Active Transportation

Complete streets, transit, bikeway, and pedestrian planning, design, and performance measurement

Multimodal Transportation Impact Analysis: California Best Practices

The Transportation Impact Study (TIS) is one of the most effective tools for assessing the impacts of new land development (or redevelopment) and establishing a nexus for requiring project mitigations, including impact fees. Recent legislation as well as public sentiment have made it imperative that transportation professionals better understand how to prepare and review these studies.

Although current California environmental regulations (CEQA) require specific methods for use in analyzing transportation impacts (like focusing on vehicle-miles traveled), this class considers a broader variety of transportation impacts. A good TIS can consider a much wider range of impacts than CEQA and therefore can better reflect local community values.

This 8-hour course (4 two-hour modules) provides basic procedures and practical applications of analysis for determining impacts using various performance metrics on all transportation modes: pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and auto, while emphasizing best practices employed in California and other areas. It considers such topics as site access and off-site improvements to satisfactorily accommodate project traffic, including traffic signals. It also considers how impact fees can be applied consistent with California law to recover costs associated with the new development, as well as non-VMT impacts such as mutli-modal impacts, delay to buses, providing the right amount of parking, internal circulation, and improving the pedestrian/ bicycle environment.

This course focuses on urban/suburban streets (non-freeways), internal circulation planning, and providing just the right amount of parking. Applications of analyses include improving transportation impact studies, environmental impact reports (EIRs) and project mitigation, new development design standards, and the CEQA review process.

Attendees will also become familiar with:

  • Labor-saving shortcuts for data collection (because some multimodal level of service methodologies can be very "data hungry")

  • How "induced travel demand" is defined, and when it does (or does not) create a significant environmental impact under the law

  • Cross-modal impacts (when capacity or physical characteristics of one mode are changed and thereby affect another mode using the street)

  • How to assess "fair share" impact fees to pay for project mitigations

  • How parking can be used as an effective demand-management measure

  • Available resources (web and paper) that provide further guidance

This course is a combination of instructor presentations with interactive engagements to apply the techniques in the real-world, with case studies and applications of the material. This material complements the "Multimodal Transportation Operations: Evaluation Methods & Performance Measures" and "VMT Metrics Policy Applications & Technical Analysis for SB 743 Compliance" courses, although each can be taken as a stand-alone class.

Additional course detail is provided in the sections below.

  • Course Topics
    • Level-of-Service (LOS): what it means, why do it, pros/cons
    • Cross-modal impacts
    • How to calculate VMT from a proposed project
    • Gathering field information & data collection shortcuts
    • Software available to assist in analysis
    • California statutory requirements (especially CEQA & SB 743)
    • Relationship to the latest Caltrans Highway Design Manual
    • Applications to Context Sensitive Design
    • Assessing safety impacts of projects
    • Relationship to Sustainable Transportation Indicators
    • Incorporation as part of project mitigation
    • Developing target LOS and thresholds of significance
    • Typical schedule and budgetary requirements
    • Measuring environmental justice impact
    • Increasing transit as a share of regional VMT
    • Applying analytical/simulation tools to multi-modal impact analysis
  • Course Outline

    SESSION 1 - Overview, Concepts & Legislation/Policies (2 hours)

    • Course overview and schedule
    • Transportation Impact Studies: purpose and uses; thresholds, scope of work, data requirements, study area
    • Overview, thresholds for studies, data needs
    • Counting in a post-Covid world
    • Getting started
    • Trip generation & trip types: person and vehicle
    • Internal capture of trips within a project; pass-by trips
    • Trip distribution and mode choice
    • Performance measures: Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), Level of Service (LOS)
    • How do we address induced demand under SB 743? ? Key Reference Materials: ITE, NACTO, Caltrans, and more: useful websites and print material
    • Interactive Engagement: Estimating trip generation from a mixed-use (site) land development project (time permitting)

