When it comes to planning a city, trips matter. Estimates about the amount of trips generated by a transportation project or new development are what dictate not just what our redesigned streets will look like, but also how we pay for them.
One of the ways the City of Portland pays for infrastructure is by charging developers a fee based on the impact their new building will have on the transportation system. These fees — known as Transportation System Development Charges, or just TSDCs for short — are based on a model that estimates how many trips a new development will generate.
There’s just one small problem: The methodology is centered almost exclusively around cars. The Portland Bureau of Transportation wants to change that.
At City Council today commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance (PDF) allowing PBOT to use a methodology that uses “person trips” – meaning trips made not just by people in cars and trucks but also foot, by bike and in transit vehicles.