Transportation Impact Review

The City’s transportation impact review process is developed to guide traffic consultants and developers throughout project development and to ensure potential impact on traffic, parking, transit usage and pedestrian amenities.

Transportation Impact Analysis – Local Mobility Guidelines Update

The City of Pasadena Department of Transportation (DOT) held two public outreach meetings in fall 2021 to gather input regarding the City’s current Local Mobility Analysis guidelines.

The first meeting was held on September 1, 2021. The purpose of this meeting was to obtain community feedback on DOT’s current Local Mobility Analysis process and solicit public input on what else DOT should consider including as part of the analysis. The meeting may be viewed here. Responses to the questions asked during the meeting may be found here.

The second meeting was held on October 13, 2021. Preliminary recommendations to include in the Local Mobility Analysis guidelines were presented, and additional feedback was received. The meeting may be viewed here.

The City’s Transportation Impact Analysis Guidelines

The City’s transportation impact analysis guidelines (TIA) is developed to guide the developers throughout project development process, and assess the project’s potential impacts on pedestrian, bicyclists, transit, and motorists. Mitigation measures and/or project approval conditions are developed in accordance to the policies of the General Plan Mobility Element.

The City’s overall approach to analyzing project impacts and cumulative impacts is consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Current Practice and Guidelines
Guidelines for Transportation Review of Projects
Travel Demand Forecasting Model Report

The City of Pasadena model is consistent in form and function with standard travel forecasting models used in transportation planning. The model includes a land use/trip generation module, a gravity-based trip distribution model, and a capacity-restrained equilibrium traffic assignment process. The travel model utilizes Version 5.0 (Build 1515) of the TransCAD Transportation GIS software, which is consistent with many of the models used by local jurisdictions in California and throughout the nation. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for Southern California, maintains their current regional travel demand model in TransCAD.

Update to the City’s CEQA Thresholds of Significance

As of July 1, 2020, and as dictated by state law, vehicular delay and traffic congestion are no longer considered environmental impacts.  All California lead agencies are required to shift the focus of transportation analyses under CEQA from driver delay (LOS) to a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) metric.

On November 16, 2020, City Council approved DOT staff’s recommendation to update the City’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Transportation Performance Thresholds of Significance with the following:

VMT Per Capitaa


Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in the City of Pasadena per service population (population + jobs). Net change in VMT per service population is 16.8% below Citywide average baseline

2017 Baseline: 35.6b

16.8% Below Baseline Threshold: 29.6

VT Per Capitaa


Vehicle Trips (VT) in the City of Pasadena per service population. Net change in VT per service population is 16.8% below Citywide average baseline

2017 Baseline: 4.2b

16.8% Below Baseline Threshold: 3.5

Proximity and Quality of Bicycle Network


Percent of service population within a ¼ mile of bicycle facility types. Any decrease in baseline Citywide service population within a ¼ mile of Level 1 or 2 bike facilities.

2017 Baseline: 32.3%b

Recommended Threshold: 32.3%

Proximity and Quality of Transit Network


Percent of service population located within a ¼ mile of transit facility types. Any decrease in baseline Citywide service population within a ¼ mile of Level 1 or 2 transit facilities.

2017 Baseline: 66.8%b

Recommended Threshold: 66.8%

Pedestrian Accessibility


The Pedestrian Accessibility Score uses the mix of destinations and a network-based walk shed to evaluate walkability Any decrease in the Citywide Pedestrian Accessibility Score

2017 Baseline: 3.9b

Recommended Threshold: 3.9

a The City of Pasadena equates capita with service population (population + jobs)

b The Baseline should be updated approximately every 5 years in order to reflect changes to the street network and parcel level land uses.


The updated thresholds shall apply to any new project applications deemed complete 90 days after the date of adoption of the resolution, or February 15, 2021.