THE 2016-2040 REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN/
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES STRATEGY
A Plan for Mobility, Accessibility, Sustainability and a High Quality of Life
ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS
Policy committee members
Executive Summary: envisioning our region in 2040
02 where we are today
Insert: our progress since 2012
03 challenges in a changing region
04 Creating a Plan for Our Future
05 the road to greater mobility & sustainable growth
06 Paying for the Plan
07 a plan that creates economic opportunity:
the big Picture
08 measuring our progress
09 looking ahead
List of figures/tables/exhibits/Focus Pages
List of appendices
Leadership | Vision | Progress
Leadership, vision and progress which promote economic growth,
personal well-being and livable communities for all Southern Californians.
Southern California association of governments will accomplish this Mission by:
Hon. Jack Terrazas
Hon. Cheryl Viegas-Walker
Los Angeles County
Hon. Michael D. Antonovich
Hon. Sean Ashton
Hon. Bob Blumenfield
Hon. Mike Bonin
Hon. Joe Buscaino
Hon. Gilbert Cedillo
Hon. Margaret Clark
Hon. Jonathan C. Curtis
Hon. Gene Daniels
Hon. Mitchell Englander
Hon. Margaret E. Finlay
Hon. Felipe Fuentes
Hon. Eric Garcetti
Hon. Jim Gazeley
Hon. Lena Gonzalez
Hon. Marqueece Harris Dawson
Hon. Carol Herrera
Hon. Steven D. Hofbauer
Hon. Jose Huizar
Hon. Paul Koretz Hon. Paul Krekorian
Hon. Antonio Lopez
Hon. Victor Manalo
Hon. Nury Martinez
Hon. Dan Medina
Hon. Barbara A. Messina
Hon. Judy Mitchell
Hon. Gene Murabito
Hon. Pam O’Connor
Hon. Mitch O’Farrell
Hon. Sam Pedroza
Hon. Curren D. Price, Jr.
Hon. Rex Richardson
Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas
Hon. David Ryu
Hon. Ali Saleh
Hon. Andrew Sarega
Hon. John Sibert
Hon. Jose Luis Solache
Hon. Jess Talamantes
Hon. Herb Wesson, Jr.
Hon. Arthur C. Brown
Hon. Steven S. Choi, Ph.D.
Hon. Ross Chun
Hon. Steve Hwangbo
Hon. Jim Katapodis
Hon. Barbara Kogerman
Hon. Michele Martinez
Hon. Mike Munzing
Hon. Kristine Murray
Hon. Steve Nagel
Hon. John Nielsen
Hon. Erik Peterson
Hon. Marty Simonoff
Hon. Michelle Steel
Hon. Tri Ta
Hon. Rusty Bailey
Hon. Jeffrey Giba
Hon. Jan C. Harnik
Hon. Jim Hyatt
Hon. Randon Lane
Hon. Clint Lorimore
Hon. Gregory S. Pettis
Hon. Mary L. Resvaloso
Hon. Karen S. Spiegel
Hon. Chuck Washington
Hon. Michael Wilson
San Bernardino County
Hon. Paul M. Eaton
Hon. Curt Hagman
Hon. Bill Jahn
Mr. Randall W. Lewis
Hon. Ray Marquez
Hon. Larry McCallon
Hon. Ryan McEachron
Hon. Frank J. Navarro
Hon. Deborah Robertson
Hon. Alan D. Wapner
Hon. Glen T. Becerra
Hon. Keith F. Millhouse
Hon. Carl E. Morehouse
Hon. Linda Parks
Hon. Carmen Ramirez
Hon. Cheryl Viegas-Walker, El Centro
First Vice President
Hon. Michele Martinez, Santa Ana
Second Vice President
Hon. Margaret E. Finlay, Duarte
Immediate Past President
Hon. Carl E. Morehouse, San Buenaventura
Policy committee members
Community, economic, & human development committee
Hon. Bill Jahn, Big Bear Lake*
Hon. Larry McCallon, Highland*
Hon. Tom Hansen, Paramount
Hon. Robert “Bob” Joe, South Pasadena
Hon. Barbara Kogerman, Laguna Hills*
Hon. Paula Lantz, Pomona
Hon. Joe Lyons, Claremont
Hon. Victor Manalo, Artesia*
Hon. Charles Martin
Hon. Joseph McKee, Desert Hot Springs
Hon. Susan McSweeney, Westlake Village
Hon. Carl E. Morehouse, Ventura*
Hon. Ray Musser, Upland
Hon. Steve Nagel, Fountain Valley*
Hon. Dante Acosta, Santa Clarita
Hon. Al Austin, Long Beach
Hon. Stacy Berry, Cypress
Hon. Wendy Bucknum, Mission Viejo
Hon. Carol Chen, Cerritos
Hon. Steven S. Choi, Ph.D., Irvine*
Hon. Jeffrey Cooper, Culver City
Hon. Rose Espinoza, La Habra
Hon. Kerry Ferguson, San Juan Capistrano
Hon. Margaret E. Finlay, Duarte*
Hon. Debbie Franklin, Banning
Hon. James Gazeley, Lomita*
Hon. Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, Barstow
Hon. John Nielsen, Tustin*
Hon. Edward Paget, Needles
Hon. Erik Peterson, Huntington Beach*
Hon. Jim Predmore, Holtville
Hon. John Procter, Santa Paula
Hon. Mary L. Resvaloso,* Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians
Hon. Rex Richardson, Long Beach*
Hon. Sonny R. Santa Ines, Bellflower
Hon. Andrew Sarega, La Mirada*
Hon. Becky Shevlin, Monrovia
Hon. Tri Ta, Westminster*
Hon. Frank Zerunyan, Rolling Hills Estates
Hon. Deborah Robertson, Rialto*
Hon. Carmen Ramirez, Oxnard*
Hon. Steve Hwangbo, La Palma*
Hon. Diana Mahmud, South Pasadena
Hon. Thomas Martin, Maywood
Hon. Judy Mitchell, Rolling Hills Estates*
Hon. Mike Munzing, Aliso Viejo*
Hon. Jim Osborne, Lawndale
Hon. Linda Parks*
Hon. Greg Pettis, Cathedral City*
Hon. David Pollock, Moorpark
Hon. Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City
Hon. Denis Bertone, San Dimas
Hon. Ross Chun, Aliso Viejo*
Hon. Margaret Clark, Rosemead*
Hon. Jordan Ehrenkranz, Canyon Lake
Hon. Mitchell Englander, Los Angeles*
Hon. Larry Forester, Signal Hill
Hon. Laura Friedman, Glendale
Hon. Mike Gardner, Riverside
Hon. Sandra Genis, Costa Mesa
Hon. Ed Graham, Chino Hills
Hon. Shari Horne, Laguna Woods
Hon. Betty Sanchez, Coachella Valley
Hon. Eric Schmidt, Hesperia
Mr. Steve Schuyler, Building Industry
Association of Southern California (BIASC)
Hon. John Sibert, Malibu*
Hon. Jack Terrazas*
Hon. Diane Williams, Rancho Cucamonga
Hon. Edward Wilson, Signal Hill
Hon. Bonnie Wright, Hemet
Hon. Alan D. Wapner, Ontario*
Hon. Barbara A. Messina, Alhambra*
Hon. Steve Hofbauer, Palmdale*
Hon. Jose Huizar, Los Angeles*
Hon. Jim Hyatt, Calimesa*
Hon. Jim Katapodis, Huntington Beach*
Hon. Linda Krupa, Hemet
Hon. Randon Lane, Murrieta*
Hon. Severo Lara, Ojai
Hon. James C. Ledford, Palmdale
Hon. Antonio Lopez, San Fernando*
Hon. Clint Lorimore, Eastvale*
Hon. Ray Marquez, Chino Hills*
Hon. Michele Martinez, Santa Ana*
Hon. Ryan McEachron, Victorville*
Hon. Marsha McLean, Santa Clarita
Hon. Dan Medina, Gardena*
Hon. Keith F. Millhouse, Moorpark*
Hon. Carol Moore, Laguna Woods
Hon. Gene Murabito, Glendora*
Hon. Kris Murray, Anaheim*
Hon. Frank Navarro, Colton*
Hon. Pam O’Connor, Santa Monica*
Hon. Michael D. Antonovich*
Hon. Sean Ashton, Downey*
Hon. Rusty Bailey, Riverside*
Hon. Glen T. Becerra, Simi Valley*
Hon. Ben Benoit, Wildomar
Hon. Russell Betts, Desert Hot Springs
Hon. Arthur C. Brown, Buena Park*
Hon. Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles*
Hon. Don Campbell Brawley
Hon. Diana Lee Carey, Westminster
Hon. Jonathan Curtis, La Cañada/Flintridge*
Hon. Gene Daniels, Paramount*
Hon. Paul M. Eaton, Montclair*
Hon. Felipe Fuentes, Los Angeles*
Hon. Jeffrey Giba, Moreno Valley*
Hon. Lena Gonzalez, Long Beach*
Hon. Bert Hack, Laguna Woods
Hon. Curt Hagman*
Hon. Jan Harnik, Palm Desert*
Hon. Dave Harrington, Aliso Viejo
Hon. Carol Herrera, Diamond Bar*
Hon. Micheál O’Leary, Culver City
Hon. Sam Pedroza, Claremont*
Hon. Teresa Real Sebastian, Monterey Park
Hon. Dwight Robinson, Lake Forest
Hon. Ali Saleh, Bell*
Hon. Damon Sandoval
Hon. Marty Simonoff, Brea*
Hon. Zareh Sinanyan, Glendale
Hon. Jose Luis Solache, Lynwood*
Hon. David Spence, La Cañada/Flintridge
Hon. Karen Spiegel, Corona*
Hon. Barb Stanton, Town of Apple Valley
Hon. Michelle Steel*
Hon. Cynthia Sternquist, Temple City
Hon. Jess Talamantes, Burbank*
Hon. Brent Tercero, Pico Rivera
Hon. Olivia Valentine, Hawthorne
Hon. Cheryl Viegas-Walker, El Centro*
Hon. Chuck Washington*
Hon. Michael Wilson, Indio*
Mr. Gary T. Slater Caltrans, District 7
* Regional Council Member
Image courtesy of Samer Momani
Transport yourself 25 years into the future. What kind of Southern California do you envision? SCAG envisions a region that has grown by nearly four million people – sustainably. In communities across Southern California, people enjoy increased mobility, greater economic opportunity and a higher quality of life.
ENVISIONING OUR REGION IN 2040
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.
OUR OVERARCHING STRATEGY
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 drive climate change.
Or, we can grow 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 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 must be key considerations of our overall Plan.
CHALLENGES WE FACE
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:
OUR PROGRESS SINCE 2012
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 Agency; Metrolink is nearing completion on the Perris Valley Line; 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 system is under construction in the Central Valley, and scheduled to begin service to Burbank Bob Hope Airport in 2022 and reach Los Angeles Union Station in 2028. 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 5 South Corridor Project in Los Angeles County, Interstate 10 westbound widening in Redlands and Yucaipa, and the Interstate 215 Bi-County Project in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, 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 27 more miles of regional HOV lanes on Interstates 5, 405, 10, 215 and 605, on State Route 57 and on the West County Connector Project 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 37 percent of all trips less than one mile and 18 percent of all trips less than three miles are made via active transportation. 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 as options.
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: the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Program (CAAP) has led to diesel particulate matter dropping by 82 percent, oxides of nitrogen by 54 percent and oxides of sulfur by 90 percent; and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Truck Program 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. Fourteen out of 71 planned grade separation projects throughout the region have been completed, and another 24 should be completed 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 Union Pacific (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 in the SCAG region reported updating their general plans since 2012 and another 42 cities have general plan updates pending. Fifty-four percent of all the adopted and pending general plans include planning for TOD, 55 percent plan to concentrate key destinations and 76 percent include policies encouraging infill development. 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 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 Department of Public Health and the Department of City Planning are developing a Health Atlas, which highlights health disparities among neighborhoods. In Riverside County, the Healthy Riverside County Initiative is working to have healthy cities resolutions adopted by a minimum of 15 cities. 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.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR OUR PLAN
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.
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 $54.5 billion in capital improvements and $102.5 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, including 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.
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 (Fixing it First)
The 2016 RTP/SCS calls for the investment of $274.9 billion toward preserving our existing system. The allocation of these expenditures includes the transit and passenger rail system, 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 This includes significant expansion 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
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, these chargers may double the electric range of PHEVs, reducing vehicle miles traveled that produce tail-pipe emissions.
Improving airport access
Recognizing the 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 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 a three-tiered system of 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:
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 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 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; and educating people about the benefits of active transportation for students, as well as promoting safety campaigns.
Strengthening the regional transportation network for goods movement
The 2016 RTP/SCS includes $74.8 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 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
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.
FINANCING OUR FUTURE
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.
WHAT WE WILL ACCOMPLISH
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:
HOW WE WILL ENSURE SUCCESS
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.
LOOKING BEYOND 2040
The 2016 RTP/SCS is based on a projected budget constrained by the local, state and federal revenues that SCAG anticipates 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.
Image courtesy of Robert Wall
Southern California is one of the most dynamic and beautiful places on the planet. A global center for entertainment and culture, commerce, tourism and international trade, our region is graced by a temperate climate, a spectacular coastline, rolling hills and inland valleys, towering mountain ranges and expansive deserts. It is no wonder Southern California has become home to more than 18 million people.
California in 2040
Our changing region
Today, our region is in the midst of great changes. Our population continues to increase and demographics are shifting. In the coming years, Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, and Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, will have an increasingly greater impact on how and where we live, and how we travel. Overall, our region will continue to grow more racially and ethnically diverse in the coming decades. These and other changes will transform the character of Southern California over the next 25 years as people choose different places to live and more efficient ways to get around. People will have new expectations for the health and vibrancy of their communities. They will want a greater degree of mobility, with transportation options that are more accessible and flexible. People will also expect to have more options for recreational space. They will want cleaner air. How our region responds to growth and the evolving priorities and desires of the people who live here will significantly shape our overall quality of life.
This 2016 RTP/SCS charts a course for closely integrating land use and transportation in certain areas of the region– so that we as a whole can grow smartly and sustainably. It outlines $556.5 billion in transportation system investments through 2040. The Plan was prepared through a collaborative, continuous and comprehensive (3 Cs) process by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the largest Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in the nation, and it serves as an update to SCAG’s 2012 RTP/SCS.
It might seem obvious that as a region we should coordinate decisions about where people live, work, go to school, shop and spend their free time with decisions about the transportation system that serves them. But in a region as large and complex as ours, closely integrating strategies for land use and transportation is a huge undertaking. This Plan, more than just a list of projects and initiatives, tells an important story about our future. It is a story about how we will meet complex and daunting challenges in one of the biggest and most influential metropolitan regions in the world, and ultimately how working together we can integrate decisions about transportation and using land to realize a regional transportation system that promotes economic growth and sustainability.
