San Francisco TDM Ordinance
Quantum Leap in Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled from New Development
In order for San Francisco to continue growing without exacerbating congestion, achieving a major reduction in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) from new development will be imperative. Toward that end, Greg represented the San Francisco Planning Department and Municipal Transportation Agency on a major citywide effort to overhaul and align the city's Travel Demand Management (TDM) requirements, environmental review procedures, and development impact fees for new land use projects. This technical team closely collaborated with State planning staff that are similarly reforming the CEQA Guidelines per California Senate Bill 743. The new framework, adopted in January 2017, puts San Francisco at the cutting edge of sustainable land use and transportation integration, enabling expedited delivery of transit-oriented development and multimodal streetscape projects citywide.
Land use projects seeking entitlement now choose from a menu of TDM tools in order to score enough points for entitlement; the number of points required is based on the size of the project's parking supply. Developers can utilize a web-based tool to pick the right measures that will achieve their target.
Greg's contributed several key elements of the program. The first was to quantify the effect of parking on VMT, a previously contentious and subjective topic. Greg invented a transparent methodology based upon the neighborhood parking supply rate, which tailors the analysis to each unique location. To quantify this parking versus VMT relationship, including how it varies based on each unique local context, Greg developed a trip survey and led a large team of staff and consultants to collect data at residential, office and retail land uses citywide; relationship models were then developed for each land use type using linear regression. Greg also led the establishment of neighborhood baseline parking rates citywide, synthesizing data from planning and building records. Lastly, in the State's technical memorandum describing VMT analysis procedures and requirements per the implementation of Senate Bill 743, Greg helped compile and justify the two key lists of transportation project types that are either VMT-inducing or VMT-reducing, and therefore either will or will not be required to conduct a VMT analysis as part of the project's transportation environmental review.