RTP

CA is not Serious about VMT Reduction

TRANSDEF’s organizational focus is the reduction of GHG emissions from transportation. Much of our work has involved the state’s policy-setting agency for climate change, the California Air Resources Board, or ARB. ARB has produced generally excellent climate change plans, called Scoping Plans. However, it has consistently been weak in the area of reducing GHG emissions from transportation, despite determining that nearly half of the state’s GHG emissions are generated by the transportation sector. Read More...

TRANSDEF Seeks RTP Alternatives

TRANSDEF today filed its scoping comments for the 2017 Regional Transportation Plan. The letter asks MTC to study a regional plan alternative in which there is no money for highway widenings or BART extensions. Instead, available funding would be spent on cost-effective transit projects and service. The intent is to maximize the reduction of GHGs by shifting travel away from solo driving. Read More...

Marin Clings to Status Quo

As the Transportation Authority of Marin was determining what projects to submit to the 2017 Regional Transportation Plan, TRANSDEF’s President testified, “Highway performance is at near-crisis levels. Mobility is severely impaired. Yet you are being offered more of the same.” See that testimony and the rest of the Marin page. TAM didn’t discuss whether there was a problem, and adopted staff’s status quo proposal. Read More...

Bay Area transit ridership down despite subsidies, enticements

In today’s Chronicle, Matier & Ross write about how regional transit ridership in the Bay Area has down for decades despite the many billions of dollars MTC has put into construction projects. This begs the question “Why?” For us, the answer is simple: MTC’s unique combination of indifference, incompetence and unwillingess to do the hard work of policy development has created a politicized unaccountable system that works great for contractors, but does little for Bay Area residents and commuters. See related several posts on this site: Bay Area Basics; a case study we did on MTC called Politics Trumps Outcomes; and a comment letter on how to set up a new transportation pot of money so that it is not wasted, as MTC’s resources have been. Read More...

New Papers from MTC Lawsuits

TRANSDEF received the fruits of a Public Records Act request from MTC today. Legal papers from Bay Area Citizens v. MTC, including the Index to the nearly 57,000 page Administrative Record, and the settlement agreements in two other cases are posted at the bottom of this page.

MTC Opposes Regionalism, Yet Again

In 2013, MTC adopted a regional plan called Plan Bay Area, in response to state requirements under SB 375 to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). Continuing its long history of putting politics before its mandate of improving the Bay Area, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted today to adopt an eviscerated set of Guidelines for Bay Area counties. Draft Guidelines had been developed that called for counties, when developing their Countywide Transportation Plans, to look to the goals of Plan Bay Area. Click on Read More for TRANSDEF’s comments.
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Plan Bay Area Court Decision Released

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Grillo issued a ruling today in the Bay Area Citizens v. ABAG challenge to Plan Bay Area. He denied their petition that sought a ruling that the EIR was inadequate. See the decision and the briefing at the bottom of this page. This page also contains the settlement between the MTC and Sierra Club and Communities for a Better Environment.

An Excellent Overview of Regional Planning

Environmental advocate Peter Lydon wrote these comments on MTC’s Plan Bay Area, which capture the essence of regional planning:

Framework

Independently of anything the regional agencies do, the nine-county Bay Area is growing in population and getting wealthier, so, inevitably, it is changing. That means that the region is in transition. The aspect that concerns us is a needed transition from the present land use/mobility system to a new one.

The old, existing system is based on the single-family house, the personal automobile and the freeway. It handles growth mainly through outward spatial diffusion, or sprawl. It has grown up over decades, and has become our thoroughly familiar environment. We have all deeply adapted to it. It is individualistic, and not egalitarian. Growing up in times of economic success and prosperity, it offers what people believe is freedom. Therefore, on the basis of inertia alone, the traditional layout has support from the very large share of the population (and public and private administrative structures) that are comfortable in it and who want to preserve what is known and good.
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TRANSDEF Comments on Plan Bay Area

TRANSDEF filed comments on the Bay Area’s Draft Sustainable Communities Strategy today. By a fascinating coincidence, U.S. PIRG released its study today, called A New Direction, which is directly relevant to how to approach a regional transportation plan. This study points out the transportation planning consequences of the emerging pattern of millennials driving less. These documents are available here.

RTP Guidelines Revision Process

The California Transportation Commission is conducting a thorough process to revise the statewide Regional Transportation Plan Guidelines, in response to all the changes resulting from SB 375. That law requires RTPs to contain a sustainable communities strategy, which attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet a target set by the State Air Resources Board. Check out the CTC webpage.

MTC adopts irresponsible regional plan

Summary only available when permalinks are enabled. Read More...

The Regional Transportation Plan is nearing adoption

On March 13th, MTC will have a meeting of its Planning Committee to go over final details of its draft Regional Transportation Plan, for approval on March 25th. Read More...