TE-58 Multimodal Transportation Impact Analysis: California Best Practices (online)

Please Note:   This is an online class

Class Information

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CEUs: 0.80


This course grants .8 CEUs and 8 AICP CMs. (AICP CMs pending approval)


The Transportation Impact Study (TIS) is one of the most effective tools for assessing the impacts of new land development and establishing a nexus for requiring project mitigations, including impact fees. Recent legislation as well as public sentiment have made it imperative that transportation professionals better understand how to prepare and review these studies. This 8-hour course (in 4 two-hour modules) provides the basics and practical applications of analysis procedures for determining impacts using various performance metrics on all modes (pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and auto). It emphasizes the best practices that are being employed in California and other areas. This course focuses on urban/suburban streets (non-freeways), internal circulation planning, and providing just the right amount of parking. Applications of analyses include improving transportation impact studies, environmental impact reports (EIRs) and project mitigation, new development design standards, and the CEQA review process. Attendees will also become familiar with:
  • Determining what causes a potentially significant safety impact
  • Labor-saving shortcuts for data collection (because some multimodal level of service methodologies can be very "data hungry")
  • How 'induced travel demand' is defined, and when it does (or does not) create a significant environmental impact under the law
  • Cross-modal impacts (when capacity or physical characteristics of one mode are changed and thereby affect another mode using the street)
  • How to assess "fair share" impact fees to pay for project mitigations
  • How parking can be used as an effective demand-management measure
  • Available resources (web and paper) that provide further guidance
This course is a combination of instructor presentations with interactive engagements to apply the techniques in the real-world, with case studies and applications of the material. The material complements TE-43 (Multimodal Transportation Operations), and TE-60 (VMT Metrics Policy Applications and Technical Analysis for SB 743 Compliance), although each can be taken as a stand-alone class.

Click here for a detailed course outline.

Topics Include

  • Level of Service (LOS) concept-- what it means and why do it, pros and cons of different methods
  • cross-modal impacts
  • how to calculate VMT from a proposed project
  • gathering field information & data collection shortcuts
  • software available to assist in analysis
  • California statutory requirements (especially CEQA and SB 743)
  • relationship to the latest Caltrans Highway Design Manual
  • applications to Context Sensitive Design
  • assessing safety impacts of projects
  • relationship to Sustainable Transportation Indicators
  • incorporation as part of project mitigation
  • developing target LOS and thresholds of significance
  • typical schedule and budgetary requirements
  • measuring environmental justice impact
  • increasing transit as a share of regional VMT
  • applying analytical and simulation tools to multi-modal impact analysis

What You Will Learn

Students will learn how to prepare-- and review-- a comprehensive multi-modal transportation impact study. This includes studies prepared both to support CEQA documentation as well as stand-alone studies. Topics include basic level-of-service (LOS) concepts for all modes, and how to apply them to conduct performance and level-of-service analysis for various types of urban streets with various levels of accommodation for different modes; determine the impacts of system improvements using vehicle miles traveled (VMT); and analyze operational impacts of possible changes in the allocation of street cross-section to various modes.

Who Should Attend

Planners, engineers, technicians, and others at all levels of experience, who prepare or review transportation impacts from land developments will benefit from this class. A minimal level of mathematics is required (basic algebra).


Participants will need a basic calculator for several in-class problem sets. A complete set of Course Notes (i.e., printed overhead slides) will be provided by the instructors.

Suggested Pre-Course Reading Assignments

All training participants should familiarize themselves, if possible, with the following important documents before the class to prepare themselves adequately for this focused training (at least by quickly reviewing them):

Caltrans "Local Development- Intergovernmental Review Program Interim Guidance," revised 11-9-2016: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/documents/RevisedInterimGuidance11092016.pdf

Senate Bill No. 743 (SB 743) Statute Language: The topic for this new state law in California focuses on "Environmental quality: transit oriented infill projects, judicial review streamlining for environmental leadership development projects," among other things. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB743

Governor's Office of Planning & Research: The Governor's Office of Planning and Research invites the public's review of a preliminary discussion draft of updates to the CEQA Guidelines implementing Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg, 2013). These updates address the evaluation of transportation impacts under CEQA. A copy of the preliminary discussion draft is available above. Notices of any workshops will be posted on OPR's website and their listserv. http://opr.ca.gov/docs/Final_Preliminary_Discussion_Draft_of_Updates_Implementing_SB_743_080614.pdf

ITE SB 743 Committee Comments on Draft Above http://www.westernite.org/ITE%20Letter%20to%20OPR%2011-21-14.pdf

"Transit and Traffic Impact Studies State of the Practice." An Informational Report of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, Report IR-146, Feb. 2019.
Available to purchase from: https://ecommerce.ite.org/IMIS/ItemDetail?iProductCode=IR-146-E

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