Downtown Columbia, one of the country’s first planned communities of the 1960’s, was envisioned as a vibrant, mixed-use, urban environment that would provide jobs, retail, and other destination uses for the 14,000-acre town. Today, Downtown Columbia is a mostly auto-oriented destination, which includes a hugely successful and economically viable 1.4 million square foot regional mall, office buildings, restaurants, and a beautifully landscaped waterfront park, amphitheater, and promenade. The Downtown Columbia Master Plan, a new 30-year vision for the Downtown Columbia developed with extensive public participation, provides a comprehensive plan for the evolution of today’s Downtown Columbia into a mixed-use center with over 6,200 housing units, 4.3 million square feet of office, 640 hotel rooms, and 1.25 million square feet of retail.
To achieve the County’s vision for Downtown Columbia in accordance with the Downtown Columbia Master Plan, the role of travel options other than driving alone (e.g., taking the bus, biking, walking, telework and modified work schedules) needs to be increased to ensure that the community avoids the negative impacts associated with increased vehicle traffic such as congestion, unreliable trip times, and increased unhealthy air pollution. To that end, Foursquare ITP is working with the Downtown Columbia Partnership (DTC) and Howard County Office of Transportation on a Downtown Columbia Transportation Demand Management Plan (TDMP) that will outline TDM requirements for future site development in Downtown Columbia. This plan will provide framework for the development and monitoring of site-specific TDM plans as well as action steps to be taken by the Downtown Columbia Partnership and the Howard County Office of Transportation to successfully implement TDM measures in Downtown Columbia.