Integrating Multi-Modal Transportation into the Development Review Process

The development review process has traditionally focused on automobile traffic level of service (LOS) measures. With increased national interest in multi-modal transportation planning to support Smart Growth principles, the City of Rockville is expanding performance measures to evaluate not only auto, but also bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities during the development review process. This expanded scope of the review process poses a challenge, however, because measures that are not auto-related are often subjective and vague, requiring assessments of “safe” pedestrian walkways or “accessible” bike routes. What do these qualitative guidelines mean? How can they be quantified and integrated into objective policies? This presentation explores the tools used by a medium-sized city to develop, measure, and analyze the LOS and accessibility of a multi-modal transportation system. It details how these standards are integrated into the development review process to provide quantifiable measures for transportation solutions, which take into account the type and distribution of land use. The objectives of this process are to 1) ensure that City plans and policies are observed, 2) set capital improvement program priorities, and 3) maximize the efficiency of existing transportation operations while ensuring that multi-modal options are established. Ultimately, this process identifies investments in facilities and services that are necessary to meet future needs, and also identifies operational and technological changes to the existing network that will serve future land-use. Policies and technology provide the basis for examining and implementing multi-modal standards. Minimum standards for auto, bicycle, and pedestrian measures are being enacted, according to these modes’ proximity to transit options. In addition to auto-related standards for congestion levels, the implementation of standards for pedestrian and bicycle safety, connectivity, and accessibility are compulsory. The use of technology applications such as GIS, laptops, Pocket PCs and GPS allow the City to evaluate existing transit, pedestrian, and bicycle networks using three performance goals—1) maximize walk and bicycle-accessible transit service to City residents, 2) increase the number of residents within a 10 minute walk time and 20 minute bike time to a Metrorail station, and 3) maximize the transit frequency of service. The City of Rockville’s multi-modal emphasis during the development review process has facilitated several improvements in transportation analysis and planning: Transference of multimodal concepts through the development of customized location- and zoning-specific standards for bicycle, pedestrian, and transit modes; Transparent development plans through the implementation of both qualitative and quantitative standards through GIS for easy, understandable analysis on safety, accessibility, and other features; Validity of multimodal policies through the leverage of long-term transportation plans with feasible, short-term solutions for alternative transportation modes.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 12p
  • Monograph Title: Tools of the Trade: 9th National Conference on Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities, September 22-24, 2004, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01043945
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 9 2007 1:27PM