Issue 4: May 2012
With just under a year left to go in the development of Plan Bay Area, May brings a key milestone: adoption of a Preferred Scenario for land use and transportation. Agency staff are refining the plan using the most recent data, comments and feedback from this year's public outreach efforts. In this issue, we'll tell you about our new draft preferred scenario along with a new transportation investment strategy, inform you about the consultation we've been doing with Bay Area Native American Tribes, and update you on the results of this winter's public outreach.
Plan Bay Area Hits Major Milestone with Release of Draft Jobs-Housing Connection Scenario and Draft Transportation Investment Strategy
Plan Bay Area is coming into clearer focus with the release of two new documents, which, taken together, represent a major milestone in developing a 25-year guide to jobs, population and housing distribution as well as transportation investments. On March 9, the Association of Bay Area Governments' (ABAG) staff released the Draft Jobs-Housing Connection Scenario (PDF), and on April 6, MTC staff released the Draft Plan Bay Area Transportation Investment Strategy (PDF). These documents address both sides of the sustainable communities equation: 1) Housing & Land Use, and 2) Transportation. Both are needed to meet the Plan Bay Area performance targets against which the plan's success will be measured.
The "Draft Jobs-Housing Connection Scenario" projects that about 1.1 million new jobs will be created in the Bay Area by 2040. The draft scenario links local aspirations for community development with regional objectives, particularly a strong regional economy. It identifies places to accommodate new population and job growth in a way that maximizes the use of existing infrastructure and transit, improves access to services and amenities, and reduces the cost and time of work-related commutes and other day-to-day trip needs. Local aspirations are especially important because one of the primary goals of Plan Bay Area is to strengthen the character of places.
"We don't want every community to look the same," says Julie Pierce, ABAG vice president and City of Clayton councilmember. "We want to have those unique communities where people can have a choice of how they live, what kind of housing they want to live in, how they want to commute. At different stages of their life they are going to want different choices. This is all about choices to serve the community - all ages, all lifestyles."
The "Draft Plan Bay Area Transportation Investment Strategy" identifies six investment strategies for meeting the plan's underlying framework of the "Three Es of Sustainability" - economy, environment & equity. The investment strategies are designed to:
- Close the remaining gap in the plan's projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions to meet the target of 7 percent by 2020 and by 15 percent by 2035;
- Continue MTC's longstanding "Fix it First" policy of prioritizing transportation infrastructure maintenance over expansion;
- Apply the One Bay Area Grant Framework as a policy lever to produce housing near transit and create healthy communities;
- Develop a regional funding strategy to implement high-performing projects (as measured by the projects' cost-benefit analyses and contributions toward achieving the Plan Bay Area performance standards);
- Squeeze more efficiency out of the existing system - improving reliability and reducing delay in congested corridors - by completing the Regional Express Lanes Network and implementing other congestion relief programs, such as the Freeway Performance Initiative; and
- Make the transit system sustainable through measures such as improving transit operators' financial positions, improving customer service and attracting new riders to the system.
- May 11, 2012 - Joint ABAG Administrative Committee and MTC Planning Committee will refer approval of the combined preferred land use scenario and transportation investment strategy for Plan Bay Area to the full MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board. This preferred scenario will comprise the Project alternative to be evaluated as part of the CEQA-required Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Friday, May 11, 2012, 9:30 a.m.
Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter
Lawrence D. Dahms Auditorium
101 8th Street, Oakland, CA
- May 17, 2012 - Joint ABAG/MTC board meeting will be held on the evening of May 17, 2012 to approve the preferred scenario.
Thursday, May 17, 2012, 7 p.m.
Oakland Marriott City Center
Meeting Room: Junior Ball Room
1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA
- June 2012 - Select alternatives to the preferred scenario to be evaluated in Plan Bay Area EIR
- December 2012 - Release Draft Plan Bay Area and EIR.
- January through March 2013 - Public hearings/workshops will be held throughout the region, along with online comment opportunities.
- April 2013 - MTC and ABAG will adopt the final Plan Bay Area and certify the final EIR.
Communities in Perspective: Native American Tribes
Regional agency staff and officials recently sought input on Plan Bay Area from a different kind of stakeholder group - sovereign nations, Bay Area Native American tribes.
The National Indian Justice Center (NIJC) facilitated the meeting in late March at NJIC's headquarters in Santa Rosa. Top agency officials traveled for the half-day meeting with representatives of the Cloverdale Rancheria, Kashia Band of Pomo, Scotts Valley Band of Pomo and Redwood Valley Rancheria.
Officials from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA), and Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) heard the Tribes discuss topics such as road maintenance and the status of various projects.
"I think it was very successful," says Raquelle Myers, NIJC staff attorney. "There was more open discussion. I think the Tribal people were trusting of the fact that the summit was taking place and that they were being heard, so they were candid about their concerns. It's a very strong indicator for future discussions."
A key topic area was Plan Bay Area's goal of helping create complete communities where transit, jobs, schools, recreation and stores are located nearby and help bring the community together. This subject is particularly challenging because many Tribal lands are located in remote rural areas, and there isn't enough land for all Tribal members to live on it.
The lack of housing and distance from job centers means that many members end up living far away from Tribal land. Those who live on site often face a lack of local amenities like nearby stores, schools and health care facilities. The long distances and limited transportation choices make for difficult travel in both directions.
Another topic discussed of utmost importance to the Tribes was preserving and protecting their traditional homelands and sacred sites. Some sacred sites are at risk from sea level-rise caused by climate change. Others may be close to major road projects, requiring careful cooperation between Caltrans and the Tribes to avoid disturbing them.
Myers says hosting the meetings fits perfectly with NIJC's mission. "We're dedicated to dealing with any sort of issues that affect tribal communities, particularly health and welfare. Transportation is really key to making that happen. It's essential to access health care facilities, education, basic necessities, food and clothing. Transportation and access to transit can really change all that."
Myers continues, "The Tribes made clear that they are looking for partnerships, especially when it comes to funding and learning about resources that may be available to their communities. In order for it to be meaningful there really has to be an investment of time and trust. And now that's really starting to manifest."
Residents Weigh In on Plan Bay Area
January 2012 was a busy time for ABAG and MTC. We solicited input on various land use and transportation investment strategies that will inform how we develop Plan Bay Area over the next few months. In all, we conducted: public workshops in all nine Bay Area counties, an online "virtual workshop," 10 focus groups conducted with community-based organizations, a statistically representative telephone survey, and a companion set of four focus groups made up of participants recruited from the poll. The results have been analyzed and are being used to inform development of the plan. Results from the public outreach are posted on the OneBayArea website.
Plan Bay Area is a joint effort led by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in partnership with the Bay Area's other two regional government agencies, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). For more information visit our website.
Return to Top