Complete Communities:
Mobility Choices

Complete Communities: Mobility Choices

 

The Complete Communities initiative sets the City on a path to achieve our vision of equitable, healthy, and sustainable neighborhoods, with a focus on four key areas: housing, mobility, parks and infrastructure.

Complete Communities logos for Housing Solutions, Play Everywhere, Mobility Choices, and Infrastructure Now

 

Mobility Choices

Mobility Choices

Mobility Choices aims to connect every San Diegan with safe and convenient mobility options that can reliably connect them to jobs, shopping, services, parks, open spaces and other amenities

Mobility Choices Goals:

  • Provide San Diegans with more mobility options for commuting and recreating
  • Provide safe and convenient transportation choices
  • Promote a healthier, more active lifestyle
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean air for all

Complete Communities Mobility Choices logo

Coaster train in Torrey Pines

 
 

Scooter riders on the bike lane in downtown

Why Mobility Choices?

Why Mobility Choices?

  • SB 743 requires the City to adopt a new metric for analyzing transportation impacts to achieve a reduction in vehicular traffic (vehicle miles traveled), rather than accommodating additional traffic (level of service)
  • The City's Climate Action Plan identifies strategic land use planning, by placing most of the City's new housing close to transit, as a significant source of Citywide greenhouse gas emissions reductions"
  • Mobility Choices tailors requirements of SB 743 to best implement the City's climate goals

Moving from LOS (Level of Service) to VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled):

LOS - Can encourage additional vehicle travel; limited opportunities to reduce the need for vehicle trips through investments in biking, walking, and transit.

Red arrow pointing to the right

Red arrow pointing down

VMT - Encourages investments to reduce the amount and length of vehicle trips; focuses on investments in biking, walking, and transit.

(VMT = number of trips X length of trips)

Climate Action Plan Implementation

Adopted in 2015, the City's landmark Climate Action Plan sets ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and lays out five bold strategies for achieving the reductions.

  • Great opportunities to reduce GHG emissions related to transportation sector
  • The Climate Action Plan sets ambitious goals for more people biking, walking, or using transit
  • Mobility Choices implements the Climate Action Plan by supporting infill development and investments in walking, bicycling, and public transit

Climate Action Plan Implementation

Adopted in 2015, the City's landmark Climate Action Plan sets ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and lays out five bold strategies for achieving the reductions.

  • Great opportunities to reduce GHG emissions related to transportation sector
  • The Climate Action Plan sets ambitious goals for more people biking, walking, or using transit
  • Mobility Choices implements the Climate Action Plan by supporting infill development and investments in walking, bicycling, and public transit

Planning for Investments that Matter

Invest strategically

  • Identifies areas where most meaningful (trip -reducing) investments can be made
  • Focus infrastructure in areas that yield greatest Citywide benefits
  • Provide additional funding source for targeted active transportation investments

Reform development process to align with mobility goals

  • Automatically screen out projects by location and type under new CEQA Significance Thresholds
  • Save time and provide certainty with VMT Calculator
  • Provide streamlined and predictable mitigation for new development regardless of location

Planning for Investments that Matter

Invest strategically

  • Identifies areas where most meaningful (trip -reducing) investments can be made
  • Focus infrastructure in areas that yield greatest Citywide benefits
  • Provide additional funding source for targeted active transportation investments

Reform development process to align with mobility goals

  • Automatically screen out projects by location and type under new CEQA Significance Thresholds
  • Save time and provide certainty with VMT Calculator
  • Provide streamlined and predictable mitigation for new development regardless of location
 

Mobility Choices Components

Mobility Choices Components

Mobility Choices includes:

  1. Land Development Manual Amendments
  2. New Mobility Choices Regulations
  3. Active Transportation In Lieu Fee
  4. VMT Calculator

As required by SB743, the City is proposing to update its CEQA Significance Determination Thresholds for Transportation in the Land Development Manual. The update includes new thresholds that account for increases in VMT, consider any conflicts with existing City plans or policies relating to the transportation network, and maintains safety and necessary emergency access. 

The Transportation Study Manual (TSM) is also proposed to update the City's current Transportation Impact Study Manual. The TSM provides detailed CEQA transportation analysis guidelines using VMT based metrics to determine a project's environmental impacts with a focus on increasing safety for bicycle, pedestrians, and transit.

Mobility Choices is a programmatic approach to ensure Citywide VMT reductions. The Active Transportation Measures (Appendix S) and the Active Transportation In Lieu Fee are implementing components of the ordinance.

For more information, visit the Complete Communities website.

Mobility Choices Regulations

The Mobility Choices Regulations:

  • Strategically invests where there is greater VMT-reducing potential
  • Focuses infrastructure where the citywide benefits are the greatest
  • Supports build out of the City’s active transportation network
  • Encourages pedestrian, bicycling, and transit modes of travel

Mobility hub

Mobility Choices Regulations

The Mobility Choices Regulations:

  • Strategically invests where there is greater VMT-reducing potential
  • Focuses infrastructure where the citywide benefits are the greatest
  • Supports build out of the City’s active transportation network
  • Encourages pedestrian, bicycling, and transit modes of travel

Mobility hub

Mobility Zones

Mobility Zones

The City was broken out into Mobility Zones. Mobility Zones were designated based on VMT-reducing potential of new development. Investments in VMT efficient areas give the City the greatest potential for VMT reductions at the lowest costs.

Mobility Zones 1, 2, and 3 are VMT efficient; the average number of vehicle miles traveled per capita or per employee is less than 85% of the region.

Mobility Zone 4 is VMT inefficient; the average number of vehicle miles traveled per capita or per employee is greater than 85% of the region.

Full details of the regulations are available on the Complete Communities website.

Mobility hub 85% of the Regional Average.

