Conventional planning evaluates transport system performance car-centric indicators such as roadway Level-of-Service (LOS). Many jurisdictions are shifting to Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), which supports multimodal planning and Smart Growth policies.
[Update: Since we published this article, the video has been removed from YouTube.]
LOS stands for Level of Service, an outdated, discredited, highly car-centric way of measuring how streets work. Historically California law required LOS studies to evaluate environmental impacts. VMT stands for Vehicle Miles Traveled, a newer better way of measuring how streets and projects work.
The shift from LOS to VMT is one of the most important changes that affect vehicle travel, development patterns, health, air quality, and much more. California and Seattle are just two jurisdictions that are shifting to using VMT to evaluate transport system performance. This shift is, unfortunately, a wonky issue, difficult for many people to understand and support.
This new video by Fehr and Peers explains VMT in a fun and accessible way.
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HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Rowan University's Department of Geography, Planning, & Sustainability
City Of Oakland
Hillsborough County Public Schools
City of Raleigh
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.