Level of Service Reform Takes Step Forward in Seattle

The city of Seattle is making more room for alternative transportation modes in its level of service calculations.

1 minute read

January 2, 2019, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Bell Street Seattle

Oran Viriyincy / Flickr

The last meeting of the year for the Seattle City Council's Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee was a significant one, reports Stephen Fesler, with new regulatory requirements for transportation level-of-service standards (LOS) moving out of committee.

Fesler provides details on the LOS reform approved by the committee:

The proposed changes are designed to better implement recent LOS policy changes that were made through the city’s comprehensive plan update in 2016. One of the key paradigm shifts that took place in the update was to set specific target rates of transportation modes (e.g., walking, biking, transit, and driving) across eight geographic areas (sectors) of the city, which would be achieved by 2035. Within each geographic sector, the comprehensive plan identifies the single-occupant vehicle (SOV) rate as a percentage of total trips in 2016 and a target rate for 2035, which is generally lower than than [sic] the 2016 number. Previously, the comprehensive plan had measured LOS based upon the ratio of traffic volume to arterial capacity on key corridors.

Fesler provides a lot more detail on the potential and desired consequences of the LOS changes.

Also on the agenda at the final committee hearing of the year was new design guidelines for the neighborhoods of Uptown and the University District.

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