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No Net New Commute Trips - Is it Real?
Stanford has lots of information on their No Net New Commute Trips (NNNCT) and is promoting that as a major facet of the the Stanford GUP. But what does that really mean:
- What is NNNTC in context of our greater community?
- Does it mean traffic on Alpine Rd, Sand Hill, El Camino, Santa Cruz Ave, etc will not increase?
- Does it mean non-peak time travel will be less or not increase?
- What is being done to insure traffic in our communities (not Stanford campus) does not increase?
- ... You can catch the drift with these questions....
While a great concept and excellent marketing phrase, the NNNCT is really quite limited in what it measures and how it is evaluated. It is a good concept but limiting it to just a small percentage of Stanford lands and only to a narrow academic view, makes the term and concept meaning less to the greater community and area (as shown in the map below). The bright yellow area in Stanford Lands map below contains what Stanford calls the 'cordon', or the boundry of where NNNCT is counted and the blue dots are the entry points. But not all trips are counted.
The thousands of cars that pass through this area to get to the hospital, research park, SLAC, and other non-acacemic locations are not counted. Only academic related traffic.
If we were to extend the NNNCT to actually encompass the city and county areas where major roadways are used for all traffic to and from Stanford, the metric would yield that NNNCT goals are being missed by as much 10,000 trips or even more from the 2000 GUP through the 2018 GUP.
How do we get no net new trips for these major roadways that funnel all of the traffic to/from Stanford? That is something that Stanford has left as unanswered. The increased traffic on the roadways is 'unavoidable'. For those that live in these areas or use the roadways to get to any location in Menlo Park or Palo Alto, this is not acceptable. Grid lock is not a solution.
Stanford Community Plan -- 2018 GUP -- Introduction to NNNTC with maps, stats, and other information.