Best planning and implementation toolbox

Concurrency Management Systems:

Purpose of Tool:
A Concurrency Management System (CMS) is used to monitor and maintain the transportation system level of service (LOS) as it is affected by various impacts from approved developments. A CMS is also used to estimate facility needs and to update Capital Improvement Plans accordingly. A CMS builds the foundation for adequate public facilities ordinances, fair share ordinances, or other means of providing for developer contributions to transportation improvements. In many cases, a CMS includes provisions for developer-funded improvements, contributions to programmed projects, or right of way donations to meet concurrency standards and thereby allow development to progress.

Benefits of Using Tool:
A CMS enables local jurisdictions to prevent or delay proposed development that would degrade the transportation system performance below the adopted local standards. Concurrency attempts to protect the public’s investment in transportation improvements by preserving system capacity and preventing safety issues related to traffic increases. Concurrency also encourages areas of redevelopment, taking advantage of existing system capacity and providing for a more efficient use of land and infrastructure.

Steps Involved to Use Tool:
A local government must adopt objectives, policies and standards for a CMS, which should follow these guidelines:
  • Establish the LOS standards for roads and transit, if available.
  • Establish a financial plan, such as a Capital Improvement Program, that demonstrates the LOS standards will be achieved and maintained within budget.
  • Monitor the LOS standards, the schedule of capital improvements, and the availability of road capacity.
  • Develop guidelines relating LOS standards to development permits. A time frame must be established to test the concurrency.

    A CMS usually consists of an infrastructure database and supporting documentation, including the procedures for maintaining the system and the requirements for traffic impact analyses for proposed developments. The basic requirement for the database is to define existing traffic volumes and relate the volume to roadway capacity. As new development occurs, the associated trip volume is added to the database to update the CMS. The impacts and deficiencies resulting from proposed developments are assessed, needed improvements are identified, and they are included in a local Capital Improvement Program. It is important for local jurisdictions to consider multimodal improvements and demand management alternatives to meet concurrency requirements.

    Special Requirements to Use Tool:
  • If not already in place, the local government must adopt land development regulations. The regulations should state the conditions of the CMS and provide a program that verifies the permitting process so that permits are only issued to developments that will not result in a level of service below identified local standards.
  • State legislation enabling local jurisdictions to collect fees for transportation improvements consistent with a CMS may also be necessary.

    Specials Resources Needed to Use Tool:
    A concurrency management system requires appropriate staff and processes to track the LOS of existing infrastructure, establish targets for LOS, identify and program projects, track development proposals and their potential impacts, and identify the jurisdiction’s preferred development locations. Since each element has to be monitored over time, dedicated staff will likely be needed.

    Communities / Agencies that Have Used Tool:
    The State of Washington requires local governments to have a concurrency system through the 1990 Growth Management Act. For more information, contact:

    Washington State Department of Transportation
    Transportation Planning Office
    P.O. Box 47370
    Olympia, Washington 98504-7340
    (360) 705-7962

    The state of Florida requires local governments to have a concurrency system as well as a fair share ordinance that requires developers to pay fees toward improving the transportation system proportionate with the impact of their proposed developments. For more information contact:

    Florida Department of Community Affairs
    2555 Shumard Oak Boulevard,
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100
    (850) 488-8466

    Metrics to Use to Monitor Tool Effectiveness:
    System-wide measures of LOS or vehicle or person hours of delay may indicate the effectiveness of a CMS at maintaining the standards set by a local jurisdiction. In areas with crash rates of concern, a reduction in crashes over time as facilities are improved through CMS-funded projects will indicate site-specific effectiveness of the CMS. Measures established by an approved local comprehensive plan and transportation plan should be tracked. Funds collected to meet concurrency requirements, particularly as a percentage of the overall transportation program, also may indicate the effectiveness of a CMS program.

    List of Resources to Obtain Additional Info:
    Additional information may be found at the following:

    Robert Magee
    FDOT Concurrency
    (850) 414-4800