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Land Use and Transportation Modeling Tools - Destination 2030, Puget Sound Region, WA

Table of Contents

Snapshot
Introduction
Application
Conclusions
Glossary
References

Destination 2030, Puget Sound Region, Washington

picture - Mt. Rainier and Destination 2030 logo

Notable Aspect: Use of least-cost planning methodology and analysis of environmental justice issues.

Role of Government(s): The MTP responds to federal and state mandates, including the federal TEA-21, the state's Growth Management Act, and state requirements governing regional transportation plans. The MTP is required to be formally reviewed every 2 years under state law and every 3 years under federal law.

Total Cost and Funding Source(s): Not applicable.

How Methodology is Coordinated with Regional Planning Initiatives: Least-cost planning analysis is required by state law when undertaking transportation planning efforts.

Who Used the Methodology? Planners in the 4-county Puget Sound region.

Reaction to Methodology: Mandated by state planning laws.

How Methodology Was Advertised to Public: Via public meetings, "brown bag" meetings aimed at special interest and special needs groups, direct mail, telephone calls, display advertisements in regional newspapers, a feature article in the Regional Council's newsletter, and public service announcements on television.

PROJECT SNAPSHOT

Rapid population growth and more traffic bottlenecks-this is what Puget Sound will be facing in the next 30 years. By 2030, this four-county region will see a projected 50% increase in population and 60% increase in travel. To deal with these issues, the Puget Sound Regional Council developed a draft version of Destination 2030, the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. It was developed after the public reviewed three planning alternatives and provided feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. Destination 2030 is a regional plan that provides a comprehensive transportation solution that tries to improve mobility and access. It does this with a focus on the region's ability to finance its transportation system.

The Council is undertaking the 2001 MTP for two reasons:

  1. Proper timing-local, state, and regional agencies have been identifying transportation solutions for many of the region's bottlenecks

  2. In response to state and federal mandates that require planning factors to be considered when linking transportation planning and programs with growth and development

Although the Destination 2030 methodology covers the gamut of regional planning issues, only two elements will be the focus of this case study: the use of least-cost planning and the incorporation of environmental justice issues. State law mandates least-cost planning; it is an attempt to consider all of the resource costs associated with alternative investments within a benefit-cost framework. By providing this type of quantifiable basis, it allows for an equal evaluation of the planning alternatives and the long-term changes in the transportation systems. An analysis of the three original planning options showed that the scenario with the lowest "cost per new trip" did not focus solely on adding roads; it incorporated transit system improvements and significantly increased the use of bus and ferry routes.

The fundamental principles of environmental justice are: to avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations; to ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process; and to prevent the denial of reduction in, or significant delay in, the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations. Within the context of regional transportation planning, environmental justice considers the relative distribution of costs and benefits upon various segments of society from transportation investment strategies and policies. Results from this analysis showed that implementing Destination 2030 will not disproportionately affect low-income and minority populations. Destination 2030's preferred alternative, which emphasizes multiple transportation modes, shows a benefit to low-income and minority populations by providing more transportation choices and easier access to jobs. As projects from the 2030 plan are implemented, further analysis will be undertaken to address more location-specific issues.

Although the Puget Sound area is unique in its size, growth rate, financial capabilities, and regional environment, these features of its planning methodology can be useful to planners in other communities.

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INtrODUCTION

The Puget Sound Regional Council in Washington State developed Destination 2030, the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. The MTP also serves as the transportation element of Vision 2020, which is the region's growth management, economic, and transportation strategy.

Figure 1 - Seattle Skyline

picture- Seattle skyline

Destination 2030 responds to State and federal mandates and provides a comprehensive solution for the region's transportation needs. It contains policies, programs, and strategies aimed at improving mobility and access. It was designed to address the region's transportation needs stemming from a projected 50% increase in population and 60% increase in travel over the next 30 years. This MTP creates a heightened awareness of how land use is linked with transportation, including a discussion of what conditions are needed for stimulating alternative modes of transportation, and what factors create traffic bottlenecks.

