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Dr. Ferrell researched and developed a multimodal transportation environmental impact measure under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA). The previous CEQA transportation impact measure used by the City was based on the automobile delay/level of service (LOS) impacts of new developments on proximate intersections. This measure inevitably focuses on developing project mitigation measures that improve conditions for automobile use in the City and degrade pedestrian, bicycle, and transit levels of service. Dr. Ferrell researched and documented pastpractices in California in setting thresholds of significance for CEQA impactare as, developed alternative approaches to defining a threshold system that areconsistent with the city’s Transit First Policy, evaluated the benefits and disadvantages of the alternate approaches identified, developed a “policy roadmap” for implementing the recommended threshold and measurement system, and documented these findings for SFCTA’s Board of Commissioners and the general public. Impact measures considered to replace auto LOS included a measure of pedestrian collisions, a multimodal measure of system efficiency, a measure of auto impacts on neighborhood quality of life, and measures of auto impacts on climate change.

Client: San Francisco County Transportation Authority


Dr. Ferrell developed the multimodal level of service measures and associated significance thresholds for the City of Alameda.  This project involved the identification, recommendation and testing of a variety of level of service methods for use in the environmental review process (CEQA).  Dr. Ferrell recommended the City adopt the Highway Capacity Manual’s pedestrian intersection delay measure, Florida DOT’s bicycle level of service measure, and a modified version of the Highway Capacity Manual’s arterial level of service method to measure transit (bus) travel times. These methods were selected based on criteria recommended by Dr.Ferrell and approved by the City that required they be as comprehensive as possible in measuring multimodal conditions, while also requiring little additional data collection or calculation beyond that done currently for standard traffic impact studies.

Once the methods were identified and approved by the City, Dr. Ferrell worked to establish thresholds of significance fort hese measures that would allow the City and its partners to identify trade-offs between modes when identifying mitigations. To test these trade-offs, Dowling Associates ran an extensive pilot test of the measures and proposed thresholds, using hypothetical mitigations. The effects of these mitigations on each mode (including autos) were identified and compared to determine the best thresholds for use in the City’s environmental review process.

Client: City of Alameda, CA