    SESSION 2 - Multimodal Analysis Concepts & Techniques (2 hours)

    • Analysis methods for addressing ped, bike, auto and transit quality of service
    • Pedestrian mode concepts and performance measures o Bicycle mode concepts and performance measures o Automobile mode concepts and performance measures
    • Transit mode concepts and performance measures
    • Interactive Engagement: Numeric problems interpreting multimodal analysis

    SESSION 3 - Case Study, Planning Topics & Procedures (2 hours)

    • Case Study: Serra-West Medical Center & Mayacama Arts Center
    • Collecting non-motorized (active transportation) counts
    • California statutory requirements and the General Plan
    • Developing Mitigations: TDM, Parking & Others
    • Using parking and curb management as a transportation planning tool
    • Signal warrants and access considerations
    • Safety and emergency vehicle access
    • Goods movement/ truck impacts
    • Transportation impact fees
    • What should a good transportation impact study contain
    • References & Resources
    • Interactive Engagement: Applying mitigation measures in a site impact study (time permitting)
  • What you will learn

    Students will learn how to prepare and review a comprehensive multi-modal transportation impact study, including stand-alone studies and those prepared to support CEQA documentation.

    Topics include basic level-of-service (LOS) concepts for all modes, and how to apply them to conduct performance and level-of-service analysis for various types of urban streets with various levels of accommodation for different modes, determine the impacts of system improvements using vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and analyze operational impacts of possible changes in the allocation of street cross-section to various modes.

  • Who should attend

    Planners, engineers, technicians, and others at all levels of experience, who prepare or review transportation impacts from land developments will benefit from this class.

    A minimal level of mathematics is required (basic algebra).

  • Course Prerequisites
  • Course Instructors

      Bill Cisco, PE, Manager Urban Planning Traffic Engineering / PTV

      Bill Cisco has over 20 years of experience in transportation engineering and planning. Bill's areas of expertise include traffic operations, transportation planning, transportation impact analysis, travel forecasting, congestion management, parking analysis, and training. At PTV, Bill's duties include managing traffic engineering and transportation planning software applications, including PTV Vistro. Previously, Bill worked at Traffic Technology Services as a director of product intelligence, and as a consultant for Dowling Associates, CCS Planning & Engineering, and Kaku Associates. Bill is registered as a professional engineer.

      Steve Colman, PTP

      Steve Colman is a professional transportation planner (PTP) with more than 36 years of experience in all modes of surface transportation, including the preparation of EIR transportation sections and more than 75 traffic impact studies, general plan circulation elements, bikeway plans, and transit system plans. He was a Principal at Dowling Associates in Oakland for more than 20 years. He chaired the Institute of Transportation Engineer's (ITE) technical Coordinating Council 2012-2014, and is currently working on a history of Bay Area transportation. In 2016, he received the Western ITE District's Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award given by the District.

  • Registration Information

      Registration for this course occurs at the TechTransfer training host site. Use the button to the right to directly access the course page and registration portal. You will be asked to create a user account as part of the registration process.

      A confirmation email will be sent to you within two business days of TechTransfer receiving your paid registration.

      If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the TechTransfer Registrar at (510) 643-4393 or

  • For more information

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      Cancellation Policy:

      The cancellation fee for this course is $75. At TechTransfer, there are no refunds for classes with registration fees of $75 or less. For all other classes, you may cancel your enrollment and receive a refund of your registration fee less $75, provided they receive your written request to cancel at least 5 full working days before the class is scheduled to begin. In lieu of canceling your registration, you may (1) transfer your registration to another TechTransfer class, (2) receive a tuition credit for the full amount, useable toward a future class, or (3) send a substitute in your place.

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LTAP Subsidized

This class is offered at a reduced fee to employees of California's city, county, regional, and tribal public agencies

Course Fee

Standard Rate:

Public Agency Rate:



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Course Credit

This course grants:

0.80 CEUs

Upcoming Sessions (0)

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