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Tilly Chang, SFCTA Alameda County Climate Action Working Group October 14, 2009 SAN FRANCISCO Automobile Trips Generated CEQA Measure and Mitigation Program Purpose and Background

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tilly chang sfcta alameda county climate action working group october 14 2009
Tilly Chang, SFCTA

Alameda County Climate Action Working Group

October 14, 2009

SAN FRANCISCOAutomobile Trips GeneratedCEQA Measure and Mitigation Program
purpose and background
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009Purpose and Background

What is the best way for San Francisco to measure transportation impacts under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?

Strategic Analysis Report on Automobile LOS requested by Authority Board and completed in 2004

Identified problems with current measure

Suggested several possible approaches for moving away from LOS

Automobile Trips Generated Study completed in 2007

Recommended discontinue use of Level of Service (LOS) as CEQA impact measure

Measure impacts based on automobile trips generated (ATG)

Provide more effective impact mitigation via fee program

Nexus Study currently underway

the problems with los
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009The Problems with LOS

Today, project CEQA impacts on transportation are defined as auto delay at intersections (LOS)‏

Three problems with this measure of impact:

LOS does not capture important environmental impacts (rather reflects motorist pov)

LOS contradicts the City’s Transit First/Climate Action Plan policies and priorities (again, optimizes individual motorist experience vs. system performance)

LOS makes CEQA review process inefficient (for both Planning Department and project sponsors)

los does not capture environmental impacts
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009LOS does not capture environmental impacts

LOS measures the delay experienced by drivers at an intersection

LOS does not capture environmental impacts

Carbon emissions

Safety

Transportation system efficiency

Air and water quality

Neighborhood livability

Noise

Environmental impacts ARE related to the automobile trips generated (ATG) by a project

los does not capture environmental impacts5
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009LOS does not capture environmental impacts

Environmental Impact

Automobile Trips Generated (ATG)‏

Air Quality

CO hotspots rare in Bay Area

ROG, NOx, PM10

Greenhouse Gases

From cold starts

System Efficiency

Traffic Intrusion

Traffic volumes affect neighborhoods

Noise

At congested intersections only

Captures noise conditions

Safety

Delay unrelated to safety

SF DPH Vehicle-Pedestrian Injury Collision model

Automobile Delays (LOS)‏

los does not reflect city policies
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009LOS does not reflect City policies

LOS impacts contradict the Transit First Policy

LOS standards discourage density

Climate Action Plan calls for reduction in driving

Auto tripmaking is 50% of SF’s greenhouse gas emission

Mitigations to LOS are environmentally harmful

Worsen conditions for pedestrians, transit, and bicycling

Induce more driving

los does not reflect city policies7
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009LOS does not reflect City Policies

Providing a pedestrian crossing here would increase delays for right-turning drivers, potentially triggering significant LOS impacts...

Minimizing automobile delays takes precedence over minimizing pedestrian delays.

los results in inefficient ceqa review
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009LOS results in inefficient CEQA review

LOS analysis and impacts are:

Difficult for project sponsors to predict

Not transparent for project sponsors or the public

A burden to the “last project in” (last-in problem)‏

the last in problem11
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009The “last-in” problem

Project #3

LOS = F

Significant Impacts!

the problem
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009The Problem

Fortunately, CEQA statute grants local jurisdictions the authority to define impact measures and thresholds consistent with local policy…

…However, this is constrained by State CEQA Guidelines and past practice

“Transportation” is an impact area distinct from air, water, noise, etc.

State CEQA Guidelines recommend use of LOS to measure impacts

state ceqa guidelines revisions
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009State CEQA Guidelines Revisions

Proposed Language for CEQA Guidelines Appendix G (Transportation Impacts)

Explicitly recognizes local variation in environmental context

More supportive of an ATG impact measure than current language

Further improvement would replace “capacity” concept with “performance”

XVI. TRANSPORTATION/TRAFFIC --Would the project:

a) Exceed the capacity of the existing Conflict with an applicable local plan, ordinance, or policy that establishes a measure of effectiveness for the performance of the circulation system, taking into account all relevant components of the circulation system, including but not limited to intersections, streets, highways and freeways, pedestrian and bicycle paths, and mass transit?

san francisco s new proposed approach
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009San Francisco's New Proposed Approach

ATG Measure + Transportation Impact Mitigation Fee

Each net new automobile trip added by a project contributes to negative impacts for CEQA purposes (Conservative)

Each added automobile trip (starting with 1 trip) contributes to impact

Projects that do not generate net new automobile trips have no impact

e.g. bicycle or BRT projects

Automobile trips generated mitigation fee (ATMF) program

Project sponsors pay per-trip impact mitigation fee

Fee revenues fund actions that help reduce new automobile tripmaking (by improving transit, walking, and bicycling as choices)‏

Payment of fee mitigates ATG impacts for CEQA purposes

atmf improves mitigation effectiveness
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009ATMF improves mitigation effectiveness

Mitigate local and citywide impacts

Nexus study to demonstrate link between countywide program of improvements and cumulative reduction in ATG

ATMF revenues contribute to large projects that will have significant effects on tripmaking patterns

Portion of ATMF dedicated to local area improvements

More equitable and accountable (for project sponsors and the public)‏

Eliminates last-in problem; each project contributes in proportion to impact levels

More simple and transparent process for identifying and mitigating impacts

Clear nexus between fee collected and projects funded

slide16
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009

Process for Applying ATG Measure

Will the Project generate new auto trips?

Yes

No

Determine Impact:

Estimate automobile trips generated or induced by the project

Stop. No impacts in this area.

Determine needed mitigation:

Calculate impact mitigation fee payment based on volume of trips generated / induced

the benefits
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009The Benefits

Environmentally protective

Captures incremental impacts

More closely related to actual environmental effects

Consistency with City policies and vision

Reduces time and cost to implement Transit First projects

More effective at discouraging auto-oriented projects

Improved efficiency

More predictable for project sponsors

More transparent for the public

More accountable - mitigations linked directly to local and citywide improvements

implementation roadmap
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009Implementation Roadmap

Authority Board approved final report in October 2008

Nexus Study

Jointly led by Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, SF Planning Department, the Authority, and SFMTA

Scheduled for completion in 2009/10

Planning Commission adoption of an ordinance approving the ATG measure and ATMF package

Refine trip generation rates

Refinements to current trip generation rates should account for “smart growth” project features as much as possible

San Francisco often has unique trip generation rates (difficult to import generalized rates)

thank you www sfcta org
Auto Trips Generated Impact Measure Presentation, CA APA, September 14, 2009

Thank you!

www.sfcta.org