Multimodal Needs Report
People arriving at the Amtrak train station in Toledo and who haven’t parked a car there may find that they must walk to connect to their next mode of transportation. Transit users who want to travel between the region’s two largest cities ( Toledo and Bowling Green) currently have no public transit link. Identifying these sorts of gaps in the transportation system is the focus of a recently completed TMACOG report assessing our region’s multimodal assets. The ODOT-required report looks at how all the different modes of travel intersect and how easily people can shift between them. It covers the movement of goods (freight transportation) and the movement of people.
There is great variety in the type of intersections between modes. A bike rack on a TARTA bus is an intermodal connection. A segment of roadway connecting the highway to the port is another. A crane moving containers from a train to a truck, or a sidewalk that leads a pedestrian to a bus stop are yet more examples.
These connections can be places where mobility is either helped or hindered by multimodal design. Putting bike racks on public buses means that people who don’t drive but do ride bikes can use public transit much more efficiently. On the other hand, a narrow road with sharp turns can make the connection between highway and port a slow and dangerous route for freight haulers.
The TMACOG assessment will be used by transportation planners as a reference to identify where there are currently gaps in connections and as a guide to where further study is needed. An example of further study is the relationship between sidewalk locations and car/pedestrian accidents. TMACOG has recently completed an inventory of sidewalks in the region as well as a database detailing location and type of accidents. Follow up analysis can now be performed to determine the correlation between sidewalks and bicycle and pedestrian safety.