San Diego Can’t Hit State Climate Goals Without Major Transportation Changes

The Voice of San Diego reported on a refreshing statement of the obvious as to the level of changes needed in the county’s transportation planning to meet State climate goals: The region simply can’t meet state requirements for thwarting climate change the way things are and the way they’re headed, Hasan Ikrhata, director of the San Diego Association of Governments, said at a Friday board meeting. Even if the region built the trolley lines and bus services leaders have been discussing, it would not change enough. Either state law would have to change, or regional leaders need to reimagine plans…

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Plan Bay Area Analyzed In Depth

Plan Bay Area Analyzed In Depth 06/01/17 Filed in: Transportation Planning TRANSDEF submitted extensive comments today on Plan Bay Area, the regional transportation plan for the Bay Area. A condensed version for policymakers was submitted earlier. Here’s a summary of the top points about what’s wrong with the Draft EIR: Improper assessment of GHG impacts o SB 375 calls for reducing regional emissions from cars and light trucks. Without State emission reduction measures, regional emissions increase 10%. o RTP will impede the state’s achievement of GHG emissions reductions targets set by SB 32. o Climate Initiatives from the 2013 RTP have not been funded. Why…

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CA is not Serious about VMT Reduction

CA is not Serious about VMT Reduction 02/05/17 Filed in: Climate Change | Transportation Planning 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. TRANSDEF suspects that high-level officials in state government are unwilling to take…

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TRANSDEF Seeks RTP Alternatives

TRANSDEF Seeks RTP Alternatives 06/15/16 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change 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. The alternative proposes a test of the long-running MTC assertion that “transportation investments don’t move the needle” by which they mean that the investments don’t make a difference with GHG emissions or Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). TRANSDEF has always agreed that MTC’s…

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Marin Clings to Status Quo

Marin Clings to Status Quo 10/12/15 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change 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. Tags: RTP, Marin, Congestion

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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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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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