Destination 2030 is not a software model. It is a regional plan that uses socioeconomic and travel forecasts as a basis for providing implementation strategies to improve the region's ability to finance its transportation system. Transportation modeling, GIS, and population and economic growth estimations are part of the plan's development. For the purposes of this case study, only two elements of the methodology will be discussed. These are its use of least-cost planning and its incorporation of environmental justice issues. Least-cost planning is mandated by the State and provides a quantifiable basis to evaluate various planning options, including Smart Growth. There are three fundamental environmental justice principles: to avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations; to ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process; and to prevent the denial of reduction in, or significant delay in, the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations. Although the Puget Sound area is unique in its combination of size, growth rate, financial capabilities, and regional environment, these features of its planning methodology can be useful to planners in other jurisdictions.

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Background

The Regional Council is undertaking the 2001 MTP for two reasons: 1) proper timing-local, state and regional agencies have been recently identifying transportation solutions for many of the region's bottlenecks; and 2) state and federal mandates require that transportation planning be considered in concert with growth and land use development. The Council views the concurrence of these factors as a unique opportunity to create an effective plan.

Figure 2 - Central Puget Sound Region

map- Central Puget Sound Region

The Puget Sound region is facing continued population and employment growth over the next 30 years. This projected growth represents a major challenge to maintain and enhance mobility and access. According to the Puget Sound Regional Council, the MTP is timely for several reasons: the region's strong economic growth puts it in a position to tackle tough problems; deficiencies in the current transportation system are not so great as to prevent decisive action from improving the future state of the region's mobility; the state's Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation is actively seeking new approaches to addressing transportation funding, programming, and administration; major corridor studies are underway; and the state is engaged in a new round of systems planning.

In terms of legal mandates, Washington State's Growth Management Act requires long-range development plans that are prepared by cities and counties to be balanced with the transportation infrastructure that can support such development and be compatible with the Vision 2020 growth and transportation strategies. State legislation requires Regional Transportation Planning Organizations to work with local jurisdictions to establish "regional guidelines and principles," which are used to develop local transportation plans and to certify the transportation elements in local plans for consistency. On the federal side, TEA-21 requires urban regions to link comprehensive planning programs with funding decisions for transportation projects.

Definition of the Problem

The problem facing the Puget Sound region is continued rapid growth in a large metropolitan area with an increasingly overburdened transportation network. Planners are grappling with the funding requirements of infrastructure expansion and the environmental and social ramifications of rapid growth. They are using least-cost planning to compare planning alternatives on an equal basis, which takes into account environmental and social impacts as well as financial considerations.

Project Goal

The draft MTP, Destination 2030, was published on March 15, 2001, and the Final MTP was approved on May 24, 2001, but the planning and implementation of projects is still underway.

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APPLICATION

Since the beginning of 2000, the State of Washington has required that regional transportation planning organizations apply least-cost planning analysis to alternative transportation planning strategies. In response to this mandate, Puget Sound regional planners developed three planning alternatives that addressed the relationship between land use and transportation and compared them using least-cost analysis. It is still a work in progress, so no definitive conclusions about the region's future land use and transportation system have been reached. Public comments about the three planning alternatives were solicited with publication of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), as required by Washington's State Environmental Policy Act. This led to the development of the draft Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), Destination 2030. This plan was released to the public on March 15, 2001. The items that are discussed below include: Destination 2030, the three preceding MTP alternatives, the use of least-cost planning analysis in assessing regional planning options, and the evaluation of environmental justice issues in a large metropolitan region.

Smart Growth/Growth Management

The three MTP alternatives were developed to stimulate discussion of a range of transportation choices and options for funding them. The DEIS contained information that showed how the three alternatives performed in terms of congestion relief, air quality, and other measures. A large number of public comments were received, which covered a range of issues and represented a cross-section of the regional community. These comments, along with results from focus groups and public meetings were used to help provide direction for the development of Destination 2030, which incorporates a Smart Growth vision. The three alternatives are discussed below, followed by a brief overview of the elements of the Destination 2030 plan.

MTP Alternatives

Updated 1995 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

This alternative contains policies, programs, and projects identified in the 1995 MTP, with the addition of projects completed or underway since 1995, extended to the year 2030. It calls for the development of a region- wide multi-modal transportation system that links urban centers with compact, transit-oriented developments. It emphasizes accessibility, includes a variety of mobility options, and enables the efficient movement of people, goods, and freight. Increased capacity is reflected in the addition of 290 freeway lane miles, 950 arterial lane miles, 308 freeway HOV lane miles, and 95 arterial HOV lane miles. It assumes full build-out of the long-range transit plan, including light rail extensions.

