Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ClimatePlan :: Weekly Update - March 28th, 2012

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Weekly Update
March 28th, 2012
In the Spotlight  


A Big Week for Sustainable and Equitable Communities

ClimatePlan Blog -- March 27, 2012
By Autumn Bernstein

Last week saw a flurry of milestones for SB 375, culminating in a hearing at the Air Resources Board that shined a spotlight on key issues such as gentrification, "Redevelopment 2.0," and the transformation of SCAG into a leading force for healthy and sustainable communities in Southern California. Both Southern California (SCAG) and Sacramento (SACOG) are poised to adopt their first-ever Sustainable Communities Strategies under SB 375. These plans, taken together, allocate $560 billion in transportation funding over the next 25 years and lay out a vision for where and how their regions should grow. 

Read more


Register Today for TransForm's Transportation Choices Summit!

Let's show our leaders in Sacramento that Californians need real transportation choices. Creating communities that are safe for walking and biking and have good public transit must be a priority. Please join us in Sacramento on Tuesday, May 1 for the Transportation Choices Summit. You can also join the following day, May 2nd, for an Advocacy Day to take the message directly to our legislators! Some full scholarships still available!!

Click here to register today 




In This Issue

San Diego

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Statewide and National Statewide
News & Events


Road congestion wastes 1.9 billion gallons of gas

USA Today - March 28th, 2012

By Gary Stoller

As Americans pay about $4 per gallon for gasoline, they're wasting 1.9 billion gallons of it annually in traffic on congested roads, a new Treasury Department report says. Traffic congestion costs drivers more than $100 billion annually in wasted fuel and lost time, according to the report released Friday.

Link to article

Pressure Mounts on House to Take Up Senate Bill. Does the House Care?

Streetsblog Capitol Hill - March 28th, 2012

By Angie Schmitt

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, Congressional Democrats, some Congressional Republicans, unions, industry groups, politicians from New Jersey, Chicago and Louisiana - they all have one message for the House of Representatives: Pass the Senate transportation bill. President Obama made it a key part of his weekly address this Sunday, pointing out that the economy would "take a hit" without a full reauthorization.

Link to article


Two More Down! SoCal and Sacramento do right in regional sustainability plans

NRDC Switchboard - March 26th, 2012

By Amanda Eaken

Last Thursday, the implementation of SB 375 hit another milestone with the Air Resources Board's (ARB) review of two more Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS)-from Southern California and Sacramento. ARB members heard staff presentations on the two plans, asked questions of the regional agency directors, and heard stakeholder reactions.

Link to blog


Bid to appease bullet train critics may violate law

Los Angeles Times - March 26, 2012
By Ralph Vartabedian and Dan Weikel

A series of concessions over the last year to quiet opposition to the California bullet train has created a potentially lethal problem: the revised blueprint for the system may violate requirements locked into state law when voters approved funding for the project in 2008. The Legislature packed the law with an unusual number of conditions intended to reassure voters, protect the project from later political compromises and ensure that it would not end up a bankrupted white elephant.
Link to article


Pre-Recess Redevelopment Bill Status Update (Updated)

California Planning and Development Report - March 23rd, 2012

By California Planning and Development Staff

Perhaps more quickly than anyone would have thought, the California Legislature is already considering a collection of bills designed to both smooth the process of dissolving redevelopment agencies and to introduce new tools that cities can use in redevelopment's absence. For supporters of redevelopment, Senate Bill 1585 (Perez) is the Holy Grail. Or, if not the Holy Grail, at least a big help. It both cleans up some of the challenging aspects of Assembly Bill X1 26, thus making the dissolution process clearer for successor agencies, and expands the definition of enforceable obligations.

Link to article


Why Bicyclists Are Better Customers Than Drivers for Local Business

Streetsblog Capitol Hill - March 23rd, 2012

By Tanya Snyder

Do local and state officials tune out when you try to talk to them about bicycling? Are they unconvinced by arguments about public health, transportation options, or clean air? Do business leaders send you packing when you suggest building new bike lanes and bike parking, fearing that the loss of car parking will keep customers away?

Then show them the money.

Link to article


How Can Cities Reverse Urban Sprawl, Increase Transit Use, Reduce Emissions?

The Sacramento Bee - March 22nd, 2012

By Mineta Transportation Institute

The Mineta Transportation Institute has published The Impact of Center City Economic and Cultural Vibrancy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation. It documents that vibrant downtown areas are associated with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from driving, and with greater public transit use.  

