This category contains 17 posts

SB 375 and fair share

Before Senate Bill 375, the basic premise of California’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) was that each city in a region would be expected to absorb its “fair share” of the region’s projected housing need at all income levels.  Each city would theoretically undertake a planning process to ensure that it could accommodate its assigned … Continue reading

A missed opportunity, and the shortcomings of regional planning

Gearing up to prepare the next update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has been evaluating a new policy framework to determine when a transportation project is considered to be a regional commitment.  Projects that are committed will be included in the next RTP.  Projects that are not committed could … Continue reading

Could parking policy benefit from more regional oversight?

This week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officially launches SFpark, a program that implements the type of demand-based pricing scheme advocated by Donald Shoup.  Through SFpark, both on-street and off-street supply in designated pilot areas, which include many of San Francisco’s busiest neighborhoods, will be priced dynamically to match demand.  SFpark’s pricing strategies are designed … Continue reading

When commitment isn’t a virtue

Throughout the controversy over the Oakland Airport Connector that unfolded in 2009-2010, transit advocates opposing the project faced at least one disadvantage: The perception of nearly all local leaders with some measure of approval authority over the project — and in particular, commissioners on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approving the flow of funds — … Continue reading

Laying the groundwork for a Sustainable Communities Strategy

Last month the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and regional partners released the Initial Vision Scenario, a document that lays the groundwork for the Bay Area’s Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS).  MTC and ABAG will develop an SCS with the goal of reducing regional per capita vehicle emissions 7 percent by 2020 and 15 percent by 2035, in … Continue reading

Air Resources Board adopts final targets for SB 375

At its meeting yesterday, the State Air Resources Board (ARB) had a full agenda.  For one, it approved an important regulation requiring that one-third of electricity sold by utilities in California be derived from renewable sources by the year 2020.  But for the purpose of this blog, we will only discuss the Board’s other major … Continue reading

Regional HOT lane network going back to the drawing board

When last updating the Bay Area’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) in Spring 2009, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission reserved a distinguished place in the RTP for its planned regional network of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes.  The plan envisions freeway motorists paying tolls via FasTrak to beat the traffic jams, by entering specific lanes otherwise designated for … Continue reading

ARB releases draft greenhouse gas targets for SB 375

The State Air Resources Board (ARB) is required to set emissions reduction targets this year for the initial planning cycle set in motion by Senate Bill 375.  These targets reflect regional goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles and light duty trucks.  The bill requires that ARB release draft targets by June 30 … Continue reading

Initial estimates for an ambitious Bay Area GHG target

The “Big Four” among California’s metropolitan planning organizations — SCAG (Los Angeles/Southern California), MTC/ABAG (San Francisco Bay Area), SANDAG (San Diego), and SACOG (Sacramento) — govern regions that feature urban population densities and relatively mature transit networks.  Abundant opportunities exist in the urban cores of all four regions to ratchet up the intensity of land … Continue reading

Is the Oakland Airport Connector Dead?

Last week brought the great news that FTA refused to disburse $70 million of ARRA federal stimulus dollars to the BART Oakland Airport Connector.  The natural follow-up question is one I have now been asked numerous times by friends and blog readers: is the Connector dead?  Have we at last melted the Wicked Witch of the West?  … Continue reading


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