THE 2016-2040 REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN/
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES STRATEGY
A Plan for Mobility, Accessibility, Sustainability and a High Quality of Life
OUR REGION IN 2040
How We Get To Work
In our vision for the region in 2040, many communities are more compact and connected seamlessly by numerous public transit options, including expanded bus and rail service. People live closer to work, school, shopping and other destinations. Their neighborhoods are more walkable and safe for bicyclists. They have more options available besides driving alone, reducing the load on roads and highways. People live more active and healthy lifestyles as they bike, walk or take transit for short trips. Goods flow freely along roadways, highways, rail lines and by sea and air into and out of the region – fueling economic growth.
Southern California’s vast transportation network is preserved and maintained in a state of good repair, so that public tax dollars are not expended on costly repairs and extensive rehabilitation. The region’s roads and highways are well-managed so that they operate safely and efficiently, while demands on the regional network are managed effectively by offering people numerous alternatives for transportation.
Housing across the region is sufficient to meet the demands of a growing population with shifting priorities and desires and there are more affordable homes for all segments of society. With more connected communities, more choices for travel and robust commerce, people enjoy more opportunities to advance educationally and economically. As growth and opportunity are distributed widely, people from diverse neighborhoods across the region share in the benefits of an enhanced quality of life.
With more alternatives to driving alone available, air quality is improved and the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change are reduced. Communities throughout Southern California are more prepared to confront and cope with the inevitable consequences of climate change, including droughts and wildfires, heat waves, rising seas and extreme weather. Meanwhile, natural lands and recreational areas that offer people a respite from the busier parts of the region are preserved and protected.
At mid-century, technology has transformed how we get around. Automated cars have emerged as a viable option for people and are being integrated into the overall transportation system. Shared mobility options that rely on instantaneous communication and paperless transactions have matured and new markets for mobility are created and strengthened.
Above all, people across the region possess more choices for getting around and with those choices come opportunities to live healthier, more economically secure and higher quality lives.
This vision for mid-century, which is built on input received from thousands of people across Southern California, is embodied in the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (2016 RTP/SCS, or Plan), a major planning document for our regional transportation and land use network. It balances the region’s future mobility and housing needs with economic, environmental and public health goals. This long-range Plan, required by the state of California and the federal government, is updated by SCAG every four years as demographic, economic and policy circumstances change. The 2016 RTP/SCS is a living, evolving blueprint for our region’s future.
It is clear that the path toward realizing our vision will require a single unified strategy, one that integrates planning for how we use our land with planning for how we get around.
Here is what we mean: we can choose to build new sprawling communities that pave over undeveloped natural lands, necessitating the construction of new roads and highways – which will undoubtedly become quickly overcrowded and contribute to regional air pollution and ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change.
Or, we can grow in more compact communities in existing urban areas, providing neighborhoods with efficient and plentiful public transit, abundant and safe opportunities to walk, bike and pursue other forms of active transportation, and preserving more of the region’s remaining natural lands for people to enjoy. This second vision captures the essence of what people have said they want during SCAG outreach to communities across the region.
SCAG acknowledges that more compact communities are not for everyone, and that many residents of our region prefer to live in established suburban neighborhoods. The agency supports local control for local land use decisions, while striving for a regional vision of more sustainable growth.
Within the 2016 RTP/SCS, you will read about plans for “High Quality Transit Areas,” “Livable Corridors,” and “Neighborhood Mobility Areas.” These are a few of the key features of a thoughtfully planned, maturing region in which people benefit from increased mobility, more active lifestyles, increased economic opportunity and an overall higher quality of life. These features embody the idea of integrating planning for how we use land with planning for transportation.
As we pursue this unified strategy, it will be vital that we ensure that the benefits of our initiatives are widely distributed and that the burdens of development are not carried by any one group disproportionately. Social equity and environmental justice are key considerations of our overall Plan.
OUR OVERARCHING STRATEGY
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We are living at a time of great change in Southern California. Our region must confront several challenges as we pursue the goals outlined in the 2016 RTP/SCS:
CHALLENGES WE FACE
Source: CA DOF, CA EDD, SCAG
Average Annual Population Growth Rate
Source: US Census Bureau, CA DOF, SCAG
Source: US Census Bureau, SCAG
More Baby Boomers Will Age & Retire
Growth Projections (2012 & 2040)
Age group under 15
Age group 15-64
Age group 65+
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The State of Disrepair
of highways are distressed
of bridges rated as Functionally obsolete
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of bridges rated as structurally deficient
of local roads in failed condition
of local roads will be in failed condition in 2022 under current (2012) funding
Although our challenges are great, the region has made significant progress over the past few years.
