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Planning Board Will Review Local Area Transportation Review Guidelines at Meeting on May 4

May 2, 2017

New guidelines support the Subdivision Staging Policy in offering standards for reviewing transportation impact studies for development in Montgomery County

Silver Spring, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), will present new Local Area Transportation Review (LATR) Guidelines to be used in the preparation and review of transportation impact studies for  development applications in Montgomery County to the Montgomery County Planning Board on May 4. This document will be used by transportation engineers, planners, public agency reviewers and community members participating in the development review process.

The LATR Guidelines contain new ideas that essentially rethink how Montgomery County approaches the evaluation of local transportation system performance. They specify the use of more context-sensitive and multi-modal procedures and analysis methods that were adopted in the 2016-2020 Subdivision Staging Policy. These new approaches will help planners better determine the adequacy of local intersection performance during the development review process. The following summary highlights key changes in the policy that the guidelines will help implement:

Recognizes that there is not a “one size fits all” set of rules that applies countywide. Rather, transportation system adequacy and the types of appropriate mitigation need to be determined in a context-sensitive manner.

  • Organizes policy areas into four groups (i.e., Red, Orange, Green and Yellow) that recognize current land use patterns, the prevalence of modes of travel other than the single occupant vehicle and the planning visions for different parts of the county.
  • Updates vehicle trip generation rates and develops person-trip generation rates that reflect the diversity of land use patterns and travel behavior across the county.
  • Creates an ability to adjust trip generation rates based on reduced parking where such reductions are supported by the zoning code.
  • Creates a new system for evaluating local area transportation conditions that emphasizes the application of delay-based measures and reflects the experience of travelers, rather than focusing on critical lane volume.
  • Expands LATR to include a set of multi-modal (i.e., bicycle, pedestrian and transit) transportation tests beyond those that focus on motor vehicle travel.

For more details, consult the draft of the LATR Guidelines online.