TDM is the future

I’m a member of the spandex-clad hoards which Barry Beardsell claims are the sole beneficiaries of TDM and I have some bad news for him.  No, we won’t soon be forcing him from his single-occupancy vehicle; “peak oil” and the rising price of fuel will do that.  But TDM has morphed into mobility management.

We walk among you, cleverly disguised as office workers in rayon and polyester, riding the bus to work. Businesspeople in cashmere, or wool blends, carpooling to free up parking spaces. Seniors in wool sweaters and sensible shoes, walking downtown to shop. Children and youth in denim and nylon, walking with their friends to school. Young adults wearing hemp or recycled clothing catching the UBC-O bus at Okanagan College.

Mobility management is about ensuring that there are alternatives, so that we can maintain our mobile lifestyle and business enterprise when the price of gas goes to $1.50 a litre in July, and $2 or $2.50 next year.

It’s about avoiding costly transportation infrastructure upgrades that will be required if we continue the one-person, one-vehicle approach to transportation as the population grows.

The Transportation Demand Management Coordinator, actively supported by the City of Vernon, TDM committee and many other volunteer organizations, has been instrumental in getting funding for school travel plans (one of only two communities in B.C. to do so), bicycle training for youth, and donations for many community events that demonstrate the transportation alternatives that exist.

The TDM committee and coordinator have given a voice to seniors and those that are mobility challenged, enhancing transit and taxi service to many. All these initiatives will prove to be worthwhile, long-term investments.

Many in Vernon are in the fortunate position to be able to afford the increasing price of fuel. But you will still benefit, because for every trip we make by bicycle, bus, or on foot, we free up litres of fuel, parking spaces, and road infrastructure for you to consume. Even so, with increasing population in the Okanagan, and increasing fuel prices, we expect the day will come when more will be forced to join us and consider alternative transportation.

Mr Beardsell, like it or not, Mobility Management (TDM) is the future. Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated. I’m not sure how you will look in spandex though.  Perhaps some baggy board shorts and an oversized cotton polyester rugby shirt?


Kim Young, Vernon