Monumental Regional Plan for Southern California Gets Final Approval

As the largest council of governments in the country adopts a $525 billion transportation and land use plan for the next two decades, Josh Stephens marks the beginning of Southern California's age of climate-friendly, smart-growth regionalism.

This week, the 83 members of the Southern California Association of Governments' general assembly unanimously adopted the organization's 2012-2035 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), "a roadmap to welcome four million new residents and 1.7 million new jobs into our region by 2035," noted Pam O'Connor, SCAG President.

The RTP/SCS is just the second in the state to be adopted under 2008's landmark climate change and smart growth law, Senate Bill 375, which sets targets for greenhouse gas reduction that each the state's Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are mandated to meet through integrated long-range land use and transportation planning via sustainable community strategies.

As such, the ambitious and progressive plan "dedicates 54 percent of funding to transit and non-highway options, more than triples the funding for bike and pedestrian projects, and reduces traffic congestion overall and per-capita delay by 24%--despite the addition of 4 million residents in the 6-county region by 2035. It would locate 87 percent of all jobs and 82 percent of all housing within a half mile of rail stations and bus stops. Apartments and condominiums would account for 68 percent of all development, up from 39 percent in the previous plan," reports Stephens.

Full Story: Southern California Adopts $525 Billion Regional Plan

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