Below is the text of comments from Circulate San Diego on 2015 Draft Regional Plan at the October 9, 2015 SANDAG Board Meeting.
My name is Colin Parent, I'm policy counsel with Circulate San Diego.
Thank you to the SANDAG Board members, all but a hand full of who agreed to meet with Circulate over the last few months. And thanks to the SANDAG staff who have managed a very complex process, while helping answer questions from Circulate as this progressed.
Nonetheless, I am here to repeat what we have said consistently since the draft regional plan was released. The plan is flawed, and you should vote against it in its current form.
Instead, you should direct staff to prepare an alternative plan that advances transit and active transportation.
I am concerned that by adopting this flawed Regional Plan, the SANDAG Board is jeopardizing its ability to find support for a quality of life measure in 2016.
I have also consistently said that Circulate San Diego wants to see SANDAG put forward a quality of life measure, if it can help accelerate the construction of transit in the region.
Quality of Life can absolutely achieve this.
Lets do some very basic math: The regional plan assumes a quarter cent quality of life measure over 30 years. But SANDAG is considering a quality of life measure that is a half cent sales tax, over 40 years.
That's twice the revenue you've planned for. And that's more than enough funding to advance transit, among many of the other things planned for the tax measure.
What we're looking for, today, is a commitment to use Quality of Life to advance transit and active transportation.
One way you can do that is to cast no vote against this plan. That will help show the public, and your fellow board members, that this plan is insufficient, and that you’re expecting more.
Another way you can support advancing transit, whether or not you vote for the draft plan, is in your comments today, and your future actions. You can publicly commit to only supporting a quality life measure that advances transit.
You can show your commitment to achieve something better, through a quality of life measure that advances transit and active transportation.
This plan is not enough. SANDAG must commit to doing more. The alternative is for the public criticism and the negative media attention of the last few months to carry forward from this hearing, into the discussion of Quality of Life.
If our region’s aspirations for better transit and active transportation are not satisfied, then the required consensus for quality of life will not come to pass.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak. And I look forward to working with you all to craft a Quality of Life measure that helps improve transportation choices for the region.