In the simplest terms, it means measuring to determine if the transportation network is adequate to accommodate the growth that is allowed by zoning and regulations. Transportation Concurrency is related to, but different than, Transportation Impact Studies and Transportation Impact Fees.
The Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) (RCW 36.70A.030 (6) (b)) requires that needed transportation improvements or programs be in place concurrent with development or that a financial commitment exists to complete the improvements or strategies within a six-year time period. Bellingham has adopted BMC 13.70 Multimodal Transportation Concurrency to meet this State law requirement.
Bellingham’s Multimodal Transportation Concurrency Program features multimodal level of service (LOS) standards and performance measures that include sidewalks, bike lanes, WTA transit, multiuse recreation trails, as well as automobiles, and is designed to help the City achieve Comprehensive Plan Transportation Element goals directing infill growth primarily to Urban Villages and to help complete sidewalks and bicycle lanes throughout the City.
Bellingham’s innovative Multimodal Transportation Concurrency Program received the 2009 American Planning Association /Planning Association of Washington Award for Transportation Planning in Washington State.
Since 2006, the Transportation Report on Annual Concurrency (TRAC) has been the City's annual assessment of transportation concurrency status on the citywide multimodal transportation network. In 2009, Bellingham adopted an innovative multimodal transportation concurrency program and since then, the TRAC has also documented the annual improvements to, and completeness of, Bellingham's pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and vehicle networks as well as recognizing that the multiuse Greenways trails provide a secondary transportation function in some parts of Bellingham. The TRAC has been evolving and serving as an annual report card for the multimodal transportation system and with the completion of the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan, the title is being changed to the Transportation Report on Annual Mobility (TRAM) to reflect the comprehensive examination it provides for each major transportation mode (Pedestrian, Bicycle, Transit, Automobile, and Freight Truck). In essence, the TRAM provides a progress report on how Bellingham provides mobility for people, goods, and services.
Bellingham’s Multimodal Transportation Concurrency Program (BMC 13.70) was one of the first in the nation to move beyond traditional auto-oriented level of service (LOS) measurements to assess the adequacy of the citywide transportation network and has been featured in a wide variety of State and national publications, as listed below, and in numerous State, national, and international planning and engineering conference presentations as listed on the awards page.
For questions regarding the TRAC, BMC 13.70, the transportation element of the Bellingham Comprehensive Plan, or GMA transportation concurrency requirements, please contact the Transportation Planning Division of the Public Works Department.