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PDFWAC 365-196-430

Transportation element.

(1) Requirements. Each comprehensive plan shall include a transportation element that implements, and is consistent with, the land use element. The transportation element shall contain at least the following subelements:
(a) Land use assumptions used in estimating travel;
(b) Estimated traffic impacts to state-owned transportation facilities resulting from land use assumptions to assist the department of transportation in monitoring the performance of state facilities, to plan improvements for the facilities, and to assess the impact of land-use decisions on state-owned transportation facilities;
(c) Facilities and services needs, including:
(i) An inventory of air, water, and ground transportation facilities and services, including transit alignments and general aviation airports facilities, to define existing capital facilities and travel levels as a basis for future planning. This inventory must include state-owned transportation facilities within the county's or city's jurisdictional boundaries;
(ii) Level of service standards for all locally owned arterials and transit routes to serve as a gauge to judge performance of the system. These standards should be regionally coordinated;
(iii) For state-owned transportation facilities, level of service standards for highways, as prescribed in chapters 47.06 and 47.80 RCW, to gauge the performance of the system. The purposes of reflecting level of service standards for state highways in the local comprehensive plan are to monitor the performance of the system, to evaluate improvement strategies, and to facilitate coordination between the county's or city's six-year street, road, or transit program and the department of transportation's ten-year investment program. The concurrency requirements of RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(b) do not apply to transportation facilities and services of statewide significance except for counties consisting of islands whose only connection to the mainland are state highways or ferry routes. In these island counties, state highways and ferry route capacity must be a factor in meeting the concurrency requirements in RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(b);
(iv) Specific actions and requirements for bringing into compliance locally owned transportation facilities or services that are below an established level of service standard;
(v) Forecasts of traffic for at least ten years based on the adopted land use plan to provide information on the location, timing, and capacity needs of future growth;
(vi) Identification of state and local system needs to meet current and future demands. Identified needs on state-owned transportation facilities must be consistent with the statewide multimodal transportation plan required under chapter 47.06 RCW;
(d) Finance, including:
(i) An analysis of funding capability to judge needs against probable funding resources;
(ii) A multiyear financing plan based on the needs identified in the comprehensive plan, the appropriate parts of which shall serve as the basis for the six-year street, road, or transit program required by RCW 35.77.010 for cities, RCW 36.81.121 for counties, and RCW 35.58.2795 for public transportation systems. The multiyear financing plan should be coordinated with the ten-year improvement program developed by the department of transportation as required by RCW 47.05.030;
(iii) If probable funding falls short of meeting identified needs, a discussion of how additional funding will be raised, or how land use assumptions will be reassessed to ensure that level of service standards will be met;
(e) Intergovernmental coordination efforts, including an assessment of the impacts of the transportation plan and land use assumptions on the transportation systems of adjacent jurisdictions;
(f) Demand-management strategies;
(g) Pedestrian and bicycle component to include collaborative efforts to identify and designate planned improvements for pedestrian and bicycle facilities and corridors that address and encourage enhanced community access and promote healthy lifestyles;
(h) The transportation element, and the six-year plan required by RCW 35.77.010 for cities, RCW 36.81.121 for counties, RCW 35.58.2795 for public transportation systems, and the ten-year plan required by RCW 47.05.030 for the state, must be consistent.
(2) Recommendations for meeting element requirements.
(a) Consistency with the land use element, regional and state planning.
(i) RCW 36.70A.070(6) requires that the transportation element implement and be consistent with the land use element. Counties and cities should use consistent land use assumptions, population forecasts, and planning periods for both elements.
(ii) Counties and cities should refer to the statewide multimodal transportation plan produced by the department of transportation under chapter 47.06 RCW to ensure consistency between the transportation element and the statewide multimodal transportation plan. Local transportation elements should also reference applicable department of transportation corridor planning studies, including scenic byway corridor management plans.
(iii) Counties and cities should refer to the regional transportation plan developed by their regional transportation planning organization under chapter 47.80 RCW to ensure the transportation element reflects regional guidelines and principles; is consistent with the regional transportation plan; and is consistent with adopted regional growth and transportation strategies. Considering consistency during the development and review of the transportation element will facilitate the certification of transportation elements by the regional transportation planning organization as required by RCW 47.80.023(3).