Challenges We Face
As we look to the future, we will confront many challenges, some of which we already face today and others that will emerge as we continue to grow. We are living now with the consequences of growth: more people, more houses, more jobs, more freight traffic and more cars. The six counties that encompass our region – Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura – have all experienced the consequences of that growth. In our urban and suburban areas, roads and highways are increasingly congested, worsening regional air pollution and increasing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Once dependable routes to work, school, shopping and more have become overburdened, less convenient, more time consuming and in some cases, more costly.
Neighborhoods that many people once considered affordable are now priced out of reach - particularly in established urban communities that have seen major public and private investments such as new transit access and new developments that mix upscale housing with popular stores and restaurants.
As our region’s demographics evolve, there will be a greater desire for housing situated closer to jobs, healthcare, shopping and other amenities and more public transportation options. The region will have to find ways to meet these demands.
Maintaining and enhancing a transportation system that can tackle these challenges requires adequate funding, and securing it for a better transportation system will be perhaps the region’s biggest challenge. Our overall transportation system is aging rapidly, and deteriorating. Also, deferring maintenance because of a lack of funding will continue to strain the system.
As our economy grows, freight traffic will increase on our roadways, along rail lines, and at our airports and seaports. This will place new demands on general transportation infrastructure such as highways and surface streets, as well as infrastructure specific to international trade and domestic commerce. This growth in goods movement also will contribute to air pollution, making it harder for the region to attain federal standards for air quality and new state rules for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Meanwhile, our region faces huge public health challenges, as people suffer from chronic diseases associated with poor air quality and a lack of physical activity. This is why it is so critical to integrate decisions about where we live with decisions about how we travel. It matters how neighborhoods are laid out and linked to bus lines, bike and walking paths, and other transportation options.
Finally, our region faces the huge challenge of confronting and coping with the consequences of climate change. Making communities more resilient to heat waves, wildfires, rising seas, extreme rainstorms and other projected impacts will depend on smart planning.
We’ll review these challenges in more depth in Chapter 3.
Realizing Our Vision for a Better Future
The 2016 RTP/SCS outlines concrete steps for meeting these challenges and creating the conditions and infrastructure that result in increased mobility, easier access to destinations, and more transportation options. The Plan also analyzes the impacts of its decisions, policies, strategies and development projects on the environment, the economy and on social equity. By doing this, the 2016 RTP/SCS promotes a sustainable future in which the environment is protected, economic growth is supported and the Plan’s benefits are widely distributed.
The 2016 RTP/SCS envisions vibrant, livable communities that are healthy and safe with transportation options that provide easy access to schools, jobs, services, health care and other basic needs. These communities will be conducive to walking and bicycling and will offer residents improved access to amenities such as parks and natural lands. Collectively, these communities will support opportunities for business, investment and employment, and fuel for a more prosperous economy. This vision recognizes the region’s tremendous diversity, and that no single solution will work everywhere.
SCAG worked closely with local jurisdictions to develop the Plan, which incorporates local growth forecasts, projects and programs and includes complementary regional policies and initiatives. Because SCAG encompasses
six counties, it is important that the 2016 RTP/SCS reflect the region’s diverse needs and priorities. Every effort was made to ensure that this happened.
Since 2009, every MPO has been required to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy as part of its Regional Transportation Plan – therefore the name “RTP/SCS.” This SCS is a vital part of the overall Plan. It charts a course for how the SCAG region will reach state-mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks, which contribute to climate change. This SCS will be discussed extensively in the coming pages. The SCS is a driving force of this Plan, although not the only one. Once implemented along with the rest of the Plan, it will improve the quality of life for all residents of the region.
While our region faces great challenges, we are living at a time of technological and economic innovation that will help us meet those challenges. New mobility innovations can help the region meet the challenges of growth and increasing demands on our transportation system. Automated vehicles, drivers available on demand, data-driven infrastructure and vehicles that respond to both their passengers and the environment are among the new mobility innovations that will reshape how we travel throughout the region. Millennials are already embracing some of these mobility innovations and are likely to be early adopters as new ones emerge. But these advances in mobility also have the potential to help Baby Boomers maintain their independence as they age.
The Plan considers new patterns of development as the regional economy continues to recover and grow, the composition of our population changes, the housing market responds to evolving needs, and demands and mobility innovations emerge. The Plan also includes a long-term strategic vision for the region that will help guide decisions for transportation and how we use land, as well as the public investments in both, through 2040.
Major Themes in the 2016 RTP/SCS
Throughout this Plan you’ll read about important themes that resonate throughout the document and help define its focus. A few have already been introduced. These themes include:
Integrating strategies for land use and transportation. The Plan recognizes that transportation investments and future land use patterns are inextricably linked, and continued recognition of this close relationship will help the region make choices that sustain our existing resources and expand efficiency, mobility and accessibility for people across the region. In particular, the Plan draws a closer
The practice of analyzing the impacts of decisions, policies, strategies and development projects on the Environment, the Economy and Social Equity
connection between where we live and work, and it offers a blueprint for how Southern California can grow more sustainably.
Striving for sustainability. Creating a more sustainable region means growing and living in ways that do not squander the resources we have and need to survive and prosper – from the water we drink, to the air we breathe, to the energy we consume. It is essential that we strive for regional environmental sustainability as we also confront the potential impacts of continued climate change on our transportation infrastructure and communities. In Southern California, striving for sustainability will require achieving state-mandated targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and federal air quality conformity requirements, and also adapting wisely to a changing environment and climate.
Protecting and preserving our existing transportation infrastructure. The Plan places a priority on investing in the transportation system we already have, to maintain and extend its life and utility. It recognizes that deferring maintenance of infrastructure leads to costlier repairs in the future.
Increasing capacity through improved system management. Pouring new concrete is not the only way to add capacity to our roadways. Transportation Systems Management, or TSM, is a powerful strategy that aims to improve the capacity and efficiency of the existing transportation system without resorting to large-scale and expensive capital improvements. Examples of TSM projects include coordinating traffic signals along a corridor; deploying changeable message signs that display real-time road information; and ramp meters that control the timing of vehicles driving onto highways.
Giving people more transportation choices. The Plan will provide people with more options for transportation and mobility, offering them numerous alternatives to driving alone. This will be accomplished by enhancing public transit capacity and increasing its viability by making it more accessible; completing critical road connections; providing greater opportunities for biking and walking, particularly for short trips; exploring how people might use alternative fuel vehicles within their neighborhoods and beyond; increasing telecommuting and flexible work schedules; encouraging new mobility innovations; and improving safety. These Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies will help us better manage the demand we place on the roadway network by reducing the number of people who drive alone and encouraging them to use alternative modes of travel.
Leveraging technology. 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. Moreover, the way urban and suburban areas are shaped can support and encourage shared mobility and other new forms of transportation.
Responding to demographic and housing market changes. The region’s demographics and housing market remain fluid and dynamic. The housing market has rebounded since the 2012 RTP/SCS was adopted, and the number of Millennials and empty nesters has continued to increase with many seeking smaller housing and a more walkable lifestyle. For many households in the region, minimizing transportation and housing costs remains a priority. The Plan includes strategies focused on compact infill development, superior placemaking (the process of creating public spaces that are appealing and uplifting), and expanded housing and transportation choices. The goal is to create a region that can respond nimbly to changing demographics and markets.
Supporting commerce, economic growth and opportunity. The Plan supports economic growth by building the infrastructure the region needs to promote the smooth flow of goods and easier access to jobs, services, educational facilities, healthcare and more. The Plan also preserves natural lands, improves air quality and creates vibrant urban centers – all of which are critical for attracting and retaining the people and jobs Southern California needs to thrive.
Promoting the links among public health, environmental protection and economic opportunity. The Plan places a priority on implementing the integration of transportation and land use strategies to improve our overall health. The Plan will result in improved air quality, provide more opportunities for people to be physically active, and protect natural lands and habitats. The result: communities will become healthier places to live, allowing people and businesses to thrive.
Building a Plan based on the principles of social equity and environmental justice. The Plan is designed to create regionwide benefits that are distributed equitably, while avoiding having any one group carrying the burdens of development disproportionately. It is particularly important that the Plan
consider the consequences of transportation projects on low-income and minority communities and minimize negative impacts. In striving for environmental justice, the Plan provides specific measures to lessen the negative environmental impacts of transportation projects on these communities, as well as metrics to monitor how successful these measures are throughout the communities.
This Plan is a Living, Evolving Tool for Progress
Why SCAG Updates This Plan
The State of California and the federal government require that SCAG and other regional planning agencies update their respective Regional Transportation
Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy every four years. Key laws and requirements drive our work. Two primary mandates include:
While SCAG is required to meet these statutory requirements, all good long-term plans are routinely re-evaluated and updated. SCAG is committed to ensuring that the RTP/SCS is a living document that evolves as the region’s demographics, priorities, desires and economy change.
Benefits Beyond Cleaner Air
This Plan, of course, is about much more than cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, although those are primary goals. SCAG must plan for accommodating another 3.8 million residents in its region. The region also expects to add another 2.4 million jobs and 1.5 million new households by the Plan horizon of 2040. The strategies contained in the 2016 RTP/SCS are expected to produce numerous benefits. Among them are:
Mobility and accessibility
Mobility refers to how quickly and efficiently people can travel from one location to another. ACCESSIBILITY refers to how connected people’s destinations are to transportation options.
Direct improvements to the transportation system can increase mobility. Two examples are speeding up train service and relieving congestion on highways. Improving accessibility requires better coordinating our investments for how we use land with our investments for transportation. Developing housing, businesses and other “Transit Oriented Development” around train stations, for example, improves accessibility.
Key Steps Toward Implementing
To move forward on the Plan, SCAG needs to take some critical steps. Here are a few of them:
1.Funding the Plan
The 2016 RTP/SCS includes a $556.5 billion financial plan, discussed in Chapter 6 and detailed further in the Transportation Finance Appendix, that identifies how much money will be available to support the region’s capital, operating, maintenance and transportation system preservation needs over the life of the Plan. It includes a core revenue forecast of existing local, state and federal funding sources, along with new funding sources that are reasonably expected to be available through 2040.
These new sources of funding include anticipated adjustments to state and federal gas tax rates based on historical trends and recommendations from two national commissions created by Congress; efforts to further leverage existing local sales tax measures; value capture strategies (e.g., tax increment financing); potential national freight program/freight fees; and passenger and commercial vehicle tolls for specific facilities. Other reasonably expected revenues in the future will come from innovative financing strategies, such as private equity participation. The Plan includes strategies to ensure that these sources of revenue are available, in accordance with federal guidelines.
2.Collaborating with Member Agencies, Jurisdictions and Stakeholders
Implementing the Plan will require SCAG to continue working closely with its member agencies, just as it did during its development. In particular, SCAG will need to work with the six county transportation commissions responsible for managing and prioritizing the portfolio of transportation investments in their respective counties. SCAG also must work with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), transit operators, port and airport authorities, and other implementing agencies. In addition, the agency will have to work with the cities and counties responsible for land use and transportation planning, and the air quality management districts in charge of monitoring conditions throughout the region. The agency will also have to work with key stakeholders to ensure the Plan benefits the economy and ensures social equity. To ensure that the region makes progress on its goals,
These benefits add up to a simple and powerful idea: a more efficient transportation network and more livable and sustainable communities throughout our region.
Components of the atmosphere (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) that contribute to the greenhouse effect
SCAG will monitor its own progress toward achieving its targets and will share this information with relevant partners and the public.
Ultimately there is a need to identify and secure funding to support deployment and implementation of the land use policies and strategies contained in the Plan in order to fully realize a sustainable regional vision. It will be essential to secure resources from the California Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, also know as Cap-and-Trade, in order to support the Plan’s objectives. Additionally, innovative and emerging financing options such as Enhanced Infrastructure Finance Districts (EIFDs) will need to be explored and implemented by local jurisdictions.
3.Looking Ahead Beyond 2040
To fully address our region’s long-term needs, SCAG must consider strategies and investments beyond what is contained in the “financially constrained” portion of the 2016 RTP/SCS – that is, the investment plan built on revenues that are reasonably expected over the life of the Plan. Chapter 9 provides an overview of potential programs and policies that may be implemented if additional funding becomes available in the future. These include:
SCAG expects that the 2016 RTP/SCS Strategic Plan will influence the next update to the RTP/SCS in 2020, and that strategies detailed above will eventually be incorporated into future investment plans.
Chapter 2 discusses the current transportation system in the region, how we use land today and also a graphic overview of progress achieved since the 2012 RTP/SCS. It will be followed in Chapter 3 with a review of challenges we face as a region. The first three chapters of the 2016 RTP/SCS set the stage for a discussion of the Plan’s development in Chapter 4 and a comprehensive review of the Plan’s strategies, programs and projects in Chapter 5.
To plan effectively for the future, it is important to understand the current conditions of land use and transportation throughout our large and complex region. This chapter reviews those current conditions.
Where we are today
How we use land today
SCAG recognizes that decisions by local jurisdictions about how land is used can impact the regional transportation system, and decisions about regional transportation investments can impact land use. The agency also understands that most land use planning is typically conducted by local jurisdictions, while regional and state agencies often make major decisions about transportation investments.
This is why it is critical for the region to integrate strategies for our transportation system with strategies for how we use land. Only by doing this can we achieve sustainable growth and a high quality of life for our region. This first section of Chapter 2 offers an overview of how we use land in the SCAG region, and its relevance to improving our regional transportation system as we head toward 2040.
CATEGORIZING Land USE
Of the 38,000 square miles of total land in the SCAG region, only 21 percent is suitable for development. Of this limited developable land, more than half has already been fully developed. However, of the remaining developable land, only a small portion of it can be developed sustainably – meaning it can be reached via planned transit service and that it can readily access existing infrastructure (water resources, sewer facilities, etc.). According to SCAG land use data, only two percent of the total developable land in the region is located in High Quality Transit Areas (HQTAs). A more compact land development strategy is needed, which will be discussed in Chapter 5. Please note that this limited remaining land for future development does not account for potential reductions from conservation efforts currently underway.
SCAG supports the fact that local jurisdictions conduct much of the planning for land use in our region. However, as the agency prepared the 2016 RTP/SCS, it needed to organize the many different types and classifications of land uses in the region for required technical analyses. The SCAG region is diverse and large and the types and classifications of land use used by one jurisdiction often differ from those used by another. The result is that there are many different land use types and classifications that SCAG must organize for its own analyses.
To accurately represent land uses throughout the region, SCAG reviewed
information from jurisdictions and simplified the types and classifications of land use. The agency identified 35 “Place Types” to reflect the diversity of land use planning. Descriptions, standards and graphic examples of each Place Type can be found in the Reference Documents section of the SCS Background Documentation Appendix. These Place Types were used in an urban setting design tool known as the Urban Footprint Sustainability Planning Model (SPM), which guided and evaluated urban development in the Plan in terms of form, scale and function in the built environment.
