A. Purpose. The provisions of this Section are intended to promote and assist in the timely and orderly review of traffic impacts caused by proposed developments, and to create, to the extent possible, uniform requirements for submittal by applicants. This Section authorizes the County Engineer to develop procedures for conducting a traffic impact analysis (TIA), specifies the conditions under which a TIA is required, and defines the general contents of the TIA. These requirements are in addition to an applicant's obligation to pay traffic impact fees pursuant to Title 4A PCC.
B. County Engineer Authorization for Administrative Policies and Technical Procedures. The County Engineer is authorized to adopt administrative policies and technical procedures in order to administer this Section. The administrative policies and technical procedures may include, but are not limited to, such subjects as the contents and scope of the TIA, the methodologies to be used in preparing the TIA, and the nature and extent of the improvement(s) necessary to mitigate the traffic impacts caused by a proposed development. The administrative policies and technical procedures shall be available for inspection at the Office of County Engineer during normal business hours or may be purchased, for a reproduction fee, as specified in Pierce County Code.
C. Traffic impact Analysis – When Required. An applicant shall prepare and submit a TIA for all proposed developments that are projected to generate 25 or more peak-hour trips. The County Engineer may require a TIA for a proposed development that generates fewer than 25 peak-hour trips to evaluate special or unique traffic concerns, such as, but not limited to, developments that generate a high proportion of heavy truck traffic. The requirements for a TIA may be waived if the County Engineer determines that there is sufficient information available from previous traffic impact analyses to determine traffic impacts and mitigation needs for a proposed development.
D. Traffic Impact Analysis – Scope and Contents.
1. The scope of the TIA shall be developed by the applicant and approved by the County Engineer prior to submittal of the TIA. At a minimum, the scope of the TIA shall include the following:
a. Identification and description of the proposed development.
b. Trip Generation and Distribution for the proposed development.
c. Trip Assignment at all arterial intersections through which at least 25 trips of development traffic pass during the peak hour.
d. Roadway connectivity analysis which shall evaluate the local and arterial connections.
e. An access analysis, which shall include the analysis of all driveway, alley, shared access facility, and private road access points from the proposed development to any County road, and along any local roads between the proposed development and the arterial road system, including the local road intersection(s) with the arterial road system. At a minimum, the access analysis shall determine the need for left-turn pockets or two-way left turn lanes using the warrant methodology published in Highway Research Record 211, Highway Research Board, 1967. The access analysis shall also determine the need for additional capacity improvements using the latest version of the Highway Capacity Manual, as published by the Transportation Research Board.
f. For proposed developments that contain commercial uses, analysis of all arterial intersections through which at least 500 trips of development traffic pass during the peak hour. The analysis shall include the identification of any traffic impacts and the associated mitigation at these intersections, as directed by the County Engineer.
2. The County Engineer may require a more detailed TIA for a proposed development that is anticipated to generate substantial Peak-Hour trips that are in addition to trips included within the County's traffic model that was used to develop the traffic impact Fee Program and/or traffic impact Fee assumptions. The County Engineer will consider such factors as the relationship of the proposed development to the Comprehensive Plan, proximity of the proposed development to sensitive County roads and intersections, and likelihood of mitigation not addressed by impact fee projects.
3. The County Engineer may require an applicant to provide additional data and/or analysis to evaluate special or unique traffic concerns.
4. The TIA shall document traffic improvements that are proposed by the applicant for access to the proposed development, or to mitigate traffic impacts created by commercial proposed developments. The applicant, in developing recommendations for mitigation, should consider the following:
a. Current and programmed county road improvement projects, including the timing and/or funding of those projects;
b. Traffic improvements planned by other proposed developments;
c. Traffic improvements planned by other agencies or jurisdictions;
d. The feasibility of the proposed traffic improvements;
e. Consistency of proposed improvements with County design and construction standards, policies, and practices;
f. Relationship of the proposed traffic improvements to any impact fee project;
h. Any other condition with a probable likelihood of being an adverse traffic impact.
E. Traffic impact Analysis – Review. The applicant shall submit the TIA to the County Engineer, who shall review each TIA for accuracy and proper methodology.
1. For all TIAs, the County Engineer shall review the applicant's proposed traffic improvements related to the proposed development's access points to any County road, local roads between the proposed development and the arterial road system, local road intersection(s) with the arterial road system, and roadway connectivity.
2. For TIAs prepared for commercial proposed developments, the County Engineer shall also review the analysis of all arterial intersections through which at least 500 trips of development traffic pass during the peak hour, and the applicant's proposal of traffic improvements to mitigate any traffic impacts identified by the applicant at these intersections.
3. The County Engineer shall determine which transportation improvements shall be required of the development proposal as a result of the review. If a required traffic improvement is included as part of the County's current traffic impact fee project list, the applicant will be eligible for traffic impact fee credits for those respective improvements implemented as part of the proposed development.