(iv) Counties and cities should develop their transportation elements using the framework established in county-wide planning policies, and where applicable, multicounty planning policies. Using this framework ensures their transportation elements are coordinated and consistent with the comprehensive plans of other counties and cities sharing common borders or related regional issues as required by RCW 36.70A.100 and 36.70A.210.
(v) Counties and cities should refer to the six-year transit plans developed by municipalities or regional transit authorities pursuant to RCW 35.58.2795 to ensure their transportation element is consistent with transit development plans as required by RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(c).
(vi) Land use elements and transportation elements may incorporate commute trip reduction plans to ensure consistency between the commute trip reduction plans and the comprehensive plan as required by RCW 70.94.527(5). Counties and cities may also include transportation demand management programs for growth and transportation efficiency centers designated in accordance with RCW 70.94.528.
(b) The transportation element should contain goals and policies to guide the development and implementation of the transportation element. The goals and policies should be consistent with statewide and regional goals and policies. Goals and policies should address the following:
(i) Roadways and roadway design that provides safe access and travel for all users, including motorists, transit vehicles and riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians;
(ii) Public transportation, including public transit and passenger rail, intermodal transfers, and multimodal access;
(iii) Bicycle and pedestrian travel;
(iv) Transportation demand management, including education, encouragement and law enforcement strategies;
(v) Freight mobility including port facilities, truck, air, rail, and water-based freight;
(vi) Transportation finance including strategies for addressing impacts of development through concurrency, impact fees, and other mitigation; and
(vii) Policies to preserve the functionality of state highways within the local jurisdiction such as policies to provide an adequate local network of streets, paths, and transit service so that local short-range trips do not require single-occupant vehicle travel on the state highway system; and policies to mitigate traffic and stormwater impacts on state-owned transportation facilities as development occurs.
(c) Inventory and analysis of transportation facilities. RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(A) requires an inventory of air, water, and ground transportation facilities and services, including transit alignments and general aviation airport facilities. The inventory defines existing capital facilities and travel levels as a basis for future planning. The inventory must include state-owned transportation facilities within the city's or county's jurisdictional boundaries. Counties and cities should identify transportation facilities which are owned or operated by others. For those facilities operated by others, counties and cities should refer to the responsible agencies for information concerning current and projected plans for transportation facilities and services. Counties, cities, and agencies responsible for transportation facilities and services should cooperate in identifying and resolving land use and transportation compatibility issues.
(i) Air transportation facilities.
(A) Where applicable, counties and cities should describe the location of facilities and services provided by any general aviation airport within or adjacent to the county or city, and should reference any relevant airport planning documents including airport master plans, airport layout plans or technical assistance materials made available by the Washington state department of transportation, aviation division.
(B) Counties and cities should identify supporting transportation infrastructure such as roads, rail, and routes for freight, employee, and passenger access, and assess the impact to the local transportation system.
(C) Counties and cities should assess the compatibility of land uses adjacent to the airport and discourage the siting of incompatible uses in the land use element as directed by RCW 36.70A.510 and WAC 365-196-455.
(ii) Water transportation facilities.
(A) Where applicable, counties and cities should describe or map any ferry facilities and services, including ownership, and should reference any relevant ferry planning documents. The inventory should identify if a ferry route is subject to concurrency under RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(b). A ferry route is subject to concurrency if it serves counties consisting of islands whose only connection to the mainland are state highways or ferry routes.
(B) Counties and cities should identify supporting infrastructure such as parking and transfer facilities, bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicle access to ferry terminals and assess the impact on the local transportation system.
(C) Where applicable, counties and cities should describe marine and inland waterways, and related port facilities and services. Counties and cities should identify supporting transportation infrastructure, and assess the impact to the local transportation system.
(iii) Ground transportation facilities and services.
(A) Roadways. Counties and cities must include a map of roadways owned or operated by city, county, and state governments.
(I) Counties and cities may describe the general travel market (i.e., commuter, tourist, farm to market, etc.) served by the transportation network. The inventory may include information such as: Traffic volumes, truck volumes and classification, functional classification, strategic freight corridor designation, preferred freight routes, scenic and recreational highway designation, and ownership.
(II) For state highways, counties and cities should coordinate with the regional office of the Washington state department of transportation to identify designated high occupancy vehicle or high occupancy toll lanes, access classification, roadside classification, functional classification, and whether the highway is a state-designated highway of statewide significance, or state scenic and recreational highway designated under chapter 47.39 RCW. These designations may impact future development along state highway corridors. If these classifications impact future land use, this information should be included in the comprehensive plan along with reference to any relevant corridor planning documents.
