The TPB Vision recognizes that transportation and land use are inextricably linked and identifies better coordination and planning of these as one of its policy goals. The TPB and its staff work closely with COG's Housing and Planning staff to achieve this goal.
The Cooperative Forecasting Program at COG enables local and regional planning to be coordinated by using common assumptions about future growth and development. The program combines regional data, which are based upon national economic trends and regional demographics, with local projections of population, households and employment. These local projections are based on data about real estate development, market conditions, adopted land-use plans and planned transportation improvements. The Cooperative Forecasting Program is used extensively by the TPB staff in modeling travel demand and emissions.
The Vision also called for the development of a composite land use and transportation map of the region. This map introduced the concept of regional activity centers, areas of the region intended to have a mix of jobs, housing and services in a walkable environment. The maps and data were developed for use by local jurisdictions, the TPB and other regional bodies to encourage mixed-use development and to significantly increase the percentage of jobs and households that are found in regional activity centers.
The regional activity centers served as the focal point of the Regional Mobility and Accessibility Scenario Study, a long-term planning exercise initiated in 2000 that explored alternative land use and transportation scenarios for the region’s future. The Scenario Study identified the potential benefit that more compact, transit-oriented development could have in helping to alleviate travel congestion. A joint working group of local transportation and land use planners from around the region developed the alternative scenarios with input from representatives of the public. In September 2007, the TPB formed the Scenario Study Task Force to determine the future of the study and discuss opportunities for further coordination of transportation and land use planning. The CLRP Aspirations Scenario was developed under the guidance of the Scenario Study Task Force to explore a combination of transportation and land use strategies and assess their impact on the transportation network in the year 2030. The What Would It Take scenario was developed by the Scenario Study Task Force to begin addressing climate change in our transportation planning.
The Washington Region is already nationally known for successes in concentrating mixed-use development in regional activity centers, especially those served by transit, though challenges still remain in addressing community-level challenges. Accordingly, in fall 2006 the TPB launched the Transportation/Land-Use Connections (TLC) Program. This program represents a way for the TPB to assist local jurisdictions in implementing this strategy, through providing both direct technical assistance and information about best practices and model projects through the TLC Clearinghouse. Since the TLC Program’s inception through fiscal year 2012, the TPB has completed 56 projects at a value of $1.7 million.