Why Environmentalists Should Oppose RM3

The general public has plenty of reason to distrust MTC and RM3. That said, environmentalists and especially climate activists have compelling reasons to actively campaign against RM3. Half of California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are produced by motor vehicles. We must fight back against MTC’s Business as Usual priorities, which result in continued emissions growth. MTC stubbornly refuses to change its priorities, even though the climate emergency clearly demands an entirely new focus: reducing GHG emissions. That requires shifting where the region’s transportation money is spent, something resisted by local governments. For the Bay Area and California to reach its…

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Bay Area transit ridership down despite subsidies, enticements

Bay Area transit ridership down despite subsidies, enticements 02/09/15 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC In today’s Chronicle, Matier & Ross write about how regional transit ridership in the Bay Area has been 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…

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New Papers from MTC Lawsuits

New Papers from MTC Lawsuits 09/30/14 Filed in: MTC 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. Tags: CEQA, RTP

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MTC Opposes Regionalism, Yet Again

MTC Opposes Regionalism, Yet Again 09/24/14 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change | MTC 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. That draft was then amended by MTC’s Planning Committee and the adopted as the MTC CTP Guidelines (the yellow highlighted text on PDF page 8),…

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Plan Bay Area Court Decision Released

Plan Bay Area Court Decision Released 07/02/14 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change | MTC 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. Tags: CEQA, RTP, ARB

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MTC Wants to Bury Dumbarton Rail

MTC Wants to Bury Dumbarton Rail 05/10/14 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning | High-Speed Rail The staff report for MTC’s Planning and Allocations meeting, Wednesday, May 14 at 9:40 am lays out MTC’s plans to bury the Dumbarton Rail project. Transit advocates have often noted that this project is the only possible way to avoid the cost of a new multibillion Transbay tunnel to deal with the lack of capacity in BART’s Transbay tube. On April 23, TRANSDEF filed comments [this file without exhibits] with MTC, asserting legal arguments for why the proposed elimination of Regional Measure 2 funding for the Dumbarton Rail Project would be both illegal and unwise. [Comment file with…

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Multiple Suits Challenge Plan Bay Area

Multiple Suits Challenge Plan Bay Area 09/01/13 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning | Climate Change Multiple lawsuits were filed, challenging the FEIR for the Bay Area’s regional plan under CEQA. Interestingly, they attack the plan from different directions: The Sierra Club/Communities for a Better Environment suit seeks a reduction in greenhouse gases and air pollution that affects communities of color in West Oakland. The “Bay Area Citizens” suit is a right-wing challenge to what it views as an assault on Americans’ God-given right to live in suburbs. The Building Industry Association suit makes interesting claims that have never been litigated: that the regional plan violates SB 375 by not providing for feasible levels of…

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An Excellent Overview of Regional Planning

An Excellent Overview of Regional Planning 05/26/13 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC | Climate Change 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…

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TRANSDEF Comments on Plan Bay Area

TRANSDEF Comments on Plan Bay Area 05/15/13 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC | Climate Change 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. Tags: CEQA, RTP

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