The Design Advocate is an outreach tool to keep the 3200+ architect & design members of AIA Los Angeles updated about pending matters at City Hall, which may impact the built environment & their profession.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
AIA|LA Encourages S.C.A.G. To Prioritize Active Transportation Policies in the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan
Dear Honorable O'Connor, Regional Council Members and Policy Committee members:
On behalf of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA), we are writing to express our support for policies that will promote active transportation and urban design excellence in the draft 2012 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). Since the 2012 RTP will allocate $450 Billion in transportation funds for the next twenty-five years throughout six counties in Southern California, it is imperative that the public policies reinforced in this plan advance the economic competitiveness, health and livability of our region.
We support the Regional Council's efforts to include a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) in the RTP (as mandated by SB 375) and champion the goals of promoting more mixed-use, urban-infill and transit-oriented development so that we grow as a region in such a way that restores the health and vibrancy of our urban cores. For the 2012 RTP to be successful, it needs to reinforce measurable goals in regards to the health and urban design benefits afforded by active transportation such as biking and walking, more accessible mass transit and quicker implementation of Complete Streets policy across the region.
Creating a more multi-modal transportation network in the SCAG region requires the RTP to be specific about how investments in active transportation will be funded, planned, prioritized, measured and developed in collaboration with partners and interested stakeholders. With those key principles in mind, we strongly encourage the regional council to:
Continue to expand our transit system and services: We need to continue to build upon our transit system, which will allow Southern Californians to have more mobility choices, alleviate pressure on the highway system, and improve air quality.
Encourage development in transit station areas: Research shows that compact development reduces the need to drive from 20-40%. Expanding our transit system provides an opportunity to build convenient, walkable neighborhoods, thereby reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.
Significantly boost funding for walking and biking: Over 20% of all trips in the region are on foot or by bike. It is important that the plan further boost funding to go toward making that travel safer and helping more people travel in healthy, active ways. A quarter of all traffic injuries and deaths are pedestrian and cyclists. This needs to change.
Strengthen the Compass Blueprint planning incentive grant program: The preferred scenario will succeed only if the region's cities and towns are able to plan and build healthy, walkable communities around transportation nodes that serve people of all incomes.
Explore options for increasing revenue sources: strategize transit investments that will add value to our communities and will make us healthier and more competitive as a region.
AIA|LA looks forward to continuing to serve as a leadership resource to SCAG as we work together to build a healthier and more competitive Southern California.
Very truly yours, Nicci Solomons, Hon. AIACC Executive Director