Letter: Coalition of Supporters for Affordable Homes Bonus Program

Circulate San Diego organized a coalition of affordable housing advocates, market-rate developers, REALTORS, business groups, and climate change activists to support the proposed update to the City of San Diego's Affordable Homes Bonus Program. We submitted this joint support letter to City decision-makers. [PDF]

As reported by KPBS, the proposal was adopted unanimously by the City Council, and it will provide a variety of benefits to projects that incorporate affordable homes. 

Additional Backup Information:

Initial Working Group proposal for Affordable Homes Bonus Program update [PDF]

Current production numbers for State Density Bonus in San Diego as of 2016, based on figures from the San Diego Housing Commission [PDF]

Letter: Commitments to advancing transit in SANDAG’s 2016 ballot measure

Circulate San Diego issued a letter with recommendations for how to provide certainty for advancing transit in SANDAG’s proposed 2016 ballot measure. We believe that the measure can be further improved by providing a reasonable time frame to complete the remaining transit projects listed in the measure’s Priority Corridors program.

To read Circulate's letter, download the PDF version here: [PDF]

Blog Post: Transit and active transportation enhancements in SANDAG’s most recent ballot measure draft

SANDAG is currently preparing a ballot measure for the November 2016 election to fund a variety of transportation, habitat, and infrastructure programs.

The agenda backup documentation for SANDAG’s June 10, 2016 board meeting includes a variety of amendments related to transit and active transportation. They appear to be responses to the requests from Circulate San Diego to provide more certainty about when transit and active transportation projects will be funded.

These amendments provide greater clarity about SANDAG’s plans, and they demonstrate commitments for at least some timelines for some transit projects.

Relevant sections of the updated ballot measure are copied below. The underlined sections represent additions to the ballot measure language.

Circulate San Diego will continue to monitor the progress of SANDAG's ballot measure, and advocate for more funding and certainty for transit and active transportation.

Read more

Circulator- June 4th


We are excited to announce the call for nominations for Circulate San Diego’s 2016 Momentum Awards. These awards honor the people, projects, and places that support forward-thinking multi-modal transportation choices and healthy communities in the San Diego region. Submissions are due by July 15, 2016. Award categories are:

Star_Only.jpgCitizens Award

Star_Only.jpgHealthy Community Award

Star_Only.jpgLocal Hero Award

Star_Only.jpgComplete Streets Project Award

Star_Only.jpgConnectivity Project Award

Star_Only.jpgSmart Growth Award

Do you know of a person or project that deserves a Momentum Award? To submit a nomination, please click here.


Read more

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.

Read more

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.


Read more

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. 

Select Your Language


Get updates