A recent article by Melanie Curry begins by providing an explanation of the regulatory hurdle of Level of Service (LOS) analysis—especially as an obstacle to multi-modal transportation investments. The LOS sticking point is on the way out as a requirement under the California Environmental Quality Act, with some momentous decisions looming in the near future: “The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has to decide on a substitute for LOS that more broadly measures a project’s transportation impacts. Although SB 743 says LOS must be replaced in dense urban areas with robust transit access, OPR can also decide to apply that new metric everywhere in the state.”
Curry also reports about widespread confusion around California among planners concerned about what might be lost when LOS is a thing of the CEQA past. “Speaking off the record, because their departments have not yet determined their official responses to OPR’s request for comments, they expressed concerns about how jurisdictions will determine traffic impact fees — an important source of funds — if not through LOS, and about how transit planning can take into account impacts on vehicle traffic,” report Curry.