Contact: Colin Parent
Cell: (858) 442-7374
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Circulate San Diego Publishes TransNet Today Report
SAN DIEGO (July 15, 2015) -- Today, Circulate San Diego released a groundbreaking report titled TransNet Today, which details the significant funding flexibility that SANDAG has to advance public transportation construction in the San Diego region.
TransNet Today is attached to this release and can be viewed online at http://circulatesd.nationbuilder.com/transnettoday.
Until today, SANDAG’s claim that it is prevented from accelerating transit projects by TransNet, a tax measure approved by the San Diego voters in 2004, has gone undisputed. While the TransNet Ordinance does require SANDAG to build a specific list of transit and highway projects through 2048, TransNet Today shows that the TransNet Ordinance does not specify any specific time frame for building new highways.
“SANDAG could choose to build the highways required by TransNet later in the future, freeing up matching state and federal resources to construct transit today,” said Colin Parent, co-author of TransNet Today, and Policy Counsel at Circulate San Diego.
SANDAG is currently updating its Regional Plan, a document that outlines the future of transportation construction in San Diego. By their own admission, SANDAG’s draft plan will not meet state goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (KPBS, July 13, 2015, http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/jul/13/sandags-role-cutting-greenhouse-gas-emissions-disp).
TransNet Today identifies the tools that SANDAG can use to implement the TransNet Ordinance, and leverage other state and federal funding sources to develop a regional transportation network that will help San Diego meet its long-term climate goals while improving the transit experience for more than 95 million passenger trips per year.
Along with TransNet Today, Circulate San Diego is simultaneously releasing two formal letters responding to SANDAG’s draft Regional Plan.
1. DEIR Comment Letter: Circulate San Diego’s DEIR comment letter explains why SANDAG’s environmental analysis for their Regional Plan fails to analyze feasible alternatives that are consistent with SANDAG’s flexibility to implement TransNet, as outlined in Transnet Today. http://circulatesd.nationbuilder.com/comments_sandag_2015_regional_plan_eir
2. Regional Plan Comment Letter: Circulate San Diego’s letter regarding the Regional Plan requests that SANDAG advance transit and active transportation projects, without amending TransNet, as TransNet Today explains can be done. http://circulatesd.nationbuilder.com/2015_regional_plan_comments
Circulate San Diego is a regional organization whose work focuses on creating great mobility choices, more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, and land uses that promote sustainable growth. For more information, please visit www.circulatesd.org.
Attachment – PDF copy of “TransNet Today: Keeping faith with the voters while achieving the region’s transportation goals”
Summary of Letter:
Circulate San Diego is asking the SANDAG Board to make modest, valuable, and achievable changes to the 2015 Draft Regional Plan to improve transportation and land uses in the region. Our request is organized around five main ideas.
1. Circulate San Diego cannot support a Regional Plan that would prevent the region from reaching the GHG reduction goals in Governor’s Executive Order S-3-05.
2. Circulate San Diego is not asking TransNet to be amended.
3. For San Diego to remain competitive with State and Federal funding, it must accelerate early transit and active transportation projects.
4. SANDAG has a variety of mechanisms available to pay for the advancement of transit and active transportation.
5. Circulate San Diego would support a Regional Plan that advances key projects that benefit the region.
Summary of Letter:
SANDAG has the authority to advance transit and active transportation projects on a more accelerated schedule than what is called for by the 2015 Draft Regional Plan (“the Plan”), and in a manner that is consistent with the TransNet Extension Ordinance approved by voters in 2004.
However, none of the more transit-friendly alternatives analyzed by SANDAG are financially feasible to implement.
The failure of the DEIR to consider even one financially feasible alternative does not satisfy the two core functions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to ensure informed decision making by the SANDAG Board, and to foster public participation. SANDAG’s DEIR is therefore insufficient and invalid under California law.
Click here to read the comment letter [PDF].