Transit service continues to expand throughout the region and the level of service has exceeded pre-recessionary levels – mainly due to a growth in rail service. Significant progress has been made toward completing capital projects for transit, including the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Orange Line Extension and the Metro Expo Line. Meanwhile, five major Metro Rail projects are now under construction in Los Angeles County.
Passenger rail is expanding and improving service on several fronts. The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner is now being managed locally by the Los Angeles- San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency; Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) completed the Perris Valley Line in early 2016; Metrolink became the first commuter railroad in the nation to implement Positive Train Control and purchase fuel-efficient, low-emission Tier IV locomotives; and the California High-Speed Train is under construction in the Central Valley, and planning and environmental work is underway in our region to the Los Angeles/Anaheim Phase One terminus. Several other capital projects are underway or have been completed, including the Anaheim Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (ARTIC) and the Burbank Bob Hope Airport Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, among others.
The expansion of highways has slowed considerably over the last decade because of land, financial and environmental constraints. Still, several projects have been completed since 2012 to improve access and close critical gaps and congestion chokepoints in the regional network. These include the Interstate 10 westbound widening in Redlands and Yucaipa, the Interstate 215 Bi-County HOV Project in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and a portion of the Interstate 5 South Corridor Project in Los Angeles County (between North Fork Coyote Creek to Marquardt Avenue), among others.
Regional High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and Express Lane Network
The demands on our region’s highways continue to exceed available capacity during peak periods, but several projects to close HOV gaps have been completed. The result has been 39 more lane miles of regional HOV lanes on Interstates 5, 405, 10, 215 and 605, on State Routes 57 and 91, and on the West County Connector Project (direct HOV connection between Interstate 405, Interstate 605 and State Route 22) within Orange County. The region is also developing a regional express lane network. Among the milestones: a one-year demonstration of express lanes in Los Angeles County along Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 was made permanent in 2014; and construction has begun on express lanes on State Route 91 extending eastward to Interstate 15 in Riverside County.
Our region is making steady progress in encouraging more people to embrace active transportation and more than $650 million in Active Transportation Program investments are underway. Nearly 38 percent of all trips are less than three miles, which is convenient for walking and biking. As a percentage share of all trips, bicycling has increased more than 70 percent since 2007 to 1.12 percent. More than 500 miles of new bikeways have been constructed in the region, and safety and encouragement programs are helping people choose walking and biking.
The region continues to make substantial progress toward completing several major capital initiatives to support freight transportation and reducing harmful emissions generated by goods movement sources. Progress since 2012 has included implementation of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Program (CAAP), which is reducing diesel particulate matter dropping by 82 percent, nitrogen oxides by 54 percent and sulfur oxides by 90 percent; and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Truck Program, which has led to an 80 percent reduction in port truck emissions. The region has also shown progress in advanced technology for goods movement, including a one-mile Overhead Catenary System (OCS) in the City of Carson. Construction of the Gerald Desmond Bridge has begun. Seventeen out of 71 planned grade separation projects throughout the region have been completed, and another 21 are expected to be complete in 2016. Double tracking of the Union Pacific (UP) Alhambra Subdivision has been initiated. The Colton Crossing, which physically separated two Class I railroads with an elevated 1.4-mile-long overpass that lifts UP trains traveling east-west, was completed in August 2013.
Since 2012, SCAG’s Sustainability Planning Grant Program has funded 70 planning projects (totaling $10 million) to help local jurisdictions link local land use plans with 2012 RTP/SCS goals. Local jurisdictions have updated outmoded General Plans and zoning codes; completed specific plans for town centers and Transit Oriented Development (TOD); implemented sustainability policies; and adopted municipal climate action plans. Thirty of the 191 cities and two of the six counties in the SCAG region report having updated their General Plans since 2012, and another 42 cities have General Plan updates pending. Fifty-four percent of the cities reporting adopted or pending General Plan updates include planning for TOD, 55 percent plan to concentrate key destinations, and 76 percent include policies encouraging infill development. Of the counties reporting updates or pending updates to their General Plans, 75 percent include TOD elements, 100 percent encourage infill development, 75 percent promote concentrated destinations, and 75 percent feature policies to address complete communities. To protect water quality, 91 percent of cities have adopted water-related policies and 85 percent have adopted measures to address water quality. To conserve energy, 86 percent of cities have implemented community energy efficiency policies, with 80 percent of those cities implementing municipal energy efficiency policies and 76 percent implementing renewable energy policies. Of the region’s 191 cities, 189 have completed sustainability components, with 184 cities implementing at least ten or more policies or programs and ten cities implementing 20 or more policies or programs. This last group includes Pasadena, Pomona and Santa Monica.
