Many communities have trouble funding all of the road improvements needed to keep pace with development. Some of these communities use traffic impact fees to raise at least part of the required funding. Such fees help raise required revenue, but they are typically set to collect only part of the total cost. In addition to the revenue generated, they may somewhat reduce the incentive for development in new areas relative to redevelopment of existing areas where capacity is already in place. Further, the availability of funds can improve efficiency of infrastructure provision by allowing it to be provided in a timely manner. While impact fees are becoming more popular, a community must address a number of concerns before attempting to implement one. This paper is meant to provide a brief discussion of the major issues which typically must be addressed before implementing a traffic impact fee. Key points of the paper are as follows: (A) Traffic impact fees are used in Oregon, as in other states, to partially fund the construction of roads. The roads must be required because of development, off-site relative to the development, and function as collectors or arterials. The major purpose of the fees is to raise revenue to help provide increased capacity required because of new development. Fees are seldom set to recover the full cost of developing off-site road capacity to accommodate new development. Communities in Oregon which use such fees collect a lower percentage of the cost than communities in some other states. The most common method used to levy such fees is based on standard estimates of the number of trips each unit of property development will generate. Some communities allow reductions in fees for property design or other characteristics that result in fewer trips than indicated by standard models. No evidence was found of communities using traffic impact fees to try to affect the type or density of development. (B) Traffic impact is likely to occur beyond the community in which development takes place, so coordination of traffic impact fees among governments in the affected region can lead to a more effective program of road funding. A coordinated approach also reduces the competitive pressure which may arise when some jurisdictions have such fees and others do not.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Portland State University

    Center for Urban Studies, P.O. Box 751
    Portland, OR  United States  97207-0751
  • Authors:
    • Rufolo, A M
    • LAWSON, C
  • Publication Date: 1993-5-25


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 23 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00666200
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 7 1994 12:00AM