July 12, SANDAG meeting: Speak out for the future of SD Transportation

July 12, SANDAG meeting: Speak out for the future of SD Transportation

There is an important meeting on JULY 12, 2019 9 AM at SANDAG. Direction may be given on the proposed 5 Big Moves. Please learn about this important issue and attend if you can. We want the staff to do their best work on this issue and not be constrained unnecessarily by those officials who are vested in more highways and more climate impacting actions.

Points to consider

The planning paradigm of the past doesn’t work for communities and is worsening the climate crisis. It is making it harder for residents to breathe clean air, alleviate congestion, and to reduce climate change.

We know we can do better. Now is the time to plan and invest in building out a modern, world-class transportation system that connects communities and provides people with safe, affordable, convenient alternatives to driving.

In fact, we must do better. We have state climate laws to meet, which were designed in the interest of our collective health and our collective survival.

SANDAG staff have stated very plainly to this Board that, as of the beginning of this year, the agency did not have a pathway to meet the GHG reduction targets set by SB 375 to reduce emissions 19% on a per capita basis. That was a major reason given to delay adoption of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) until 2021.

The Five Big Moves represent not only a new direction at SANDAG but, specifically, the proposed pathway to allow local cities to meet their climate goals and to allow the region as a whole to meet its target under SB 375.

As SANDAG staff has traveled through the region to present this vision to the public and to City Councils, the response from the public in virtually every city has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s clear that communities are ready for a change.

Unfortunately, some members of this Board appear to want to weaken the plan and constrain staff’s efforts. We cannot allow this. It is important that we all speak up and let them know we support the staff in their full analysis of the 5 Big Moves.

If the staff is constrained, it will be yet another missed opportunity to have a real, data-driven conversation about how to achieve serious public policy goals, like addressing the climate crisis, improving public health, increasing access to good jobs and to educational opportunities, and decreasing traffic congestion. Those are the subjects it would be useful to address between now and November, so that the Board can gain a solid working understanding of what tools we have at our disposal to meet those goals and how we can most effectively deploy them.

Please contact Mayor Paul McNamara, our representative on the SANDAG BOD and let him know of your support for moving forward with the Five Big Moves, to stay the course, and support of staff in their effort to design a regional transportation system that addresses the climate crisis and meets the needs of families across the region. pmcnamara@escondido.org 

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