Planning Board approves update to the Local Area Transportation Review Guidelines

Planning Board approves update to the Local Area Transportation Review Guidelines

On March 3, the Planning Board approved the 2022 Local Area Transportation Review (LATR) Guidelines. The LATR guidelines provide guidance to development applicants and consultants on how to implement the transportation review process required by the 2020-2024 Growth and Infrastructure Policy.

LATR is the process by which the adequacy of pedestrian, bicycle, bus transit and motor vehicle systems is evaluated near proposed new development sites. Depending on the circumstances, the process could require the developer to construct or pay for off-site improvements to ensure the transportation infrastructure meets adequacy and safety standards. 

The approved changes will help ensure the cost of required pedestrian, bicycle and bus transit improvements are proportional to a development project’s impacts on the overall safety and functionality of the transportation system and includes:


• Creation of methodology for determining proportional off site improvements, including pedestrian, bicycle and transit improvements based on the GIP standards.
• Prioritize motor vehicle mitigation strategies designed to improve travel safety.
• Require a Vision Zero Statement for all projects estimated to generate 50 or more net new weekday peak-hour person trips.
• Introduce the application of a Pedestrian Level of Comfort (PLOC) measure to evaluate pedestrian adequacy.
• Eliminate the motor vehicle adequacy test in Red Policy Areas (Metrorail Station Policy Areas and Purple Line Station Areas), where multimodal transportation options are more prevalent.
• Exempt bioscience facilities, for the next four years, from all LATR tests to provide faster approval of facilities that support biological research and development or the manufacturing of related products and provide significant employment opportunities in the county.
• Update the scoping and mitigation requirements for developer-funded bikeways, sidewalks and bus shelters to be more robust to evaluate adequacy.

These guidelines provide for the application of a more robust and multi-modal set of local transportation system performance evaluation procedures. The Growth and Infrastructure Policy maintains the recommendation that Montgomery County continue to evolve over time through the incremental implementation of proportional cost-sharing (prorata share) transportation districts, in addition to those established in White Flint and White Oak – and under development in Bethesda.

Amy Ginsburg


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