Update on the campaign to fix the Compass Card

mts.pngToday, KPBS reported that MTS plans to roll out stored value for the Compass Card by November 1, 2016.

This is a major victory for transit riders in San Diego. With stored value, riders will be able to store virtual cash on their Compass Card, and draw down those funds whenever they need to pay for a single ride on public transportation. This is an expansion for convenience and access to the region’s transit systems, and riders will still be able to use their Compass Card to carry monthly or day-passes.

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Letter: Status Update on the Transit and Active Transportation Components to SANDAG’s Proposed 2016 Ballot Measure

Circulate San Diego staff prepared this memorandum for our board to discuss the status of SANDAG's proposed 2016 ballot measure, as it relates to transit and active transportation.

The short summary is that the measure has substantial new money for transit and active transportation, and the commitments to advance transit are meaningful, though possibly not sufficient. Read the entire memorandum here. [PDF]

Letter: Support AB 2763

Circulate San Diego joined with a number of organizations and companies from around California to support AB 2763 which clarifies that drivers can use leased or rented vehicles while driving with a Transportation Network Company (TNC). 

To read the entire letter, click here: [PDF]

Letter: Support for Governor Brown’s Housing Legislation in the 2016-17 May Revision

Circulate San Diego strongly supports the housing legislation proposed and supported in Governor Brown’s 2016-17 May Revision.

In addition to the Governor’s proposed trailer bill, we also support SB 1069, AB 2299, and AB 2501.

We recommend, however, that the trailer bill be amended to ensure that it more clearly helps implement State Density Bonus Law.  Details are in our letter, available here [PDF].

Circulator- May 20th

Shifting Gears in Transportation - San Diego's Conversation on SB 743 Continues


Last week Circulate San Diego co-hosted a workshop on the implementation of SB 743 with Caltrans, the City of San Diego, and local chapters of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, American Planning Association, Women in Transportation, and the Association of Environmental Professionals.

Traffic engineers, planners, CEQA professionals, and complete streets advocates came together last week to usher in a new era for transportation in the San Diego region. Under the rubric of Senate Bill 743, the conversation focused on upcoming changes to transportation analyses, planning and implementation imposed by the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage smart growth development.

Learn more about the workshop by reading the entire blog post here.


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A Cheaper, More User Friendly Process Would Encourage More Parklets in San Diego

Voice of San Diego recently reported a shortfall of parklets constructed in San Diego, only two in the last three years. They compared San Diego to San Francisco, where parklets originated, and where 60 parklets have been constructed.

The difference is all in the approach.

At Circulate we have been studying creative placemaking in cities across the U.S. and have found that a user friendly process is key to success. San Francisco for example, created a Parklet Manual to outline the permit process and encourage more applications, especially from neighborhood folks who have not typically gone through a permit process before. Cities like Los Angeles and Seattle have followed the example.capture_parklet_manual_san_fran.jpg

San Francisco’s Parklet Manual is 76 pages long. The first page outlines program goals:

- Re-imagine the potential of city streets
- Encourage non-motorized transportation
- Encourage pedestrian safety and activity
- Foster neighborhood interaction
- Support local businesses

Next, a diagram (see below) illustrates the step by step process including the city’s responsibilities, expectations of the applicant, and a general time frame that can be expected. This step by step process is then further explained and illustrated through diagrams in the next 60+ pages. The guide is filled with colorful, demonstrative photos.


In comparison, San Diego’s Pedestrian Plaza Information Bulletin is four pages long with one diagram on the last page. It does outline the types of permits needed to build a parklet, but for individuals not familiar with the City’s permitting process, it can be quite intimidating. And, it is not quite a one-stop-shop. At least two types of permits are required for a parklet, and there are other differences, too. We dug a little to compare the two cities’ processes for getting a parklet permit.

San Diego:
• Managing Department: Development Services Department
• Permit Type: Neighborhood Development Permit or Site Development Permit + Public Right of Way Permit + Maintenance Agreement
• Permit Cost: Minimum $2,000.00 
• Public Hearing Requirement: Required with permit
• Insurance Requirement: $1,000,000 general liability coverage minimum

San Francisco
• Managing Department: Partnership among Planning Department, Municipal Transportation Agency, and Public Works Department
• Permit Type: Specialized Parklet Permit
• Permit Cost: Minimum $258.00
• Public Hearing Requirement: Required only if an objection is filed during public notification period
• Insurance Requirement: $1,000,000 general liability coverage minimum

All this being said, the City of San Diego can actively reexamine its parklet policy. As other cities have advanced and improved the process, San Diego can look to evolve and learn from these other examples.

