Business Growth and Diversity is one of the three categories of performance measures identified in the Economic Vitality Performance Framework. These categories specify how WSDOT seeks to achieve Washington State’s desired economic vitality outcome: To promote and develop transportation systems that stimulate, support, and enhance the movement of people and goods to ensure a prosperous economy.
Business Growth and Diversity includes many of the ways that transportation investments shape economic vitality. Based on stakeholder input during the development of the Economic Vitality Performance Framework, performance measures in the Business Growth and Diversity category focus on three priorities:
- Bolstering existing economic centers
- Supporting distressed communities; and
- Meeting the needs of freight.
Stakeholders noted that advancing these priorities will look substantially different in different parts of the state, and that performance measures should therefore be flexible and responsive to differences in local context. As a result, the performance measures in this category are best suited for high level analysis and are most useful for prioritizing projects for funding. To assess how well the transportation network supports business growth at a system-wide level, refer to the measures identified under the Mobility category.
The performance measures in this category evaluate whether transportation investments would support the growth and increased diversity of jobs and businesses in locations that state or local governments have identified as focus areas for economic growth and investment. This category includes five performance measures:
- Investment is within an Urban Growth Boundary and is consistent with local plans
- Support for growth in an identified Opportunity Zone
- Alignment with Statewide Freight Plan
- Land value added
- Transportation cost effectiveness
|PERFORMANCE MEASURE||PERFORMANCE METRICS||PROJECT TASKS||APPROPRIATE CONTEXTS|
|Investment Serves Infill Development in Priority Growth Areas||Investment is within an Urban Growth Boundary and is consistent with local plans||Assign Resources||Urban Core
|Support for Growth in an Identified Opportunity Zone||Support for growth in an identified Opportunity Zone||Assign Resources||Urban Core
|Alignment with Statewide Freight Plan||Alignment with Statewide Freight Plan||Assess Alternative Strategies|
|Land Value Added||Land Value Added||Assess Alternative Strategies|
Monitor Post-Implementation Performance
|Transportation Cost Effectiveness||Transportation cost effectiveness||Refine Solutions|
- What? A binary, qualitative metric: the project is within an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and is identified as a need or priority in the relevant local comprehensive plan or regional Metropolitan Transportation Plan.
- Why? Building within UGBs and promoting local growth priorities help to ensure that transportation investments support long-term economic growth and align with local goals and needs.
- Where? Most relevant for development within UGBs, primarily in Urban, Suburban, and Town Center contexts.
- How? Determine whether the project is located within a UGB using WSDOT’s map of Urban Growth Areas. If the project is located within a UGB, evaluate the local comprehensive plan and/or the regional Metropolitan Transportation Plan to qualitative assessment of whether it has been prioritized by the community. WSDOT staff should engage with project stakeholders to ensure that this metric accurately reflects local priorities, particularly if the relevant plans define transportation priorities broadly.
|Project is within an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and is identified as a need or priority in the relevant local comprehensive plan or regional Metropolitan Transportation Plan.||Local Comprehensive Plans and Metropolitan|
UGB datasets available from Washington Geospatial Open Data
|Urban Growth Boundary shapefile |
Project location and extent shapefile
|GIS software (ESRI ArcGIS or similar)||Yes/no||UGB datasets available from Washington Geospatial Open Data|
- What? Investment is in a location with identified health disparities and will help address those. Project is within a designated Opportunity Zone and aligns with the local placemaking and investment plan created for that Opportunity Zone.
- Why? Investing in Opportunity Zones supports the growth of businesses in underserved communities. Investments should help connect existing communities with greater economic activity, and should align with a place-based vision the locality has developed for the Opportunity Zone.
- Where? Opportunity Zones are identified on the state’s Opportunity Zones website.
- How? Identify Opportunity Zone locations and make a qualitative assessment of the project’s alignment with local economic and place-based plans. As of 2017, Washington has designated 139 tracts as Opportunity Zones. Refer to the Washington Department of Commerce’s Opportunity Zones website for more information on Opportunity Zones. WSDOT staff should coordinate with local stakeholders to ensure that this metric accurately reflects the priorities of local economic and place-based plans.
|Proposed transportation investment or strategy is located in a designated Opportunity Zone, and aligns with the local placemaking and investment plan created for that Opportunity Zone.||Local placemaking and investment plan for Opportunity Zone||Opportunity Zone shapefile||GIS software (ESRI ArcGIS or similar)||Yes/no||Opportunity Zones websute|
- What? A binary, qualitative metric: the investment meets the evaluation criteria outlined in WSDOT’s 2017 Freight System Plan and coinciding Freight Investment Plan.
- Why? Investments should align with statewide goals for the freight system.
- Where? Most relevant for projects where freight traffic makes up a substantial portion of total traffic or where freight access is important to future economic growth.
- How? WSDOT’s 2017 Freight Investment Plan outlines criteria used to develop a fiscally constrained project list and prioritize among projects on the unconstrained list for future fiscal years. Compare project description to the investment criteria identified in Exhibit 2-3: Criteria and Measures for Evaluating Freight System Benefits, of WSDOT’s existing 2017 Statewide Freight System Plan, Appendix A: Freight Investment Plan.
|Investment meets the evaluation criteria outlined in WSDOT’s 2017 Freight System Plan and coinciding Freight Investment Plan||Statewide Freight System Plan, Appendix A Freight Investment Plan, Exhibit 2-3: Criteria and Measures for Evaluating Freight System Benefits||N/A||N/A||Yes/no||Statewide Freight System Plan|
- What? A binary, qualitative metric: the estimated change in US dollar value of single-family residential, multifamily residential, and commercial real estate.
- Why? Potential of investments to increase local land value can build local wealth and spur additional economic development. Increased land value is most likely to build local wealth if residents can afford increased property taxes and/or if dedicated affordable housing is available nearby.
- Where? This is most relevant in locations where land value is relatively low; however, note that significant increases in land value can lead to displacement of residents and businesses, especially those who rent or lease their properties.
- How? Pilot the Land Value Added tool developed by Smart Growth America and University of Arizona. (More information about the Land Value Added tool can be found on this website’s Other Tools page.) Alternatively, analysts can conduct independent estimates of potential land value increases due to implementing the project. The analysis should also evaluate the potential for displacement of residents and businesses resulting from increased land values.
|Estimated change in US dollar value of single-family residential, multifamily residential, and commercial real estate||Parcel level property value shapefile|
Project location and extent shapefile
|Parcel level property value shapefile|
Project location and extent shapefile
|ESRI ArcGIS Land Value Added tool developed by Smart Growth America and University of Arizona|
Other tools may be available
|Change in value with and without investment ||Land Value Added Tool|
- What? Direct economic activity (tax revenue) generated compared to project lifecycle cost.
- Why? Understanding cost effectiveness can support conversations with stakeholders about a project’s lifetime costs and the potential effects of investing in established communities versus less developed areas.
- Where? Valuable for evaluating projects that are being considered based on the economic benefits they will bring to the region, such as new development, employers, and jobs.
- How? Evaluate fiscal revenues resulting from project implementation in the form of land values, additional jobs, and local tax revenues against capital and ongoing maintenance costs, as well as any outside subsidies.
|Direct economic activity (tax revenue) generated compared to project lifecycle cost||Smart Growth America transportation cost effectiveness tool||Project capital and long-term maintenance costs|
Anticipated economic activity the project will generate
|Smart Growth America transportation cost effectiveness tool|
Other tools could also be used
|Tax revenue increase/lifecycle cost |