Pasadena City Council, in southern California, has switched from the car-focused “level of service” review for multi-modal measurements to a new set of standards. The state of California is working toward similar legislation in a review of the California Environmental Quality Act, but more slowly.
The Pasadena council replaced level of service as its measure on 3 November.
The council’s transport department report said the 2 old measures were based on vehicle miles travelled. The new measures introduce per capita calculations, reducing the value ascribed to single-occupant cars.
The 5 new measures are: Vehicle miles travelled per capita, proximity & quality of the transit, pedestrian accessibility, vehicle trips per capita and proximity & quality of the bicycle network.
The Boyonabike! Blog said the Pasadena council developed the policy change as “a critical element of Pasadena’s efforts to become a more environmentally friendly city by encouraging multi-modal transportation and denser, mixed-use development downtown”.
The Downtown Pasadena Neighbourhood Association supported the change. Association president Greg Gunther wrote that the level of service measure was “a destructive planning perspective that actually induces vehicle travel and mischaracterises walking, biking & transit as detriments to mobility.
“In our vision of Pasadena’s future, a ‘good street’ features tree-lined sidewalks bustling with pedestrians served by a variety of healthy businesses – it is not an unobstructed path to speed through in an automobile!”
A bill proposing the same change went before the Californian state legislature last year and a preliminary discussion draft was released on 6 August.
Attribution: Planetizen, Pasadena City Council, Boyonabike!, California State Government.