In The News: "TransNet Today" mentioned by CityBeat San Diego

In an article by Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego CityBeat discussed Circulate San Diego's report TransNet Today:

“SANDAG has broad flexibility to implement Transnet in a way that is more friendly to transit then they have been willing to admit,” said Colin Parent, policy counsel for the transportation think tank Circulate San Diego, which released a study on the issue last week called Transnet Today.

With new emerging funding sources, the study argues, the sales tax can be modified by a two-thirds vote of the SANDAG board to adequately meet the region’s transit needs. A review of the ordinance is mandated every 10 years, with the next review scheduled for 2019.

 


Policy Letter: Concern over SANDAG's Draft TOD Strategy

Letter expressing Circulate San Diego's concern with SANDAG’s Draft Transit Oriented Development strategy. [PDF]


Twelve Too Many: The Toll of Unsafe Streets in San Diego, 2015

On Wednesday, San Diego's 12th pedestrian was killed in 2015, the 2nd in four days. We know very little about this most recent victim, a woman who died after a Nissan Altima collided with her at an intersection on Ingraham Street around 9:30pm in Mission Bay Park. Two days earlier, San Diego's 11th pedestrian fatality occurred in front of the Convention Center downtown, this time a woman between 40 and 50 years old. The driver of a small silver Ford traveling westbound on Harbor Drive hit her and fled the scene; the suspect is still on the loose.

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Collisions Involving Bicyclists and Pedestrians Resulting in an Injury (San Diego Police Department, June 2015)

Injuries on the Rise
Recent data from the Police Department shows that collisions for people walking and biking in the City have increased almost 30%. Collisions resulting in injury have increase 32%.

These deaths and injuries are preventable. In June, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Mayor Pro Tem Marti Emerald, Councilmember Mark Kersey, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, and others announced their support for Vision Zero. At the heart of Vision Zero is the belief that death and injury on city streets is unacceptable, and more importantly, is preventable.

The support of San Diego's civic leaders is an important first step: this work could not be done without the leadership and support that Mayor Faulconer and Councilmembers Emerald, Kersey, and others have shown. However, without action their support will not stop the daily carnage on our streets.

As detailed in our Vision Zero white paper, one person is seriously injured or killed while walking, biking, or driving in the City of San Diego. That means on average, 25 people have died or been seriously injured getting from point A to B in San Diego since our leadership voiced their support for ending all traffic deaths.

Next Steps
After an August recess, the City's Infrastructure Committee will review a Vision Zero resolution in their September meeting. The resolution will recognize the problem of traffic deaths and form an advisory committee to create a strategy to eliminate traffic deaths in 10 years. Getting the resolution passed from the Infrastructure Committee to the City Council is the crucial next step to make Vision Zero a reality.


Circulator: New Report on TransNet, The Toll of Unsafe Streets, #VisionZero Bike Ride

Circulate Releases TransNet Today:

Report on SANDAG's Flexibility to Advance Transit

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On Wednesday, 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. The report is available on our mobile-friendly website or as a pdf.

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 simultaneously released two formal letters responding to SANDAG’s draft Regional Plan:

  • Environmental Analysis Comment Letter: Circulate San Diego’s comment letter explains why SANDAG’s draft 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. 
  • 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.
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Policy Letter: Comments on SANDAG's 2015 Draft Regional Plan

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.

Read the comment letter here [PDF].


Press Release: Circulate San Diego Publishes TransNet Today Report

Contact: Colin Parent
Cell: (858) 442-7374
cparent@circulatesd.org

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

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Report: TransNet Today

Report_Cover_Image.jpgOn July 15, 2015, Circulate San Diego published "TransNet Today: Keeping faith with the voters while achieving the region's transportation goals."

This report makes the following findings:

(1)    SANDAG’s Draft 2015 Regional Plan is inadequately designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote health, equity, and economic development.

(2)    SANDAG must shift priorities toward transit and active transportation to maintain the region’s ability to compete for federal and state transportation funds.

(3)    SANDAG has the flexibility to advance a number of transit and active transportation projects in the Regional Plan without needing to amend TransNet.

As SANDAG makes its plans to invest in the future of San Diego’s transportation system, it faces the same challenges that other regions throughout the state and the country are grappling with including maintaining rapidly aging infrastructure, serving the changing needs and preferences of residents, and addressing sustainability, health, the economy, and equity.

Read the report here.

 


Policy Letter: Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Report for SANDAG's 2015 Draft Regional Plan

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].


The Inner Circle: Maya Rosas, Policy Assistant

The Inner Circle is a series of profiles of the Circulate San Diego staff where you will get to know the creative, interesting, and talented people who make the wheels turn at Circulate. 

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Circulate in the News: San Diego Launches Vision Zero

On Monday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined Mayor Pro Tem Marti Emerald, Council Member Mark Kersey, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, and Circulate San Diego to announce their support of developing a strategy in the City of San Diego to reach zero traffic deaths, Vision Zero. The announcement was made at the same time Circulate San Diego released a report outlining a strategy to end traffic deaths by 2025.

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