Help Pass SCAG Motion with Active Transportation Policies!

We need your help! Advocates and community members: Your participation will help ensure an important motion (read here) supporting active transportation policies is passed. If you can, plan to provide public comments at the SCAG Regional Council Meeting (agenda) on Wednesday, April 4th at 1:00pm @ Westin Bonaventure Hotel.  If you cannot attend the meeting, please sign on to our letter to support the motion.

SCAG Recommends Active Transportation Policies but No Funding Changes

At the March 21st Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG’s) Joint  Policy Committees’ meeting, committee members recommend that the Final Draft of the Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategies (RTP/SCS) be adopted at the upcoming April 5th General Assembly.  Active transportation and public health advocates once again made up the overwhelimng majority of speakers during the public comment period demanding additional funding and planning for active transportation.

Unfortunately, despite the repeated input from the public, the proposed final version of the RTP/SCS allocates a mere $6.7 billion dollars for active transportation over the next 25 years.  This amounts to a mere 1.3% of the total RTP/SCS budget despite the fact that active transportation accounts for 21% of all trips in the SCAG region and that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health estimates that the true need is in the range of $40 billion. Read more of this post

Virtual Workshop to Plan for a Healthy Bay Area

Photo Credit: sarahdav on flickr

If you weren’t able to attend one of the Metropolitan Planning Commission’s “Plan Bay Area” public workshops, you can still attend virtually and weigh in on future transportation and land use development. Go here to participate in the virtual workshop.

You have the opportunity to watch video presentations that will help you learn about the planning process, and take surveys that enable you to vote on key priorities related to active transportation. Pay close attention to “step 4″ survey questions 1 & 2, as well as “step 6″ question 1, and make sure you vote to support Safe Routes to School,  and bicycle/pedestrian access!

The virtual workshop will be available until February 15.

Keep up the drumbeat for MTC Commissioners to support Safe Routes to School and bicycle/pedestrian funding by sending them a letter and attending key upcoming hearings. More information and sample letter here.

SANDAG – first California Region to produce plan under SB 375

Comments on the RTP to further the San Diego dialogue on Transit Planning

photo credit: TransformCA on flickr

Stuart Cohen,
Executive Director, TransForm
Member, SB 375 Regional Targets Advisory Committee
May 23, 2011

As SANDAG nears the end of their comment period on California’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy under SB 375, which is part of the SANDAG’s 2050 RTP, there is a strong feeling that more must be done to improve it. This analysis briefly outlines what many see as the most fundamental problem, the continued focus on freeway and arterial expansions in the RTP, and what ideally would take place instead of those expansions.

It then discusses practical constraints and considerations for changing the RTP, especially given the time frame. It concludes with nine recommendations that are divided into three sections:
I. Recommendations for improving SANDAG’s 2050 RTP
II. Commitments to develop new policies once the RTP is adopted
III. Commitments for additional analyses once the RTP is adopted

There are two primary causes of concern that are worth noting from the outset. First, the SCS barely reduces VMT per capita by 2050 compared with 2008 levels (25.66 vs. 25.34), just over a one percent reduction, yet the plan claims to reduce GHG per capita 9 % in this time frame. This plan needs to be carefully examined to determine where the reductions in GHG per capita are coming from, if not reductions in VMT, and whether these are lasting changes. Read more of this post

Positive Changes at the Neighborhood Level

“The Resident Leadership Academy is a true investment in human capital within commonly overlooked neighborhoods”

photo credit: heac on flickr

The Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) is a collaboration of health related organizations and agencies working in San Diego County.  In a project funded by Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) dollars, CHIP is developing a Resident Leadership Academy (RLA), which aims to foster and support leadership at the neighborhood level and provide community members the needed skills to weigh in on local planning processes.  The Resident Leadership Academy is working to not only inspire locally driven change, but give community members the tools to do that effectively and with confidence.

The Residential Leadership Academy includes 10 leadership and educational development sessions in these initial pilot communities: Oceanside, National City, Lemon Grove and Southeast San Diego. Read more of this post

Safety, Equity, Public Health and Meaningful Public Engagement

Regional Transportation Plan: A call for safer streets for everyone, and for interested stakeholders to weigh in

This afternoon, on behalf of over 100 organizations and individuals we formally submitted our Southern California Safe Routes to School 2012 RTP Platform to SCAG leadership and the Technical Adivsory Committee overseeing the RTP.  See our formal comment letter and all growing list of organizations and individuals who support increase planning and investments for active transportation.  We are still seeking endorsements – please consider endorsing the platform today.
Read more of this post

Platform Announcement

Will your organization help us reach our new endorsement goal of 20+ by Friday?

Safe Routes to School California would like to extend a gracious thank you to all of those who have signed on the the 2012 Southern California Regional Platform thus far. With your help, we were able to reach our goal of 75 Platform endorsements by May 15th — about three weeks early!

And to show you we’re still up for a challenge (we know you are too!) we’re updating our goal: 20 new organization Platform endorsements by Friday, May 5th. Four per day — that’s not so bad, right? This is an important deadline for Safe Routes to School California, as we will be submitting a letter to SCAG next Monday urging the Metropolitan Planning Organization to analyze public health and safety in next year’s Regional Transportation Plan. Read more of this post

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