Parking and Transportation Demand Management Ordinance

Long shadow of bikes parked at Cambridge Main Library
Passengers sitting on an EZRide shuttle bus

The PTDM Ordinance is a national model for improving mobility and access, reducing congestion and air pollution, and increasing safety by promoting walking, bicycling, public transit, and other sustainable modes. The ordinance was adopted in 1998 and made permanent in 2006.

Participation is triggered when an owner of non-residential property proposes to add parking above the registered number.

Small Project PTDM Plan if total parking = 5 to 19 spaces.

Large Project PTDM Plan if total parking = 20 or more spaces.

Small Project PTDM Plan requires:

Large Project PTDM Plan requires:

  • Single-occupancy vehicle mode-share commitment
  • Comprehensive set of transportation demand management (TDM) measures
  • Annual monitoring and reporting
    1. Employee, visitor, and/or patron survey, including SOV rate
    2. Biennial counts of car and bike parking occupancy and driveway ins/outs
    3. Status of required TDM measures

Full Text of the Parking and Transportation Demand Management (PTDM) Ordinance

The citation is Cambridge Municipal Code Chapter 10.18 - Parking and Transportation Demand Management Planning, Parking Space Registration.

Click here for the full text of the Ordinance.

Full Text of the Vehicle Trip Reduction (VTRO) Ordinance

The citation is Cambridge Municipal Code Chapter 10.17 - Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance.

Click here for the full text of the Ordinance.

PTDM Results

Click here for the 2011 PTDM Annual Report.

Click here for the 2018 PTDM Annual Report.

Click here for a video of the 2018 PTDM Annual Report presentation at the 12/3/19 Transportation & Public Utilities Committee Meeting.

Does the PTDM Ordinance Apply to Your Project?

To check the number of registered parking spaces on your parcel and determine whether your project requires PTDM approval, please contact Adam Shulman in the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department at 617/349-4745, ashulman@cambridgema.gov.

Why Do You Need to Comply with the Ordinance?

All projects subject to the PTDM Ordinance must have an approved PTDM plan before they can obtain all permits, including Special Permit, building permit, occupancy permit, etc.

How a PTDM Plan is Created

  1. Property owner submits Draft PTDM Plan
  2. PTDM Officer issues draft finding with comments and guidance for revisions
  3. Property owner submits Final PTDM Plan
  4. PTDM Officer issues final decision--Approved, approved with conditions, or denied

PTDM Officer has 60 days to issue a decision from the date of draft submission.

Helpful resources

Detailed instructions on how to write a PTDM plan

City of Cambridge Bicycle Parking Guidelines

Sample Plans & Reports

Sample PTDM plan

Sample bicycle parking plan

Sample PTDM annual monitoring report

Surveys

Employee

Employee survey (weekdays)

Employee survey (one weekend day)

Employee data submission template

Patron

Patron survey

Patron data submission template

College Student

College student survey

College student data submission template (same as employee)

K-12 Student

K-12 student survey

K-12 student data submission template

Resident

Resident survey

Resident data submission template

Sample TDM measures

  • Transit subsidy
  • Pre-tax transit benefit
  • Free shuttle bus
  • Market-rate parking fee charged directly to employees or patrons
  • Daily parking charge available for occasional drivers instead of monthly parking pass
  • Financial incentive for walking or biking
  • Bicycle tools and air pump on-site
  • Showers/lockers on-site
  • Bluebikes station funds
  • Bluebikes membership
  • Emergency ride home program
  • Car/vanpool matching program
  • Priority/discounted HOV parking
  • Transportation information or real-time transportation information screen
  • TMA membership (Charles River TMA or Alewife TMA)
  • Hire Cambridge residents
  • On-site TDM coordinator
  • Provide bus shelter

A bicylist and pedestrians move down Main Street past MIT's Stata Center in Kendall Square

PTDM-Related Census Links

A Large Project PTDM Plan requires the proponent to set a maximum mode-split commitment for single-occupancy vehicles (SOV). SOV commitment is based on either similar project's traffic impact study assumption, ten percent reduction below 1990 US Census Journey to Work data, or baseline survey.

Determine the census tract for a specific address

Look up the 1990 SOV mode split for a specific census tract, including map

PTDM Ordinance Forms

Register parking spaces in the City of Cambridge, including commercial, non-commercial, and residential. Submit form to the Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation:

Interdepartmental Parking Facility Registration Form


Complete when property subject to the PTDM Ordinance is transferred to new ownership:

PTDM Plan Property Transfer Form.


Submit a plan for a project that will have a total of 5 to 19 parking spaces:

PTDM Small Project Form.


PTDM Employee Transportation Coordinator Designation Form.

Press Related to PTDM

Car-free Commuting Push Pays Off in Kendall Square

Boston Globe Sunday Editorial on decreased traffic in Kendall Square.

For More Information

For more information, contact the City's PTDM Planning Officer Stephanie Groll at either 617/349-4673 or sgroll@cambridgema.gov.