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…

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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…

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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…

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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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Joint Policy Committee Blinks

Joint Policy Committee Blinks 05/20/11 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning David Schonbrunn’s remarks: At its last Commission meeting, MTC made a major policy decision that will strongly constrain the ability of the RTP to accomplish regional goals. They voted on whether to hold previously selected projects to the same standard of regional effectiveness as new submissions. This vote on a committed projects policy told the world that MTC really doesn’t care about achieving results, and that it is only interested in the politics of transportation dollars. Every member of the Commission did the calculation: if it comes down to the regional…

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Massive Counter-Attack Ends Brief Spring at MTC

Massive Counter-Attack Ends Brief Spring at MTC 04/27/11 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning In a blow to the very heart of the region’s transportation planning process, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted today to preserve the longstanding dominance of local politics in the allocation of funds for transportation projects in the Bay Area. The shortage of funds due to the economic crisis had led MTC staff to propose a revision to the Commission’s Committed Projects Policy, so as to enable the MTC’s Regional Transportation Plan to be more effective. In the past, the policy essentially cemented in previous project selections,…

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MTC Shows its True Colors-OAC

MTC Shows its True Colors-OAC 09/08/10 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee met to once again take the heat in deciding whether to provide additional funding for the BART Oakland Airport Connector (OAC), a truly execrable project. This project, which had died after the Federal Transit Administration pulled the plug on $70 million in stimulus funding, showed itself to have many lives, and many functionaries willing to bend institutional rules to raise it from the dead. MTC violated its own rules in bypassing a required vote by its Commissioners, and was caught at it. Large…

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