Vehicles Miles Traveled Transition
The City is pursuing ways to align and meet state requirements set by California Senate Bill 743 (SB 743). SB 743 changes the method used to measure transportation impacts associated with development and/or roadway projects. The new method is called Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), and the bill requires California municipalities to:
- Use VMT to comply with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) assessments of transportation impacts.
- Develop a VMT policy guidance, including thresholds of significance, project screening criteria, and mitigation VMT reduction strategies.
VMT, which focuses the measurement on the number of miles driven for traffic, is meant to better align with state goals of environmental protection, land-use diversity, and development of multi-modal travel networks. This change toward VMT analysis is expected to:
- Align transportation impact analysis and mitigation with goals to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.
- Reduce overall VMT with land-use planning.
- Streamline review of land-use and transportation projects.
In December 2018, the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) published the Technical Advisory on Evaluating Transportation Impacts in CEQA (referred to herein as the OPR Technical Advisory), which provides guidelines on the implementation of SB 743. The OPR Technical Advisory’s guidelines state that VMT must be the metric used to determine significant transportation impacts. This requirement will apply statewide effective July 1, 2020; lead agencies can opt in sooner at their own discretion.
In addition to VMT, the City of Santa Rosa will still use the old measurement method of Level of Service (LOS), which focuses on congestion at intersections and roadways, to address local roadway operations.
Effective July 1, 2020, new land use and transportation projects will be required to comply with the Draft VMT Guidelines.
City will Implement the following as described in the Draft VMT Guidelines:
- Existing VMT levels
- VMT thresholds for land use and transportation projects
- Screening maps
- VMT reduction strategies
- Additional transportation analysis required outside of those required by CEQA
Future Items to be implemented are the following:
- VMT calculator tool
- Provisions for projects analyzed under existing adopted Environmental Impact Studies (EIRs) or existing approvals
General Plan 2050 meetings/schedule
See this page for information regarding meetings on the General Plan 2050.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Screening Maps
- January 16, 2020: Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board (BPAB) Presentation
- January 29, 2020: Climate Action Subcommittee (CAS) Presentation
- May 12, 2020: VMT Training (PED, Housing and Community Services (HCS), CAO, SCTA, TPW and Consultant)
- June 5, 2020: Final Draft VMT Guidelines
- June 15, 2020: City Council VMT Update
- 2018 Adoption of updated CEQA Guidelines implementing SB743
- OPR Technical Advisory
As the state and local agencies continue to create laws to reduce global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, the transition from LOS to VMT is one of the actions in alignment with the following state legislation and City of Santa Rosa policies: