The Mobility Implementation Plan (MIP) is a new long-range planning framework being developed with input from the public and final approval by the city council. The purpose of the MIP is to ensure the various transportation plans are compatible with each other and with the city’s land use plan. It will help the city make decisions on project investments based on what people want in their transportation system and the quality of life they expect.
Results from MIP questionnaire
Thanks to everyone who responded to a Mobility Implementation Plan questionnaire, which was available from July 26 through Aug. 13, 2021. More than 500 people offered their feedback and the results are available in a summary report. Your input has been critical in the development of this planning framework.
New approach to mobility
An important element of the new Mobility Implementation Plan is its approach to transportation “concurrency.” Concurrency is a requirement of the state Growth Management Act (GMA). Under the GMA, cities and counties must adopt transportation system planning that accommodates anticipated growth. The GMA does not prescribe a method for doing that; it leaves that decision to local jurisdictions.
The MIP work expands the former “vehicle level-of-service” standard -- based solely on vehicle capacity at specified intersections -- to include other transportation modes. This new approach is called “multimodal,” and considers additional modes of travel – such as transit, bicycling and walking – not just vehicles, in determining transportation concurrency.
Multimodal concurrency is meant to ensure the “supply” of mobility provided by all modes of transportation infrastructure is adequate to support the forecast “demand” for mobility spurred by new development. The expected community benefit of this multimodal approach would be a more equitable, sustainable way to identify, prioritize and fund transportation system projects.
The Bellevue Transportation Commission advises the city council on development of the Mobility Implementation Plan. Members of the public were able to provide comments on the work through:
- Regularly scheduled Transportation Commission meetings and special meetings. Those remote meetings happened in 2021.
- A separate web page for public involvement that hosted an online questionnaire. Translations were made available to ensure a diverse audience was reached.
The city council budgeted $405,000 for a professional services contract for work on the MIP, and to promote community participation with the Transportation Commission in crafting the plan.
- MIP final report, vol. 2 (April 2022)
- MIP final report, vol. 1 (March 2022)
- MIP questionnaire summary report (September 2021)
- Mobility Implementation Plan fact sheet (July 2021)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Mobility Implementation Plan?
The Mobility Implementation Plan (MIP) is a new long-range planning framework being developed by the Bellevue Transportation Commission at the request of the City Council. The purpose of the MIP is to ensure that all of Bellevue’s transportation plans are compatible with each other and with the city’s land use plan. It will help the city make decisions on project investments based on what people want in their transportation system, the quality of life they expect, and what users of all ages and abilities need to reach their destinations, whether walking, biking, driving or taking transit.
The MIP will incorporate elements such as multimodal concurrency, equity and sustainability. It will include performance metrics and performance targets to measure progress in seven performance management areas in Bellevue. The plan will also track system completeness to identify what gaps need to be filled.
What is Multimodal Concurrency?
Concurrency is a requirement in the state Growth Management Act that cities adopt transportation system plans and build projects that accommodate anticipated growth. Bellevue’s concurrency standard now measures only vehicle capacity at specified intersections. Under multimodal concurrency, additional travel modes will be considered for planning and implementation, such as walking, bicycling and transit.
Why is Bellevue moving to a multimodal concurrency standard?
Bellevue’s existing approach to concurrency measures only the capacity of the transportation system for vehicles, so the only way to meet the concurrency standard is to build wider roads and intersections to maintain the adopted level-of-service standard. A multimodal concurrency standard will expand the types of transportation projects that will count toward concurrency, including sidewalks, bike lanes and transit facilities.
What is a performance metric?
A performance metric is a measured characteristic of the transportation system. For instance, a measured characteristic of a sidewalk is the width. Bicycle facility performance is related to its comfort, safety and connectedness. Performance metrics of a bus stop include passenger amenities such as a bench or a shelter. For streets, the performance metric is related to the capacity of an intersection to accommodate vehicles and the travel speed or travel time of vehicles on the street.
What is a performance target?
A performance target describes the level-of-service that exists or is intended for each mode of travel. For instance, a performance target for the width of a sidewalk could be 7 feet and the adjacent landscape strip could be 5 feet wide, making a combined 12-foot wide performance target. Each travel mode in the Mobility Implementation Plan – waking, bicycling, taking transit and driving – has one or more performance targets.
What is a performance management area?
A performance management area is a mapped geographic area that has similar land use characteristics (for instance, commercial or residential) within which specific performance targets for vehicles are set. The Mobility Implementation Plan includes seven planned performance management areas: Downtown, Wilburton/East Main, BelRed, Crossroads, Eastgate, Factoria and Residential.
What is system completeness?
For the non-motorized transportation system in Bellevue (facilities that support walking and bicycling), the Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Plan defines what the entire system will look like when every sidewalk is built and every bike lane is striped. This plan describes the complete system for those modes. Bellevue measures how much of the system is complete and identifies projects that will fill the incomplete parts of the system – the gaps.
What is a layered network?
The transportation system in Bellevue supports many different types of current and planned land uses, whether it’s high-rise office and residential buildings downtown or a house on a wooded lot in Bridle Trails. The planned transportation system must match planned land uses with facilities that support walking, bicycling, riding transit or driving.
A layered network is one that identifies where separate plans for each mode are compatible with each other and with the planned land use, and where there may be conflicts that need to be resolved. An example of a potential conflict could be an intersection expansion to accommodate more cars, but makes it more difficult to cross the street on foot.
Why is “equity” important when planning for the transportation system?
In Bellevue, the diverse population of residents, workers, students and visitors means the city needs to build a transportation system that meets the needs of everyone, regardless of their means or abilities. Access to jobs, services, shopping, parks and schools is fundamentally important to the quality of life.
Yet not everyone is able to access these places with the same type of transportation. For that reason, the city strives to provide equitable access for everyone, with a range of transportation facilities. The Mobility Implementation Plan will include an “equity index” to help identify places where specific types of projects would enable people get to where they need to go.
Why is “sustainability” important when planning for the transportation system?
Sustainability regarding transportation is a measure of how transportation facilities and the use of those facilities impact the environment. For example, a project to widen a road may encroach on a wetland or a landscaped buffer in a neighborhood, and the use of that road by people driving may be noisy or may pollute the air. The Mobility Implementation Plan will identify performance targets that measure these environmental impacts – greenhouse gas emissions is one example – that will inform the community on progress toward meeting environmental sustainability goals.
How will the Mobility Implementation Plan address vehicle congestion?
The MIP will use two performance metrics to describe vehicle congestion: one considers intersections, the other travel speed along corridors. Performance targets are described for each metric. If a vehicle congestion performance target is not met, the city will analyze the cause and a range of actions will be recommended to address it. Each intersection or corridor will be evaluated separately.
What’s the performance target for a system intersection?
A system intersection is signalized or a roundabout at the intersection of two arterials on a primary vehicle corridor. At a system intersection, the performance target for vehicles is the volume-to-capacity ratio (V/C) in the PM peak period that varies from 1.0 to 0.85 depending on the performance management area where the intersection is located.
What’s the performance target for a primary vehicle corridor?
Along a primary vehicle corridor, the travel time performance target in the PM peak period varies according to the speed limit and the location, ranging from about 6 mph along a 30 mph arterial Downtown to about 15 mph along a 40 mph arterial in a less dense area of the city. The speed target reflects stopping for red lights; where there are more signalized intersections, there is likely to be more stopping, and thus a slower corridor travel speed.
What is the MIP strategy to support planned growth?
The MIP describes an “all of the above” strategy to address performance targets for all modes of travel. Plans to accommodate the growth in jobs and population forecast for 2044 call for a mixed-use environment that facilitates walking, bicycling, transit and short vehicle trips. In each update of the city’s Transportation Facilities Plan, the Transportation Commission will recommend a prioritized, affordable project list that fills some of the performance target gaps.
What are some examples of ways growth needs will be met?
The robust vehicle capacity of the existing roadway network will be strategically expanded to accommodate more people who use private autos or take transit; new projects will fill gaps in sidewalks along arterials and in the planned bicycle network to create good connectivity and access for everyone; and connections to bus stops and light rail stations will improve access to transit.
What is the approach in the MIP to address vehicle performance targets?
The Transportation Commission recommends several ways for the MIP to evaluate and address vehicle performance:
- Identify primary vehicle corridor segments and system intersections that do not meet the performance targets for corridor travel speed and volume/capacity ratio.
- Focus projects to address performance target gaps that meet overall MIP prioritization goals.
- Recognize that not all vehicle performance target gaps will be addressed in each update of the Transportation Facilities Plan, given funding constraints, environmental and equity considerations, or other factors.
- Document reasons that a project is not recommended at a particular time.
- Reassess performance target gaps at each update of the TFP and at other transportation funding decision points.
What happens if a performance target cannot be met?
If steps to address a vehicle performance target would not be reasonable or feasible, a description of why the target will not be met would be accompanied by options to improve mobility and access. Options may include improving vehicle operations at a nearby intersection on a parallel corridor, enhancing the performance of non-vehicle modes, implementing more aggressive transportation demand management measures or other site-specific projects and programs.