As part of its Land Use Analysis Program, Alameda CTC reviews transportation impact analyses (TIAs) for significant development projects to assess their impacts on the regional transportation system. Alameda CTC requirements pertaining to TIAs are contained in the Congestion Management Program document (Chapter 6, pages 80-86 and Appendix L). In addition to the key concepts below, project sponsors preparing an Environmental Impact Report should become familiar with the material contained in the most recent Congestion Management Program (CMP).
Scope of Review
Alameda CTC reviews land use projects that will cause a net increase of 100 or more p.m. peak-hour trips. Net increase is determined with respect to the existing land use designation (if the project entails a General Plan Amendment) or with respect to existing uses at the project site (if the project is consistent with the current general plan designation). Alameda CTC conducts a trip generation calculation to determine if a CMP analysis is required.
Alameda CTC’s review of projects is generally integrated with the California Environmental Quality Act process. The review process terminates either when Alameda CTC sends a letter stating that a project is exempt from the Land Use Analysis Program or a letter stating that it has no further comments.
Local jurisdictions should provide notice of all land use actions to Alameda CTC (preparation of an Environmental Impact Report and/or consideration of General Plan Amendments).
Use of the Alameda Countywide Travel Demand Model
Jurisdictions are required to use the most current version of the Alameda Countywide Travel Demand Model or an approved subarea travel demand model for CMP Land Use Analysis purposes. Local jurisdictions must request the model for each specific application.
Methodologies and Standards
Project sponsors should use the following methodologies and standards when conducting Transportation Impact Analyses for the CMP Land Use Analysis Program. Additional guidance on methodologies and standards may also be given as part of Alameda CTC’s response to the NOP for a particular project.
The CMP statute requires analysis of impacts of land use actions on regional transportation systems. For Alameda CTC’s CMP analyses, “regional transportation systems” is interpreted as follows:
- Autos: Study impacts to roadway segments on the 2002 Metropolitan Transportation System.
- Transit: Study impacts to Metropolitan Transit System transit operators (Altamont Corridor Express, AC Transit, BART, Capitol Corridor, Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority and Union City Transit).
- Bicycles: Study impacts to cyclists on the Countywide Bicycle Network.
- Pedestrians: Study impacts to pedestrians within the Areas of Countywide Significance identified in the Alameda Countywide Pedestrian Plan.
Trip generation estimates
The Institute of Transportation Engineers “Trip Generation Manual” is an acceptable method for estimating project trip generation. This methodology is widely used in the transportation industry.
Project sponsors also have the option of using one of the following adopted alternative trip generation methodologies, which may provide a more accurate estimate of trip generation in dense or transit rich areas such as infill development sites or in Alameda County’s priority development areas.
- EPA’s Mixed Use Development model.
- Caltrans/UC Davis Smart Growth Trip Generation rates.
Appendix L of the Congestion Management Program provides more details on these methodologies.
Types of impacts and impact assessment methodologies
Project sponsors should consider impacts to all modes, including:
- Autos: Vehicle delay using the HCM 2010 methodology (unless an alternative methodology must be used to comply with local requirements) and consistency with adopted plans.
- Transit: Effects of vehicle traffic on mixed-flow transit operations, transit capacity, transit access/egress, need for future transit service, consistency with adopted plans and circulation element needs.
- Bicycles: Effects of vehicle traffic on bicyclist conditions, site development and roadway improvements, and consistency with adopted plans.
- Pedestrians: Effects of vehicle traffic on pedestrian conditions, site development and roadway improvements, and consistency with adopted plans.
- Other impacts and opportunities: Noise impacts for projects near state highway facilities and opportunities to environmentally clear access improvements for transit oriented development projects.
Appendix L of the Congestion Management Program provides more details on these types of impacts and assessment methodologies.
Thresholds of significance
Alameda CTC has not adopted thresholds of significance for CMP land use analysis purposes. Project sponsors should use professional judgment to 1) define a threshold appropriate for the project context; and 2) use this threshold to determine if segments are impacted.
Project sponsors should take care not to confuse the level of service E standard used to determine deficiency as part of biennial LOS monitoring activities with any Land Use Analysis Program standard. The biennial LOS monitoring standard does not apply in the Land Use Analysis Program.
Project sponsors should demonstrate the adequacy of proposed mitigation measures. To be considered adequate, a mitigation measure must be:
- Adequate to sustain CMP roadway and transit service standards,
- Fully funded, and
- Consistent with project-funding priorities established in the Capital Improvement Program of the Congestion Management Program, the Countywide Transportation Plan and the Regional Transportation Plan or the federal Transportation Improvement Program, if the agency relies on state or federal funds programmed by Alameda CTC.
In certain settings, mitigation measures designed to resolve an impact to one mode may cause undesirable secondary impacts to other modes that conflict with adopted policy objectives. A typical example is adding a turn pocket at an intersection, to address an auto circulation impact in a downtown or infill development area, which may increase crossing distances and exposure to vehicles for cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders.
Alameda CTC encourages jurisdictions to discuss multimodal tradeoffs associated with mitigation measures that involve changes in roadway geometry, intersection control or other changes of the transportation network. This analysis should identify whether the mitigation will result in an improvement, degradation or no change in conditions for automobiles, transit, bicyclists and pedestrians.
The HCM 2010 Multimodal Level of Service (MMLOS) methodology is encouraged as a tool to evaluate these tradeoffs, but project sponsors may use other methodologies as appropriate for particular contexts or types of mitigations.