Mobility Zones 1, 2, and 3 have greater VMT-reducing potential. Mobility Zone 4 has less VMT-reducing potential.

Active Transportation Measures

Active Transportation Measures

Active Transportation Measures includes improvements such as:

  • Pedestrian-scale lighting along public walkways High-visibility crosswalk striping at adjacent intersection
  • Pedestrian refuges and raised crosswalks
  • Shade trees
  • Pedestrian resting and/or recreation areas near public walkways Sidewalk widening
  • Transit stop upgrades
  • Designated car-share or carpool vehicle parking
  • Electric bicycle charging stations

Mobility Zone 1

Mobility Zone 1 includes the Downtown area and has the greatest citywide VMT reduction potential. Development in this zone is not required to implement active transportation measures.

Mobility Zone 1
Text on image: Mobility Zone 1: Greatest Citywide VMT reduction potential. No measures.

Map depicting Mobility Zones 1, 2, 3, and 4

 

Mobility Zone 1

Mobility Zone 1 includes the Downtown area and has the greatest citywide VMT reduction potential. Development in this zone is not required to implement active transportation measures.

Mobility Zone 1
Text on image: Mobility Zone 1: Greatest Citywide VMT reduction potential. No measures.

Map depicting Mobility Zones 1, 2, 3, and 4

Mobility Zone 2

Multifamily residential in Mobility Zone 2 will follow TPA Parking Amenities requirements; all other development in Mobility Zone 2 to provide Active Transportation Measures.

Mobility Zone 2
Text on Image: Mobility Zone 2 - VMT < 85% of the Regional Average. Multi-family residential development complies with TPA Parking Amenities requirements; other development provides Active Transportation Measures.

Map depicting Mobility Zones 2, 3, and 4

 

Mobility Zone 2

Multifamily residential in Mobility Zone 2 will follow TPA Parking Amenities requirements; all other development in Mobility Zone 2 to provide Active Transportation Measures.

Mobility Zone 2
Text on Image: Mobility Zone 2 - VMT < 85% of the Regional Average. Multi-family residential development complies with TPA Parking Amenities requirements; other development provides Active Transportation Measures.

Map depicting Mobility Zones 2, 3, and 4

Mobility Zone 3

Development in Mobility Zone 3 to provide Active Transportation Measures.

Mobility Zone 3
Text on Image: Mobility Zone 3 - VMT < 85% of the Regional Average. Development provides Active Transportation Measures to support non-auto modes of transportation: walking, biking, or public transit.

Map depicting Mobility Zones 3 and 4

 

Mobility Zone 3

Development in Mobility Zone 3 to provide Active Transportation Measures.

Mobility Zone 3
Text on Image: Mobility Zone 3 - VMT < 85% of the Regional Average. Development provides Active Transportation Measures to support non-auto modes of transportation: walking, biking, or public transit.

Map depicting Mobility Zones 3 and 4

Mobility Zone 4

Mobility Zone 4
Text on Image: Mobility Zone 4 - VMT > 85% of the Regional Average. Development to mitigate VMT by paying the Active Transportation In Lieu Fee. Fee is based on active transportation infrastructure improvements in Mobility Zones 2 and 3 to reduce citywide VMT.

Map depicting Mobility Zone 4

 

Mobility Zone 4

Mobility Zone 4
Text on Image: Mobility Zone 4 - VMT > 85% of the Regional Average. Development to mitigate VMT by paying the Active Transportation In Lieu Fee. Fee is based on active transportation infrastructure improvements in Mobility Zones 2 and 3 to reduce citywide VMT.

Map depicting Mobility Zone 4

Mobility Choices Active Transportation In Lieu Fee

Mobility Choices Active Transportation In Lieu Fee

  • Required in Mobility Zone 4 and optional in Mobility Zones 2 and 3 in-lieu of required Active Transportation Measures
  • Investing in VMT reducing infrastructure in Mobility Zone 4 can be limiting
  • Instead, it is cheaper and more effective to invest in VMT reducing facilities in Mobility Zones 1, 2 and 3

Each mile of bike lane or sidewalk improvement invested in Mobility Zones 1, 2 or 3 can serve many more people and destinations, which will lead to greater reductions in vehicle-miles traveled and more walkable, livable neighborhoods.

Graphic depicting more people being served by 1 mile of bike line in Mobility Zones 1, 2 or 3.

You would have to build 27 miles of bike lane in Mobility Zone 4 to get the same VMT reductions as 1 mile of bike lane in Mobility Zone 3! We want to build bike lanes where they will be used the most.

Graphic comparing 27 miles of bike lane in Mobility Zone 4 versus 1 mile of bike lane in Mobility Zone 3

For additional details on fees, visit the Complete Communities website.

Demand-activated pedestrian crossing

Certain projects will be exempt, regardless of Mobility Zone, including:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Redevelopment
  • Locally Serving Retail
  • Locally Serving Public Facilities
  • Certain Mixed Use Projects
  • Certain Small Projects
  • Most Industrial Projects

Mobility Choices & Equity

Mobility Choices & Equity

  • Supports investments in active transportation infrastructure in our Communities of Concern
  • Provides safe and convenient transportation options for commuting and enjoyment

Map of Mobility Zones 1, 2, 3, and 4 along with Climate Equity Index (0-40)


Mobility Choices is part of the City of San Diego's Complete Communities initiative. For more information on Complete Communities please visit:

Complete Communities

Other Elements of Complete Communities include:

Complete Communities: Housing Solutions

Complete Communities: Play Everywhere

Complete Communities: Infrastructure Now

The draft documents are posted on the City's website and are available by clicking the button below:

Draft Mobility Choices Information

If you have additional questions or feedback, please contact Project Manager, Julia Chase, at JLChase@sandiego.gov

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