Transportation Planning: 2012 and Beyond

Second thoughts about high-speed rail in California, opposition to 710 and port expansion proposals, concern over local transportation service cutbacks, and uncertainty over federal funding for public transit not to mention roadway improvements: money is tight these days, and citizens should demand real progress in transportation investments, not more of the same.

The 2012 SCAG Regional Transportation Plan has just been released in draft form. Below, links to this and other policy discussions about the future of transportation in Southern California, plus a plug for the 2008 book Smogtown:

Southern California Association of Governments 2012 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy – the draft version was released two weeks ago; a final four-year plan will be adopted by April 2012. The plan calls for/estimates completion of the 710 tunnel by 2030, and also includes greatly expanded funding for bicycling/pedestrian infrastructure. See page 186 for a “public participation” visual featuring Glendale Safe and Healthy Street’s Colin Bogart. The comment period for this draft plan is December 2011 – January 2012.

The Value of Transportation Enhancements; Or, Are Walking and Cycling Really Transportation? – argues that U.S. federal surface transportation spending should include bicycling and pedestrian “enhancements” because these contribute to better, less congested roadways, therefore better mobility, as well as improved health and safety.

Retrofitting Suburbia: Updated Urban Design Solutions – discusses the problem of “under-performing asphalt” and possible solutions to overdeveloped suburban spaces.

Smogtown (and authors’ blog) – The 2008 book is a compelling history of smog in LA, and mentions times planes couldn’t land because of the smog. In today’s LA Times, there is an article about the same problem now in China. Do we want to go backwards or forwards? The history in Smogtown is a great argument against relaxing Clean Air and other environmental standards, and for zero-emission approaches to transportation infrastructure including port technology and freight movement.

Happy New Year under blue skies in Southern California!