(B) Public transportation and rail facilities and services.
(I) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(A) requires an inventory of transit alignments. Where applicable, counties and cities must inventory existing public transportation facilities and services. This section should reference transit development plans that provide local services. The inventory should contain a description of regional and intercity rail, and local, regional, and intercity bus service, paratransit, or other services. Counties and cities should include a map of local transit routes. The inventory should also identify locations of passenger rail stations and major public transit transfer stations for appropriate land use.
(II) Where applicable, such as where a major freight transfer facility is located, counties and cities should include a map of existing freight rail lines, and reference any relevant planning documents. Counties and cities should assess the adequacy of supporting transportation infrastructure such as roads, rail, and navigational routes for freight, employee, and passenger access, and the impact on the local transportation system.
(d) If the planning area is within a National Ambient Air Quality Standards nonattainment area, compliance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of l990 is required. Where applicable, the transportation element should include: A map of the area designated as the nonattainment area for ozone, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5); a discussion of the severity of the violation(s) contributed by transportation-related sources; and a description of measures that will be implemented consistent with the state implementation plan for air quality. Counties and cities should refer to chapter 173-420 WAC, and to local air quality agencies and metropolitan planning organizations for assistance.
(e) Level of service standards. Level of service standards serve to monitor the performance of the system, to evaluate improvement strategies, and to facilitate coordination between city, county and state transportation investment programs.
(i) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(B) requires the transportation element to include level of service standards for all locally owned arterials. Counties and cities may adopt level of service standards for other locally owned roads or travel modes at their discretion.
(ii) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(C) requires level of service standards for highways, as reflected in chapters 47.06 and 47.80 RCW, to gauge the performance of the transportation system. The department of transportation, in consultation with counties and cities, establishes level of service standards for state highways and ferry routes of statewide significance. Counties and cities should refer to the state highway and ferry plans developed in accordance with chapter 47.06 RCW for the adopted level of service standards.
(iii) Regional transportation planning organizations and the department of transportation jointly develop level of service standards for all other state highways and ferry routes. Counties and cities should refer to the regional transportation plans developed in accordance with chapter 47.80 RCW for the adopted level of service standards.
(iv) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(B) requires the transportation element to include level of service standards for all transit routes. To identify level of service standards for public transit services, counties and cities should include the established level of service or performance standards from the transit provider and should reference any relevant planning documents.
(v) Adopted level of service standards should reflect access, mobility, mode-split, or capacity goals for the transportation facility depending upon the surrounding development density and community goals, and should be developed in consultation with transit agencies serving the planning area.
(vi) The measurement methodology and standards should vary based on the urban or rural character of the surrounding area. The county or city should also balance the desired community character, funding capacity, and traveler expectations when selecting level of service methodologies and standards. A county or city may select different ways to measure travel performance depending on how a county or city balances these factors and the characteristics of travel in their community. For example, counties and cities may measure performance at different times of day, week, or month (peak versus off-peak, weekday versus weekend, summer versus winter). Counties and cities may also measure performance at different geographic scales (intersections, road or route segments, travel corridors, or travel zones), or in terms of the supply of multimodal capacity available in a corridor.
(vii) In urban areas RCW 36.70A.108 encourages the use of methodologies analyzing the transportation system from a comprehensive, multimodal perspective. Multimodal levels of service methodologies and standards should consider the needs of travelers using the four major travel modes (motor vehicle, public transportation, bicycle, and pedestrian), their impacts on each other as they share the street, and their mode specific requirements for street design and operation. For example, bicycle and pedestrian level of service standards should emphasize the availability of facilities and safety levels for users.
(f) Travel forecasts. RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(E) requires forecasts of traffic for at least ten years based on the adopted land use plan to provide information on the location, timing, and capacity needs of future growth. Counties and cities must include at least a ten-year travel forecast in the transportation element. The forecast time period and underlying assumptions must be consistent with the land use element. Counties and cities may forecast travel for the twenty-year planning period. Counties and cities may include bicycle, pedestrian, and/or planned transit service in a multimodal forecast. Travel forecasts should be based on adopted regional growth strategies, the regional transportation plan, and comprehensive plans within the region to ensure consistency.