SCAG then sorted the 35 Place Types into three Land Development Categories. The agency used these categories to describe the general conditions that exist and/or are likely to exist within a specific area. SCAG did not intend to have them represent detailed policies for land use, development or growth. Rather, they reflect the varied conditions of buildings and roadways, transportation options, and the mix of housing and employment throughout the region. The three Land Development Categories that SCAG used are:
1.Urban: These areas are often found within and directly adjacent to moderate and high density urban centers. Nearly all urban growth in these areas would be considered infill or redevelopment. The majority of housing is multifamily and attached single family (townhome), which tend to consume less water and energy than the larger types found in greater proportion in less urban locations. These areas are supported by high levels of regional and local transit service. They have well-connected street networks, and the mix and intensity of uses result in a highly walkable environment. These areas offer enhanced access and connectivity for people who choose not to drive or do not have access to a vehicle.
2.Compact: These areas are less dense than those in the Urban Land Development Category, but they are highly walkable with a rich mix of retail, commercial, residential and civic uses. These areas are most likely to occur as new growth on the urban edge, or as large-scale redevelopment. They have a rich mix of housing, from multifamily and attached single family (townhome) to small- and medium-lot single family homes. These areas are well served by regional and local transit service, but they may not benefit from as much service as urban growth areas and are less likely to occur around major multimodal hubs. Streets in these areas are well connected and walkable, and destinations such as schools, shopping and entertainment areas can typically be reached by walking, biking, taking transit, or with a short auto trip.
3.Standard: These areas comprise the majority of separate-use, auto-oriented developments that have characterized the American suburban landscape for decades. Densities in these areas tend to be lower than those in the Compact Land Development Category, and they are generally not highly mixed. Medium- and larger-lot single family homes comprise the majority of this development form. Standard areas are not typically well served by regional transit service, and most trips are made by automobile.
Natural Lands and Farmland
Southern California is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, with an enormous wealth of natural habitats, and flora and fauna that include species that only exist in Southern California. Our iconic mountain ranges, chaparrals, numerous rivers and expansive deserts make up our regional identity. Additionally, Southern California has a rich agricultural history and continues to be a food producer for the rest of the country. However, issues such as infrastructure needs, continuing development pressure, climate change and limited financial resources present significant challenges in protecting and maintaining the quality and quantity our natural lands and farmlands.
About 35 percent of our region’s area, including some key habitat areas, are already protected.1 Conversely, some areas, especially near the edge of existing urbanized areas, do not have plans for conservation and are susceptible to development pressure. These include lands that are important and unique habitats and have high per-acre habitat values, such as riparian habitat (i.e., areas adjacent to bodies of water such as streams or rivers). These habitat types tend to have high per-acre habitat values – meaning these are areas that are home to a high number of species and serve as highly functional habitat. Some key habitat types are underrepresented within the 35 percent of the region already under protection.
Local land use decisions play a pivotal role in the fate of some of the region’s most valuable habitat and farmlands. Many local governments have taken steps toward planning comprehensively for conserving natural lands and farmlands, while also meeting demands for growth. Across the region, transportation agencies and local governments have used tools, such as habitat conservation plans, to link land use decisions with comprehensive conservation plans in order to streamline development.
To support those and other comprehensive conservation planning efforts and to inform the local land use decision making process, SCAG has studied regional-scale habitat values (see Exhibit 2.1), developed a conservation framework and assembled a natural resource database.2 Over the past several years, SCAG and regional partners such as county transportation commissions (CTCs), environmental organizations and local governments have supported natural land restoration, conservation and acquisition in ways that could contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, streamlining projects and addressing climate change impacts to natural habitats. Please see the Natural/Farm Lands Appendix for additional details.
Shifting Housing Types
In the postwar era that shaped the physical landscape and popular image of Southern California, most households consisted of parents with children – often residing on large suburban lots with single-family houses. But in the 21st century, the region is witnessing demographic shifts that are influencing housing choices. Today, a smaller percentage of households have younger children at home, and the number of households without children is dramatically increasing. The housing market is expected to reflect these trends with an increased demand for smaller-lot single-family houses, as well as multifamily housing close to shopping, transit services and other amenities. Currently, 55 percent of the region’s homes are detached single-family houses. Over the next 20 years, the region is projected to add another 1.5 million homes, and much of this increase will be homes on smaller lots and multifamily housing (a breakdown of 33 percent single-family housing to 67 percent multifamily housing). Though new housing will tend to be multifamily housing, the region’s overall housing stock will remain fairly similar, with a breakdown of 49 percent single-family housing and 51 percent multifamily housing (see
Our Housing Needs
As a Council of Governments, SCAG is required by California housing law to conduct a Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) every eight years. This assessment determines future housing needs for every jurisdiction in a given region for a specific time period. This determination is referred to as the RHNA allocation, which represents projected housing needs for an eight-year period, as required by state law. For our region, the most recent RHNA allocation, also known as the 5th RHNA cycle, was adopted by the SCAG’s Regional Council in October 2012 and it covers a projection period between January 2014 and
1O’Neill, T., & Bohannon, J. (2015). Conservation Framework and Assessment. SCAG.
2These documents can be found at: http://sustain.scag.ca.gov/Pages/LinksResources.aspx.
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Security Pacific National Bank (Prior to 1987) and Construction Industry Research Board (1988 to present)
October 2021. The RHNA allocation breaks down housing needs into four income categories: very low (less than 50 percent of the county’s median income); low (50 to 80 percent of the median); moderate (80 to 120 percent); and above moderate (more than 120 percent). For the 5th RHNA cycle, the regional RHNA allocation was 412,137 units, broken down as follows: 100,632 very low; 64,947 low; 72,053 moderate; and 174,505 above moderate. The very low and low categories are referred to as affordable. However, although these housing units are planned and zoned for, historical data shows that less than ten percent of the needed affordable housing has been built. In contrast, housing construction measured by building permits issued meets nearly 90 percent of projected market rate housing needs.
Within the housing elements of their General Plans, each jurisdiction in our region is required to show how it would accommodate their RHNA allocation for the designated period. This can be accomplished through a sites and inventory analysis that evaluates zoning and land use policies. SCAG is tasked with providing the regional RHNA allocation, but housing elements are reviewed and approved by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Since the 5th cycle adoption due date of October 2013, more
than 88 percent of our region’s jurisdictions have adopted housing elements. The next RHNA allocation for our region is anticipated to be adopted by SCAG in October 2020, with housing elements due by October 2021.
High Quality Transit Areas (HQTAs) and Transit Priority Areas (TPAs)
The overall land use pattern detailed in the 2012 RTP/SCS reinforced the idea of focusing new housing and employment within the region’s HQTAs. For planning purposes, an HQTA is defined as an area within one-half mile of a well-serviced fixed guideway transit stop, and it includes bus transit corridors where buses pick up passengers every 15 minutes or less during peak commute hours. The 2012 RTP/SCS also identified Transit Priority Areas (TPAs), which are defined as locations where two or more high-frequency transit routes intersect. Currently, more than five million residents in the region live within HQTAs. These HQTAs currently accommodate 2.8 million jobs (see Table 2.1).
Increasing the amount of high quality and high density housing, as well as employment opportunities in both of these transit-rich areas (HQTAs and TPAs)
Figure 2.1 SCAG Region Share of Multiple/Single Building Permits Issued
Exhibit 2.1 High value habitat
will result in increased ridership on important public transit investments. Local jurisdictions throughout the region are applying more sophisticated planning practices in the specific plans and zoning codes that govern these areas in order to promote this kind of development. As housing density increases in cities and HQTAs, local governments are investing in pedestrian and bike infrastructure and reducing parking requirements to support people who choose not to have a car or cannot afford one. Cities are also creating and retaining affordable housing near transit, helping to increase connectivity to employment opportunities and reducing reliance on automobile ownership.
The positive effects on real estate values, retail sales, property taxes and social benefits of developing within HQTAs are also well documented. For example, less automobile-dependent settings, like HQTAs, spur volunteerism, social interaction and community engagement with more opportunities for face-to-face contact. Creating active places that are busy throughout the day and evening also improves safety and reduces crime rates within the surrounding neighborhood. Increased retail sales and easy transit accessibility translate into higher business profits, rent, commercial real estate values and government property taxes. Similarly, housing value premiums associated with being near a transit station (usually expressed as being within one-quarter to one-half mile of a station) average 17 percent to 30 percent higher than comparable properties located elsewhere.
HQTAs and TPAs are powerful examples of how integrating strategies for land use and transportation can help us achieve our long-term goals for greater mobility, a strong economy and sustainable growth. In the next section of this chapter, we will discuss the state of our overall transportation system today. That will help us set the stage for Chapter 5, where we will review our strategies, programs and projects for our transportation system and explain how we will integrate them with how we use land. Efficient use of our land is the basis for an efficient transportation system, and vice versa.
How We Travel Today
Our regional transit system today is comprised of an extensive network of services provided by dozens of operators. This network includes fixed-route local bus lines, community circulators, express and rapid buses, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), demand response,3 light rail transit, heavy rail transit (subway) and commuter rail.4 The region’s providers of transit offer the second largest amount of service in the country, after that of the New York City metropolitan area (see Exhibit 2.2).
Transit plays a focused but important role in Southern California’s integrated transportation system. It provides an alternative to driving for many and provides mobility to people who do not have cars. The transit network is the region’s largest non-automotive passenger transportation mode by trip volume, by a huge degree. Riders of transit took more than eight times as many trips as air travelers in FY2011-12 and nearly 267 times as many trips as passenger rail travelers.
Transit use results in benefits for the environment, the economy and people’s quality of life.5 It enhances personal mobility and access to opportunities, including jobs, education, health care and recreation. For example, transit use in 2011 saved an estimated 450 million gallons of fuel nationally and nearly $21
Table 2.1 2012 HQTA
3“Demand response” is defined as a transit mode comprised of passenger cars, vans or small buses operating in response to calls from passengers or their agents to the transit operator, who then dispatches a vehicle to pick up the passengers and transport them to their destinations.
4Commuter rail is discussed separately in more detail, along with intercity passenger rail such as Amtrak and CA High-Speed Train, as part of “Passenger Rail.”
5American Public Transportation Association. Public Transportation Benefits. (n.d.). [Website]. Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/ptbenefits/Pages/default.aspx.
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billion in congestion-related costs, including the value of time spent stuck in traffic and the cost of wasted fuel. Households living near public transportation drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles than households with no access to public transportation. Individuals who switch their commute to transit can reduce their household’s greenhouse gas emissions by ten percent, and households that downsize to one car can reduce their emissions by 30 percent and save nearly $13,000 a year.6 Investment in transit infrastructure and services provides economic opportunities, as every $1 spent on transit generates about $4 in economic returns.7Transit also benefits real estate. From 2006 to 2011, residential property values in certain urban areas were found to perform 42 percent better on average if they were located near frequent transit service.8
Each of the region’s residents take about 39 transit trips each year on average, at an operating and maintenance cost of $3.46 per trip, on average (this amount increases to roughly $5.05 when both operations and capital expenditures are accounted for). Travelers typically pay 25 percent of the operating and maintenance cost of their travel, with the remaining 75 percent paid for by state and local public subsidies. Most capital expenditures are also funded with public subsidies, including a larger share of federal grants. Despite recent service cuts, the region’s total combined capital and operations spending exceeded $3.59 billion in FY2011-12.
The past eight years have been tough economically for Southern California’s transit agencies. Although bus service accounted for 82 percent of the region’s transit trips in FY2011-12, the agencies that provide it have been hit particularly hard. Many have cut service. Total bus service provided by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has declined by ten percent, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has cut its bus service by 11 percent and Los Angeles County Municipal Operators bus service has fallen by three percent.
These declines in service are tied to the Great Recession, as total ridership as well as per-capita ridership have stagnated. In FY2011-12, ridership of just under 711 million trips was up 1.7 percent compared with the prior year, but it represented a six percent decline from a pre-recession high of more than 750
million trips. The per capita trip total of 38.95 for FY2011-12 represents a loss of 7.2 percent from the pre-recession high of more than 42 per capita trips. Preliminary data for FY2014-15 show that total ridership and per capita ridership have continued to decline. Total transit trips are expected to fall below 700 million for the first time since FY2003-04.
Transit buses continue to provide the backbone of public transportation in our region. The TRANSIT FOCUS page shows the share of all trips and service hours provided by buses in FY2011-12. Since 1991, when the region began expanding the scope and nature of its transit system, transit agencies in the region have provided about 13.22 billion transit trips, nearly 90 percent occurring on buses, four percent on heavy rail, five percent on light rail, one percent on commuter rail and one percent on demand response.
Since the opening of the Metro Blue Line in 1991, urban rail and commuter rail have grown from 1.3 percent of transit trips to 16.1 percent of trips in 2012. Bus trips, however, have declined from 98.6 percent of trips to about 83 percent. Urban and commuter rail together supply only 11.6 percent of all Vehicle Revenue Miles, because the per vehicle capacity is much higher than that of buses. Despite this small share of Vehicle Revenue Miles, urban and commuter rail services take 20.9 percent of all transit operating expenses in our region.
Southern California is served by an ever expanding passenger rail network, including intercity, commuter and freight services, and this network is expanding and improving in terms of capacity, efficiency and safety. Many capital, operational and safety improvements are underway and planned throughout this existing network, including transportation corridors currently not served by rail.
The region’s passenger rail network, along with the number of passengers and service levels, has steadily grown since 1990, except for a dip during the Great Recession. In 1990, the only passenger rail service operating in the region was the Pacific Surfliner and Amtrak’s long-distance trains such as the Coast Starlight and Southwest Chief. Metrolink began commuter rail service in October 1992, and it continues to expand its network and levels of service. The Pacific Surfliner, which carried 2.7 million passengers in FY2013-14, operates 11 daily round-trips between Los Angeles and San Diego, five round-trips between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara/Goleta and two round-trips north to San Luis Obispo. The Pacific Surfliner is Amtrak’s second busiest corridor, behind the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The line’s average speed is 46 miles per hour (mph).
6Chitwood, C. (2015, August 20). August Transit Savings Report: Public Transit Is a Great Lesson in Savings As Students Head Back to School. Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2015/Pages/20150820_Transit-Savings.aspx.
7Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment. (2014). American Public Transportation Association.
8The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation. (2013). Washington DC: American Public Transportation Association.
These cooperative fare agreements and media efforts include effective marketing across passenger rail markets and transit riders. Metrolink has been successful with its special service trains for both Dodgers’ and Angels’ games and other special events. These types of services introduce passenger rail to the general public and can lead to new regular customers.
