Tag Archive: bike lane

Oct 07 2013

Sunday Train: A Nation of Cycleways vs Level of Service

Sacramento Kings fans rejoice! The California State Legislature has passed and Governor Brown has signed a measure paving the way for a new downtown Sacramento Arena, potentially keeping the Kings from high-tailing it to Seattle!

What does this have to do with sustainable transport? More than someone would think who only read the headlines. The bill as passed involves several changes to the evaluation of projects that will benefit sustainable transport projects, including:

Provisions of SB 743 will:

 

–Remove parking and aesthetics standards as grounds for legal challenges against developments in urban infill areas near transit stops.

 

–Modernize the statewide measurements against which traffic impacts are assessed and resolved, allowing developers to offset the impacts by building near mass transit stations.

 

–Expand an exemption from CEQA litigation for mixed residential/commercial projects located within transit priority areas where a full environmental impact review has already been completed.

The first of these three reforms reduces the opportunity to block a project on the grounds that it does not provide sufficient subsidy to motorists in the form of parking. The third of the three reforms reduces one of the disadvantages that mixed-use Transit-Oriented-Development faces compared to greenfield sprawl development.

But it is the second of the three reforms that is the real lede: within a half mile of a transit service that meets a quality of service threshold, it is no longer necessary to prove that the project maintains the same “Level of Service” to automobiles alone as an aspect of “Environmental Quality”.