The Southern California Association of Governments Thursday released its draft of a 25-year strategy to improve regional public transportation and sustainable land use.
The Connect SoCal draft plan was called a “significant milestone” by SCAG officials in its effort to meet mobility and quality-of-life needs of the Southland.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for our regional transportation challenges,” SCAG president Bill Jahn said. “We have to explore an integrated web of creative strategies, which is what Connect SoCal sets out to do.”
The regional government agency said in its the six-county region, the population is estimated to increase by 3.7 million people in the next quarter century. The draft plan analyzes about $638 billion for improvements to the region’s land use and air quality.
The Connect SoCal draft is now available for public review and input, which ends 5 p.m. Jan. 24. A final version of the plan is expected to be presented to SCAG’s Regional Council for approval in early 2020.
The plan emphasizes cities’ need to adopt land-use policies that facilitate multiple transportation options to access jobs, schools and other destinations.
Areas with high job growth potential within one-half mile of an existing or planned public transit stop represent less than 3% of the region’s acreage, but those areas are projected to see nearly 55% of new households constructed between 2016 and 2045, according to SCAG.
The report also prioritizes expanding new technology and greener infrastructure, and to cut barriers to housing developments near job centers. It maps out policies to support renewable energy production and reduction of urban carbon emissions.
The plan includes $68 billion is needed for the region’s preservation of the state highway system and $20.88 billion for local roads.
The draft plan’s cover letter stated that despite the region’s progress, it may fall short of reaching its 2020 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
The report stated that regional public transit ridership is falling despite billions of dollars in investment and increased development in station areas.
“Deaths from traffic collisions are rising. Housing costs are increasing, along with homelessness. We must do better,” the report stated.
If the policies are adopted, SCAG estimates the region could benefit from:
–A 4% reduction in overall vehicle miles traveled and a 22.8% reduction in daily miles driven per capita,
–A 7% increase in overall walking and bicycling trips and a 40% increase in daily public transit boardings,
— And the region will achieve its targets for reducing greenhouses gases from vehicles and light-duty trucks by 19% per capita by 2035.
For more on Connect SoCal, visit www.connectsocal.org.
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