Not many? That’s okay. Here’s a short summary:
Plan Bay Area is the next step in a natural progression of decades of regional planning. As our population is expected to grow from about 7 million in 2011 to approximately 9 million in 2040, we need to start making transportation, housing and land use decisions now to sustain the Bay Area’s high quality of life for current and future generations.
Plan Bay Area grew out of California’s 2008 Senate Bill 375 (Steinberg), which requires each of the state’s 18 metropolitan areas to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks. This is important because the transportation sector represents about 40 percent of the GHG pollution that scientists say is causing climate change.
Under SB 375 each region must develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) that promotes compact, mixed-use commercial and residential development that is walkable and bikable and close to mass transit, jobs, schools, shopping, parks, recreation and other amenities. If successful, Plan Bay Area will give people more transportation choices, create more livable communities and reduce the pollution that causes climate change.
And a short video:
As part of this planning effort, MTC is holding a series of public workshops, one in every County in the Bay Area. The Alameda County workshop that had been originally scheduled is already fully booked, so they have scheduled a second Alameda County workshop on Tuesday, May 24th from 5:30 to 8:30 PM:
Participants in these forums will work together with a fun, interactive web-based simulation, YouChoose Bay Area, to outline priorities, choose different growth options and see future consequences. See the links between growth and the things you care deeply about, such as open space conservation, clean air, water consumption, public health, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and access to mass transit.
I’ve been wanting to write in more detail about this process for a while, and just haven’t been able to find the time. At some point, I will get around to it, but I only learned yesterday about the first Alameda County workshop filling up so quickly so I wanted to make sure my readers were aware of the opportunity before the second workshop fills up too!
So if you want to learn more about regional planning (and really, who doesn’t?) and have a voice in how the Bay Area will grow over the next few decades, you should seriously consider registering for this.
According to MTC’s promotional video featuring cheerful testimonials from participants at the Santa Clara County workshop, they’re going to have interactive clickers you can use to say what you think. That’s even better than the dots on boards that I love so much!
Once again, that’s going to be on Tuesday, May 24th from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at the Metrocenter Auditorium (101 Eighth Street) in downtown Oakland.
Register here for the workshop, and get up to speed on the process by reading this little pamphlet (PDF) and exploring the One Bay Area website, and read this post on Transbay Blog about the Initial Vision Scenario and Sustainable Communities Strategy. For bonus points, take a look at the Initial Vision Scenario Overview (PDF). If you’re really hardcore, read the full Initial Vision Scenario report (PDF).