Transportation Impacts (SB 743)

CEQA Guidelines Update and Technical Advisory

In December 2018, after over five years of stakeholder-driven development through over 200 stakeholder meetings, public convenings, and other outreach events, the California Natural Resources Agency certified and adopted the CEQA Guidelines update package, including the Guidelines section implementing Senate Bill 743 (§ 15064.3). For more information on the comprehensive package, including the full regulatory text, please visit the Natural Resources Agency's website.

OPR has also developed a Technical Advisory on Evaluating Transportation Impacts in CEQA, which contains OPR’s technical recommendations regarding assessment of VMT, thresholds of significance, and mitigation measures. OPR may update or supplement this technical advisory in response to new information and advancements in modeling and methods.

Narrated presentations explaining key points from the Technical Advisory:

Also, the California Air Resources Board has developed supportive documentation that lead agencies may use to substantiate VMT thresholds of significance.

Additionally, the National Center for Sustainable Transportation has developed a tool to help estimate the VMT impacts from roadway expansion projects.

Key Resources on SB 743: Studies, Reports, Briefs, and Tools

This resource page will be updated as new resources become available. Last updated: April 13, 2018

Address any questions regarding the key resources to chris.ganson@opr.ca.gov.

What is SB 743?

Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 743 (Steinberg, 2013), which creates a process to change the way that transportation impacts are analyzed under CEQA. Specifically, SB 743 requires OPR to amend the CEQA Guidelines to provide an alternative to LOS for evaluating transportation impacts. Particularly within areas served by transit, those alternative criteria must “promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the development of multimodal transportation networks, and a diversity of land uses.” (Public Resources Code Section 21099(b)(1).) Measurements of transportation impacts may include “vehicle miles traveled, vehicle miles traveled per capita, automobile trip generation rates, or automobile trips generated.” (Ibid.) Once the CEQA Guidelines are amended to include those alternative criteria, auto delay will no longer be considered a significant impact under CEQA. (Id. at subd. (b)(2).) Transportation impacts related to air quality, noise and safety must still be analyzed under CEQA where appropriate. (Id. at subd. (b)(3).) SB 743 also amended congestion management law to allow cities and counties to opt out of LOS standards within certain infill areas. (See Government Code Sections 65088.1 and 65088.4.)

Aside from changes to transportation analysis, SB 743 also included several important changes to CEQA that apply to transit oriented developments, including aesthetics and parking.

History

Released April 2018

Released November 2017

Released January 2016

Second draft of CEQA Guidelines implementing SB 743, and the Technical Advisory

Released December 2013

Discussion of metrics options for implementing SB 743

Workshop Materials and Recordings