MassDOT and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs recently published the revised Transportation Impact Assessment (TIA) Guidelines. These guidelines are used for the preparation of transportation analysis components of environmental filings under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), specifically Environmental Notification Forms (ENFs) and Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs). The TIA Guidelines provide a framework for project proponents to identify the transportation impacts of their projects and to assess improvement needs consistent with the most recent MassDOT policies and regulations.
“Through the application and use of these Guidelines, MassDOT will continue to play a key role in supporting the Governor’s efforts to permit projects and transportation infrastructure that attracts businesses, strengthens the economy, and improves the overall quality of life for residents,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “The Guidelines will lead to more predictability in the environmental approval, permitting, and construction of private development projects and associated transportation infrastructure. They will also allow private developers to better budget, plan, and construct projects, which will help attract more businesses to Massachusetts.”
“The release of these Guidelines formalizes the Patrick Administration’s comprehensive approach to transportation solutions that work for our communities and the environment,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “The guidelines will direct the analysis of transportation issues and identification of appropriate mitigation through the MEPA process, and assist the Commonwealth in attaining our goals for greenhouse gas reduction, sustainable development and for healthy communities.”
The TIA Guidelines were updated to better reflect current state and MassDOT policies and practices.
In particular, the guidelines have been made consistent with GreenDOT, MassDOT’s comprehensive environmental sustainability policy; the Complete Streets design approach, which calls for roadways that safely and conveniently accommodate all users; and the Healthy Transportation Compact, which promotes public health through the design and operation of a transportation system that encourages active lifestyles and stresses safety for all roadway users, including vulnerable users.
Private developers that access state-owned highway are required to design, build and operate their projects in a manner that encourages and seeks to increase walking, bicycling, and transit use. MassDOT’s commitment to multi-modalism is reinforced with the new TIA Guidelines, as they call for private development to consider walking, bicycling, and public transit as central access modes, not just as mitigation for the traffic impacts of new development. The guidelines are also consistent with other state policies that support smart growth, reduce congestion, and improve safety.
Finalizing the TIA Guidelines was a cooperative effort between MassDOT and the State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI), as well as stakeholder groups including our sister agencies, practitioners, and the development community.
“Thank you so much for publishing the new Transportation Impact Assessment Guidelines. WalkBoston is so pleased to see the significant additional emphasis on walking, transit and biking,” said Wendy Landman, Executive Director of Walk Boston. “We think this is an important step toward accomplishing the ambitious mode shift goal that MassDOT has established.”
MassDOT will continue to work with its different divisions, stakeholders, and project proponents to implement these guidelines through the permitting process of private development projects.
The TIA Guidelines are available for download at MassDOT’s website: https://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/17/docs/DevelopmentReview/TIA_Guidelines_3_13_2014.pdf
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