To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Monday, May 11, 2015

Draft transportation plan requires adjustments


Governor's executive order on greenhouse gas emissions evokes controversy

By Gary Brodeur, May 8, 2015

 PALM DESERT — A few tweaks will have to be made in a long-range plan being fashioned by regional transportation planners — and it's because of a controversial environmental order issued last week.

In draft development, Southern California Association of Governments' "2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy Scenarios and Performance Outcomes" now requires some modifications to conform to Gov. Jerry Brown's Executive Order on greenhouse gas reduction, a local official said. Issued by Brown April 29, its goal is to reach a carbon-emissions target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The executive order is touted by the governor's office as "the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce dangerous carbon emissions over the next decade and a half."

"With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it's one that must be reached — for this generation and generations to come," Brown said in issuing the order.

But those attending a panel discussion Friday on the regional draft plan at SCAG's annual conference heard builders say the governor's order is the worst thing ever to happen to the state, while environmentalists say it is the best thing, Victorville Councilman and SCAG Regional Council member Ryan McEachron said.

"There is a huge disconnect between the two sides," he said.

SCAG obviously plans to respond, McEachron said, but it will come as part of the RTP/SCS process. He said the executive order should not delay development of the draft plan.

The Southern California regional plan, last updated in 2012, includes three "promising" proposals that follow a value-pricing concept for managing regional transit. The proposals "can improve travel conditions in the region and provide associated economic and public health benefits," SCAG says on its website.

SCAG says prospective transportation elements include a network of express lanes, which connects and expands express lanes already in place or in progress and that can accommodate growing inter-county travel; cordons in areas where there is dense, mixed-use development and transit capacity, and a mileage-based motorist fee to establish a solid funding source for taking care of aging infrastructure and expanding travel options.

Another Friday morning segment of the 50th anniversary conference also included a roundtable panel presentation by the association's three permanent executive directors, present Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata and former directors Ray Remy and Mark Pisano. They retraced steps taken by SCAG in the past and looked at how the association hopes to contribute to the Southern California lifestyle in the future, McEachron said.

The conference was held at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa.

The draft 2016-40 RTP/SCS is scheduled for release in the fall; information about it can be found at www.scag.ca.gov and searching for "2016 RTP Development." A schedule of public workshops on the draft plan will be announced later.