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Sara Barz

Targets for a better Bay Area

In the next two weeks, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will commit to a new set of goals to increase sustainability and decrease car dependency in the Bay Area.

These goals — or targets in Commission language — will direct how the Commission plans for growth and how it distributes funds to cities over the next 25 years. Part of the Sustainable Communities Strategy, these targets will define the future of good regional land use and public transportation in the Bay Area.

We’re happy to report that the proposed land-use targets [PDF] are all pretty good.  Thanks to the work of Greenbelt Alliance and our allies, the draft list includes:

  • A clear goal to protect the region’s greenbelt by planning for new growth only in already-developed areas and within Urban Growth Boundaries;
  • A target to reduce by 10% the share of household income spent on housing and transportation by providing more affordable homes in walkable neighborhoods with transportation options; and
  • A goal to provide homes for all of the region’s future population at all income levels without displacing current low-income residents.

That sounds like a lot, but setting these bold, ambitious targets is critical to achieving our Grow Smart Bay Area vision within the next 25 years. We’re really excited about the direction the Commission is taking on these land-use targets.

Unfortunately, the transportation targets aren’t going over quite as well. Our allies in the transportation realm would like to see the targets for transportation strengthened to shore up transit operating funding and prioritize road maintenance to those areas with the greatest anticipated growth.

This is a big opportunity to set some ambitious goals for the Bay Area. Please take a moment to share your support with your elected Commissioner for the forward-thinking land-use targets. But transportation goes hand-in-hand land-use planning, so consider asking your Commissioner to rethink the proposed transportation targets.

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