The state is offering new opportunities to help regions promote affordable housing. In spring 2015, California’s Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program awarded its first round of funding to applicants after a competitive grant process. Of $122 million available statewide, $27.5 million was awarded to ten projects in the SCAG region. Eight-hundred forty-two affordable units, including 294 units designated for households with an income of 30 percent or less of the area median income, will be produced with this funding. Meanwhile, Senate Bill 628 (Beall) and Assembly Bill 2 (Alejo), provide jurisdictions with an opportunity to establish a funding source to develop affordable housing and supportive infrastructure and amenities.
The SCAG region has several ongoing efforts to promote public health. The Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health and City of Los Angeles Planning Department are developing a Health Atlas that highlights health disparities among neighborhoods. In Riverside County, the Healthy Riverside County Initiative has formed a Healthy City Network to continue to successfully work with the county’s 28 cities to enact Healthy City Resolutions and Health Elements into their General Plans. The County of San Bernardino has recently completed the Community Vital Signs Initiative, which envisions a “county where a commitment to optimizing health and wellness is embedded in all decisions by residents, organizations and government.”
Since the adoption of the 2012 RTP/SCS, social equity and environmental justice have become increasingly significant priorities in regional plans. For example, plans to promote active transportation, improve public health, increase access to transit, preserve open space, cut air pollution and more are all evaluated for how well the benefits of these efforts are distributed among all demographic groups. The State of California’s Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) developed a new tool, CalEnviroScreen, which helps to identify areas in the state that have higher levels of environmental vulnerability due to historical rates of toxic exposure and certain social factors. Based on this tool, much of the region can stand to benefit from Cap-and-Trade grants that give priority to communities that are disproportionately impacted.
OUR PROGRESS SINCE 2012
SCAG began developing the 2016 RTP/SCS by first reaching out to the local jurisdictions to hear directly from them about their growth plans. The next step was to develop scenarios of growth, each one representing a different vision for land use and transportation in 2040. More specifically, each scenario was designed to explore and convey the impact of where the region would grow, to what extent the growth would be focused within existing cities and towns and how it would grow—the shape and style of the neighborhoods and transportation systems that would shape growth over the period. The refinement of these scenarios, through extensive public outreach and surveys, led to a “preferred scenario” that helped guide the strategies, programs and projects detailed in the Plan.
With the preferred scenario selected, the 2016 RTP/SCS, which includes $556.5 billion in transportation investments, has proposed several major initiatives to strive toward our vision for 2040.
Preserving The Transportation System We Already Have (Fix-it-First)
The 2016 RTP/SCS calls for the investment of $275.5 billion toward preserving our existing system. The allocation of these expenditures includes the transit and passenger rail systems, the state highway system and regionally significant local streets and roads.
Expanding Our Regional Transit System To Give People More Alternatives To Driving Alone
The 2016 RTP/SCS includes $56.1 billion for capital transit projects and $156.7 billion for operations and maintenance. This includes significant expansions of the Metro subway and Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in Los Angeles County. Meanwhile, new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes will expand higher-speed bus service regionally; new streetcar services will link major destinations in Orange County; and new Metrolink extensions will further connect communities in the Inland Empire. Other extensive improvements are planned for local bus, rapid bus, BRT and express service throughout the region. To make transit a more attractive and viable option, the 2016 RTP/SCS also supports implementing and expanding transit signal priority; regional and inter-county fare agreements and media; increased bicycle carrying capacity on transit and rail vehicles; real-time passenger information systems to allow travelers to make more informed decisions; and implementing first/last mile strategies to extend the effective reach of transit.
Expanding Passenger Rail
The 2016 RTP/SCS calls for an investment in passenger rail of $38.6 billion for capital projects and $15.7 billion for operations and maintenance. The Plan calls for maintaining the commitments in the 2012 RTP/SCS, including Phase 1 of California High-Speed Train system and the High-Speed Train System Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which identifies a candidate project list to improve the Metrolink system and the LOSSAN rail corridor, thereby providing immediate, near-term benefits to the region while laying the groundwork for future integration with California’s High-Speed Train project. These capital projects will bring segments of the regional rail network up to the federally defined speed of 110 miles per hour or greater, and help lead to a blended system of rail services.
Improving Highway and Arterial Capacity
The 2016 RTP/SCS calls for investing $54.2 billion in capital improvements and $103.0 billion in operations and maintenance of the state highway system and regionally significant local streets and roads throughout the region. This includes focusing on achieving maximum productivity by adding capacity primarily by closing gaps in the system and improving access; and other measures including the deployment of new technology. The Plan also continues to support a regional network of Express Lanes, building on the success of the State Route 91 Express Lanes in Orange County, as well as Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 Express Lanes in Los Angeles County.
