Report: San Diego Transportation Plan Won't Meet Climate Goals

A regional plan announced by the San Diego Association of Governments will fall short of the city's goals to increase alternate mode trips to 50 percent, report finds.

November 22, 2021, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

Oran Viriyincy / Flickr

A report from Climate Action Campaign warns that a new regional transportation plan from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) won't be enough to meet the city's ambitious climate goals, reports Andrew Bowen.

Despite the plan's emphasis on new transit lines, bike infrastructure, and toll lanes meant to encourage drivers to use alternate modes, those investments will only increase commuting on alternate modes to 27 percent––not the 50 percent called for by the city's Climate Action Plan.

Even that assumption could be overly optimistic because SANDAG's plan relies on voters approving new taxes to fund the expanded transit network. If voters reject those measures, or if projects face other funding shortfalls or construction delays, it's likely even fewer people would ditch their cars for more sustainable transportation modes.

The report's authors hope its projections will encourage the region to take more steps to improve public transit and reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips.

According to a spokesperson for Mayor Todd Gloria, "[t]he city of San Diego has never considered the Regional Transportation Plan to be the only path to meeting our transportation-related climate goals," citing other programs such as Homes For All Of Us as other key components of the city's broader sustainability efforts.

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