Brief Summary of the Transportation Demand Management Policy 2007

The Kyoto city’s grid was set out way back before automobile was invented, therefore street scale was designed specifically for human and horses to pass by. In the 20th century, Kyoto has become a popular city for tourism and narrow streets can no longer accommodate large amount of population and vehicles. Traffic congestion has caused troubles not only for tourists, but most importantly the locals. Tourist spots suffered the most in traffic problem and air pollution from vehicles. In result, the government released the TDM Policy in April 23, 2007 (same year as the Landscaping Policy), to better the transportation in Kyoto.


Fig 1. Traffic congestion and on-street parking at Shijo Dori © TDM


The “Human-friendly” transportation-oriented city development plan has these 4 major points:
1.City enjoyed by walking
2.Environment-friendly city
3.City filled with the appeal and vitality
4.City where can moves comfortably for visiting people

Before the traffic program was implemented, streets especially the historical city center have been occupied by automobiles and shuttle buses. The solution is to make priority spaces for pedestrians and public transportation. First, it is by abandoning on-street parking and illegally-parked bicycles, pedestrian streets are widened to promote the idea of a walkable city.  Secondly, light rail transit (LRT) is introduced as it is the most human, finance and environmental-friendly transportation. Thirdly, by deconcentration at popular sites, multiple off-site areas are set up to be parking lots exclusively for shuttle buses. Shuttle bus services are also set up to reduced vehicles on street. These transportation would stop at a walkable distance from the tourist spots so that congestions would not happen at the entrance. Also, in such visitors can experience more of the city while walking along the streets, seeing the machiya houses and life of the locals.

Fig.2 Changes to the Arashiyama area after the implementation of the policy © TDM


Source: 23, 2007 April. TDM Policy of Kyoto City. N.d. Raw data. Kyoto, n.p.                

2 Comments on “Brief Summary of the Transportation Demand Management Policy 2007

  1. Your article explained carefully about the reasons and solutions of the traffic congestion of the Kyoto city. And Kyoto is a good reference for all the tourist city in the world. Through the “human-friendly” transportation-oriented city development plan, Kyoto successfully relieves the traffic jam problems by introducing pedestrian street and light rail transit. I would like to know more details about the old city street scale comparing to today’s transportation plan. Showing some Kyoto plans comparing the old and new city transportation system would be nice.

  2. Enhancing walkability has been a common agenda in the urban planning process of contemporary cities. However, I would like to know if the traffic congestion was really solved through the above-mentioned measures, or they are just relocated to other places in the city? Is there any opposition to these policies? Take Hong Kong as an example, a designated pedestrian area in Mong Kok was returned to merely a road during weekdays because some residents/shop keepers would rather keep it for traffic, so it’s more convenient for commutation and loading/unloading of commodities. Of course, noise is an even bigger concern which ultimately turned the original walkable area back to just an ordinary road.

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