If San Diego wants to see more parklets or “Pedestrian Plazas”, it can follow the lead of San Francisco by lowering the initial permit cost, creating a user-friendly guide meant for applicants new to Development Services, and creating a one-stop shop for this type of creative placemaking. This means taking a detour from the types of dry informational bulletins historically produced by the City and creating an application process with community members (non-developers) in mind.

Communities across San Diego want more of these creative placemaking projects – things like park benches, intersection murals, neighborhood game areas, and gathering spaces. We have been talking to organizations involved in these in recent months and will soon release case studies on the challenges and opportunities involved with permitting for these projects. Stay tuned. 

Shifting Gears in Transportation - San Diego's Conversation on SB 743 Continues

Traffic engineers, planners, CEQA professionals, and complete streets advocates came together last week to usher in a new era for transportation in the San Diego region. Under the rubric of Senate Bill 743, the conversation focused on upcoming changes to transportation analyses, planning and implementation imposed by the state to reduce green house gas emissions and encourage smart growth development. Capture_Chris_Ganson_presentation.JPG

SB 743 was adopted in 2013 and, as Circulate SD wrote in a report released earlier this year, holds the promise to rethink how transportation and communities are shaped. Specifically, the legislation requires transportation analysis to shift from vehicular Level of Service which measures vehicle delay, to a more comprehensive approach that reduces vehicle miles traveled and considers the creation of multi-modal transportation networks, e.g. safer places for people to walk and bicycle. 

The crowd of 200+ professionals clearly indicated interest in this subject, and the two guest speakers representing the state's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and SANDAG. 

Circulate SD and its partners welcome the opportunity to discuss these changes. We believe replacing LOS with VMT, while challenging initially, will promote better planning, incentivize more investment in the safety of bicycling and walking, and give local governments more freedom to implement their jurisdiction’s vision for their transportation networks.SB743_workshop_2016_KF_presenting.JPG

Thank you to our co-hosts of the event, San Diego chapters of professional organizations Institute of Transportation Engineers, American Planning Association, Women in Transportation, Association of Environmental Professionals, Caltrans, and the City of San Diego.

**Download the presentation by Chris Ganson, OPR, here, and the presentation by Andrew Martin, SANDAG, here.

White Paper: Anatomy of Ballot Measure – Analysis of the Transit Elements in SANDAG’s Proposed 2016 Ballot Measure Expenditure Plans

Cover_Page.pngToday, Circulate San Diego is releasing a white paper analyzing the evolution of the transit and active transportation components of SANDAG's potential 2016 ballot measure.

This analysis was generated initially for internal purposes by Circulate San Diego staff and volunteers. The purpose of this memorandum is not for Circulate San Diego to speak in favor or against any ballot funding scenario. Instead, by publishing this information, it is our hope this analysis will help inform decisionmakers, advocates, the public, and the press. We aim to help develop a more broad understanding of SANDAG’s processes, priorities, and constraints.

Released with this document is an electronic appendix, which compares each of the various ballot expenditure plans side by side. Circulate San Diego also calculated the expected service dates for the various transit projects in each expenditure plan, based on the data SANDAG released.

Read the entire white paper here.

Access the electronic appendix here.

Letter: Recommendations for Vision Zero Strategic Plan

Circulate San Diego, in collaboration with a number of organizations and companies, sent a letter to the City of San Diego pertaining to the Vision Zero One Year Strategic Plan. 

In the letter, Circulate stresses the significant progress the City has made towards the Vision Zero initiative, yet also highlights significant shortcomings.  For example, there are no specific infrastructure projects listed for implementation in FY 2017, even though the Mayor's proposed FY 2017 budget includes valuable projects relevant to Vision Zero.  Further, Circulate specifies nine recommended actions the City could take to enhance the progress already underway. 

For a list of the nine recommended actions and more information, Download the full letter here.

Circulator- May 6th

Circulate Releases New Report on Parking


Circulate San Diego has just released our new report on Parking in San Diego. Read the entire report here

Circulate San Diego recently launched our #PlanDiego initiative, dedicated to research and advocacy for sustainable land use policy in the region. In the coming months, we will release a series of short reports identifying major barriers to transit oriented development in the City of San Diego. These reports will be followed by a more comprehensive document identifying specific solutions we are encouraging the City to adopt to make transit oriented development more economical, affordable, and environmentally sustainable.

This report begins our exploration of barriers to transit-oriented development by examining San Diego’s current parking regulations.

Download here [PDF]


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