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SANDAG Shares Vision for the Future of Transportation in the San Diego Region

August 14, 2020--Local Leaders Receive Milestone Update on Development of the 2021 Regional Plan

On Friday morning, Mayors, City Councilmembers, Supervisors, and agency leaders from around San Diego County, who make up the SANDAG Board of Directors (Board), gathered virtually as SANDAG staff presented the vision for the 2021 Regional Plan.

“This is the most important work SANDAG does as the region’s planning agency. It is core to who we are and how we provide for the region,” said Board Chair and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus in his opening remarks. “I am hopeful that the work they have done will lead to a better transportation network in the coming years.”

The estimated $177 billion SANDAG vision addresses transportation challenges such as traffic congestion, social equity, and state and federal mandates.

“This vision for the San Diego region is a direct result of robust data analysis and public input,” said SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata. “Our SANDAG planners have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into a truly comprehensive vision for a transportation system of the future. This vision considers evolving technology to create a safe, adaptable, and equitable transportation network with fast, fair, and clean choices to give every San Diegan and future generations the option to move around the region as they choose.”

After the vision presentation at Friday’s meeting, Board members participated in a thoughtful discussion and exchanged ideas about what our region’s transportation system should look like in the future.

“I’m excited to see an evolution of where we can go,” commented San Diego Council President Georgette Gómez. “It’s an exciting moment for our region, and I know it’s challenging right now and has a large price tag, but it’s something worth committing to. It’s good for the environment and is the right approach.”

State and federal laws require SANDAG to update the Regional Plan every four years. The previous regional plan, adopted in 2015, met state requirements for greenhouse gas emissions reductions at the time; however, the state established increased climate mandates for regional planning organizations across California in 2018.

In response to the new state mandate, in February 2019, the Board approved a two-year extension to develop the 2021 Regional Plan. This extension provided SANDAG time to develop a plan that meets this mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks by 19% per capita by 2035, primarily through strategies that reduce the total miles driven in the region.

In October 2019, the Board of Directors adopted the 2019 Federal Regional Transportation Plan (2019 Federal RTP) to maintain federal compliance during the extension.

As development of the 2021 Regional Plan continues, SANDAG makes progress on implementing near-term actions included in the 2019 Federal RTP.

Staff developed the cost estimates in concert with national experts and in coordination with the California Department of Transportation District 11, Metropolitan Transit System, North County Transit District, local jurisdictions, and the County of San Diego.

The overall investment of the vision for the 2021 Regional Plan is about $177 billion over a 30-year period. A package of innovative policies, programs, and technologies will be a necessary component of the developing the long-range plan.

SANDAG staff will prepare more detailed documentation on the approach to developing the cost estimates that will be shared with the SANDAG Working Groups, Policy Advisory Committees, and Board of Directors in late 2020.

A draft 2021 Regional Plan will be available for public review and comment in spring 2021 and the Board will be asked to adopt a plan in late 2021.
Friday’s Board meeting was conducted virtually in accordance with Governor Newsom’s State of Emergency declaration regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, Executive Order N-29-20, and the Guidance for Gatherings issued by the California Department of Public Health. Committee members participated virtually, while practicing social distancing, from individual remote locations.

To view the recording of the Friday, August 14, SANDAG Board of Directors meeting, visit



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