Current Law Revenues

This option is limited to those elements of the 1995 MTP with committed or identified funding sources, extended to the year 2030. Projects, programs, and levels of service reflect revenue reductions resulting from Initiative-695, which eliminated the state motor vehicle excise tax. Increased capacity is reflected in an additional 68 freeway, 83 arterial, and 72 HOV lane miles. Very little ferry service is assumed after year 2010, and only the first phase of the transit plan is completed. This alternative assumes no change in taxes, tax rates, or the system of allocating tax revenues to various transportation uses.

Metropolitan Transportation Plan "Plus"

The two versions of this plan, A and B, both provide additional transportation capacity, but by different means.

* A (Infrastructure Emphasis) - focuses on improved system performance by increasing capacity beyond that called for in the current MTP. Capacity is added in the form of lane miles including: 396 freeway, 245 arterial, and 53 HOV. Commuter rail service miles and hours are the same as in the Updated 1995 MTP and this option also assumes full build-out of the long-range transit plan.

* B (System Management) - also includes all the elements of the 1995 MTP, but emphasizes improved system performance. Capacity is added in the form of 52 freeway and 157 HOV lane miles, Smart Management (including Intelligent Transportation Systems and Smart Travel programs), and transit system improvements beyond those identified in the 1995 MTP. Bus transit routes and service hours are increased by 55% and 52%, respectively. Ferry service miles and hours are increased by 65% and 47%, respectively. This alternative includes Smart Growth tools to attract housing and jobs to centers that can be efficiently served by transportation. It completes full build-out of the missing links in the bicycle and pedestrian network. It focuses on aggressively increasing densities in designated urban areas, transit station areas, and other development concentrations. It also decreases the pressure to convert rural and resource lands to urban uses and intensities. Finally, it aims to increase the use of market mechanisms to manage parking in highly developed areas.

The contrasts between the alternatives are summarized in the tables below:

Table 1 - Summary of Alternative Investment Approaches

Updated 1995 MTP Current Law Revenue MTP Plus
Balanced multi-modal investments. Lack of balance in modal investments. Transportation viewed in isolation. Balanced multi-modal investments.
Infrastructure and system management expansion. Large public capital expenditure. Limited infrastructure and system management expansion. Low public capital expenditure. Major infrastructure and system management expansion. Large public capital expenditure.
Prioritizes infrastructure and programs to actively advance growth strategy. Does not actively advance growth strategy. More effective growth management and transportation integration, advancing growth strategy.
Designed to support air quality conformity requirements. Not supportive of air quality conformity requirements. Designed to support air quality conformity requirements.

Table 2 - Financial Impacts (in millions of year 2000 $s)

Total Planned Investments
Current Law Revenue
(2001 - 2030)
Funding Shortfall
Updated 1995 MTP $79,132
$51,203
 

$27,928

Current Law Revenue $51,203

-

MTP Plus (A) $97,633

$46,430

MTP Plus (B) $98,505

$47,302

Destination 2030

Destination 2030 draws from the above alternatives and includes early actions and long-term investment plans through the year 2030. The alternatives, presented in the DEIS, resulted from a public scoping process and yielded three broad strategies. The intent was to stimulate discussion and analysis of the various ways to implement policies in the adoption of the MTP. The scoping process involved the public, tribal governments, all of the counties, cities, port districts, transit and other agencies with jurisdiction in the central Puget Sound region, the Washington State Department of Transportation, and the Washington Transportation Commission.

The Destination 2030 investment strategy is outlined below. These principles provide a foundation for rationally allocating funds to support the growth strategy as revenues become available.

  1. The first priority should be to maintain, preserve, make safe, and optimize existing transportation infrastructure and services.
  2. Investments should emphasize continuity and complete discrete elements of the transportation system. Completing missing pieces of larger systems is a regional investment priority.
  3. Appropriate investments in all modes should be emphasized to provide an array of travel choices.
  4. Transportation investments should be directly linked with measurable transportation, environmental and land use outcomes, and should support the achievement of regional and state benchmarks.
  5. Cost-effective transportation options to addressing identified problems should be demonstrated and implemented.
  6. Compact development of designated urban centers, high capacity transit station areas, and other communities should be supported through direct investment.

