An Inter-League Organization of the San Francisco Bay Area

1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612

June 10, 2004

Planning and Operations Committee
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101 8th Street, Oakland CA 94607-4700

Re: Transportation-Land Use Platform, Agenda Item 4a, June 11, 2004

Dear Commissioners,

We are concerned, as participants in the Transportation 2030 Plan public process, that the document before you today is substantially different from the Transportation-Land Use Platform adopted by the Commission in December 2003 (attached).

The concise Platform was widely supported by participants in the regional planning process. The Commission's direction on December 17, 2003 was to use the Platform to develop further transportation-land-use coordination and more specific implementation. The Platform itself called for addition of a policy statement and an appropriate percentage TLC/HIP to fund specific plan development around existing or near-term future rail stations. We anticipated these elements being added. We did not expect to see significant deletions made without further discussion.

A very significant deletion is under the original fourth plank: "Develop a regional open space strategy, in conjunction with ABAG, which would reinforce infill development as a priority for growth in cities and established suburbs." An open space strategy is a basic ingredient of a sustainable development pattern. It is highly relevant to the mission of a metropolitan planning organization, such as MTC.

We support elements of the Platform that were retained, notably the third plank which became the second Implementation Measure ("Evaluate new regional investments in major public transit projects based on supportive local land use patterns, plans and policies"). It would have been encouraging to see progress on developing the criteria, i.e. more specific implementation of the policy. There is a lack of specificity both here and in the other implementation measures added to the original platform, even though the document has expanded in length.

The Transportation and Land Use Platform before you has been so altered in format and content that is difficult for citizens to recognize the outcome of their public process. This version omits an essential part of reaching our Smart Growth Vision: an open space strategy to complement the intensification of development near transit. We urge you to restore it.

Linda Craig, President

Transportation and Land Use Policy Platform - December 2003


Transportation and Land Use Policy Platform adopted December 2003

1. Develop a transportation/land use policy statement for the Transportation 2030 Plan.

• Develop a clear transportation/land use policy statement that provides a framework for evaluating the land use implications of major project and program choices in the Transportation 2030 Plan.

• Focus on assessing transportation projects and programs specifically, as a complement to the other elements of the Smart Growth Project recommendations dealing with housing, open space preservation, socio-economic location/displacement.

• Develop in cooperation with transportation, regional, and local government

2. Determine an appropriate percentage of TLC/HIP program that should fund specific plan development around existing or near-term future rail stations or corridors.

• Complement discreet, community/neighborhood scale improvement projects of the TLC/HIP program with broader land use strategies.

• In partnership with ABAG's corridor planning initiative, enhance the potential for transit oriented development by providing financial support of specific plans detailing developable parcels, zoning requirements and mitigation hazards in areas around transit stations or along transit corridors.

3. Encourage changes to local general plans that support Transit Oriented Development for Resolution 3434 investments.

• Promote development of land uses adjacent to major transit extensions, to support ridership markets that will make these investments economically feasible.

• Condition the award of regional discretionary funds under MTC's control for Resolution 3434 expansion projects, on the demonstration by local government that plans are in place supporting some level of increased housing/employment/mixed use density around transit stations/transfer centers.

4. Support transportation/land use coordination beyond transit corridors.

• Continue to pursue neighborhood scale access improvements (bike/pedestrian/local transit) outside of the rail/major transit corridor network, highlighted through the TLC program.

• In conjunction with ABAG, develop a housing location strategy in tandem with a jobs location/economic development strategy, to recognize the synergistic commute relationships between the two.

• Develop a regional open space strategy, in conjunction with ABAG, which would reinforce infill development as a priority for growth in cities and established suburbs.

5. Coordinate transportation/land use issues with regional neighbors

• Pursue cooperative planning with neighboring regions to the north (SACOG region and Lake and Mendocino counties), east (San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties) and south (San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties) of the Bay Area.

• Identify and resolve data gaps or inconsistencies in long range demographic forecasts (what are these regions projecting for future jobs and housing?), as well as travel projections on key transportation facilities connecting the MTC region to its neighbors-I-80,I-580, US 101-North; US 101- South, State Hwy 17 and State Hwy 1.