The One Bay Area Plan, which has a nexus with the 2009 transportation planning and sustainable communities strategy bill SB375, co-authored by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, was recently approved by MTC and ABAG. Regrettably, the final plan is due for adoption in April 2013.
The plan is a 25 year blueprint for transportation, housing and land use policies with “goals for a strong economy, healthy environment and social equity.” Inspiring but unrealistic.
Both agencies are pushing for mandates to enforce “smart growth” policies e.g. high density multi purpose development adjacent to transportation centers in order to discourage auto use and promote public transit. All of which are incorrectly touted as solutions to urban sprawl and highway congestion. (MTC was recently criticized for improperly using toll monies to purchase a building in San Francisco and ABAG for spending $150,000 for an event featuring Bill Clinton.)
Although cities and counties are not obligated to adopt the plan, they won’t get funds for transportation improvements if they don’t, which sounds like extortion to me.
~ Barbara Zivica is a columnist for the Antioch Press.