By definition, any proposed transit project will potentially influence elements of the local and regional transportation system, including transit facilities and services, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, road traffic patterns and volumes, and parking. Other transportation network impacts may occur, such as to airports, freight railways, or other type of travel. As such, environmental documents for transit projects should include a discussion of potential transportation impacts. For example, the level of analysis depends on the magnitude and scale of the project. In general, transit grant applicants should consult with FTA and local and/or state traffic engineering and planning officials as early as possible to identify potential transportation impacts and determine the level of analysis that will be needed for the environmental document.
How are impacts to transit operations considered?
Construction and operation of new transit facilities and/or expansion of transit facilities and services can affect existing transit operations. The environmental documentation for projects should discuss potential impacts of project construction and operation on transit systems. Specific transit considerations for the construction and operation of transit projects include, but are not limited to changes in:
- Transit service (e.g. frequency, hours of service, network, etc.)
- Travel times
- Transit ridership and demand
- Bus stop locations and access
- Station access and circulation
How are impacts to traffic and circulation considered?
Transit projects often cause changes in road traffic volumes, level of service, and local/regional circulation patterns, which must be considered during the environmental documentation process. Small scale projects may require documentation that streets in the immediate vicinity of the project have sufficient capacity for the anticipated additional trafficand an adequate level of service would be maintained. Large scale projects may require detailed analysis of anticipated changes to traffic on highways and local roadways. Considerations:
- Traffic and circulation on adjacent/parallel/intersecting roadways and highways
- Traffic and circulation around stations and depots (often related to park and ride, passenger drop-off, local bus access)
- Changes in travel patterns and travel time
- Changes in roadway or highway access, configuration or capacity
- Construction-related effects on traffic
How are impacts to parking considered?
Transit projects can affect the availability and location of parking spaces, and it can be a local concern. Potential parking impacts include consequences or impacts from new parking lots constructed to serve transit facilities, changes in parking demand as a result of transit facility construction/service expansion, and changes to on-street and off-streetparking during construction and operation of a project. Environmental documentation for transit projects should identify anticipated parking impacts and provide ways to avoid, minimize, and mitigate any adverse effects on nearby residential or business communities.