In July 2015, Metrolink started a pilot fare project on the Antelope Valley Line. It includes a 25-percent reduction in off-peak fares and allows station-to-station travel in the off-peak periods for just $2.00. If successful, it may be implemented on other Metrolink lines. Since 2012, Metrolink has offered its successful Weekend Pass, allowing unlimited travel throughout the entire Metrolink system on both Saturday and Sunday for just $10.00. (The fare has since increased to $10.00 per weekend day.) Monthly pass holders can take unlimited trips on the weekend.
The renaissance of rail travel in our region is exciting. However, significant challenges are keeping our commuter and intercity rail networks from realizing their full potential to help reduce freeway and highway congestion and cut air pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Among these challenges:
More than half of the commuter and intercity rail network operates on one track, some of which is owned by freight railroads that maintain priority for their own operations. Passenger trains are assigned “slots,” meaning that they are allowed to move in a particular direction for a fixed time period. This results in the relatively slow average speeds noted above, reducing the incentive for commuters to use the train system (and instead prompting them to commute by car), as well as reducing the number of passenger trains that can serve our region.
One-track operations present other challenges. Even a minor delay can lead to a train losing its slot, thereby causing cascading delays throughout the network and throughout the day. Commuter and intercity rail networks in Chicago and on the East Coast have much higher service frequencies than we do in our region, mainly because they have fewer single-track segments and fewer conflicts with freight railroads. Our region has a large list of rail improvements either in the planning phases or which are ready for construction. These improvements include adding double-tracking, sidings, station improvements and grade separations to increase speed and service levels. However, there is no dedicated long-term funding for commuter and intercity rail to move these projects forward.
The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), the operator of Metrolink, operates 165 weekday trains on seven lines and the system carried 11.7 million passengers in FY2013-14. Weekend service provides 34 trains on Saturdays and 28 on Sundays. Metrolink operates two round-trip express trains: one round-trip on the San Bernardino Line and one round-trip on the Antelope Valley Line (to Palmdale only). System-wide average speed is 37 mph.
Notable recent efforts include the first Metrolink e-ticketing program rollout in late 2015. Also, the LOSSAN Agency (Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor) received a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant in the spring of 2015 to re-establish a cooperative fare agreement with local connecting transit agencies for free transfers to and from the Pacific Surfliner. This program had never been fully developed by Caltrans Division of Rail (DOR), and recently it had been discontinued.
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Our region has made steady progress in encouraging people to embrace active transportation, that is, human-powered transportation such as walking and biking. Across our region today, many people live and work in areas where trips are short enough to be completed by walking or biking. Walking and biking as a share of all trips is more than 18 percent in our most urban areas where there are abundant nearby destinations/land uses, yet still reaches 11 percent in rural areas where land uses are more singular.9 There is a strong relationship between land use and travel behavior. Land use characteristics play a key role in determining the conditions for and feasibility of walking and biking in a community, due to the sensitivity of these modes to trip length.
The regional bike network is evolving but remains fragmented. Nearly 500 additional miles of bikeways were built since SCAG’s 2012 RTP/SCS, but only 3,919 miles of bikeways exist regionwide, of which 2,888 miles are bike paths/lanes (see Exhibit 2.3). This is compared with more than 70,000 roadway lane miles. One way to quantify bikeway quality and density is to calculate a ratio of bike path to lane miles. SCAG’s ratio of bike path/lane miles ratio is 0.039. To put this in perspective, Portland, Oregon and San Francisco have bike path/lane ratios to lane miles at 0.054 and 0.078, which are 38 percent and 100 percent higher than the SCAG region, respectively. Our region’s lack of consistent infrastructure discourages all but the most fearless people to bike.
Walking represents nearly 17 percent of all trips in the SCAG region, with the largest share in Los Angeles County. It is how most transit riders reach their station. Most walk trips (83 percent) are less than one half mile; walkers are often discouraged from traveling farther. Routes to stops and stations are often circuitous and/or obstructed, increasing the time it takes to complete a trip by transit and therefore making the choice to use transit less attractive. A study in Los Angeles County found the most common barriers to station access on foot or bicycle include: long blocks, freeway over/underpasses, concerns about safety and security, sidewalk maintenance, legibility/lack of signage and right-of-way constraints leading to limited space for safe walking and biking.10 Currently, all six counties in the SCAG region are pursuing first/last mile solutions to make transit or border crossing stations more accommodating to active transportation. Their efforts are aided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which has extended the “walk-shed” (the area encircling
a destination point) from transit stations from a quarter mile to a half mile, enabling transit funding to be used for larger areas around transit stations.11 The “bike-shed,” as defined through FTA guidance, extends three miles in all directions from a station.
While the number of bicyclists and pedestrians is increasing, so are injuries and fatalities – although not as fast as the growth overall in active transportation. Nevertheless, injuries among those who bike and walk are increasing at a time when the total number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities is dropping regionwide. Improving safety will likely require pursuing innovative strategies to reduce conflicts among bicyclists, pedestrians and automobiles.
Highways and Arterials
Though active transportation is on the rise, our region’s highways and arterials continue to be the backbone of our overall transportation network and they are vital to moving people and goods throughout the region. Across the Southern California region, our highway and arterial system covers about 70,000 roadway lane miles and accommodates 66 million trips per day. Our roadways are not only used by automobiles and freight trucks, they are also used for transit and for those who choose to walk, bike and embrace other forms of active transportation. According to SCAG’s Regional Travel Demand Model (RTDM), more than nine out of ten trips rely either entirely or in part on the highway and arterial system. Based on currently available data, there are 2.0 million vehicle-hours of daily delay, 3.0 million person-hours of daily delay and 8.2 minutes of daily delay per capita.
Maintaining the operational efficiency of our roadways is crucial if we are to maintain the mobility of our region. Unfortunately, traffic congestion continues to adversely affect our highway and arterial system every day. Although we have made improvements, the increasing travel demands that will come with a growing population in coming years will lead to increased congestion. This traffic congestion will not only make life difficult for commuters, it will also degrade our region’s air quality and our overall quality of life. To address congestion and to improve our transportation network’s efficiency, the region has been investing in Transportation System Management and Transportation Demand Management projects as described in the following sections.
9California Department of Transportation (2012). California Household Travel Survey.
10Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2014) First Last Mile Strategic Plan & Planning Guidelines.
11Department of Transportation (Friday, August 19, 2011): Final Policy Statement on the Eligibility of Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Under Federal Transit Law. Federal Register Volume 76, Number 161 Pages 52046-52053.
Exhibit 2.2 2012 baseyear transit network
Exhibit 2.3 Existing bikeways 2012
Transportation System Management (TSM) and Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
For our regional transportation system to operate efficiently and smoothly, operators must manage the system effectively, as well as the demands placed on it, everyday. SCAG refers to these as TSM and TDM.
TSM employs a series of techniques designed to maximize the capacity and efficiency of the existing transportation system and its facilities. One of these techniques deploys Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), which will be discussed below. TDM involves a variety of strategies to manage the demand placed on our roadway network and to reduce our dependence on driving alone. These include promoting ridesharing, value pricing,12 telecommuting or alternative work schedules and alternative modes of travel such as transit, passenger rail and active transportation.
The common goals of TSM and TDM are to improve the productivity of our transportation system, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and reduce or eliminate the need to construct new and expensive transportation infrastructure.
Transportation System Management (TSM)
A critical TSM technique is Intelligent Transportation Systems, or ITS, which makes use of advanced detection, communications and computing technologies to improve the safety and efficiency of our surface transportation network. These systems allow system operators and users to better manage and optimize the capacity of the region’s transportation system. Data is collected about the status of our highways, traffic signals, transit vehicles, freight vehicles, passenger trains and shared-ride vehicles and is integrated in ways that improve the efficiency of the overall transportation system.
SCAG has a critical role to play in the development and management of ITS in the region. As the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization, SCAG is charged with developing and maintaining the Southern California Regional ITS Architecture. This architecture is the regional planning tool for ensuring a cooperative process to prioritize and deploy ITS technologies and for identifying critical data connections between institutional stakeholders (e.g., connecting two transit operators). This architecture helps the region deploy ITS systems that are truly integrated. Stakeholders are able to share information among
many agencies in consistent and compatible formats to achieve improved safety and efficiency. SCAG works closely with the CTCs, local governments and Caltrans Districts to update and maintain the regional architecture and assure the use of required systems, engineering requirements and applicable standards – which is required when federal funds are used on ITS projects.
The Southern California freeway system has an extensive ITS system that covers most of the urbanized portion of our region. Loop detectors in the pavement and video cameras provide information on speed and volume and identify congestion and incidents that are fed to Caltrans/California Highway Patrol (CHP) Transportation Management Centers (TMCs). Arterial ITS systems are in place throughout the region as well. Local arterial systems include advanced signal synchronization capabilities to increase the flow of traffic and also to detect and respond to changes in traffic volume or direction of travel and manage incidents. Like the freeway network, these systems include loop and video detection and also rely on wireless data such as that provided by Google.
Most medium- to large-scale, fixed-route and Dial-a-Ride operators in our region have implemented transit ITS components. These include automatic vehicle location (AVL) and transit signal priority (TSP) systems. Automatic vehicle location systems have greatly increased the effectiveness of real-time scheduling information, increasing convenience for transit passengers. TSP gives transit vehicles signal priority to improve passenger throughput and bus speed. The TSP system is an integral part of Metro’s Rapid Bus program, which has 20 routes. Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus, Culver City Bus and Torrance Transit have Rapid lines that employ TSP systems as well. Using a combination of hard-wired loop technology and wireless technology, they reduce travel times by up to 25 percent.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
Our region employs an array of TDM strategies to better manage the demand placed on our roadway network by reducing the number of people who drive alone as well as encouraging them to use alternative modes. As a consequence, these strategies have helped reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. These include promoting carpooling and vanpooling, biking and walking, car sharing and bike sharing, telecommuting, flexible work schedules and intelligent parking, among other strategies. The region has a long history of investing in a comprehensive High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or carpool lane system, supported by investments in park-and-ride facilities, rideshare matching and vanpooling services. A 2014 national study of employers by the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management showed that employers are becoming more willing to provide employees with
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12 Value pricing is a user fee applied during peak demand periods on congested roadways to improve the reliability and efficiency of the transportation system and provide travelers with greater choices.
Exhibit 2.4 Existing Regional Goods Movement System
flexible work arrangements and more choices in managing work time, without loss of pay. As Baby Boomers continue to retire in increasing numbers and are replaced by younger, more tech-savvy workers, and as employers continue to embrace technology and remote access capabilities, we expect to see increases in the percentage of workers who telecommute or have flexible work schedules.
A significant amount of travel in the region is still by people who choose to drive alone (42 percent of all trips and nearly 77 percent of work trips). So, the challenge of getting individuals to seek more environmentally friendly alternatives of travel remains.
Our region’s transportation network for moving goods, referred to as our “goods movement” system, relies today on multiple modes of transportation and complex infrastructure. Whether carrying imported goods from the ports to regional distribution centers, supplying materials for local manufacturers, or delivering consumer goods to residents, our goods movement system sustains regional industries and consumer needs every day. This system includes deep-water marine ports, international border crossings, Class I rail lines, interstate highways, state routes and local connector roads, air cargo facilities, intermodal facilities and distribution and warehousing centers. EXHIBIT 2.4 depicts our region’s multimodal goods movement system.
Major Elements of the Goods Movement System:
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13American Association of Port Authorities and U.S. Trade Online, U.S. Census.
14U.S. Trade Online, U.S. Census and Port of Hueneme.
15U.S. Trade Online, U.S. Census.
16Highway Performance Monitoring System, California Department of Transportation, http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tsip/hpms/.
17CoStar Reality Information, Inc. www.costar.com, based on November 2014 data downloads.
Key Goods Movement Functions and Markets
Our region’s goods movement system serves a wide range of markets including international, domestic and local trade. Although the international trade market has a significant presence in the region, most freight activities are generated by local businesses moving goods to local customers and supporting national domestic trade. These businesses are sometimes referred to as “goods movement-dependent industries.” In 2014, these industries, including manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction and warehousing, employed nearly three million people throughout the region and contributed $291 billion to the regional gross domestic product (GDP). These industries are anticipated to grow substantially, with manufacturing projected to increase its GDP contribution 130 percent by 2040 and wholesale trade growing 144 percent.19
Growth of E-Commerce and Goods Movement
The retail industry provided nearly $30 billion in wages and salaries for the region in 2014.20 This industry includes a wide variety of subsectors such as motor vehicles, furniture, electronics and appliances, building materials, health and personal care products, clothing, sporting goods and books. One of the most notable changes in the retail industry is the strong growth in e-commerce sales. E-commerce sales for U.S. retailers totaled $261 billion in 2013, an increase of 13.6 percent from 2012. Total retail sales increased by 3.8 percent in the same period. Within the e-commerce sales merchandise category, clothing and clothing accessories had the largest sales at $40 billion, followed by electronics and appliances at nearly $23 billion. E-commerce provides consumers with a broad range of shopping options, including the ability to compare product prices instantaneously from mobile devices and to opt for home delivery or store pick-up of merchandise. Simultaneously, e-commerce has changed how traditional distribution centers and retail outlets are operating to meet customer demand. Distribution centers in the past delivered bulk size goods to their customers or vendors. Because e-commerce orders tend to be smaller in size (i.e., a single
item order as compared to a bulk-case order), many retailers and distribution center/warehouse operators are upgrading their facilities, or developing new facilities to meet surging e-commerce orders. These changes are also generally characterized by the use of smaller trucks and integrator delivery vans due to overnight or two-day delivery requirements of e-commerce customers.
Same-Day Delivery Demands
Consumers are increasingly demanding instant gratification (i.e., quicker fulfillment of their orders). More recent developments include same-day delivery options. To meet the same-day delivery promise, distribution or fulfillment center proximity to population centers becomes critical. This is exemplified by large-scale e-commerce fulfillment center developments in the periphery of urban population centers, such as Amazon fulfillment centers. At the same time, small to medium size buildings that are narrow, but with ample loading doors and docks in urban cores, have also been attractive as they provide even quicker access to dense population centers than those in the outskirts. Additionally, retailers are increasingly using products available at their stores to fulfill e-commerce orders. Parcel hubs, delivery centers and accessibility to local streets and highways throughout the region will continue to be critical to e-commerce growth.21 22 23
State of Safety
The safety of people and goods is one of the most important considerations in developing, maintaining and operating our diverse transportation system. Throughout California, the rate of fatal and injury collisions on highways has declined dramatically since the California Highway Patrol began keeping such data in the 1930s (see FIGURE 2.2). California has led the nation in roadway safety for many of the past 20 years. Only recently have roadways nationally become as safe as those in California. California’s most recently recorded mileage death rate (MDR) – defined as fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) – was 0.91, while the MDR within the SCAG region was slightly lower at 0.83. When compared to the national MDR of 1.09, both MDRs for the state and SCAG region are significantly lower. In addition, the 2012 measure
18Industrial Warehousing in the SCAG Region Study, SCAG, based on the Avison-Young methodology for port-related and non-port related warehousing needs
19REMI TranSight SCAG, CA, USv3.6.5.
