Chicago Department of Transportation Releases Introductory Guidelines for Travel Demand Management Plans for New Construction Developments

June 20, 2023

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced introductory guidelines for Travel Demand Study and Management (TDM) Plans – a set of requirements for new development proposals to reduce traffic congestion and its environmental impacts, incentivize the use of public transit and bikes, and reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips.  
As required by Chicago’s Connected Communities Ordinance, new construction projects in Business (B), Commercial (C), and Downtown (D) zoning districts located within a half-mile of CTA and Metra rail stations must follow TDM rules established by CDOT.  TDM refers to strategies and policies designed to manage and reduce travel demand, with the goal of reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips and promoting sustainable transportation modes such as walking, cycling, and public transportation. Examples of TDM strategies may include providing transit subsidies, incentives for carpooling, offering additional on-site bike storage, and providing shuttle services to public transit stations.  
The interim guidelines, developed in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Zoning Division, will serve as a foundation for drafting the final rules. CDOT staff will work closely with each project to provide guidance on fulfilling the requirements outlined in these guidelines. 
The City of Chicago has been advocating for compact, mixed-use, transit-oriented development (TOD) since 2013, promoting benefits such as increased transit ridership, more walkable communities, reduced traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and safer streets. The implementation of TDM is a key recommendation of the Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) Policy Plan, which aligns building design and programming with the city's public health, racial equity, climate action, and street safety goals.  
TDM requirements will vary by project based on factors such as square footage and dwelling units. These guidelines are effective immediately and will be continually updated and added to as the TDM program and regional TDM planning efforts evolve. CDOT will use data from annual surveys to refine the rules and enhance the success of the TDM strategies which are targeted for release in early 2024.  
More information on the guidelines and requirements is available HERE.  

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