Figure 3 - Destination 2030 Investments

map-Destination 2030 Investments in study region

Least-Cost Planning

Least-cost planning attempts to consider all of the resource costs associated with alternative investments within the benefit-cost analysis framework. In this context, least-cost planning is concerned with long-term changes in the transportation systems. There are two major components to this process: 1) identifying alternative transportation scenarios or investment packages; and 2) estimating and comparing the costs and benefits associated with these different alternatives. The former is a strategic planning exercise and the latter is a simplified analysis to help evaluate the transportation planning alternatives. For more detailed information on how the PSRC conducted its least-cost planning analysis, please refer to: www.psrc.org/datapubs/pubs/.

Least-cost planning tries to answer the question:

Which alternative investments or policies will realize the greatest net benefits to society (net benefits are the value of benefits of a particular investment or policy minus the costs of implementation and the costs that result from the investment or policy)?

This analysis provides important insights (though not definitive) into the costs of the proposed alternatives. Some benefits and drawbacks include:

+ Least-cost principles can serve as a guide to developing the system elements of a preferred alternative.
+ Both the public and private sectors commonly use least-cost analysis and benefit-cost analysis frameworks to aid in their decision- making.
+/- Least-cost analysis provides information about the cost effectiveness of alternatives for serving a static number of trips but does not fully compare the marginal cost and marginal benefit of the different transportation system alternatives.
+/- Least-cost analysis is used as an analytical tool-it has not been inherently used to reflect transportation equity issues. Weighting factors can be used to accommodate these issues.
- Systems level least-cost analysis of transportation planning alternatives is not a substitute for corridor, project, or program level benefit-cost analysis.

Methodology Overview

This analysis looks at changes in transportation systems over the long run, where all costs are variable and are influenced by the types of transportation system investments. However, past investment decisions and trip making activity currently satisfied by existing infrastructure must be excluded from the analysis so only the growth in costs and trips are analyzed. This is done by netting out base year costs and trips from future years' estimates. What remains are costs and trips, accounted for annually, that are above existing levels, or that are a function of growth. Thus, alternative means for serving these new trips are the focus of the analysis. Future costs are discounted to their present value and present value costs are factored on a per new trip basis. The cost per new trip is the least-cost measure used in this analysis. Steps in this methodology are:

Step 1-Benefit Calculation

Demand Modeling

Demand models assign trips to different transportation modes, on different transportation facilities, based on data reflecting the travel choices of the region's residents, and on the relative utility of the different travel alternatives. This calculation takes into account the variable user benefits associated with different types of person trips.

Measuring Benefits/The Person Trip as Benefit

Although calculating economic benefits and costs is the preferable approach, this analysis quantifies initial benefits (travel time benefits to users) and only assesses secondary benefits when economic theory and evidence indicates that the magnitude of the final economic benefits will differ from the initial assessment. Initial benefits and economic benefits diverge when there are secondary (external) benefits that are not realized by individuals engaged in travel activity. However, tracing the economic benefits and costs of transportation systems through all their interactions in the economy can be a nearly impossible task.

Thus it is assumed that travel time reductions (initial benefits) will equal, in magnitude, the final economic benefits from transportation investments, if: 1) perfect competition exists in all major regional markets; and 2) if the price of travel is equal to the marginal social costs of travel (all external social costs have been internalized). If travel time reductions are the primary measure of benefit from transportation investments, then counting total travel time as a cost, while holding person trips relatively constant across alternatives, will yield the same results. This conclusion combined with the fact that the travel demand model is essentially a benefit calculation, makes the person trip the standard measure of benefit against which costs are compared.

Step 2-Cost Assessment

Estimating Cost Factors

Transportation costs include all resources dedicated to, or depleted by, the investment or policy. These include the environmental costs associated with vehicle emissions, water pollution from roadway run-off, the time delay costs of congestion, the private costs of auto ownership and operation, and user time associated with travel. All of these costs represent real resources that could be dedicated to some alternative use-they could be avoided if the policy or investment was not selected. Although many of these costs are not easily quantified, there is a wide body of research available that estimates many of these values. In cases where cost estimates vary widely, a sensitivity analysis can be included to test the various options.

