Oregon Land Conservation and Development Department

Rule Rule 660-012-0035
Evaluation and Selection of Transportation System Alternatives


(1)

The TSP shall be based upon evaluation of potential impacts of system alternatives that can reasonably be expected to meet the identified transportation needs in a safe manner and at a reasonable cost with available technology. The following shall be evaluated as components of system alternatives:

(a)

Improvements to existing facilities or services;

(b)

New facilities and services, including different modes or combinations of modes that could reasonably meet identified transportation needs;

(c)

Transportation system management measures;

(d)

Demand management measures; and

(e)

A no-build system alternative required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 or other laws.

(2)

Local governments in MPO areas of larger than 1,000,000 population shall, and other governments may also, evaluate alternative land use designations, densities, and design standards to meet local and regional transportation needs. Local governments preparing such a strategy shall consider:

(a)

Increasing residential densities and establishing minimum residential densities within one quarter mile of transit lines, major regional employment areas, and major regional retail shopping areas;

(b)

Increasing allowed densities in new commercial office and retail developments in designated community centers;

(c)

Designating lands for neighborhood shopping centers within convenient walking and cycling distance of residential areas; and

(d)

Designating land uses to provide a better balance between jobs and housing considering:

(A)

The total number of jobs and total of number of housing units expected in the area or subarea;

(B)

The availability of affordable housing in the area or subarea; and

(C)

Provision of housing opportunities in close proximity to employment areas.

(3)

The following standards shall be used to evaluate and select alternatives:

(a)

The transportation system shall support urban and rural development by providing types and levels of transportation facilities and services appropriate to serve the land uses identified in the acknowledged comprehensive plan;

(b)

The transportation system shall be consistent with state and federal standards for protection of air, land and water quality including the State Implementation Plan under the Federal Clean Air Act and the State Water Quality Management Plan;

(c)

The transportation system shall minimize adverse economic, social, environmental and energy consequences;

(d)

The transportation system shall minimize conflicts and facilitate connections between modes of transportation; and

(e)

The transportation system shall avoid principal reliance on any one mode of transportation by increasing transportation choices to reduce principal reliance on the automobile. In MPO areas this shall be accomplished by selecting transportation alternatives which meet the requirements in section (4) of this rule.

(4)

In MPO areas, regional and local TSPs shall be designed to achieve adopted standards for increasing transportation choices and reducing reliance on the automobile. Adopted standards are intended as means of measuring progress of metropolitan areas towards developing and implementing transportation systems and land use plans that increase transportation choices and reduce reliance on the automobile. It is anticipated that metropolitan areas will accomplish reduced reliance by changing land use patterns and transportation systems so that walking, cycling, and use of transit are highly convenient and so that, on balance, people need to and are likely to drive less than they do today.

(5)

MPO areas shall adopt standards to demonstrate progress towards increasing transportation choices and reducing automobile reliance as provided for in this rule:

(a)

The commission shall approve standards by order upon demonstration by the metropolitan area that:

(A)

Achieving the standard will result in a reduction in reliance on automobiles;

(B)

Achieving the standard will accomplish a significant increase in the availability or convenience of alternative modes of transportation;

(C)

Achieving the standard is likely to result in a significant increase in the share of trips made by alternative modes, including walking, bicycling, ridesharing and transit;

(D)

VMT per capita is unlikely to increase by more than five percent; and

(E)

The standard is measurable and reasonably related to achieving the goal of increasing transportation choices and reducing reliance on the automobile as described in OAR 660-012-0000 (Purpose).

(b)

In reviewing proposed standards for compliance with subsection (a), the commission shall give credit to regional and local plans, programs, and actions implemented since 1990 that have already contributed to achieving the objectives specified in paragraphs (A)–(E) above;

(c)

If a plan using a standard, approved pursuant to this rule, is expected to result in an increase in VMT per capita, then the cities and counties in the metropolitan area shall prepare and adopt an integrated land use and transportation plan including the elements listed in paragraphs (A)–(E) below. Such a plan shall be prepared in coordination with the MPO and shall be adopted within three years of the approval of the standard.

