durham Map
How it Works:  The map is embedded with spatial and numerical data within the map layers. Simply click on the ‘Layer List’ icon in the upper right-hand corner of the map and choose layers to overlay.
Each of the employee layers contains information about workers who commute to downtown Durham on the census block level. The employee data was obtained from the Longitudinal-Employer Household Dynamics program at the US Census Bureau (2015). Further information about each feature can be found by clicking on the point, line, or polygon.To follow along with this memo and the map concurrently, turn on each of the layers listed under the “Active Layers” subheading.20+ Downtown Durham Employees Within ¼ Mile GoDurham Stop
Active Layers:

  • 20+ Downtown Durham Employees Within ¼ Mile of GoDurham Stop
  • GoDurham Routes
  • Downtown Durham

The first layer titled “20+ Downtown Durham Employees Within ¼ Mile GoDurham Stop” contains proportional symbols for each census block with at least 20 employees who commute to downtown Durham and is located within ¼ mile of a GoDurham bus stop.


Downtown Durham Employees within 1 & 2 Miles of Downtown
Active Layers:

  • Downtown Durham Employees within 1 Mile of Downtown
  • Downtown Durham 1 Mile Buffer
  • Durham Sidewalks
  • Durham Trails and Greenways

This overlay highlights concentrations of downtown Durham employees within a one-mile buffer. It can be used to find pedestrian routes to work and locate sidewalk and trail gaps. There are over 1,700 downtown employees who live within 1 mile of downtown. These are employees who could potentially walk or bike to downtown. Downtown employees may use the search address widget along with the sidewalks layer to determine if there are existing pedestrian facilities from their place of residence to place of work.

Active Layers:

  • Downtown Durham Employees within 2 Miles of Downtown
  • Downtown Durham 2 Mile Buffer
  • Durham Sidewalks
  • Durham Trails and Greenways

This overlay displays similar information as the previous overlay with a greater focus on potential bicycle connections to downtown. There are over 3,000 downtown Durham employees live within two miles of downtown. The City of Durham has the opportunity to connect these employees to their places of work.


Downtown Durham Park-and-Ride Links

Active Layers:

  • Downtown Durham
  • Downtown Durham Park and Rides

The Downtown Durham Park and Rides layer displays the existing park-and-ride lots that are served by GoDurham routes with direct links to downtown Durham. The major gaps in the park-and-ride network include connections from north Durham and western Wake County. A Transportation Management Association, as outlined in the report, could identify new park-and-ride lots within these areas and collaborate with GoTriangle to serve direct connections from these lots to downtown Durham.

Background:  Durham is booming and many new companies, particularly tech-related companies, are setting up offices in Downtown Durham. Currently, downtown Durham has over 17,000 workers. Parking is emerging as a major barrier to increased growth. The current wait list is 200 people for monthly parking. Businesses are hoarding spaces to ensure access for future employees. New parking structures will not provide relief for two years. At the same time, the Chapel Hill Street Parking Structure will be torn down.

Below is a summary of concerns from the businesses:
(1) New businesses want to set up offices but the lack of parking is making Downtown Durham less attractive and they may seek new locations.
(2) Established downtown businesses have voiced concern that clients cannot find parking and they are losing business.
(3) Growing and established businesses see the lack of parking as infringing on their ability to attract talent.
(4) In terms of reducing demand for parking, a company’s understanding of alternatives to driving may be weak. Ex: Some want to get employees to take public transit, rideshare, etc. but are unsure of what steps to take or how to promote other modes (e.g. biking, walking, carpooling). Businesses that have promoted public transit through ride passes, etc. have found the process unclear and challenging. In addition, a carshare program that was to be established has fallen through.

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