Safeguarding Equity in Off-Site Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Mitigation in California

The goal of this study is to help California ensure that off-site vehicle miles traveled (VMT) mitigation efforts tied to SB743 are equitably and proportionately distributed. Specifically, we seek to assess and inform mechanisms that can objectively evaluate whether proposed off-site projects, either via banking or exchanges, would unduly burden disadvantaged communities by disproportionately increasing VMT and/or inequitably refraining access to benefits tied to mitigation projects. The overarching question to be addressed by this study is: how can California ensure that VMT banking and exchange offset programs do not unduly burden disadvantaged communities, either by being negatively impacted by off-site mitigation efforts or by not directly benefiting from VMT mitigation projects? To answer this question, the research team will conduct a literature review; quantitative analyses of the spatial relationship between micro- and macro-scale transportation and built environment factors, vulnerable populations, and VMT; and Interviews with municipal and state transportation planners and professionals. This study will have two main outcomes: 1) A rigorous assessment of how disadvantaged communities might be adversely impacted by off-site VMT mitigation efforts; and 2) A detailed evaluation of tools and mechanisms designed to ensure equitable and proportionate geographic distribution of transportation and urban design improvements tied to off-site VMT mitigation efforts.

Principal Investigator: 

Serena Alexander

PI Contact Information: 

Mineta Transportation Institute
San José State University
210 N. 4th St., 4th Floor
San José, CA 95112
serena.alexander@sjsu.edu

Project Number: 

2027