Friday, November 4, 2011 The CSAC Bulletin
Housing, Land Use and Transportation
For more information, please contact DeAnn Baker at 916.650.8104, or Kiana Buss at 916.650.8185.

SB 375 Implementation – Inaugural Sustainable Communities Strategy Adopted

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) adopted California’s first ever Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) on October 28. Pursuant to SB 375 (Chapter No. 728, Statutes of 2008), the State’s eighteen Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) must adopt an SCS as a part of their Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The SCS is the blueprint by which a region will meet its GHG emissions reductions target and also sets forth a vision for growth for the region taking into account the transportation, housing, environmental, and economic needs of the region.

The SANDAG RTP/SCS lays out a plan for investing an estimated $214 billion in local, state, and federal transportation funds expected to come into the region over the next 40 years. The largest proportion of the funds will go toward transit, which will receive 36 percent of the funds in the first 10 years, with 34 percent going to highway improvements (largely for the addition of high occupancy vehicle lanes to existing freeway corridors), and 21 percent to local roads and streets. The percentage dedicated to transit will grow each decade, up to 44 percent from 2021 to 2030, 47 percent in the third decade, and 57 percent in the last decade of the plan.

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) are next in line to develop and adopt an SCS. SACOG has a draft RTP/SCS on their website and while no draft is available, SCAG has a number of resources on their plan online as well.

Draft Statewide Transportation System Needs Assessment 

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has released a final draft of the Statewide Transportation System Needs Assessment and is currently requesting public comments before they consider adoption in December. The first comprehensive needs assessment for all transportation modes in California, including local streets and roads, transit, highways, rail (intercity and freight), and land, sea, and airports, concludes that the total cost of all system preservation, system management, and system expansion projects over the next ten-years is $536.2 billion. With $242.4 billion in anticipated revenues, California is facing a $293.8 billion shortfall in order to bring and maintain our vital transportation system in a state of good repair. We encourage counties to read the report and to provide staff with any comments you may have, especially with respect to the policy recommendations at the end of the report.

SGC Approved Second Round of Prop. 84 Planning Grants

The Strategic Growth Council approved a round two request for proposals for the Prop. 84 planning grant funds. While the guidelines remain relatively unchanged from round one, the SGC has implemented a new online grant application submittal process. The SGC anticipates awarding approximately $20-22 million in round two. Applications are due February 15, 2012.

New High Speed Rail Business Plan 

The California High Speed Rail Authority (Authority) released a new business plan on November 1st. The project is expected to cost $98 billion according to the plan, more than twice as much as previously thought. The Authority also estimates the project will create 100,000 jobs in the next five years, and another one million jobs moving forward.