Next Steps Summary
View the full Scenario Planning Guidelines (PDF).
This step provides insight about some of the options that metropolitan areas may pursue in moving beyond the scenario planning process toward implementation of the strategies that emerged in Step 6. Many of the general strategies needed to bring the preferred scenario forward should already be spelled out in the scenario itself. However, be sure to take time to prepare an implementation strategy based a more thorough evaluation of the most feasible and effective opportunities and actions.
Choosing to Implement
The preferred scenario will be implemented over time by pursuing targeted strategies that result in updates and amendments to development codes, comprehensive plans and TSPs. Several optional approaches to implementation which can be employed within Oregon’s planning system are listed below:
- Changing transportation or land use plans – such as comprehensive plans, zoning and other implementation ordinances to allow any new uses envisioned in the scenario.
- Forming public-private partnerships to coordinate development of new land use and transportation patterns that shorten automobile trips or encourage walking, biking and using transit.
- Developing new programs or actions, such as travel demand programs or detailed plans for important districts such as downtowns or key transit supportive areas.
- Focusing public investments to carry out actions that support key elements of the preferred scenario, from sidewalks and transit to electric car charging stations.
Develop an Implementation Plan
Implementation plans are non-regulatory plans that contemplate specific actions and allocation of resources, such as people or capital, to achieve those ends. Key strategies and policies identified in Step 6 should be utilized to create a detailed description of implementing actions and to identify general timeframes (short, medium and long term). They can serve as prioritized action plans with recommended immediate actions as the first steps towards realizing the metropolitan area’s policy goals. Besides a clear description of recommended programs and improvements, the plan can include a matrix to identify what departments or organizations will have primary responsibility, and what potential funding sources may be available.
Potential Implementation Plan Components
- Align the RTP and Other Transportation Plans. One of the most common ways to implement the preferred scenario is to incorporate it into the metropolitan area’s RTP, whether it is a part of an RTP update or the result of a separate scenario planning process.
- Modify Comprehensive Plans and Implementing Ordinances. The majority of strategies contained in the preferred scenario will be implemented at the local level, by cities and counties. If land use changes are a substantial component of the preferred scenario, comprehensive plans may need to be changed. Another land use based approach is to use the preferred scenario as common ground to obtain commitments between cities.
- Update Zoning Ordinances. One common finding from scenario planning efforts is that local zoning ordinances might not permit, or guide, the types and locations of new development described in the vision. Zoning ordinances should be updated to encourage the private sector to develop the types of land uses the city and metropolitan area would like to see.
- Develop a Strategic Plan. Strategic plans are non-regulatory plans that contemplate specific actions and allocate resources, such as people or capital, to achieve those ends. should include an estimated timeframe and the relative priority for each action.
Potential Funding and Support Mechanisms
MPOs can also direct infrastructure funds toward projects that enable local implementation of the preferred scenario. Metropolitan areas can also take advantage of other methods to support implementation, such as those described below.
- Transportation projects can be designed to implement parts of the preferred strategy.
- Using pilot programs and catalytic developments to include zoning code rewrites, strategic plans, and encouragement of new real estate projects.
- Agencies within the metropolitan area should be encouraged to share their technical training and expertise with other planners and decision makers.
- Periodic forums provide a great way for practitioners to share their methods, successes and best practices.
- Regular progress reports should be shared through regular press reports, website updates, and social media.
A good monitoring program evaluates both implementation methods and accomplishments. Monitoring involves both how well the strategies of the preferred scenario are being carried out and how well the region is doing in meeting broader regional goals and objectives – for example reducing GHG emissions or household spending on transportation.
Coordination Period Preceding Implementation
Following the selection of a preferred scenario, check back in with everyone who was involved in the process and share information about the preferred scenario, especially with the public, stakeholders and decision-makers, to build understanding and support. This creates an opportunity to dispel misconceptions. Step back and take the time to make sure everyone is on board and moving forward together.
A Suggested Approach to Monitoring Programs
A key recommendation for monitoring programs is to group related measures together. Develop a one or two page spread for each measure that contains a definition of the measure, why it is important, how it is calculated, and the resulting numbers through graphics and text. A consistent format with easy to read text and graphics will help to make the monitoring program useful by various agencies and stakeholders within the metropolitan area.
Common Elements of Monitoring Programs
The technical scenario in GIS, and subsequent evaluations from the sketch planning tool and Metropolitan GreenSTEP, provide the data needed for the monitoring program.
Common elements to track include:
- Implementation of key actions called for in preferred scenario, such as expanded transit service or development of a downtown housing strategy.
- Changes in per capita VMT.
- Transportation mode choice (auto, transit, bike and walk).
- Land consumption.
- Amount of development accommodated through infill and redevelopment.
- Changes in jobs and households, and densities at various geographic levels (i.e. city totals, transit or mixed use areas, or targeted areas such as downtowns).
- Other measures as directed by the guiding principles and evaluation criteria established in Step 2.