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Campus & Community

New Survey to Help Shape Future of UMD Transportation

Questionnaire Is Part of Effort to Forecast Next 20 Years of Needs

By Maryland Today Staff

Bus Stop

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Cars zoom past a bus stop on Baltimore Avenue in front of Ritchie Coliseum. A survey launched today seeks information on the modes and motivations behind our daily commutes.

How you get to, from and around campus today can help shape transportation options here in the years ahead.

The University of Maryland is launching a survey today as part of an effort to project future transportation and mobility needs—and how to meet them—on a rapidly evolving campus while maintaining a commitment to sustainability. All faculty, staff, students and visitors are invited to participate and share their experiences on the survey, available here.

The 10-minute questionnaire addresses topics such as how and when members of the campus community commute, incentives to avoid driving alone, and parking permits and enforcement.

With the construction of the light-rail Purple Line through campus, shifts in parking availability, and changing preferences for how stakeholders move around, it’s important to forecast the next 20 years of needs in College Park while still prioritizing safety, said David Cronrath, associate provost for planning and special projects.

“The survey gives us another window into our general behaviors and level of satisfaction,” he said.

The UMD campus is much like a small city, with a population of more than 50,000 people on weekdays during the academic year. The campus’ streets, sidewalks, bus services and parking facilities quickly reach or exceed capacity with frequent surges of thousands of people arriving for sporting events, campus tours, conferences and celebrations.

The building boom in Greater College Park is also creating further connections with campus.

“Numerous new employers and businesses in the city and the relocation of many UMD offices to the Discovery District have changed how people navigate the area,” said Ken Ulman, the university's chief strategy officer for economic development. “Our future solutions will have to be multimodal, incorporating mass transit such as the Purple Line and Metro, our network of bicycle and pedestrian trails, and the local transit systems to get people to and from the different parts of campus.”

Those who show a university ID will be allowed to ride for free on the five Purple Line stops on and adjacent to the UMD campus. The Purple Line will also provide new commuting options for residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and for commuters who can transfer directly from Metro’s Orange, Red and Green lines.

The online survey, run in partnership with planning and design engineering consulting firm Kimley-Horn, will be combined with in-person surveys and focus groups. Individual information collected in the survey will be kept confidential and reported only in aggregate.

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