Regional Planning

Move LA convened a broad coalition to work with the Southern California Association of Governments on a Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) that is a dramatic departure from business-as-usual, and that emphasizes compact growth and investment in transit, walking and biking. The 25-year RTP/SCS lists transportation projects and provides guidance to local governments on how to shape their General Plans, and is the first RTP completed since passage of SB 375, which requires regions to set GHG reduction targets and explain how the targets will be achieved in an SCS. The 83-member SCAG Regional Council’s unanimous vote to approve the RTP/SCS prompted an Atlantic Cities story headlined “Is Southern California this Country’s Next Environmental Success Story?” and caused longtime Regional Councilmember and Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge to say, “This is the first time in my professional career we’ve had a real conversation about regional planning.”

Some of the “wins” are listed below, and there is more detail in the linked document at the bottom:
Exceeds the GHG reduction targets of 8% by 2020 and 13% by 2035 (by 1 and 3 points respectively);
Reduces congestion despite 4 million more residents;
Spends half all revenues on public transportation;
Increases funding for bike and pedestrian projects by 350%;
Locates 87% of new jobs near transit;
Locates 52% of housing near transit with 15-minute headways;
Saves 400 square miles of open space.
More Detail on RTP/SCS “Wins”

These maps depict the volume of households and jobs within a half mile of high-quality transit — with service every 15 minutes or less — in 2008 compared to 2035.


After approving the RTP/SCS, SCAG’s Regional Council unanimously approved a motion by Move LA, the American Lung Association of California, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the LA County Bicycle Coalition and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership to: 1) Identify new sources of revenue for planning grants, commuter rail, active transportation, and clean goods movement. 2) Develop performance measures to track health and equity outcomes. 3) Broaden SCAG’s role as a provider of technical assistance for active transportation.
Move LA Motion

As the result of the motion put forward by Move LA and others as described above, SCAG has formed six Regional Council subcommittees to facilitate implementation of the RTP/SCS in light of these areas of concern. These include committees on Active Transportation, Goods Movement, High-Speed Rail and Transit, Public Health, Transportation Finance, Sustainability. The subcommittee charters are described in this document.
RTP/SCS Subcommittees

Move LA convened a broad regional coalition to work on the RTP/SCS. This “SoCA Working Group” helped turn out hundreds of people to meetings in the six-county region to express interest in: improving public health through active environments and air quality improvements; increasing investments in transit, walking and biking, and in parks and open space; affordability and the displacement of low-income residents; and the effect of heavily traveled goods movement corridors on low-income communities. Below is a link to our comment letter on the RTP/SCS.
RTP/SCS Comment Letter

These excellent maps of the region by consultant David Ausherman depict some of the issues discussed during formulation of the RTP/SCS, and were developed to help Move LA and its partners better understand the integration of transportation investments and land use policies. The maps may not accurately reflect the final data SCAG used in its RTP/SCS calculations. Nonetheless they provide a fascinating overview of projected growth in the region, including the location of households and transportation investments. The Land Use maps and the OC-Riverside maps examine the planned growth in households and jobs and their proximity to investment in transit and roads.
Land Use maps
OC-Riverside maps

Areas within a half mile of high-quality transit (with service every 15 minutes or less) are called HQTAs. These maps, also by consultant David Ausherman, examine the degree to which upgrading bus service from 20 or 30 minutes to 15 minutes would result in the location of more households and jobs in HQTAs.
Transit Neighborhoods maps

There was extensive media coverage of Move LA’s work on the RTP/SCS at SCAG, proving not only that Southern California cares about regional planning, but that the rest of the US is watching regional planning in SoCal. Below are links to three op eds written by Move LA, an excellent American Lung Association of California op-ed in the Riverside Press-Enterprise written by two doctors concerned about air pollution in the Inland Empire, and a story about the RTP/SCS in Atlantic Cities headlined “Is SoCal America’s Next Environmental Success Story?”
Huffington Post Op-Ed
Pasadena Star News Op-Ed
San Bernardino Sun Op-Ed
Riverside Press-Enterprise Op-Ed
AP Story in Silicon Valley Mercury-News
Atlantic Cities Story

It’s important and effective to reduce GHG emissions through transportation and land use strategies that encourage more compact growth and alternatives to the car. But just as important are all the “co-benefits” of this approach, as is compellingly illustrated in this document by Peter Calthorpe. Co-benefit include reduced housing and transportation costs for government and for residents, improved public health because there are active environments, lower infrastructure costs for government, and less building energy use, water consumption and land consumption.
Peter Calthorpe Co-Benefits Illustration

Move LA worked with partners across the state to support the “blended approach” to building high-speed rail in California: The idea is to upgrade existing commuter and freight rail tracks to accommodate high-speed trains – allowing HSR to share tracks and rail corridors — while simultaneously investing in new HSR infrastructure in the Central Valley. The plan provides $1 billion to upgrade commuter rail in Southern California. Below is a link to a press release and analysis of the plan entitled “Moving Ahead.”
“Moving Ahead” Press Release
“Moving Ahead” Report
“Moving Ahead” Executive Summary

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