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Impacts of Linking Transportation Infrastructure Investment to Development

Problem Statement
Land use planners have traditionally relied on a variety of tools and regulatory controls to manage land use and, most recently, to control “sprawl” associated with low-density residential and commercial land use. Many land use management tools in use today have their modern roots in comprehensive planning and zoning controls first developed in the early 20th century (U.S. Department of Commerce, Hoover Commission, 1923), and have based their approach to land use regulation and enforcement on a series of judicial decisions stemming from about the same period (Euclid v. Ambler, 1926). Increasing post-World War II pressures of growth and development in metropolitan areas and the intensity of land consumption spurred by the economic expansion of the late 1980s and 1990s have spawned a more rigorous and proscriptive approach to addressing the overwhelming concerns associated with seemingly unrestricted expansion of metropolitan areas. Two approaches to managing sprawl have emerged that couple traditional comprehensive planning and zoning with the imposition of development fees and exactions, the coordination of transportation investments with land development, and the establishment of specific geographic “boundaries” for future growth. The traditional approach uses a “growth controls” approach that emerged in the early 1990s. A more programmatic response to sprawl using “growth management” principals (with the exception of the Portland Metropolitan area, which has had some form of growth management in place for more than 20 years) has been developed in response to the problems of multijurisdictional administration of growth controls.Growth controls, as
distinguished from growth management, bear a striking resemblance to traditional planning practice. They are implemented with only local benefits in mind and without recognizing the “externalities” and imposition of costs of diverted development pressure on other communities in the region. Growth management takes a more regional view of accommodating growth; thereby seeking to avoid the inequities inherent in a patchwork of locally focused planning and establishing a broad context for managing future growth and development (Brookings Institution, February 2002).
One of the most important aspects of these new growth management tools is the need for adequate public facilities (APF) regulations or concurrency. Under these requirements, jurisdictions subject to growth management policies must establish a standard of performance for various infrastructure components and then determine whether any proposed new development 1 exceeds these standards or might cause indirect effects in other communities subject to the jurisdiction of growth management provisions within the same region or state. The states of Washington and Florida require concurrency for all local governments that participate in the state’s growth management program. APF requirements are often easily ignored or circumvented by local governments. Both APF and concurrency require that public facilities be available concurrent with the impact of development. 
Other states and local jurisdictions, although not explicitly embracing concepts of “growth management,” have implemented capital improvement programs or other infrastructure nvestment guidelines that attempt to link the location and timing of providing infrastructure with proposed land development. Many of these approaches have been introduced to correct past deficiencies in transportation investments, but often without understanding the relationship between project planning and implementation.
The problem with all of these approaches, especially as they have been severely tested by increased development pressure over the past decade, is that even in the presence of seemingly strong growth management systems, concurrency—especially where transportation investments have been required—has often been deferred or avoided. The result, from the standpoint of the transportation system, has been congestion, delays, and general dissatisfaction with both growth management and the ability of the transportation planning profession to “solve” the problems of mobility in the nation’s growing metropolitan areas.
Proposed Research
The proposed research would examine the current range of practice regarding concurrency requirements and other strategies or regional approaches to coordinated land use and transportation decision making under existing growth management regimes in place in metropolitan areas in the United States. Using measures of congestion, mobility, and accessibility, these areas would be evaluated with regard to the degree to which concurrency planning under growth management/control has addressed issues of congestion and the role of timely transportation infrastructure investments in meeting the concurrency requirements embodied in these growth management systems. Special care would be given to evaluating metropolitan areas ostensibly operating under a comprehensive “growth management” system versus those implementing more traditional “growth controls” coupled with nominal capital improvement programs or regional transportation improvement programs (TIPs).
The proposed research would include the following elements:
1. Review and synthesis of existing region- and statewide concurrency programs and metropolitan/local APF programs; 2. Identification of multimodal and nonmotorized concurrency required by existing statewide and regional concurrency and APF programs; 3. Selection of regions/states with APF and concurrency requirements that are prototypical of existing practice and development of case studies that describe the history, initial implementation, and current status of compliance with the originally intended regulatory requirements; and 4. Development and review of the state of the practice with regard to concurrency and APF requirements.

Cost: $425,000
Duration: 32 months

Sponsoring Committee:AMS50, Economic Development and Land Use
Date Posted:08/08/2007
Date Modified:08/09/2007
Index Terms:Transportation planning, Infrastructure, Transportation infrastructure, Low density, Low density development, Urban sprawl, City planning, Metropolitan areas, Land use, Land use planning, Smart growth, Growth management, Transportation Improvement Programs, Transportation improvement projects,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Planning and Forecasting

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