Senate Bill 743 (SB 743) requires local jurisdictions to use Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) instead of Level of Service (LOS) to analyze transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). City staff developed a new citywide VMT policy to comply with State law and provide established and consistent criteria for analyzing transportation impacts of development projects and long-range plans. The VMT policy aligns with the goals and policies of the General Plan and adopted plans and supports new development in suitable areas near transit, mixed-use neighborhoods, and other amenities.
VMT measures the amount and distance a project might cause people to drive. Typically, isolated developments with poor access to walking, biking, and public transit facilities will result in more driving than mixed-use developments in already developed areas with strong access to non-automobile travel. This Fehr & Peers YouTube video provides a simple and clear explanation of VMT.
The City Council adopted the VMT policy on May 18, 2021. For more information about the VMT policy and the City’s efforts to transition from using LOS to VMT, please refer to this agenda report and presentation to the City Council. The final VMT policy with the City’s VMT heat maps can also be accessed here.