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File #: 2017-0018   
Type: Policy Status: Filed
File created: 1/6/2017 In control: Planning and Programming Committee
On agenda: 2/15/2017 Final action: 2/15/2017
Title: RECEIVE AND FILE report on Potential Change in CEQA Transportation Impact Metrics.
Sponsors: Planning and Programming Committee
Indexes: Active Transportation Strategic Plan, California Environmental Quality Act, Community Transportation, Complete streets, Construction, Environmental policy, First/Last Mile, Guidelines, Mitigation, Multimodal, Multimodal transportation, Policy, Safety, Senate Bill 743, Transit Oriented Community, Transit Oriented Development, Vehicle miles of travel
Attachments: 1. Attachment A - Draft CEQA Guidelines January 2016, 2. Attachment B - Metro CEQA Update Comment Letter February 29 2016
Meeting_Body
PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE
FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Subject/Action
SUBJECT: POTENTIAL CHANGE IN CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA)

ACTION: RECEIVE AND FILE REPORT ON POTENTIAL CHANGE IN CEQA

Heading
RECOMMENDATION

Title
RECEIVE AND FILE report on Potential Change in CEQA Transportation Impact Metrics.

Issue
ISSUE

The Metro Board of Directors has established a range of policies and programs related to transit expansion, transit oriented development and transit oriented communities, active transportation, first/last mile, and sustainability. Taken collectively these policies suggest creating a range of transportation options to promote multimodal choice, improved environmental outcomes, safety and public health. In contrast, current CEQA practice, through the use of automobile Level of Service (LOS) as a metric, tends to promote automobile capacity and speed exclusive of these other objectives.

The State of California is currently considering updates to the CEQA Guidelines in order to better align the State's flagship environmental policy with intended environmental outcomes including greenhouse gas emission reduction (Attachment A). The proposed guidelines recommend phasing out the use of LOS statewide with a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as a substitute metric.

This policy change at the state level has several implications for Metro. To that end, Metro provided comments on the draft Guidelines in February 2016 (Attachment B). The proposed policy change is largely in line with Metro's established objectives and will aid implementation of Metro transit and active transportation projects. Some Metro projects, notably those that add mixed-flow auto capacity, will likely show a greater level of impact under a VMT metric, necessitating project mitigations that, while potentially costly, would benefit multimodal mobility in the areas where these projects exist. Staff suggests further work to assess the potential beneficial a...

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