Avoid Double Counting

It is important to ensure that costs are counted only once. For example, if a travel delay due to congestion is estimated and valued in the analysis, and if total travel time is also estimated, then the portion of travel time that is delay will be counted twice. Accurate counting avoids double counting of costs and benefits. This is a significant issue that is not always intuitively resolved, but rather requires careful thought and analysis based upon accepted economic theory. There is no specific technique to avoid double counting in economic modeling. As good general economic practice, however, one has to be organized and precise in defining criteria and eliminating potential overlaps in model inputs. The PSRC has gone to great lengths to avoid double counting. For further information, see their publication titled The Costs of Transportation: Expenditures on Surface Transportation in the Central Puget Sound Region for 1995 available at http://www.psrc.org/datapubs/pubs/.

Step 3-Present Value of Annual Cash Flows

Benefit-cost calculations take into account the time value of money; giving someone a dollar today is more valuable than giving him a dollar tomorrow, because he can invest that dollar today. In this analysis, all relevant transportation data and costs were estimated on an annual basis. The transportation modeling began with a base year analysis for 1998 and ended with a planning horizon analysis for the year 2030.

Analyze Marginal Changes

According to transportation models, in the year 2000, people in the central Puget Sound region will make more than 10 million trips each day. This number of daily person trips increases to more than 16 million by the year 2030. Least-cost analysis is interested in marginal changes-the increment of new trips taken each year above the number of trips taken in the year 2000. Each year, and for each plan alternative analyzed, this increment is slightly larger than the previous year's growth increment. This analysis includes a stream of cost data for each year between 2000 and 2030 for each plan alternative, and assumes a steady phased investment in transportation systems over that same time period. These cost streams are the added new costs of serving additional trips.

Discount Values

Discounting costs and benefits is a way to standardize values to account for the time value of money. Future values need to be discounted to a present value using a discount rate that reflects the opportunity cost of alternative uses of resources-the value of what is foregone by choosing another option. This analysis assumes a base real discount rate of 6%, but other discount rates are applied to test the sensitivity of the results to changes in discount rate assumptions.

Step 4-Cost Per New Trip

With this methodology, it is possible to measure the present value of all costs on a per new trip basis, which results in a cost per average trip. This does not reveal cost information about individual trips that will be taken by individual people, but rather an average trip that has the averaged aggregate characteristics of actual trip activity as predicted by the travel demand model. This measure provides information about which alternative investments or policies will yield the greatest net benefits to society.

Sensitivity Analysis

Many of the analytical parameters are subject to uncertainty: there is disagreement about what discount rate should be used, cost estimates for environmental damages can vary considerably, and the cost estimates of implementing major capital projects are just that, estimates. Sensitivity analysis is used to mitigate this uncertainty. It introduces a range of estimates for key variables, which allows one to understand how these values affect the outcome of the analysis.

Results

Least-cost analysis focuses on the increment of new trips taken each year above the number of trips taken in the year 2000 and the present value of the new costs of serving these additional trips. Results show that the MTP Plus (B) has the lowest cost per new trip ($2.86), while the Current Law Revenue and the MTP Plus (A) have the highest cost per new trip ($3.01). The cost components of the alternatives are summarized below.

Updated 1995 MTP

The average trip is supported by moderate public sector costs ($0.60 per trip) and results in approximately $0.21 in congestion costs and $0.06 in pollution costs. Personal vehicle ownership and operation costs per average trip under this alternative are $0.66, while travel time costs are equivalent to $0.73 per average trip.

Current Law Revenue

The average trip is supported by lower public sector costs ($0.30 per trip) and results in significantly higher congestion costs ($0.47) and pollution costs ($0.10). Personal vehicle ownership and operation costs per average trip under this alternative are also higher ($0.78), while travel time costs are $0.71 per average trip.

MTP Plus (A) (Infrastructure Emphasis)

The average trip is supported by significantly higher public sector costs ($0.83 per trip) and results in approximately $0.14 in congestion costs and $0.04 in pollution costs. Personal vehicle ownership and operation costs per average trip under this alternative are $0.70, while travel time costs are $0.66 per average trip.

MTP Plus (B) (System Management)

The average trip is supported by high public sector costs ($0.80 per trip) and results in approximately $0.18 in congestion costs and $0.04 in pollution costs. Personal vehicle ownership and operation costs per average trip under this alternative are $0.59, while travel time costs are $0.62 per average trip.