20Regional Economic Model Inc. TranSight SCAG, CA, US v3.6.5.
21E-commerce Evolutions – Element 4: Distribution and Fulfillment Centers, NAIOP, May 2015, http://www.naiop.org/en/E-Library/Business-Trends/Distribution-and-Fulfillment-Centers.aspx.
22Retailers must overcome logistics lag for same-day delivery, Kris Bjornson, JLL, April 2014, http://www.joneslanglasalleblog.com/investor/retailers-must-overcome-logistics-lag-for-same-day-delivery/.
23Same-day delivery is transforming the CRE industry, Kris Bjornson, JLL, June 2015, http://www.joneslanglasalleblog.com/investor/same-day-delivery-is-transforming-the-cre-industry/?utm_source=us-retail-ecom&utm_medium=jll-website&utm_campaign=featuredpost.
fatalities and a 1.5 percent per year reduction for the number and rate of severe injuries. Although the SHSP and previous California SHSPs set various actions that state agencies can take to reduce fatalities, there are complementary strategies that local governments can pursue, as described in this Plan’s Safety and Security Appendix.
As we continue to work to improve safety for motorists, we also must tackle the alarming fatality rates of those who use other modes of transportation. Safety is a priority for all modes of transportation, and improving safety for people who walk and bike is critical. Based on currently available data, about 27 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in our region involved pedestrians and five percent of traffic-related fatalities involved bicyclists, according to data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS).
Aviation and Ground Access
The SCAG region is one of the busiest and most diverse commercial aviation regions in the world. In 2014, more than 60 airlines offered scheduled service to one or more of our region’s airports, providing more than 1,200 daily commercial departures — one every 70 seconds. These departing flights travel all over
marked the fourth time that California has been below the MDR of 1.0.
Our region has an extensive transportation system, with more than 70,000 miles of freeway and arterial lanes and 3,900 miles of bikeways. As of 2014, the region had 14.9 million licensed drivers and 11.8 million registered vehicles. As of 2012 (the most recent year that data was available), more than 1,300 people died and 121,000 were injured (of which 6,800 were considered severe) in traffic collisions in the region.
In 2012 President Obama signed into law MAP-21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which funded surface transportation programs and required states to develop Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSPs). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) responded by developing an updated SHSP through a participatory process. Throughout 2014, Caltrans conducted an extensive outreach effort to more than 50 agencies and organizations throughout the state – including SCAG – to gather feedback on improving the overall SHSP. This effort led to the release of the final California SHSP in 2015. California’s ultimate goal is to reach zero deaths on our freeways – a concept known as “Toward Zero Deaths” (TZD). Specifically, California aims to achieve a three percent per year reduction for the number and rate of
Figure 2.2 Making Our Roadways Safer: California Mileage Death Rate (1933-2012)
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the United States and to every corner of the globe; a total of 169 destinations in 37 countries had non-stop service from our region in 2014. Our airports also play a critical role in the region’s goods movement network, and they impact the operations of our ground transportation network as well. The passengers arriving at or departing from our airports generate more than 200,000 daily trips on our region’s ground transportation system.
Passenger and cargo air travel in the region is supported by a multiple airport system that spans six counties – with seven commercial airports with scheduled passenger service, five additional facilities with the infrastructure to accommodate scheduled service, seven active military air fields and more than forty general aviation airports. Worldwide, few other regions have as many commercial airports within a comparable geographic area, making Southern California one of the world’s most complex aviation systems.
In 2014, the airports in our region handled more than 1.5 million aircraft
operations (take-offs and landings), nearly 800,000 of which were commercial operations. In the face of this huge number of air travelers and aircraft, our airports work efficiently. Flights to our region arrive on schedule more than 80 percent of the time. Thanks to favorable weather conditions, lengthy tarmac delays that occur in other regions are virtually unheard of here. The size of the regional market for air travel and the absence of a single dominant air carrier in the region result in healthy competition among airlines, so air travelers enjoy some of the lowest average airfares in the country.
Air travel is an important contributor to the region’s economic activity. Nearly half of the air travel in the region consists of visitors from other parts of the country and the world traveling here to conduct business, enjoy a vacation and/or visit friends and relatives. About one third of air travel to the region is business related. Therefore, any passenger who arrives at or departs from an airport in our region is good for the region as a whole. Spending by passengers who used our airports to visit the region in 2012 contributed nearly $27.4 billion to the regional
economy. The money spent by visitors on meals, lodging, entertainment, transportation and other purchases supported nearly 275,000 jobs.
As with other modes of transportation, the demand for air travel was impacted heavily by the recession that began in 2007. In 2014, the airports in our region served 91.2 million total passengers, surpassing the previous peaks of 89.4 million in 2007 and 88.7 million in 2000.
The demand for air cargo was even more sharply impacted by the recessions of 2001 and 2007. The 2.4 million metric tons of cargo transported through the airports in our region in 2014 remained ten percent below the pre-recession peak of 2.7 million metric tons in each year from 2004-2006 and five percent below year 2000 levels.
In addition to its commercial airports, the SCAG region is also home to a large general aviation (GA) system. Included in this segment are airports serving non-commercial corporate jets, single engine planes, helicopters, emergency and firefighting operations and flight training activity. General aviation airport facilities also act as relievers to commercial airports and provide diversionary locations for commercial planes that require emergency landings.
There are more than 40 general aviation airports in the SCAG region, and they are as diverse in size and market area as the commercial facilities. Van Nuys Airport (VNY), the second busiest general aviation facility in the United States, serves several important functions for the region, including serving as the base for many corporate jets. As of May 2015, Van Nuys Airport began offering U.S. Customs and Border Protection services for international general aviation flights to benefit business travelers and reduce airspace congestion.
Today we face numerous challenges on the road toward greater mobility, a stronger economy and sustainable growth that maintains a high quality of life regionwide. In the Chapter 3, we’ll review some of these challenges.
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Our Progress Since 2012
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 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 Agency; Metrolink is nearing completion on the Perris Valley Line; 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 system is under construction in the Central Valley, and scheduled to begin service to Burbank Bob Hope Airport in 2022 and reach Los Angeles Union Station in 2028. 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 5 South Corridor Project in Los Angeles County; Interstate 10 westbound widening in Redlands and Yucaipa; and the Interstate 215 Bi-County Project in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties; 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 27 more miles of regional HOV lanes on Interstates 5, 405, 10, 215 and 605, on State Route 57 and on the West County Connector Project 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 investments are underway. Nearly 37 percent of all trips less than one mile and 18 percent of all trips less than three miles are made via active transportation. 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 as options.
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: the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Program (CAAP) has led to diesel particulate matter dropping by 82 percent, oxides of nitrogen by 54 percent and oxides of sulfur by 90 percent; and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Truck Program 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. Fourteen out of 71 planned grade separation projects throughout the region have been completed and another 24 should be completed in 2016. Double tracking of the Union Pacific (UP) Alhambra Subdivision has been initiated and the Colton Crossing, which physically separated two Class I railroads with an elevated 1.4-mile-long overpass that lifts Union Pacific (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; implemented sustainability policies; and adopted municipal climate action plans. Thirty of the 191 cities in the SCAG region reported updating their general plans since 2012 and another 42 cities have general plan updates pending. Fifty-four percent of all the adopted and pending general plans include planning for TOD, 55 percent plan to concentrate key destinations and 76 percent include policies encouraging infill development. 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 10 or more policies or programs and 10 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 10 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 an opportunity to establish a funding source to develop affordable housing and supportive infrastructure and amenities.
Several efforts to promote public health are ongoing. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Department of City Planning are developing a Health Atlas, which highlights health disparities between neighborhoods. In Riverside County, the Healthy Riverside County Initiative is working to have healthy cities resolutions adopted by a minimum of 15 cities. 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
Mobility Projects in the SCAG Region
I-5 South Corridor
One mixed-flow lane on I-5 from OC line to I-605.
One mixed-flow lane in each direction between Scott Road and Nuevo Road.
One mixed-flow lane in each direction between Murrieta Hot Springs Road and Scott Road.
One mixed-flow lane on I-10 between Live Oak Canyon Road in Yucaipa and Ford Street in Redlands.
State Route 57 Widening (Northern Segment)
One northbound mixed-flow lane on SR-57 between Orangethorpe Avenue and Lambert Road.
State Route 57 Widening (Southern Segment)
One northbound mixed-flow lane on SR-57 between Katella Avenue and Lincoln Avenue.
SR-91 Lane Addition (Eastern Segment)
One mixed-flow lane on SR-91 between SR-241
SR-91 Lane Addition (Western Segment)
One westbound mixed-flow lane on SR-91 between SR-57 and I-5.
SR-91 Lane Extension and Reconstruction
Addition of a Tustin Avenue exit bypass lane, reconstructing the auxiliary lane and modifying the number one and two lanes of the connector to serve as two general purpose lanes that merge into one general purpose lane just west of Tustin Avenue
SR-138 Corridor Improvements
Lane widening on SR-138 between Avenue T
I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements
Addition of northbound HOV lane on I-405 between I-10 and US-101.
I-10 HOV Lane (Phase I)
Addition of HOV lane on I-10 between I-605 and Puente Avenue as permanent facility.
I-5 South Corridor
Addition of HOV lane on I-5 from OC line to I-605.
I-215 Bi-County Gap Closure
Addition of HOV lane on I-215 from Orange Show Road to SR-91/SR-60 Interchange.
West County Connector
Direct HOV connector between I-405/I-605/SR-22.
I-110 Express Lanes
Conversion of the I-110 Harbor Transitway HOV lanes (Harbor Gateway Transit Center to Adams Blvd.) to permanent Express Lanes.
I-10 Express Lanes
Conversion of the I-10 El Monte Busway HOV lanes (I-605 to Alameda St.) to permanent Express Lanes.
Anaheim Regional Intermodal
Transportation Center (ARTIC)
An Intermodal transportation center in Orange County serving Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) buses and various intercity buses, as well as Metrolink and the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner.
Burbank Bob Hope Airport Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (RITC)
A multimodal transportation center which includes a consolidated rental car center, bike storage and a bus transit center. A pedestrian bridge from RITC to the existing Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink Ventura County Line station is in the planning stage.
Downtown San Bernardino Transit Center
One-mile Metrolink rail extension to downtown San Bernardino, from the previous terminus at the historic Santa Fe Depot. This multi-modal center serves Metrolink, sbX (bus rapid transit), the future Redlands Rail now under development, and an array of local Omnitrans bus lines.
Vincent Grade/Acton Siding and Platform
Adds significant capacity to the northern portion of the Antelope Valley Line, which is mostly single track.
Metro Orange Line Extension
A four mile northward extension of the Metro Orange Line from Canoga Station to the Chatsworth Station.
Metro Exposition Line
An 8.6 mile light rail corridor connecting Downtown LA and Culver City, including ten new light
The Brawley Transit Transfer Center
Transit transfer station in Imperial County serving various Imperial Valley Transit routes including the new Gold Line circulator shuttle.
Fullerton Metrolink Station Parking Structure
Construction of a parking structure providing an additional 814 parking spaces serving Metrolink and OCTA patrons.
Omnitrans E Street sbX
A bus rapid transit project including 6-miles of dedicated bus lanes on E Street, providing service between California State University San Bernardino and the City of Loma Linda.
Metrolink Perris Valley Line
A 24-mile extension of existing Metrolink service from downtown Riverside to south Perris, with four new stations constructed at Riverside Hunter Park, Moreno Valley/March Field, Downtown Perris and South Perris.
SunLine Transit Administrative Facility
New SunLine Transit administrative building in Coachella Valley.
Various grade separation improvements throughout the region reducing conflicts between inter-modal traffic.
Physically separated two Class I railroads with an elevated 1.4-mile-long overpass that lifts UP trains traveling east-west. It also removed the chokepoint that existed where Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and UP mainlines crossed tracks in Colton.
Our Progress Since 2012
Sustainability Planning Grant Projects in the SCAG Region
Ventura County Connecting Newbury Park Multi-Use Pathway Plan
Los Angeles County
Las Virgenes-Malibu Council of Governments Multi-Jurisdictional Regional Bicycle Plan
Los Angeles Van Nuys & Boyle Heights Modified Parking Requirements
Los Angeles Northeast San Fernando Sustainability & Prosperity Strategy
Lancaster Complete Streets
Palmdale Avenue Q Feasibility Study
La Canada Flintridge Climate
Los Angeles Hollywood Central Park
Glendale Space 134
Pasadena Form-Based Street
Pasadena GHG Emission Reduction Evaluation Protocol
Los Angeles CEQA
Los Angeles Park 101 District
Los Angeles Bicycle Plan
Hermosa Beach Carbon Neutral Plan
South Bay Bicycle Coalition
South Bay COG Neighborhood-Oriented Development Graphics
Hawthorne Crenshaw Station Area Active Transportation Plan
Lynwood Safe and Healthy
South Gate Gateway District/Eco Rapid Transit Station Specific Plan
Bell General Plan Update
Pico Rivera Kruse Rd. Open Space Study
West Covina Downtown Central Business District
San Dimas Downtown Specific Plan
Rancho Palos Verdes/Los Angeles Western Ave. Corridor Design Implementation Guidellines
Long Beach Willow Springs Wetland Habitat Creation Plan
Bicycle Connectivity - West Santa
Ana Branch Corridor
Seal Beach Climate Action Plan
Stanton Green Planning Academy
Anaheim Bicycle Master Plan Update
Fullerton East Wilshire Avenue
Orange County Parks OC Bicycle Loop
Placentia General Plan/Sustainability Element & Development Code
Westminster General Plan Update - Circulation Element
Garden Grove Re:IMAGINE
Pedals & Feet
Orange County “From Orange to Green” Zoning Code Update
Santa Ana Complete Streets Plan
Huntington Beach Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Plan
Fountain Valley Euclid/I-405
Costa Mesa Implementation Plan for Multi-Purpose Trails
Dana Point General Plan Update
San bernardino County
Chino Hills Climate Action Plan and Implementation Strategy
Chino Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan
Rancho Cucamonga Healthy RC Sustainability Action Plan
Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station and TOD Feasibility Report
San Bernardino Bloomington Area Valley Blvd. Specific Plan Health & Wellness Element
SANBAG Climate Action Plan Implementation Tools
SANBAG Countywide Bicycle Route Mobile Application
SANBAG Countywide Complete
Yucaipa College Village/Greater Dunlap Neighborhood Sustainable Community
Big Bear Lake Rathbun Corridor Sustainability Plan
Eastvale Bicycle & Pedestrian
WRCOG Public Health: Implementing the Sustainability Framework
WRCOG Land Use, Transportation and Water Quality Planning Framework
WRCOG Climate Action Plan Implementation
Riverside Restorative Growthprint
Moreno Valley Nason St. Corridor Plan
Calimesa Wildwood & Calimesa Creek Trail Master Plan
Beaumont Climate Action Plan
Hemet Downtown Specific Plan
Palm Springs Urban Forestry Initiative
Palm Springs Sustainablility Master Plan Update
Indio General Plan Sustainability & Mobility Elements
Cathedral City General Plan
Update - Sustainability
CVAG CV Link Health
Coachella La Plaza East Urban Development Plan
Imperial County Transportation Commission Safe Routes to School Plan
The challenges facing our region are formidable and require that we strategically plan now. This chapter explores some of our more pressing challenges as we head toward 2040.
