Final comments from Circulate San Diego on SANDAG's Draft TOD Strategy.
Circulate San Diego wrote earlier to express our concern that the initial draft of SANDAG’s TOD Strategy presented by SANDAG staff. In response, SANDAG staff prepared an updated document which included “Key Early Actions,”to be completed this year or in upcoming years.
Overall, the Key Early Actions represent an improvement to the original draft strategy. Circulate San Diego is committed to working with SANDAG and other agencies in the San Diego region to help implement these early actions.
San Diego (October 7, 2015) – Elected leaders in the cities of San Diego and National City will gather Thursday to urge SANDAG to accelerate transit improvements for the region’s trolley lines.
WHEN: Thursday, October 8, 12:00 noon
WHERE: 12th and Imperial Transit Center, at the clock tower, 12th Street and Imperial Avenue, San Diego
WHAT: San Diego and National City leaders to urge SANDAG to accelerate transit improvements as part of Regional Plan
San Diego Councilman, David Alvarez
National City Councilwoman, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis
Circulate San Diego Policy Counsel, Colin Parent
Climate Action Campaign, Executive Director, Nicole Capretz
WHY: SANDAG will consider adoption of its Regional Plan this Friday investing $204 Billion in transportation projects over the next 35 years. Leaders in San Diego and National City are asking SANDAG to accelerate funding for the Blue Line Trolley project improvements and to fund the Blue Line Express.
SANDAG leaders have promoted elements of the draft Regional Plan in recent weeks arguing that the Plan balances funding for transportation modes such as freeways, transit, and bicycling. SANDAG’s own evaluation of the Plan shows that over the next 35 years, transit ridership in the region will increase a meager four percent, and transit travel times will still be double those of driving trips.
Many transit projects are not funded until 2035. Leaders in San Diego and National City are joining with Circulate San Diego, a regional non-profit that advocates for excellent mobility choices, to urge SANDAG to accelerate funding for the Blue Line Trolley projects from 2035 to an earlier time frame and to include funding for the Blue Line Express as part of the adopted plan. Proposed improvements such as increasing the frequency of trolley operations and undergrounding the tracks to separate movement from downtown traffic are tangible upgrades that can substantially increase ridership and reduce congestion on our region’s roads.
Says Councilman David Alvarez, “I continue to be in strong support of essential transportation projects that assist transit passengers, such as the Blue Trolley Line. Investment in transit benefits our region.”
Unfortunately, we must recommend that SANDAG Board members vote against adoption of the 2015 Draft Regional Plan in its current form because it does not adequately advance transit and active transportation projects.
Despite these differences, Circulate San Diego believes that the SANDAG Board can and should move forward with a region-wide Quality of Life revenue measure in 2016 that includes provisions and funding to advance transit and active transportation projects. [PDF]