Figure 4 - Cost Components of Alternatives Per New Trip

chart- Cost Components of Alternatives Per New Trip

Some conclusions can be drawn from these findings:

Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is the identification and assessment of programs, policies, or activities that disproportionately burden minority and low-income population groups. FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration are committed to working with state DOTs, MPOs, transit providers and other local agencies to ensure that Title VI and environmental justice considerations are integral to all surface transportation activities. Within the context of regional transportation planning, environmental justice considers the relative distribution of costs and benefits upon various segments of society from transportation investment strategies and policies.

The Regional Council set out to determine how the burdens and benefits of implementing Destination 2030 would be distributed across groups based on race, income, age, or disability. The Council's analysis included: 1) outreach and meaningful participation from minority and low-income groups in the development of the plan; and 2) an assessment to determine any discrimination against minority populations and low-income communities in the distribution of impacts and benefits associated with the projects and programs advanced in Destination 2030.

Public Outreach

The development of Destination 2030 included public outreach efforts to ensure that all members of the public had an opportunity to participate meaningfully in shaping a preferred plan. Efforts began in the spring of 1999 and included opportunities to hear and address the concerns of minority communities and low-income populations throughout the region. During the scoping process in the fall of 1999, four public meetings were held during a 30-day public review period; thirty-four comments and thirteen letters or emails were received in response.

To encourage citizen comment and raise awareness about the plan update, the PSRC held five public meetings throughout the region on alternatives for the plan, and made more than 240 presentations to civic, business and community groups reaching more than 5,100 persons. A series of targeted "brown bag" meetings were also aimed at special interest and special needs groups--groups traditionally underserved. Meeting sites were selected based on transit availability and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, as well as taking into account the income and ethnic diversity of the community. Specific information about meeting announcements, locations, times, formats, and feedback gathering efforts was not available.

The PSRC web site featured detailed information about the plan and its development process. The PSRC employed direct mail, telephone calls, and display advertisements in daily regional newspapers to inform the public of opportunities to participate in the plan development process. In addition, videotapes of Council board meetings were distributed for broadcast to community cable television stations throughout the region. The Council received 326 letters containing 1,400 individual comments in response to the alternatives analyzed in the Destination 2030 DEIS.

Figure 5 - Distribution of Public Meetings

map-Distribution of Public Meetings during planning process

Low-Income Communities and Minority Populations

Planners used 1990 Census data and median household income to analyze the spatial location of low-income households and minority populations in the four-county region. GIS was used to map the spatial distribution of low income and minority populations and jobs and their relationships to projects in Destination 2030.

Results showed that low-income populations are generally more concentrated in the three largest urban centers: Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett. The largest concentrations of minority populations were found in northern Pierce County and southwestern King County. Snohomish County was found to have the lowest percentage of minorities in the region, about one-half of the overall regional average. Jobs were found to be reasonably well distributed throughout the urban area of the central Puget Sound region, with significant job growth in downtown Seattle.

The table below shows the types of jobs located within one mile of Census block groups with a minimum of 20% of people below the poverty level. The data suggest that since there are a significant number of jobs within close proximity of high concentrations of poverty, proximity and access to employment are not the only factors that lead to greater economic opportunities.

Table 3 - Proximity of Jobs and Concentrated Poverty

Employment Classification
Jobs Located Near Concentrated Poverty
Total Region Jobs
% of Jobs Near Concentrated Poverty
Agriculture, Mining
5,512
 
15,525
 
36%
 
Construction
35,596
 
76,987
 
46%
 
Manufacturing
147,187
 
253,974
 
58%
 
Wholesale, Communication, Transport, Utilities
117,428
 
186,124
 
63%
 
Retail Trade
155,297
 
270,689
 
57%
 
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate
60,342
 
92,164
 
65%
 
Personal Services
17,904
 
30,055
 
60%
 
Business Services
65,268
 
123,947
 
53%
 
Health Services
80,238
 
107,298
 
75%
 
Legal Services
11,167
 
12,541
 
89%
 
Education Services
9,604
 
15,886
 
60%
 
Social Services
22,682
 
36,658
 
62%
 
Other Services 
75,461
 
126,665
 
60%
 
TOTAL 
803,686
 
1,348,513
 
60%
 

Transportation Services Available in Destination 2030

The DEIS found that implementing Destination 2030 will not disproportionately affect low-income and minority populations. Furthermore, the preferred Destination 2030 option relates closely to Alternative III ("MTP Plus") presented in the DEIS. This alternative emphasizes maintaining and further developing various modes of travel throughout the region, including transit; it is consistent with the goals and objectives of environmental justice.

