Business/Commerce

Provide LOS Exemptions for Pedestrian, Transit, and Bicycling Infrastructure Improvements

This land use policy modifies how transportation impacts are analyzed and mitigated: When a proposed development would have a significant impact on motor-vehicle levels of service (LOS) in certain areas (transit corridors, transit stations, neighborhoods, or protected intersections), the policy would allow developers to replace automobile LOS mitigation with improvements for pedestrians, transit, or cyclists.

Guidance
  • Identify specific areas where the policy would be appropriate
  • Create a reasonable and predictable process for traffic-impact analysis for developers to factor into financial and planning decisions
  • Use traditional LOS analysis methods to determine effect on traffic
  • Define the thresholds for significant impacts based on commonly agreed upon standards, such as state or federal guidelines
  • Determine and announce up front how these transportation-impact fees would be calculated and assessed through a publicized fee structure that includes an annual inflation factor.
Benefits
  • Encourages walking and cycling
  • Encourages higher-density development where desired
  • Provides transparent, predictable process of transportation analysis for developers
  • Encourages smart-growth development
Considerations
  • Potential congestion and traffic delays
Where to Use It
  • Transit corridors, transit station areas
  • Planned communities
  • Transit-oriented development
  • Areas zoned for moderate-to-high densities
Professional Consensus
  • In the absence of official endorsements from national associations or governments, cities are turning to best practices employed by other municipalities
Examples

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.