(g) Identify transportation system needs.
(i) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(D) requires that the transportation element include specific actions and requirements for bringing into compliance locally owned transportation facilities or services that are below established level of service standards.
(ii) System needs are those improvements needed to meet and maintain adopted levels of service over at least the required ten-year forecasting period. If counties and cities use a twenty-year forecasting period, they should also identify needs for the entire twenty-year period.
(iii) RCW 47.80.030(3) requires identified needs on regional facilities or services to be consistent with the regional transportation plan and the adopted regional growth and transportation strategies. RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(F) requires identified needs on state-owned transportation facilities to be consistent with the statewide multimodal transportation plan.
(iv) Counties and cities should cooperate with public transit providers to analyze projected transit services and needs based on projected land use assumptions, and consistent with regional land use and transportation planning. Coordination may also include identification of mixed use centers, and consider opportunities for intermodal integration and appropriate multimodal access, particularly bicycle and pedestrian access.
(v) Counties and cities must include state transportation investments identified in the statewide multimodal transportation plan required under chapter 47.06 RCW and funded in the Washington state department of transportation's ten-year improvement program. Identified needs must be consistent with regional transportation improvements identified in regional transportation plans required under chapter 47.80 RCW. The transportation element should also include plans for new or expanded public transit and be coordinated with local transit providers.
(vi) The identified transportation system needs may include: Considerations for repair, replacement, enhancement, or expansion of vehicular, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities; enhanced or expanded transit services; system management; or demand management approaches.
(vii) Transportation system needs may include transportation system management measures increasing the motor vehicle capacity of the existing street and road system. They may include, but are not limited to signal timing, traffic channelization, intersection reconfiguration, exclusive turn lanes or turn prohibitions, bus turn-out bays, grade separations, removal of on-street parking or improving street network connectivity.
(viii) When identifying system needs, counties and cities may identify a timeline for improvements. Identification of a timeline provides clarity as to when and where specific transportation investments are planned and provides the opportunity to coordinate and cooperate in transportation planning and permitting decisions.
(ix) Counties and cities should consider how the improvements relate to adjacent counties or cities.
(h) Local impacts to state transportation facilities. RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(ii) requires counties and cities to estimate traffic impacts to state-owned transportation facilities resulting from land use assumptions to assist the Washington state department of transportation in monitoring the performance of state facilities, to plan improvements for the facilities, and to assess the impact of land-use decisions on state-owned transportation facilities. Traffic impacts should include the number of motor vehicle, and, as information becomes available, bicycle, public transit, and pedestrian trips estimated to use the state highway and ferry systems throughout the planning period.
(i) Transportation demand management.
(i) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(vi) requires that the transportation element include transportation demand management strategies. These strategies are designed to encourage the use of alternatives to single occupancy travel and to reduce congestion, especially during peak times.
(ii) Where applicable, counties and cities may include the goals and relevant strategies of employer-based commute trip reduction programs developed under RCW 70.94.521 through 70.94.555. All other counties and cities should consider strategies which may include, but are not limited to ridesharing, vanpooling, promotion of bicycling, walking and use of public transportation, transportation-efficient parking and land use policies, and high occupancy vehicle subsidy programs.
(j) Pedestrian and bicycle component. RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(vii) requires the transportation element to include a pedestrian and bicycle component that includes collaborative efforts to identify and designate planned improvements for pedestrian and bicycle facilities and corridors that address and encourage enhanced community access and promote healthy lifestyles.
(i) Collaborative efforts may include referencing local, regional, and state pedestrian and bicycle planning documents, if any. Designated shared use paths, which are part of bicycle and pedestrian networks, should be consistent with those in the parks, recreation and open space element.
(ii) To identify and designate planned improvements for bicycle facilities and corridors, the pedestrian and bicycle component should include a map of bicycle facilities, such as bicycle lanes, shared use paths, paved road shoulders. This map should identify state and local designated bicycle routes, and describe how the facilities link to those in adjacent jurisdictions.
(iii) To identify and designate planned improvements for pedestrian facilities and corridors, the pedestrian and bicycle component should include a map of pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks, pedestrian connectors, and other designated facilities, especially in areas of high pedestrian use such as designated centers, major transit routes, and route plans designated by school districts under WAC 392-151-025.