Figure 6 - Poverty and Roadway Projects

map- Concentrations of Poverty and Roadway Projects in Study Area

Other alternatives considered in the DEIS tend to demonstrate increased burdens and impacts on the region in general. Many of their impacts are economic-they advance a transportation system that nearly necessitates travel exclusively by automobile thus burdening population groups that can least afford the expenses of owning and operating a vehicle. The same burdens are also placed on individuals unable to drive a car, such as the young, many of the elderly, and disabled population groups. The preferred Destination 2030 plan also includes transit improvements that provide links between many of the region's major job centers and low-income and minority neighborhoods. Roadway improvements will also provide improved connections for all population groups-including low-income communities and minority populations-without unduly burdening these groups with impacts. As specific transportation projects resulting from Destination 2030 are implemented, environmental justice issues will be addressed in more detail

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CONCLUSIONS

Strengths of Methodology

The methodology has several strengths:

Challenges/Limitations to Methodology

There are also challenges and limitations to this methodology:

Future Goals

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GLOSSARY

Destination 2030 - the Metropolitan Transportation Plan for the central Puget Sound region and the transportation element of Vision 2020. It provides a comprehensive statement about the region's future transportation needs as identified by cities, counties, the state, and other agencies.

Discount Rate - an interest rate; it is a way to standardize values to account for the time value of money. This analysis uses a 6% discount rate.

Environmental Impact Statement - a document for a proposed project that outlines in detail the proposed actions, alternative actions (including no action), and their probable environmental ramifications. Washington's State Environmental Policy Act requires an Environmental Impact Statement.

Environmental Justice - a concept that includes the identification and assessment of disproportionately high and adverse impacts of programs, policies, or activities on minority communities and low-income populations. Within the context of regional transportation planning, environmental justice considers the relative distribution of costs and benefits from transportation investment strategies and policies upon different segments of society.

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) - a computer system that can spatially manage, analyze, and present geographic data tied to a particular location. A GIS combines layers of information about a place and allows the user to create customized maps and analyze patterns and relationships.

Least-Cost Planning - As defined by Washington's Administrative Code, it is "a process of comparing direct and indirect costs of demand and supply options to meet transportation goals and/or policies where the intent of the process is to identify the most cost-effective mix of options." Its two major components are to identify alternative transportation scenarios or investment packages and then to estimate and compare the costs and benefits associated with these different alternatives.

Sensitivity Analysis - a methodology that introduces a range of estimates for key variables to see how these values affect the outcome of the analysis.

Smart Growth - a planning policy that addresses suburban sprawl by concentrating growth in currently developed areas and increasing the use of alternative modes of transportation. It is aimed at minimizing haphazard development, preserving open space, and reducing traffic congestion, while maintaining property values and economic activity.

Vision 2020 - Puget Sound's regional growth management strategy - a planning document that establishes a vision and policy on regional aspects of growth issues, including transportation, land use, open space, housing, economic development, and environmental concerns.

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REFERENCES

Puget Sound Regional Council, 2001, Draft Destination 2030 - Metropolitan Transportation Plan for the Central Puget Sound Region, March 15.

Puget Sound Regional Council, 2001, "Draft Destination 2030 - Metropolitan Transportation Plan for the Central Puget Sound Region: Executive Summary," March 15.

Puget Sound Regional Council, 2000, Metropolitan Transportation Plan Alternatives Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, August 31.

Puget Sound Regional Council, 2000, Metropolitan Transportation Plan Alternatives Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Least-Cost Planning Analysis (Supplemental Technical Appendix II), October 26.

Puget Sound Regional Council, 2000, Metropolitan Transportation Plan Alternatives Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Volume 2 - Appendices, August 31.

Puget Sound Regional Council, 2000, Metropolitan Transportation Plan Alternatives Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, August 31, p.vii.

Contact: Puget Sound Regional Council, Seattle, WA (206-464-7090 or www.psrc.org)

Updated: 08/01/2013
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