Challenges in a changinG region
Recession, Recovery & Current Economic Challenges
The Great Recession, which lasted from December 2007 through June 2009, caused massive job losses and had a devastating impact on our region’s economic well-being. Now that the recession is behind us and our region has experienced a decline in unemployment and housing foreclosures, challenges still remain. Our population has continued to grow slowly, but employment levels in the region have not yet reached where we were in 2007. Also, the region’s median household income (adjusted for inflation) has declined as wages have stagnated for a larger population base. An increase in the number of low-paying jobs, and the resulting lower income, have contributed to more people slipping into poverty.
The health of Southern California’s economy depends on the well-being of businesses and households and a strong and efficient regional transportation system can go a long way in helping businesses and households succeed. An efficient transportation system can lead to an increase in productivity, personal income and ultimately public tax revenues. Businesses depend on a reliable transportation network to create products and services that reach their customers at a reasonable cost. Households depend on an integrated, accessible and dependable transportation network to provide reliable access to education, jobs, shopping and recreational activities. A sustainable, time-efficient and cost-effective transportation system can help neighborhood businesses compete more effectively with those in neighboring cities. Relieving congestion contributes greatly to future employment growth. For our region to remain a competitor in the global economy, SCAG must continue to invest strategically in transportation infrastructure, while ensuring that it obtains the maximum return on those investments.
Current Demographic Trends
The six counties that comprise our region have experienced significant demographic changes and they can expect even more changes over the next 25 years. The overall population will continue to grow more slowly than in the past, and it will also change in terms of its age distribution and racial and ethnic breakdown. Where people choose to live will also change. More people in our region will increase the demands on our already strained transportation system, as well as on available land for development.
According to the California Department of Finance, our region is now home to 18.8 million people, or about 5.9 percent of the U.S. population and 48.4 percent of California’s population. The region is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after the New York metropolitan area. If it were a state, our region would rank fifth in the U.S. in terms of the size of its population, just behind New York and ahead of Illinois.
By 2040, the region’s population is expected to grow by more than 20 percent to 22 million people – an increase of 3.8 million people. Importantly, we expect the region to grow differently than in the past. Before 1990, population growth was driven largely by both a natural increase and migration. That is, people moved into Southern California from other states and countries and there was additional population growth due to a net increase in the existing population (births minus deaths). Since 1990, however, any gains from immigration have been offset by domestic migration losses and Southern California’s population growth has been fueled mostly by a natural increase in births – despite declining fertility rates. This continuing trend is expected to account for most of the Southern California’s future population growth by 2040.
As we approach the middle of the century, Southern California’s population will still remain racially and ethnically diverse (currently we are 47 percent Hispanic, 31 percent non-Hispanic White, 16 percent non-Hispanic Asian/Other and 6 percent non-Hispanic African American). In particular, the rapid growth of the region’s Hispanic population is expected to continue; by 2040 it is projected that 53 percent of the region’s residents will be Hispanic. The region’s non-Hispanic Asian/Other population is also expected to increase, growing to 19 percent of the population.
Notably, the median age of our region’s overall population is projected to rise, with more older people throughout Southern California as we approach the middle of the century. As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, our region will experience a significant increase in its senior population – a trend
03 challenges in a changing region
expected nationwide. Today, people who are 65 and older represent around 12 percent of the region’s total population. But by 2040, the number of seniors will increase to 18 percent (i.e., nearly one in five people in our region). This demographic shift will have major impacts on the locations and types of housing we build and our plans for transportation. This demographic group of seniors covers a wide range of ages; residents in their late sixties and early seventies will have different needs than those in their eighties and nineties. Nonetheless, a key challenge for the region will be to help seniors maintain their independence in their homes and communities.
As the number and share of seniors are projected to increase, the percentage share of younger people of working age is expected to fall. The ratio of people older than 65 to people of working age (15 to 64) is expected to increase to 28 seniors per 100 working age residents by 2040. That is compared with a 16 to 100 ratio calculated for 2010. This means that our region could face a labor shortage and a subsequent reduction in tax revenues.
As we plan for the future and face these challenges, we also expect an interesting convergence of interests between two distinct population groups – namely Millennials, who today range in age from 20 to 35 and aging Baby Boomers. Millennials represent 22.4 percent of our region’s total population and rely less on automobiles than have previous generations; they are less apt to acquire drivers licenses, they drive fewer miles and they conduct fewer overall trips. Research also shows that Millennials often prefer to live in denser, mixed-use urban areas well served by transit, rather than decentralized suburban areas. This trend could explain why there has been increasing demand for new multifamily housing.1 Millennials also are more likely than other groups to embrace a range of mobility options, including shared cars, biking, transit and walking. These evolving preferences for transportation and housing are significant, because Millennials will account for a large part of Southern California’s overall population in 2040. In the near term, their housing and transportation preferences, when combined with the need of Baby Boomers to maintain their independence, could significantly change how Southern California develops.
Perhaps our most critical challenge is securing funds for a transportation system that promotes a more sustainable future. The cost of a multimodal transportation system that will serve the region’s projected growth in population, employment and demand for travel surpasses the projected revenues expected from the gas tax – our historic source of transportation funding. The purchasing power of our gas tax revenues, in fact, is going down and will continue on a downward trajectory as tax rates (both state and federal) have not been adjusted in more than two decades while transportation costs escalate, fuel efficiency improves and the number of alternative-fuel vehicles continues to grow Figure 3.1 highlights the decline in gas tax revenues, in relation to the growing population and demand for travel.
To backfill limited state and federal gas tax revenues, our region has continued to rely on local revenues to meet transportation needs. In fact, 71 percent of SCAG’s core revenues are local revenues. Seven sales tax measures have been adopted throughout the region since the 1980s, so the burden of raising tax dollars has shifted significantly to local agencies. In reality, we need a stronger
Source: Caltrans, California Department of Finance, California State Board of Equalization, White House Office of Management and Budget
Figure 3.1 California Population, Travel and Gas
Tax Revenue Trends
03 challenges in a changing region
1Dutzik, T., Inglis, J., & Baxandall, Ph.D., P. (2014). Millennials in Motion: Changing Travel Habits of Young Americans and the Implications for Public Policy. U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
state and federal commitment to raising tax dollars for the Southern California transportation system – given its prominence and importance to the state and national economy, particularly when it comes to the movement of goods. Our region’s transportation system should be able to rely on tax revenues raised at all levels of government.
Southern California’s transportation system is in an unfortunate state of disrepair due to decades of underinvestment. Quite simply, investments to preserve the system have not kept pace with the demands placed on it. The inevitable consequence of this deferred maintenance is poor road pavement, which is particularly evident on our highways. The rate of deterioration is expected to accelerate significantly as maintenance continues to be deferred. And as maintenance is deferred, the cost of bringing these Documents/iRTP/assets back to a state of good repair is projected to grow exponentially. SCAG estimates that the cost to maintain our transportation system at current conditions, which is far from ideal, will be in the tens of billions of dollars beyond what is currently committed. For instance, the gap between needs and existing funding for the State Highway System through 2040 is now estimated at $38.6 billion.
Moving forward, the region needs to continue to make “fixing it first” a top priority – that is, focusing its funds on preserving the existing transportation network prior to investing in system expansions. Failing to adequately invest in the preservation of Southern California’s roads, highways, bridges, railways, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and transit infrastructure will only lead to further deterioration, which has the potential to worsen our congestion challenges. The region’s transportation system represents trillions of dollars of investments that must be protected in order to serve current and future generations. The loss of even a small fraction of these Documents/iRTP/assets could significantly compromise the region’s overall mobility.
Preservation of the region’s transit system, for example, is more important than ever as Baby Boomers, one of the fastest growing groups requiring transportation services, age. The region needs to plan for this projected increase in seniors with increased funding for transit and paratransit maintenance and preservation. Preserving infrastructure that encourages active transportation, such as walking and biking, is also important for maintaining mobility for those unable or uninterested in driving. It is also a cost-effective way to increase the number of roadway users without increasing roadway congestion.
Moving Goods Efficiently in a Huge and Complex Region
The smooth and efficient movement of goods is critical to our regional economy, particularly as our region continues to recover from the recession. A number of key trends and drivers are expected to impact our region’s goods movement system. Some of these, along with associated challenges, are highlighted below.
Population and Employment Growth: The regional population and rate of employment in our region are key indicators of economic health and both are projected to grow rapidly over the next two decades. Our region’s population growth is expected to fuel consumer demand for products and the goods movement services that provide them. This increased demand will drive stronger growth in freight traffic on already constrained highways and rail lines. Truck volumes on many key corridors are anticipated to grow substantially, as shown in EXHIBIT 3.1. Truck and auto delays will increase, as will truck-involved accidents. Levels of harmful emissions also will rise. The increase in rail volumes is expected to exacerbate vehicle hours of delay at rail and highway crossings. Moreover, growing demand for commuter rail services on rail lines owned by the freight railroads will create additional capacity challenges.
Continued Growth in International Trade: The San Pedro Bay Ports anticipate cargo volumes to grow to 36 million containers by 2040 – despite increasing competition with other North American ports, the expansion of the Panama Canal and more recent throughput delays due to longshore labor contract negotiations. This growth will place further demands on marine terminal facilities, highway connections and on-dock and off-dock intermodal terminals. If port-related rail traffic and commuter demands are to be met, mainline rail capacity improvements will be required as well. Meanwhile, mitigating the impacts of increased train traffic in communities will continue to be a challenge.
Logistics Epicenter: Southern California is the nation’s epicenter for distribution and logistics activity and it will continue to be a significant source of well-paying jobs in the region through 2040. The region has close to 1.2 billion square feet of facility space for warehousing, distribution, cold storage and truck terminals.2 Nearly 750 million square feet of this space is occupied. By 2040, the region may experience a shortfall of more than 527 million square feet of warehouse space, relative to demand.3
STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM PRESERVATION
TOTAL NEEDS =
Existing funds =
2CoStar Realty Information, Inc. www.costar.com, based on November 2014 data downloads.
3Industrial Warehousing in the SCAG Region Study, Task 4 Warehousing Demand Forecast.
Exhibit 3.1 Rising Truck Volumes On Key Truck Corridors
(2012 and 2040 Baseline)
Air Quality Issues: Goods movement emissions contribute to regional air pollution problems (NOx and PM 2.5) and pose public health challenges. Emissions generated by the movement of goods are being reduced through efforts such as the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, as well as regulations such as the statewide Heavy Duty Truck and Bus Rule. But these reductions are unlikely to be sufficient to meet regional air quality goals.
Currently, much of the SCAG region does not meet federal ozone and fine particulate air quality standards as mandated by the federal Clean Air Act. The South Coast Air Basin has a deadline to reduce ozone concentrations to 80 parts per billion (ppb) by 2023, under the revoked 1997 8-hour ozone standards and further down to 75 ppb by 2031 under the current 2008 8-hour ozone standards. Moreover, new federal ozone standards are expected to be finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the 2015/2016 time frame, with an expected new attainment deadline of 2037. This means that NOx emissions in the South Coast Air Basin must be reduced 65 percent by 2023 and 75 percent (beyond projected 2023 emissions) by 2032 in order to attain federal ozone standards.4 Additional attainment deadlines are in effect for PM 2.5.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is also a priority, as determined by landmark California legislation Assembly Bill 32 and Senate Bill 375 and the more recent Executive Order B-30-15, signed by Governor Brown in April 2015. Several state measures have been implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with some implications for freight. These include the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels under the California’s Cap-and-Trade Program. Additional state programs are under development as part of the State’s Sustainable Freight Strategy (SFS).
Affordability, Gentrification and Displacement
It is no secret that the cost of housing in Southern California is among the highest in the nation. Across our region, home prices and rents continue to rise, and the region continues to experience a shortage of affordable housing. The California Association of Realtors’ (CAR) affordability index, which measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase the median priced home in the state, remains around 35 percent for the SCAG region. Nearly 55 percent of renters and 45 percent of homeowners spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent or mortgage payments, the region’s most recent housing statistics show.
Affordability is becoming a significant issue in many urban communities, particularly after the implementation of a new rail line, transit station or other major public investment. As wealthier “outsiders” move into established urban communities, the increased demand for housing and business/retail space leads to escalating costs for residential and commercial real estate. Many traditionally low-income, urban core communities that experience this gentrification see dramatic changes in housing, retail stores, schools and other neighborhood amenities.
The region’s overall affordability issues are particularly troubling because the region has a disproportionately high concentration of low income and minority populations that are unemployed, living under the poverty line, with lower educational attainment, and living in close proximity to environmentally stressed areas. The region accounts for 67 percent of Californians who live in disadvantaged communities, as defined by Senate Bill 535, which requires investment in disadvantaged communities from California’s Cap-and-Trade revenues. This represents more than 6.36 million people. As such, our region is in great need of investment in transportation, affordable housing, environmental cleanup, other infrastructure investments, economic development and job creation.
As our region builds communities that are more compact and more transit-oriented, regional greenhouse gas emissions are anticipated to decline and residents from a variety of income levels will continue to make housing choices that allow them to use an increasing number of mobility options. Certainly, the overall quality of life will increase for many people. However, people from low-income communities near new transit infrastructure may
4Preliminary Draft AQMD Air Quality Management Plan White Paper, Goods Movement, June 2015.
A growing body of evidence shows that how a neighborhood is laid out and linked to transportation options can shape the lifestyles that people have – how physically active they are and how safe their everyday lives can be.7 As a result, regional planning for land use and transportation across the U.S. has increasingly incorporated strategies to improve public health. Metropolitan Planning Organizations such as SCAG are focusing on improving transportation safety, offering people more opportunities to walk, bike and embrace other forms of active transportation, improve first/last mile connections to transit and improve access to natural lands. They are also pursuing strategies to make neighborhoods more walkable, improve air quality, help people cope with climate change impacts such as extreme heat events, improve accessibility to essential destinations such as hospitals and schools and work overall toward a transportation system and land use patterns that promote regional economic strength.
