This Reference Manual addresses land use and development practices that support and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of associated transportation systems. It references strategies and tools used to foster transportation-efficient land-use patterns (transportation-efficient development is defined as supporting the use of alternative transportation modes while reducing the need to drive alone). The manual documents state-of-the-art best practices at the national level, in addition to practices that are specific to Washington State and the Puget Sound region.
The Manual is in two parts: regulatory strategies and tools and financial strategies and tools. The strategies (six regulatory and four financial) relate to the planning and policy-making environment shaping land use – those general approaches and related policies used to plan transportation-efficient land use and development. Each strategy in turn contains a number of tools , the specific mechanisms used to guide the implementation of the strategies. Detailed explanations of how the tools have functioned or can work are provided, along with examples of specific applications and case studies to illustrate the scope and extent of the tools’ effectiveness.
The Reference Manual is the second product of a three-phase project by the Washington State Department of Transportation, which is known as Integrating Land Use and Transportation Investment Decision-Making . The first phase reviewed current land-use and development practices by the various local jurisdictions. It is summarized in Implementing Transportation-Efficient Development: A Local Interview (WSDOT 2002, WA-RD 549.1). The third phase will integrate findings from phases 1 and 2 with other data to produce criteria for evaluating the transportation efficiency of land-use and development patterns. It will provide WSDOT with a method to assess how existing and planned land uses could extend, support, or shorten the lifespan of existing or planned transportation system capacity.