Link to article


How To Talk About Cities Without Ticking Off Folks Who Don't Live There

The Altantic Cities - March 22nd, 2012

By Emily Badger

Mitchell Silver spends a lot of time traveling the country in his role as the president of the American Planning Association. In that time, he has learned that there are certain words you just don't use with audiences outside of the urban core. For instance: urban. "The minute I open about 'urban,' they say it's time for me to leave," Silver says, referring to crowds in smaller towns and rural com

Link to article 


Southern California


A wider view of area transit challenges

San Gabriel Valley Tribune - March 24th, 2012

Opinion - By Hasan Ikhrata

In the weeks ahead, elected leaders from throughout the Southern California Association of Government's six-county region will vote on whether to formally support the SCAG's 2012-2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainability Community Strategy (RTP/SCS). The plan is more than simply a blueprint for how our growing population will get from home to work and school. The RTP/SCS maps out what it's going to take to preserve our quality of life, bolster our economy and protect our environment.

Link to article 


While Congress Fiddles, Southern California Shows How to Get Things Done

The Huffington Post - March 23rd, 2012

By Gloria Ohland and Denny Zane

When a delegation from the L.A. Chamber of Commerce visited Congress earlier this month to lobby for passage of the federal surface transportation reauthorization, members were greeted warmly by federal transportation officials who noted that L.A. was providing a model for Congress on how to get things done. "You check your politics at the door," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Federal Transit Administration head Peter Rogoff, complimented the chamber delegation on the bold and broad business-labor-environmental coalition that is supporting massive investment in L.A.'s public transportation system.

Link to article   


Event: Annual Sustainability Summit

Hosted by Los Angeles Business Council

April 27th, 7:30am - 2pm

The Getty Center

1200 Getty Center Drive

Los Angeles, CA

Click here for more information 


Event: Pedestrians Count! 2012

Hosted by California Walks

May 3rd and 4th

LA Metro Headquarters
One Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952

Click here for more information and to register


Click here for more on the Southern California region and their Sustainable Communities Strategy.




Bay Area BayArea
News & Events


Muni fares still cheap compared to other U.S. systems

San Francisco Examiner - March 27th, 2012

By Will Reisman

The cost of a monthly Muni pass with BART access inside The City is once again poised to increase, but frustrated riders can take solace: Public transit in San Francisco is still much cheaper than other major U.S. cities. Next year, that Muni pass is expected to cost $76, marking nearly a 70 percent increase since 2009.
Link to article


Fisherman's Wharf needs sidewalks, not asphalt

San Francisco Chronicle - March 23rd, 2012

By John King

San Francisco is preparing to see if a street can be made to be both ceremonial and intimate - and in the chaotic realm of Fisherman's Wharf, no less. Two blocks of Jefferson Street will be recast by June 2013 to favor people on foot, rather than motor vehicles of all sizes, shapes and license plates.

Link to article 


Event: Sustainable Communities? LA, Sacramento, and San Diego

Hosted by SPUR

April 12th, 12:30pm

654 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA

Click here for more information


Event: Building a Jobs-Rich Region - A conversation with Ryan Avent

Hosted by Greenbelt Alliance

April 19th, 2012

Knight Management Center

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Oberndorf Event Center

(North Building 302)

655 Knight Way

Stanford, CA

Click here for more information 


Learn more about the Bay Area and their Sustainable Communities Strategy. 



San Joaquin Valley SJV
News & Events


City of Fresno Heading in Right Direction

March 28, 2012

The City of Fresno is preparing an update to its General Plan, a plan that will guide development and growth in the city through 2035.  Last week, the city's Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend one scenario to the City Council, Scenario A.  This is exciting news, as this alternative would focus much of the city's new growth into already-developed areas, and would guide a revitalization effort for downtown. 

Click here for information on the benefits of this scenario and how you can help move it towards adoption.


County officials discuss easing squeeze on farmland

Modesto Bee - March 26, 2012
By Garth Stapley

Another growth control policy across Stanislaus County could take shape much sooner than the mayors' initiative that has been driving headlines. On Wednesday, the Stanislaus Local Agency Formation Commission is scheduled to discuss options for an official policy to save ever-shrinking farmland. If panel members agree on one strategy among many, they could ask for input during a 30-day period and schedule a public hearing, essentially ignoring the mayors' initiative.
Link to article


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