(A)

Changes to land use plan designations, densities, and design standards listed in subsections (2)(a)–(d);

(B)

A transportation demand management plan that includes significant new transportation demand management measures;

(C)

A public transit plan that includes a significant expansion in transit service;

(D)

Policies to review and manage major roadway improvements to ensure that their effects are consistent with achieving the adopted strategy for reduced reliance on the automobile, including policies that provide for the following:

(i)

An assessment of whether improvements would result in development or travel that is inconsistent with what is expected in the plan;

(ii)

Consideration of alternative measures to meet transportation needs;

(iii)

Adoption of measures to limit possible unintended effects on travel and land use patterns including access management, limitations on subsequent plan amendments, phasing of improvements, etc.; and

(iv)

For purposes of this section a “major roadway expansion” includes new arterial roads or streets and highways, the addition of travel lanes, and construction of interchanges to a limited access highway

(E)

Plan and ordinance provisions that meet all other applicable requirements of this division.

(d)

Standards may include but are not limited to:

(A)

Modal share of alternative modes, including walking, bicycling, and transit trips;

(B)

Vehicle hours of travel per capita;

(C)

Vehicle trips per capita;

(D)

Measures of accessibility by alternative modes (i.e. walking, bicycling and transit); or

(E)

The Oregon Benchmark for a reduction in peak hour commuting by single occupant vehicles.

(e)

Metropolitan areas shall adopt TSP policies to evaluate progress towards achieving the standard or standards adopted and approved pursuant to this rule. Such evaluation shall occur at regular intervals corresponding with federally-required updates of the regional transportation plan. This shall include monitoring and reporting of VMT per capita.

(6)

A metropolitan area may also accomplish compliance with requirements of subsection (3)(e), sections (4) and (5) by demonstrating to the commission that adopted plans and measures are likely to achieve a five percent reduction in VMT per capita over the 20-year planning period. The commission shall consider and act on metropolitan area requests under this section by order. A metropolitan area that receives approval under this section shall adopt interim benchmarks for VMT reduction and shall evaluate progress in achieving VMT reduction at each update of the regional transportation system plan.

(7)

Regional and local TSPs shall include benchmarks to assure satisfactory progress towards meeting the approved standard or standards adopted pursuant to this rule at regular intervals over the planning period. MPOs and local governments shall evaluate progress in meeting benchmarks at each update of the regional transportation plan. Where benchmarks are not met, the relevant TSP shall be amended to include new or additional efforts adequate to meet the requirements of this rule.

(8)

The commission shall, at regular intervals, evaluate the results of efforts to achieve the reduction in VMT and the effectiveness of approved plans and standards in achieving the objective of increasing transportation choices and reducing reliance on the automobile.

(9)

Where existing and committed transportation facilities and services have adequate capacity to support the land uses in the acknowledged comprehensive plan, the local government shall not be required to evaluate alternatives as provided in this rule.

(10)

Transportation uses or improvements listed in OAR 660-012-0065 (Transportation Improvements on Rural Lands)(3)(d) to (g) and (o) and located in an urban fringe may be included in a TSP only if the improvement project identified in the Transportation System Plan as described in section (12) of this rule, will not significantly reduce peak hour travel time for the route as determined pursuant to section (11) of this rule, or the jurisdiction determines that the following alternatives can not reasonably satisfy the purpose of the improvement project:

(a)

Improvements to transportation facilities and services within the urban growth boundary;

(b)

Transportation system management measures that do not significantly increase capacity; or

(c)

Transportation demand management measures. The jurisdiction needs only to consider alternatives that are safe and effective, consistent with applicable standards and that can be implemented at a reasonable cost using available technology.

(11)

An improvement project significantly reduces peak hour travel time when, based on recent data, the time to travel the route is reduced more than 15 percent during weekday peak hour conditions over the length of the route located within the urban fringe. For purposes of measuring travel time, a route shall be identified by the predominant traffic flows in the project area.

(12)

A “transportation improvement project” described in section (10) of this rule:

(a)

Is intended to solve all of the reasonably foreseeable transportation problems within a general geographic location, within the planning period; and

(b)

Has utility as an independent transportation project.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021