One of the challenges that SCAG faces as it strives to improve public health is the sheer size and diversity of our region. Public health varies widely by geographic location, income and race. There is no one size fits all approach to meeting this complex challenge. It requires flexibility and creativity to ensure that initiatives are effective in both rural and urban areas.
To gain more insight on the connection between how we use land and public health, SCAG has identified seven focus areas for further analysis: access to essential destinations, affordable housing, air quality, climate adaptation, economic opportunity, physical activity and transportation safety. For more details, see the Plan’s Public Health Appendix.
Confronting a Changing Environment
The consequences of continued climate change already are impacting California and more intensified changes are expected. Ongoing drought
face displacement. Generally, displacement refers to a situation in which gentrification places pressure (through eviction or because of market forces) on people from existing communities to relocate to more affordable places. If those communities are priced out and move away from newly constructed transit facilities, those facilities lose the very people who are more likely to use them. Research suggests that lower income residents generate fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and demonstrate the largest relative VMT reductions with location efficiency.5
This Plan’s vision and goals include ensuring that regionwide benefits improve social equity – that is, the benefits of our Plan are realized by all populations in our Southern California region, while its burdens are not carried disproportionately by one group over another. Providing people throughout our region with access to high quality transit and ensuring that they also have access to more affordable housing are related objectives. Currently, SCAG is partnering with the state and other regional agencies to study issues related to displacement and travel behavior near transit. Those results will inform future regional policies. Community advocates and other housing stakeholders are working to ensure that investments in traditionally low-income communities benefit existing residents and businesses instead of dividing communities. SCAG encourages municipalities to pursue strategies that avoid displacement, especially near transit stations, and ensure that existing communities retain their housing options.
Improving Public Health
Today, many people in our region suffer from poor health due to chronic diseases related to poor air quality and physical inactivity. Chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease and diabetes are responsible for 72 percent of all deaths in our region. Millions of more people live with chronic diseases every day. Within our region, more than 60 percent of residents are overweight or obese, more than eight percent have diabetes, 27 percent suffer from hypertension and more than 12 percent suffer from asthma. Health care costs resulting from being physical inactive, obese and overweight and from asthma cost our Southern California region billions of dollars annually in medical expenses, lost life and lost productivity, research shows.6
03 challenges in a changing region
5Newmark, Ph.D, G., & Haas Ph.D., P. (2015). Income, Location Efficiency, and VMT: Affordable Housing as a Climate Strategy. San Francisco: California Housing Partnership.
6Peck, C., Logan, J., Maizlish, N., & Van Court, J. (2013). The Burden of Chronic Disease and Injury: California. 2013. California Department of Public Health.
7Frank, L. D., Schmid, T. L., Sallis, J. F., Chapman, J., & Saelens, B. E. (2005). “Linking Objectively Measured Physical Activity with Objectively Measured Urban Form: Findings from SMARTRAQ.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(2S2), 117-125.
threatened species, diminished snowpack and coastal erosion.11 Our region is still facing a serious drought that began in 2012 and its length and severity has led to mandatory water restrictions for the first time in state history. At the same time, state programs designed to meet future climate challenges proactively are underway. These include initiatives such as the Safeguarding California12 plan, as well as Governor Brown’s Executive Order calling for new actions to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These initiatives present regional agencies such as SCAG with opportunities to show leadership as the state confronts climate change challenges.
Continued climate changes will impact our region in various ways and we are now getting a clearer picture of how it will impact the day-to-day lives of those of us who are most vulnerable – such as the poor, the elderly and the disabled. Responding effectively to climate change requires us to cooperate more with one another, to use limited resources more wisely, and to think more creatively to align our goals. The impacts of climate change, like other environmental challenges, are expected to hit hardest those communities that are least equipped to handle them. Particularly in Southern California, public agencies must focus on safeguarding people who are most vulnerable to extreme heat and air pollution. The elderly and children under five years old are most vulnerable to heat-related illness.13 As our demographics change, proactive planning that ensures the health of these distinct populations will be increasingly important.
Our region certainly cannot fight climate change alone. It will be a global effort. However, it is up to us to make sure we can adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts in our own region. We cannot expect anyone else to do this work for us. Long-range regional planning inherently recognizes the relationship between today’s investments and tomorrow’s outcomes. Confronting climate change and building climate resilient communities is, at its core, an exercise in smart planning. We will need to build on actions we have already taken by integrating considerations of climate and sustainability into the approaches we take to grow our economy, protect the environment and public health and plan for the future.
conditions, water shortages due to less rainfall as well as declining snowpack in our mountains, and an agriculture industry in crisis have become hard realities in recent years. Climate change is transforming the state’s natural habitats and overall biodiversity. Continued changes are expected to impact coastlines as sea levels rise and storm surges grow more destructive. Forestry will continue to be impacted by drought and wildfire. Climate change also will impact how we use energy and the quality of public health. Our statewide transportation system will experience new challenges as well as the global and regional climate continues to change.8
Researchers project that both coastal and inland Southern California will see many more days of extreme heat, with temperatures exceeding 95 degrees Fahrenheit.9 This is expected to increase heat-related mortality, lower labor productivity and boost demands for energy. Meanwhile, changing patterns of rain and snowfall – including the amount, frequency and intensity of precipitation across the state – will have serious long-term impacts on the supply and quality of water in Southern California, as well as how the state manages it.
It is clear that our region needs to prepare for these projected challenges and a big part of that effort is to make individual communities and the region as a whole more resilient to the consequences of climate change. “Climate resiliency” can be defined as the ability of a social or ecological system to absorb disturbances while retaining the same basic structure and ways of functioning, the capacity for self-organization and the capacity to adapt to stress and change.10 Without advance planning and effective action, the consequences of climate change will negatively impact our transportation system, our economy and our everyday lives.
The state’s Adaptive Planning Guide encourages our region and others across California to evaluate the local impacts of climate change. These impacts include increased temperatures, reduced precipitation, rising sea levels, a fall in tourism, reduced water supplies, a heightened risk of wildfire, threats to public health related to degraded air quality and heat, stresses on endangered and
8California Resources Agency. (n.d.) Fact Sheets on California Climate Risks [Fact Sheet]. Retrieved from http://resources.ca.gov/docs/climate/Safeguarding_Handout_All.pdf.
9Rogers, J., Barba, J., & Kinniburgh, F. (2015). From Boom to Bust? Climate Risk in the Golden State. Risky Business Project. Accessed at http://riskybusiness.org/uploads/files/California-Report-WEB-3-30-15.pdf.
10Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risk. (2014). California Natural Resources Agency. Accessed at http://resources.ca.gov/docs/climate/Final_Safeguarding_CA_Plan_July_31_2014.pdf.
11California Adaptation Planning Guide: Planning for Adaptive Communities. (2012). California Emergency Management Agency & California Natural Resources Agency. Accessed at http://resources.ca.gov/docs/climate/01APG_Planning_for_Adaptive_Communities.pdf.
12California Adaptation Planning Guide: Planning for Adaptive Communities. (2012). California Emergency Management Agency & California Natural Resources Agency. Accessed at http://resources.ca.gov/docs/climate/01APG_Planning_for_Adaptive_Communities.pdf.
13California Adaptation Planning Guide: Planning for Adaptive Communities. (2012). California Emergency Management Agency & California Natural Resources Agency.
We will now turn to a discussion of how SCAG developed the 2016 RTP/SCS, with a particular emphasis on the extensive public outreach that SCAG conducted to develop the best Plan possible to address our challenges. The 2016 RTP/SCS, after all, is the region’s Plan for the future. By design, it reflects the region’s needs, priorities and desires – as well as the statutory requirements of the State of California and the federal government.
03 challenges in a changing region
The RTP/SCS is a long-range visioning plan that balances future mobility and housing needs with goals for the environment, regional economy, social equity and environmental justice and public health. Ultimately, the Plan is intended to help guide transportation and land use decisions and public investments.
Creating a plan for our future
2016 RTP/SCS goals
1.Align the plan investments and policies with improving regional economic development and competitiveness.
2.Maximize mobility and accessibility for all people and goods in the region.
3.Ensure travel safety and reliability for all people and goods in the region.
4.Preserve and ensure a sustainable regional transportation system.
5.Maximize the productivity of our transportation system.
6.Protect the environment and health of our residents by improving air quality and encouraging active transportation (e.g., bicycling and walking).
7.Actively encourage and create incentives for energy efficiency, where possible.
8.Encourage land use and growth patterns that facilitate transit and active transportation.
9.Maximize the security of the regional transportation system through improved system monitoring, rapid recovery planning, and coordination with other security agencies.*
*SCAG does not yet have an agreed-upon security performance measure.
Therefore, it is not included in the table.
Goals and Guiding Policies
As SCAG updated the 2012 RTP/SCS, it evaluated its existing goals, guiding policies and performance measures to determine whether they should be refined. Since the adoption of the 2012 RTP/SCS, several developments have occurred that influenced the development of the 2016 RTP/SCS. These include:
This Plan’s goals are intended to help carry out our vision for improved mobility, a strong economy and sustainability. Based on our assessment of these developments, the goals of the 2016 RTP/SCS, which are represented graphically in this chapter, remain unchanged from those adopted in the 2012 RTP/SCS.
The guiding policies for the 2016 RTP/SCS are intended to help focus future investments on the best-performing projects and strategies to preserve, maintain and optimize the performance of the existing transportation system.
This update, the 2016 RTP/SCS, reflects goals and guiding policies and a vision developed through extensive outreach to the general public and numerous stakeholders across our region. SCAG values the region’s tremendous diversity and acknowledges that it cannot tackle challenges in the same way everywhere. This chapter discusses how the Plan was developed, and it offers an overview of SCAG’s “preferred scenario” for land use and transportation in our region in 2040. SCAG developed this preferred scenario to guide its update of the 2012 RTP/SCS and then settle on a final set of strategies, programs and projects that will place the region more firmly on the road toward achieving its goals. Those strategies, programs and projects are reviewed in Chapter 5.
Two additional guiding policies have been added since 2012. The first addition (Guiding Policy 6) addresses emerging technologies and the potential for such technologies to lower the number of collisions, improve traveler information, reduce the demand for driving alone and lessen congestion related to road incidents and other non-recurring circumstances (a car collision, for example). The second addition (Guiding Policy 7) recognizes the potential for transportation investments to improve both the efficiency of the transportation network and the environment.
Seeking Public Input To Refine Scenarios For Our Future
To develop a preferred scenario for the region at 2040, SCAG first generated four preliminary scenarios for our region’s future – 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— in other words, the shape and style of the neighborhoods and transportation systems that would shape growth over the period. To help the agency refine these four scenarios, SCAG reached out extensively to the general public and numerous stakeholders to seek their views and input. Refining the scenarios was an important step on the road toward settling on a preferred scenario – which offers a comprehensive picture of what kind of future we want. The scenarios and the selected preferred scenario proved to be powerful planning tools to solidify our vision for our region at the middle of the century.
Public outreach was integral to the development of the entire RTP/SCS, but particularly during the refinement of scenarios. To ensure that the 2016 RTP/SCS was developed openly and inclusively, the agency implemented a comprehensive public outreach and involvement program. This was based on a Public Participation Plan adopted by SCAG’s Regional Council in April 2014. Specific public engagement strategies used during the development of the Draft 2016 RTP/SCS included:
2016 RTP/SCS guiding policies
1.Transportation investments shall be based on SCAG’s adopted regional Performance Indicators.
2.Ensuring safety, adequate maintenance, and efficiency of operations on the existing multimodal transportation system should be the highest RTP/SCS priorities for any incremental funding in the region.
3.RTP/SCS land use and growth strategies in the RTP/SCS will respect local input and advance smart growth initiatives.
4.Transportation demand management (TDM) and active transportation will be focus areas, subject to Policy 1.
5.HOV gap closures that significantly increase transit and rideshare usage will be supported and encouraged, subject to Policy 1.
6.The RTP/SCS will support investments and strategies to reduce non-recurrent congestion and demand for single occupancy vehicle use, by leveraging advanced technologies.
7.The RTP/SCS will encourage transportation investments that result in cleaner air, a better environment, a more efficient transportation system, and sustainable outcomes in the long run.
8.Monitoring progress on all aspects of the Plan, including the timely implementation of projects, programs, and strategies, will be an important and integral component of the Plan.
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The overall Plan was developed with input from local governments, county transportation commissions (CTCs), tribal governments, non-profit organizations, businesses and local stakeholders within Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.
From past plan development cycles, SCAG had heard from many participants about the need for early engagement during the development of the RTP/SCS. For members of the public, SCAG conducted public engagement activities between May and July 2015, with 23 open house events held across six counties. These events helped educate residents on the goals of the Plan, explore topics included in the Plan and gather input on priorities with an electronic survey. Participants reviewed poster boards showing projected changes in population and demographics within their county and the region, and then were asked for their input on how the region could accommodate growth in a variety of areas. These include providing transportation options, improving public health, preserving natural lands and supporting economic opportunities.
During discussion of the scenarios, major components were presented with maps, charts and figures. SCAG presented results associated with each scenario at public open houses held throughout the region to help stakeholders understand regional growth options. Participants learned about:
Our county transportation commissions
The SCAG region includes a total of six County Transportation Commissions (CTCs), one for each county – Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. Each CTC is responsible for planning and implementing countywide transportation improvements, allocating locally-generated transportation revenues, and, in some cases, operating transit services. During each RTP/SCS update, the CTCs provide SCAG with extensive project lists that are then incorporated into the Plan. The projects included on these lists are regarded as regionally significant and/or anticipated to receive (or already receiving) federal funds. In addition, the CTCs anticipate that these projects will be initiated or completed by the Plan’s horizon year (in this case, 2040). The 2016 RTP/SCS includes more than 2,000 projects – ranging from freeway improvements, railroad grade separations, bicycle lanes, new transit hubs and replacement bridges. CTCs are a wonderful resource for learning more about projects that are coming to your community by 2040.
Specific details on the scenarios can be found in SCS Background Documentation Appendix.
Recognizing that not all members of the public could attend the open houses, SCAG provided an opportunity to participate virtually by providing the workshop materials and the online survey. Hundreds of Southern Californians participated online and gave input on transit accessibility, transportation investments and other topics. A summary report from the survey was presented at a special joint meeting of SCAG’s Regional Council and Policy Committees, and this report is also included in the Public Participation & Consultation Appendix.
In addition to these outreach efforts, all regular and special meetings of SCAG’s Transportation Committee; Community, Economic and Human Development Committee; Energy and Environment Committee; Legislative/Communications and Membership Committee; Executive Administration Committee; and Regional Council were publicly noticed and opportunities for public comment were provided at each meeting. Federally required interagency consultation was done through the monthly meetings of the Transportation Conformity Working Group. Additional outreach strategies that were implemented are outlined in Public Participation & Consultation Appendix.
