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.
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.
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.