#PlanDiego: Real Opportunity

Published 4/25/18

Read the mobile-first version of the report [link]
Download the report [PDF]
Appendix A - Parking Survey Data [Excel
Appendix B - Residential Capacity Calculations [Excel]
Appendix C - Parking Accumulation Study [PDF]
Press Release [link]
Executive Summary One-Pager [PDF]


Report Summary

Our report titled “Real Opportunity” demonstrates how the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) can transform its underutilized parking lots into affordable homes.

MTS has at least 57 acres of property that can be made available for development. With accommodating land use policies, Circulate San Diego calculates that the MTS properties can support the development of 8,000 new homes, with more than 3,000 reserved as permanently affordable for low income families. 

“Real Opportunity” also includes a new data set for parking utilization at each of the various parking lots associated with MTS trolley and bus stops. Circulate San Diego dispatched volunteers throughout the region to count the number of spaces available, and how many were used. The data shows that many parking lots have very low utilization rates.

Circulate San Diego’s report recommends that MTS reform its policies to:

  • Create a joint development program that issues requests for proposals for priority sites and actively solicits near-term development partners."

  • Require that any residential development include a percentage of homes to be made permanently affordable for low income families.

  • Eliminate the costly requirement for new developments to replace or maintain parking where it is already underutilized.

Peer transit agencies to MTS, including Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, Bay Area Rapid Transit, and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority all have similar policies to encourage productive joint development adjacent to transit investments. Circulate San Diego’s report recommends that MTS adopt the best practices from other transit agencies in California, to encourage more transit oriented development on its land.

With the new leadership on the MTS Board, we believe that the transit agency has a real opportunity to transform its empty parking lots into affordable homes.

Press Coverage

San Diego Union Tribune, April 25, 2018
KPBS Morning Edition, April 25, 2018
KPBS Web News, April 25, 2018
NBC 7 San Diego, April 25, 2018
ABC 10 San Diego, April 25, 2018
Voice of San Diego Morning Report, April 26, 2018
Mass Transit Magazine, April 25, 2018
Streetsblog USA, April 26, 2018
San Diego Daily Transcript, April 27, 2018 [Subscription Link] [PDF]
Voice of San Diego (op-ed), May 9, 2018
ABC 10, May 10, 2018
CBS 8, May 10, 2018 
KPBS, May 10, 2018 
Fox 5, May 10, 2018
KUSI, May 10, 2018
Times of San Diego, May 10, 2018
Mission Times Courier, May 11, 2018
CBS 8, September 20, 2018
ABC 10, October 11, 2018
KUSI, October 11, 2018
Fox 5, October 11, 2018
NBC 7 San Diego, October 11, 2018
NBC 7 San Diego, October 11, 2018
CBS 8, October 11, 2018
KPBS, October 11, 2018
Streets Blog Cal, October 11, 2018
San Diego Metro, October 12, 2018
Voice of San Diego, October 13, 2018
San Diego Daily Transcript, October 16, 2018 [Subscription Link] [PDF]
San Diego Union Tribune, January 13, 2018
Streetsblog California, February 1, 2019
San Diego Daily Transcript, October 9, 2019 [Subscription Link] [PDF]

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