(iv) The pedestrian and bicycle component should plan a network that connects residential and employment areas with community and regional destinations, schools, and public transportation services.
(v) The pedestrian and bicycle component should also review existing pedestrian and bicycle collision data to plan pedestrian facilities that improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.
(k) Multiyear financing plan.
(i) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iii)(B) requires that the transportation element include a multiyear financing plan based on the needs identified in the comprehensive plan, the appropriate parts of which develop a financing plan that addresses all identified transportation facilities and strategies throughout the twenty-year planning period. The identified needs shall serve as the basis for the six-year street, road, or transit program required by RCW 35.77.010 for cities, RCW 36.81.121 for counties, and RCW 35.58.2795 for public transportation systems. The multiyear financing plan should reflect regional improvements identified in regional transportation plans required under chapter 47.80 RCW and be coordinated with the ten-year investment program developed by the Washington state department of transportation as required by RCW 47.05.030;
(ii) The horizon year for the multiyear plan should be the same as the time period for the travel forecast and identified needs. The financing plan should include cost estimates for new and enhanced locally owned roadway facilities including new or enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities to estimate the cost of future facilities and the ability of the local government to fund the improvements.
(iii) Sources of proposed funding may include:
(A) Federal or state funding.
(B) Local funding from taxes, bonds, or other sources.
(C) Developer contributions, which may include:
(I) Impact or mitigation fees assessed according to chapter 82.02 RCW, or the Local Transportation Act (chapter 39.92 RCW).
(II) Contributions or improvements required under SEPA (RCW 43.21C.060).
(III) Concurrency requirements implemented according to RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(b).
(D) Transportation benefit districts established under RCW 35.21.225 and chapter 36.73 RCW.
(iv) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iv)(A) requires an analysis of funding capability to judge needs against probable funding resources. When considering the cost of new facilities, counties and cities should consider the cost of maintaining facilities in addition to the cost of their initial construction. Counties and cities should forecast projected funding capacities based on revenues that are reasonably expected to be available, under existing laws and ordinances, to carry out the plan. If the funding strategy relies on new or previously untapped sources of revenue, the financing plan should include a realistic estimate of new funding that will be supplied.
(l) Reassessment if probable funding falls short.
(i) RCW 36.70A.070 (6)(a)(iv)(C) requires reassessment if probable funding falls short of meeting identified needs. Counties and cities must discuss how additional funding will be raised or how land use assumptions will be reassessed to ensure that level of service standards will be met.
(ii) This review must take place, at a minimum, as part of the periodic review and update required in RCW 36.70A.130 (1) and (3), and as major changes are made to the transportation element.
(iii) If probable funding falls short of meeting identified needs, counties and cities have several choices. For example, they may choose to:
(A) Seek additional sources of funding for identified transportation improvements;
(B) Adjust level of service standards to reduce the number and cost of needed facilities;
(C) Revisit identified needs and use of transportation system management or transportation demand management strategies to reduce the need for new facilities; or
(D) Revise the land use element to shift future travel to areas with adequate capacity, to lower average trip length or to avoid the need for new facilities in undeveloped areas;
(E) If needed, adjustments should be made throughout the comprehensive plan to maintain consistency.
(m) Implementation measures. Counties and cities may include an implementation section that broadly defines regulatory and nonregulatory actions and programs designed to proactively implement the transportation element. Implementation measures may include:
(i) Public works guidelines to reflect multimodal transportation standards for pedestrians, bicycles and transit; or adoption of Washington state department of transportation standards or the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials standards for bicycle and pedestrian facilities;
(ii) Transportation concurrency ordinances affecting development review;
(iii) Parking standards, especially in urban centers, to reduce vehicle parking requirements and include bicycle parking;
(iv) Commute trip reduction ordinances and transportation demand management programs;
(v) Access management ordinances;
(vi) Nonmotorized transportation funding programs;
(vii) Maintenance procedures and pavement management systems to include bicycle, pedestrians and transit considerations;
(viii) Subdivision standards to reflect multimodal goals; and
(ix) Transit compatibility policies and rules to guide development review procedures to incorporate review of bicycle, pedestrian and transit access to sites.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70A.050 and 36.70A.190. WSR 15-04-039, § 365-196-430, filed 1/27/15, effective 2/27/15; WSR 10-03-085, § 365-196-430, filed 1/19/10, effective 2/19/10.]
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