California's Proposed Traffic Impact Rules Rethink Congestion

California planning expert Bill Fulton discusses a long-awaited proposal from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research that would shift the state's traffic impact assessments away from their current focus on traffic congestion.

A sweeping set of recommendations for a new traffic impact assessment standard appeared late Wednesday from the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research. Under the proposal, traffic congestion would no longer be considered a significant environmental impact under the California Environmental Quality Act, and expanded roadways in congested areas would be assessed for possible growth-inducing impacts.

The recommendation would replace the “level of service” traffic congestion standard with a “vehicle miles traveled” standard in order to tether CEQA analysis more closely to other state goals, especially the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals contained in AB 32, the state’s climate change law.

If adopted, the recommendations could have widespread implications for how traffic is mitigated under CEQA and the leverage local governments have over developers in dealing with traffic congestion issues.

Full Story: OPR's new traffic draft rethinks congestion


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
building block set

Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.