• Mobility Implementation Plan

    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 that all of 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 is critical in the development of this planning framework.  

    New approach to growth

    An important element of the new Mobility Implementation Plan will be 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 is intended to expand the current “vehicle level-of-service” concurrency standards -- based solely on vehicle capacity at specified intersections -- to include other transportation modes. This new approach is called “multimodal,” and would consider 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.

    How to get involved

    The Bellevue Transportation Commission will advise the city council on development of the Mobility Implementation Plan. Members of the public will be able to comment on the work via:

    • Regularly scheduled Transportation Commission meetings and special meetings, as needed. Those meetings will happen in 2021 through a remote meeting platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
    • A separate web page for public involvement that will host an online questionnaire, an open house or both. Translations will be available to make sure we reach a diverse audience.

    Timeline for completion

    Work on the MIP runs through 2021, with city council adoption of the new plan anticipated by the end of the year, Some follow-up work is expected to continue into 2022. 

    MIP timeline graphic

    Project management

    The City Council has assigned the task of preparing a recommendation for the Mobility Implementation Plan to the Bellevue Transportation Commission. The Commission will be supported by city staff and the consultant firm Fehr & Peers. Any amendments to Comprehensive Plan policies recommended by the Transportation Commission will proceed through the Planning Commission before a final decision by the City Council.  

    Comprehensive Plan

    Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan expresses the community vision for the future. Current comp plan policy related to the MIP includes: 

    • TR-30: Establish multimodal level-of-service and concurrency standards and other mobility measures and targets for transportation corridors and in each area of the city in consideration of planned development patterns and mobility options.
    • TR-37: Develop and utilize a citywide Transportation Master Plan (now called the Mobility Implementation Plan) to identify and prioritize the implementation of transportation system improvements.

    Funding

    The city council has 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. 

    Background materials 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    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 and the quality of life that they expect, and what users of all ages and abilities need to reach their destinations, whether they are walking, biking, driving or taking transit.

    The MIP will incorporate elements such as multimodal concurrency, equity and sustainability. It will also include performance metrics and performance targets to measure progress in seven different performance management areas in Bellevue. The plan will also track system completeness to identify what gaps need to be filled. For more information, visit BellevueWA.gov/mobility-plan

    Concurrency is a requirement in the state Growth Management Act(External link) 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.

    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.

    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 those vehicles along the street.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    The transportation system in Bellevue supports the 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 may be an intersection expansion to accommodate more cars, but makes it more difficult to cross the street on foot.

    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 wide 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.

    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.

    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.

    Sources of funding for projects to address congestion include the city’s Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy, Capital Investment Program Plan, developer impact fees and outside funding such as grants.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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. The chart below illustrates the process to address performance targets gaps.