Managing Demands On The Transportation System
The 2016 RTP/SCS calls for investing $6.9 billion toward Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies throughout the region. These strategies focus on reducing the number of drive-alone trips and overall vehicle miles traveled (VMT) through ridesharing, which includes carpooling, vanpooling and supportive policies for ridesourcing services such as Uber and Lyft; redistributing or eliminating vehicle trips from peak demand periods through incentives for telecommuting and alternative work schedules; and reducing the number of drive-alone trips through increased use of transit, rail, bicycling, walking and other alternative modes of travel.
Optimizing The Performance Of The Transportation System
The 2016 RTP/SCS earmarks $9.2 billion for Transportation System Management (TSM) improvements. These include extensive advanced ramp metering, enhanced incident management, bottleneck removal to improve flow (e.g., auxiliary lanes), expansion and integration of the traffic signal synchronization network, data collection to monitor system performance, integrated and dynamic corridor congestion management, and other Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) improvements. Recent related initiatives include the Caltrans Advanced Traffic Management (ATM) study for Interstate 105 and the Regional Integration of ITS Projects (RIITS) and Information Exchange Network (IEN) data exchange efforts at Los Angeles Metro.
Promoting Walking, Biking And Other Forms Of Active Transportation
The 2016 RTP/SCS plans for continued progress in developing our regional bikeway network, assumes all local active transportation plans will be implemented, and dedicates resources to maintain and repair thousands of miles of dilapidated sidewalks. The Plan invests $12.9 billion in active transportation strategies. The Plan also considers new strategies and approaches beyond those proposed in 2012. To promote short trips, these include improving sidewalk quality, local bike networks and neighborhood mobility areas. To promote longer regional trips, these strategies include developing a regional greenway network and continuing investments in the regional bikeway network and access to the California Coastal Trail. Active transportation will also be promoted by integrating it with the region’s transit system; increasing access to 224 rail, light rail and fixed guideway bus stations; promoting 16 regional corridors that support biking and walking; supporting bike share programs; educating people about the benefits of active transportation for students; and promoting safety campaigns.
Strengthening the regional transportation network for goods movement
The 2016 RTP/SCS includes $70.7 billion in goods movement strategies. Among these are establishing a system of truck-only lanes extending from the San Pedro Bay Ports to downtown Los Angeles along Interstate 710; connecting to the State Route 60 east-west segment and finally reaching Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County; working to relieve the top 50 regional truck bottlenecks; adding mainline tracks for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) San Bernardino and Cajon Subdivisions and the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Alhambra and Mojave Subdivisions; expanding/modernizing intermodal facilities; building highway-rail grade separations; improving port area rail infrastructure; reducing environmental impacts by supporting the deployment of commercially available low-emission trucks and locomotives; and in the longer term advancing technologies to implement a zero- and near zero-emission freight system.
Advances in communications, computing and engineering – from shared mobility innovations to zero-emission vehicles – can lead to a more efficient transportation system with more mobility options for everyone. Technological innovations also can reduce the environmental impact of existing modes of transportation. For example, alternative fuel vehicles continue to become more accessible for retail consumers and for freight and fleet applications – and as they are increasingly used air pollution can be reduced. Communications technology, meanwhile, can improve the movement of passenger vehicles and connected transit vehicles. As part of the 2016 RTP/SCS, SCAG has focused location-based strategies specifically on increasing the efficiency of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) in the region. These are electric vehicles that are powered by a gasoline engine when their battery is depleted. The 2016 RTP/SCS proposes a regional charging network that will increase the number of PHEV miles driven on electric power, in addition to supporting the growth of the PEV market generally. In many instances, the additional chargers will create the opportunity to increase the electric range of PHEVs, reducing vehicle miles traveled that produce tail-pipe emissions.
Improving Airport Access
Recognizing that SCAG region is one of the busiest and most diverse commercial aviation regions in the world and that air travel is an important contributor to the region’s economic activity, the 2016 RTP/SCS includes strategies for reducing the impact of air passenger trips on ground transportation congestion. Such strategies include supporting the regionalization of air travel demand; continuing to support regional and inter-regional projects that facilitate airport ground access (e.g., High-Speed Train); supporting ongoing local planning efforts by airport operators, county transportation commissions and local jurisdictions; encouraging the development and use of transit access to the region’s airports; encouraging the use of modes with high average vehicle occupancy; and discouraging the use of modes that require “deadhead” trips to/from airports (e.g., passengers being dropped off at the airport via personal vehicle).
