Last week the City of Portland issued a request for proposals [PDF] for a consultant to update the city's transportation performance standards. Why is this significant? Like most cities around the country, Portland is burdened by performance standards that rely on an automobile-oriented level-of-service evaluation as the basis for, "determining the adequacy of transportation services in development review applications and volume-to- capacity (v/c) measures that are used in project and system planning."
According to the RFP, "The existing LOS standards and measures, which focus only on motor vehicle levels of service, do not reflect the City of Portland's current practice which emphasizes and promotes a multimodal approach to transportation planning and providing transportation services." And with the city seeking to encourage alternative modes in its transportation policies and land use decisions, the current standards have become an obstacle.
So after years of "grumblings" about the need for this momentous policy change, why is it being undertaken now? Maus believe the reason is, "because the City is beginning the process of updating the Comprehensive Plan and the Transportation System Plan (TSP) which lives within it."
"The RFP deadline is August 17th and work on the $100,000 project is expected to proceed by mid-September."