After two years of careful work and extensive public input, the SANDAG Board of Directors on Friday, October 28, adopted the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy, a balanced vision for the evolution of our region’s transportation system over the next 40 years.
“This RTP takes a balanced approach,” SANDAG Board Chair and Encinitas Deputy Mayor Jerome Stocks said. “It provides more transportation choices with an integrated system, it protects our environment, and it responsibly invests taxpayer funds.”
The 2050 RTP lays out a plan for investing an estimated $214 billion in local, state, and federal transportation funds expected to come into the region over the next 40 years. The largest proportion of the funds will go toward transit, which will receive 36 percent of the funds in the first 10 years, with 34 percent going to highway improvements (largely for the addition of high occupancy vehicle lanes to existing freeway corridors), and 21 percent to local roads and streets. The percentage dedicated to transit will grow each decade, up to 44 percent from 2021 to 2030, 47 percent in the third decade, and 57 percent in the last decade of the plan.
Along with the 2050 RTP, the Board adopted the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). The SCS details how the region will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to state-mandated levels over time. The inclusion of the SCS is required by Senate Bill 375, and the San Diego region is the first in California to produce a regional transportation plan with an SCS.
The Board also adopted the Environmental Impact Report for the 2050 RTP and SCS, and adopted the final Regional Housing Needs Assessment Plan (RHNA) Plan for the fifth housing element cycle (January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2020). The RHNA allocates housing needs in four income categories (very low, low, moderate, and above moderate) for each jurisdiction that will be used in local housing elements. State law requires that housing elements in the San Diego region be completed by April 27, 2013, eighteen months after the adoption of the 2050 RTP/SCS.
The 2050 RTP calls for increasing transportation choices in the region through an integrated system, including vast improvements to transit and a transformed highway system that includes 130 miles of Express Lanes to accommodate carpooling, vanpooling, and transit. This new system also will:
· Provide 156 new miles of trolley service
· Expand and speed up COASTER service in the North Coast Corridor
· Double transit service miles and increase frequency in key corridors
· Dedicate $3.8 billion for regional and local bicycle and pedestrian projects
· Create new carpool and telework incentive programs to reduce solo driving
The plan also preserves our natural resources and promotes smart growth. It will:
· Meet state greenhouse gas reduction targets
· Preserve more than half of our land as open space, parkland and habitat
· Accommodate housing to meet projected population growth in San Diego County
And it maximizes investments to meet the funding challenges faced by the region as we work to accomplish our many goals. The plan:
· Stimulates $4.4 billion annually in projected regional economic output
· Creates 35,600 jobs per year in the San Diego region
· Calls for equitable distribution of investments throughout the region