Focusing New Growth Around Transit
The 2016 RTP/SCS plans for focusing new growth around transit, which is supported by the following policies: identifying regional strategic areas for infill and investment; structuring the Plan on centers development; developing “Complete Communities”; developing nodes on a corridor; planning for additional housing and jobs near transit; planning for changing demand in types of housing; continuing to protect stable, existing single-family areas; ensuring adequate access to open space and preservation of habitat; and incorporating local input and feedback on future growth. These policies support the development of:
Improving Air Quality and Reducing Greenhouse Gases
It is through integrated planning for land use and transportation that the SCAG region, through the initiatives discussed in this section, will strive toward a more sustainable region. The SCAG region must achieve specific federal air quality standards. It also is required by state law to lower regional greenhouse gas emissions. California law requires the region to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the SCAG region by eight percent by 2020 – compared with 2005 levels – and by 13 percent by 2035. The strategies, programs and projects outlined in the 2016 RTP/SCS are projected to result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the SCAG region that exceeds these reduction targets.
Preserving Natural Lands
Many natural land areas near the edge of existing urbanized areas do not have plans for conservation and are vulnerable to development pressure. The 2016 RTP/SCS recommends redirecting growth from high value habitat areas to existing urbanized areas. This strategy avoids growth in sensitive habitat areas, builds upon the conservation framework, and complements an infill-based approach.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR OUR PLAN
To accomplish the ambitious goals of the 2016 RTP/SCS through 2040, SCAG forecasts expenditures of $556.5 billion – of which $274.9 billion is budgeted for operations and maintenance of the regional transportation system and another $250.9 billion is reserved for transportation capital improvements.
Forecasted revenues comprise both existing and several new funding sources that are reasonably expected to be available for the 2016 RTP/SCS, which together total $556.5 billion. Reasonably available revenues include short-term adjustments to state and federal gas excise tax rates and the long-term replacement of gas taxes with mileage-based user fees (or equivalent fuel tax adjustment). These and other categories of funding sources were identified as reasonably available on the basis of their potential for revenue generation, historical precedence and the likelihood of their implementation within the time frame of the Plan.
FINANCING OUR FUTURE
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Overall, the transportation investments in the 2016 RTP/SCS will provide a return of $2.00 for every dollar invested. Compared with an alternative of not adopting the Plan, the 2016 RTP/SCS would accomplish the following:
WHAT WE WILL ACCOMPLISH
Forecasts for the SCAG REGION
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Daily Minutes of Delay
Daily Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
Our Plan includes several performance outcomes and measures that are used to gauge our progress toward meeting our goals. These include:
The 2016 RTP/SCS is designed to ensure that the regional transportation system serves all segments of society. The Plan is subject to numerous performance measures to monitor its progress toward achieving social equity and environmental justice. These measures include accessibility to parks and natural lands, roadway noise impacts, air quality impacts and public health impacts, among many others.
HOW WE WILL ENSURE SUCCESS
average daily vehicle miles driven per person
daily delay per capita (extra time spent in traffic)
Time on the Road
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building energy costs
Passenger Vehicle Fuel Use
More Economic Opportunities
average daily vehicle miles driven per person
daily delay per capita (extra time spent in traffic)
Time on the Road
The 2016 RTP/SCS is based on a projected budget constrained by the local, state and federal revenues that SCAG anticipates the region receiving between now and 2040. The Strategic Plan discusses projects and strategies that SCAG would pursue if new funding were to become available. The Strategic Plan discussion includes long-term emission reduction strategies for rail and trucks; expanding the region’s high-speed and commuter rail systems; expanding active transportation; leveraging technological advances for transportation; addressing further regional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and making the region more resilient to climate change—among other topics. We anticipate that these projects and strategies may inform the development of the next Plan, the 2020 RTP/SCS.
LOOKING BEYOND 2040
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818 West 7th Street, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
1405 North Imperial Avenue, Suite 1
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: (760) 353-7800
Fax: (760) 353-1877
600 South Main Street, Suite 1233
Orange, CA 92868
Phone: (714) 542-3687
Fax: (714) 560-5089
3403 10th Street, Suite 805
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: (951) 784-1513
Fax: (951) 784-3925
San Bernardino County
Santa Fe Depot
1170 West 3rd Street, Suite 140
San Bernardino, CA 92410
Phone: (909) 806-3556
Fax: (909) 806-3572
950 County Square Drive, Suite 101
Ventura, CA 93003
Phone: (805) 642-2800
Fax: (805) 642-2260
ADOPTED | APRIL 2016