SCAG is not an implementing agency, so it is not directly involved in the construction or operation of transportation projects and other infrastructure improvements discussed in this Plan. The significance of the 2016 RTP/SCS is that the vision contained within the Plan sets the tone for policy development by other government agencies throughout the region. The public involvement discussed in this chapter helped the SCAG board and staff members understand the needs and concerns of stakeholders, leading to a more meaningful collective vision for the region’s future.
California Transportation Plan 2040
Integrating California’s Transportation Future
The state of California, with direction from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), developed a statewide, long-range transportation plan with a 25-year planning horizon, the California Transportation Plan 2040 (CTP 2040). The Draft CTP 2040 provides a long-range policy framework to meet California’s future mobility needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Like the CTP 2040, the 2016 RTP/SCS aims to motivate the development of an integrated, multi-modal transportation system that is sustainable, improves mobility and enhances our quality of life. Though the CTP 2040 is not yet finalized (anticipated approval in the next year), it helped inform the goals, policies and strategies included in the 2016 RTP/SCS.
Scenarios for the Future:
It’s Our Choice
To refine the scenarios and ultimately develop a preferred scenario, SCAG gathered a huge amount of feedback at the public meetings we have discussed. An important part of this process involved conducting comprehensive surveys.
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Open-ended written comments provided helpful direction in the area of active transportation. Many commenters preferred enhancing non-motorized infrastructure such as bike lanes and sidewalks to improve access to transit and increasing transportation options for all. Suggested strategies included:
Survey participants recognized the connection between public health, active transportation and the environment. When asked about which areas of public health they were most concerned about, air quality was the top health concern among respondents. Having safe areas for walking, biking and physical activity was also a principal concern, as was access to healthy food.
There is no “one size fits all” type of land use or density in a region as diverse as ours. However, it is fair to say that survey participants generally favored infill development rather than expanding our urban footprint into natural areas or farmland; 80 percent of respondents preferred development in existing areas. For example, when asked where future residential development should mostly occur, the majority of participants said they preferred part mixed-use, part urban areas. Some suburban mixed-use areas were also desired, but strictly urban or suburban areas were least favored. When asked what type of housing should be built to accommodate our region’s future population, multifamily attached housing was the leading response. Small-lot detached homes and townhouses were somewhat favored and large lot detached housing was least favored. About 90 percent of survey participants found protecting natural habitat areas to be important or very important.
Collectively, the survey responses offered an invaluable guide to help finalize the Plan’s investments, strategies and priorities. They reflect how regional stakeholders want us to address priority areas such as transit and roadway investments, system management, active transportation, land use and public health.
Participants at public workshops were asked to complete a 37-question survey to provide input on their priorities, and open-ended feedback was encouraged. The survey was also available for completion on SCAG’s website. Survey questions and a summary of responses are included in Public Participation Consultation Appendix. Between the 2016 RTP/SCS Open Houses and the 2016 RTP/SCS website, more than 650 residents from throughout the SCAG region participated in the survey. About 75 percent of open house attendees participated in the survey, indicating that stakeholders were engaged during the workshops and wanted to participate in a meaningful way. The majority of survey participants resided in Los Angeles County, making up 51 percent of the total, followed by Orange County at 15 percent and Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties at nine percent each. Five percent of online participants did not state in which county they reside.
Expanding transportation choices was clearly a priority for survey participants. Whether it is through public transportation, High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, bicycles or personal vehicles, our region wants as wide a range of choices as possible. When asked what our top priority should be for managing our regional highway and road system, the top two responses were almost evenly split. Most respondents wanted to protect and preserve existing transportation infrastructure — supporting a “fix it first” policy – and they wanted to achieve maximum productivity through system management and demand management.
Moreover, the general open-ended comments received suggested there should be less focus on constructing new roads and lanes to build capacity. When asked about transportation budget priorities, survey respondents primarily favored creating more public transportation options, followed closely by constructing bikeways and then improving traffic flow. Regarding transit, feedback received from comment cards was particularly helpful. The most prevalent comments stated a desire for:
The preferred scenario improves the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the region and enhances public health and other co-benefits from large transportation investments and improvements in technology – particularly those that focus on transit and first/last mile strategies.
Furthermore, the preferred scenario offers a vision for how we want our region to grow over the next quarter century and it gives us a clear-eyed view of what we want to achieve. Guided by goals and policies, built through sober analysis and refined with extensive public input, developing the preferred scenario set the stage for the hard work of building a comprehensive plan of land use and transportation strategies, programs and projects designed to confront our many challenges and move our region toward the vision embodied in the preferred scenario.
Chapter 5 reviews those strategies, programs and projects that collectively will propel the region toward realizing the outcomes seen in the preferred scenario – including more livable, healthy and economically strong communities and a more sustainable future.
Our Preferred Scenario
The extensive public outreach coupled with detailed analysis of each scenario and coordination with technical and policy committees led to our selection of a preferred scenario for the 2016 RTP/SCS based upon SCAG’s “Policy Growth Forecast.” This preferred scenario also incorporated inputs from local jurisdictions, including the land use and transportation strategies, investments and policies reflected in the 2012 RTP/SCS.
The preferred scenario envisions future regional growth that is well coordinated with the transportation system improvements of the approved 2012 RTP/SCS, as well as anticipated new transportation projects planned by the region’s CTCs and transit providers. It also incorporates best practices for increasing transportation choices; reducing our dependence on personal automobiles; allowing future growth in walkable, mixed-use communities and in High-Quality Transit Areas (HQTAs); and further improving air quality.
Regional investments in making transit trips quicker and easier are expanded to increase transit ridership. New land use concepts such as “Livable Corridors” and “Neighborhood Mobility Areas” are also introduced. These are described in more detail later in the Plan. In the preferred scenario for the 2016 RTP/SCS, new residential growth from 2012 to 2040 is split between multifamily housing (69 percent) and detached single-family homes (31 percent). The preferred scenario is the result of an investment plan that is assumed to be financially constrained.
To help our regional partners envision how the preferred scenario fosters development on the ground, SCAG built upon its earlier outreach and solicited feedback from local jurisdictions on the distribution of new households and employment at the neighborhood level, through 2040. Jurisdictions were asked to provide input on the growth scenario, including information on specific planned development projects with entitlements, other planned projects, or recently completed developments. Accordingly, the following core principles provided the framework for the preferred scenario:
*With the exception of the 6 percent of TAZs that have average density below the density range of local general plans.
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At the beginning of Chapter 1, we reviewed several themes that resonate throughout the 2016 RTP/SCS. The first of these was: “Integrating strategies for land use and transportation.” This is SCAG’s overarching strategy for achieving its goals of regional economic development, maximized mobility and accessibility for all people and goods in our region, safe and reliable travel, a sustainable regional transportation system, a protected natural environment, health for our residents and more.
The road to greater mobility & sustainable growth
Integrating transportation and land use planning: the key to achieving our goals
By integrating our strategies for transportation with our strategies for using land – in other words, considering in tandem how we grow and how we get around – we can build the communities that we want. Planning that does not strive for this close integration can result in sprawling suburbs connected haphazardly to poorly managed highways and isolated communities that lack easy access to public transportation connecting people from home to work, school and other destinations. Precious resources are squandered: time, energy, money, productivity, clean air and good health, among others.
As the region’s transportation planning agency, SCAG has long promoted the concept of integrating transportation planning and land use planning. Since 2002, with the Southern California Compass and Shared Growth Vision for the region and the subsequent Compass Blueprint program (now the Sustainability Planning Grant Program), SCAG has promoted integrated planning tools for local governments that want their residents to have more mobility options, make their communities more livable, increase prosperity among all people and strive for sustainability. Subsequent policies adopted at the regional level in 2004, 2008 and 2012 have supported and advanced the integration of transportation and land use planning.
With the passage of SB 375 in 2008, the State of California formalized the idea of integrating planning statewide when the California Air Resources Board (ARB) set regional targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and required every Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in the state to develop an SCS that charted a course toward reduced emissions and a more sustainable future. A central tenet of the SCS requirement is for MPOs to integrate land use and transportation planning.
Here is one example: High Quality Transit Areas (HQTAs) are places where people live in compact communities and have ready access to a multitude of safe and convenient transportation alternatives to driving alone – including walking and biking, taking the bus, light rail, commuter rail, the subway and/or shared mobility options. Along high quality bus corridors, for instance, a bus arrives at least every 15 minutes. Residential and commercial development is integrated with plans for transit, active transportation and other alternatives to driving alone.
The integrated strategies, programs and projects reviewed in this chapter are designed to improve a region with very specific changes underway: Over the next 25 years, our region’s population is projected to grow by more than 20 percent, from about 18 million people to more than 22 million people. Diverse households will reside in all types of communities, including urban centers, cities, towns, suburban neighborhoods and rural areas. Much of the region will continue to be populated by households living in detached single-family dwellings located in lower-density suburban areas. However, 67 percent of new residences will be higher density multifamily housing, built as infill development within HQTAs. Households will demand more direct and easier access to jobs, schools, shopping, healthcare and entertainment, especially as Millennials mature and seniors grow in number. Concurrently, our Southern California region will remain a vital gateway for goods and services, an international center for innovation in numerous industries and a place that offers its residents a high standard of living. We know that our future growth will add new pressures to our transportation system and to our communities. However, through long-term planning that integrates strategies for transportation and land use, we can ensure that our region grows in ways that enhance our mobility, sustainability and quality of life.
Our Strategies For Transportation And Land Use
In the discussion that follows, transportation and land use strategies are grouped separately, but it will nevertheless become clear how closely they are related to one another. The section that follows is the heart of the 2016 RTP/SCS, and by the end of the chapter our region’s course toward a more mobile and sustainable future should be evident.
Serving as an MPO, Regional Transportation Planning Agency and Council of Governments, SCAG has an essential responsibility to develop an RTP/SCS that is dedicated to detailing recommended regional transportation investments and strategies. The agency has developed these transportation strategies in the context of how we are projected to grow and live as a region in coming decades. In this chapter we will first review regional strategies for growth and land use and then move into a comprehensive review of the agency’s plans for the region’s multi-faceted transportation system.
Land Use Strategies
The land use strategies included in this Plan are built on a foundation of contributions from communities, cities and other local jurisdictions across our region. The land use patterns reviewed here, for example, are based on local general plans, as well as input from local governments. For this Plan update, SCAG was committed to preserving the growth forecasts provided by local jurisdictions at the jurisdictional level.
At the same time, SB 375 requires that SCAG, as the region’s MPO, strive to develop a vision of regional development patterns that integrate with and support planned transportation investments. As part of that mandate, an overall land use pattern has been developed that respects local control, but also incorporates best practices for achieving state-mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through decreases in per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT) regionally.
2016 RTP/SCS Land Use Policies
The 2016 RTP/SCS reaffirms the 2008 Advisory Land Use Policies that were incorporated into the 2012 RTP/SCS. These foundational policies, which have guided the development of this Plan’s strategies for land use, are:
2016 RTP/SCS Land Use Strategies
For this Plan, land use strategies are described in this section.
Reflect The Changing Population And Demands
The SCAG region, home to about 18.3 million people in 2012, currently features 5.9 million homes and 7.4 million jobs. By 2040, the integrated growth forecast projects that these figures will increase by 3.8 million people, with nearly 1.5 million more homes and 2.4 million more jobs. HQTAs will account for three percent of regional total land, but will accommodate 46 percent and 50 percent of future household and employment growth respectively between 2012 and 2040. The 2016 RTP/SCS land use pattern contains sufficient residential capacity to accommodate the region’s future growth, including the eight-year regional housing need, as shown in TABLE 5.1. The land use pattern accommodates about 530,000 additional households in the SCAG region by 2020 and 1.5 million more households by 2040. The land use pattern also encourages improvement in the jobs-housing balance by accommodating 1,067,000 more jobs by 2020 and about 2.4 million more jobs by 2040.
This 2016 RTP/SCS reflects a continuation of the shift in demographics and household demand since 2012. This shift is apparent in the land use development pattern, which assumes a significant increase in small-lot, single-family and multifamily housing that will mostly occur in infill locations near bus corridors and other transit infrastructure. In some cases, the land use pattern assumes that more of these housing types will be built than currently anticipated in local General Plans. This shift in housing type — especially the switch from large-lot to small-lot single-family homes — is already occurring as developers respond to new demands. In 2008, 45 percent of all housing units were multifamily homes. From 2012 through 2040, the Plan projects that 67 percent of the 1.5 million new homes expected to be built in the SCAG region will be multifamily units, reflecting demographic shifts and anticipated market demand. This will result in an increase of multifamily units in the region to 49 percent of all housing units in the region.
Combating Gentrification and Displacement
The 2012 RTP/SCS discussed strategies to combat gentrification and displacement, a continuing challenge that we discussed in Chapter 3. Jurisdictions in the SCAG region should continue to be sensitive to the possibility of gentrification and work to employ strategies to mitigate its potential negative community impacts. Generally, the SCAG region will benefit from higher-density infill development, which means that neighborhoods will be adding to the local housing stock rather than maintaining the current stock
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1Complete language: “Identify strategic centers based on a three-tiered system of existing, planned and potential relative to transportation infrastructure. This strategy more effectively integrates land use planning and transportation investment.” A more detailed description of these strategies and policies can be found on pps. 90-92 of the SCAG 2008 Regional Transportation Plan, adopted in May 2008.
and simply changing the residential population. In addition, local jurisdictions should pursue the production of permanent affordable housing through deed restrictions or development by non-profit developers, which will ensure that some units will remain affordable to lower-income households. SCAG will work with local jurisdictions and community stakeholders to seek resources and provide assistance to address possible gentrification impacts of new development on existing communities and vulnerable populations.
Focus New Growth Around Transit
The 2016 RTP/SCS overall land use pattern reinforces the trend of focusing new housing and employment in the region’s HQTAs (see EXHIBIT 5.1). While maintaining jurisdictional totals, the overall land use pattern moves new development from areas outside of HQTAs into these areas. SCAG incorporated land use plans provided by local jurisdictions into this pattern. While many residents and employees within half a mile of a transit stop or corridor can walk or bike to transit, not all of these areas are targeted for new growth and/or land use changes. The 2016 RTP/SCS assumes that 46 percent of new housing and 50 percent of new employment locations developed between 2012 and 2040 will be located within HQTAs, which comprise only three
percent of the total land area in the SCAG region. Since adoption of the 2012 RTP/SCS, jurisdictions have referenced HQTAs in their planning documents and have positioned themselves to compete for California’s Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds to support Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and active transportation infrastructure.
HQTAs are a cornerstone of land use planning best practice in the SCAG region because they concentrate roadway repair investments, leverage transit and active transportation investments, reduce regional life cycle infrastructure costs, improve accessibility, create local jobs and have the potential to improve public health and housing affordability. Here, households have expanded transportation choices with ready access to a multitude of safe and convenient transportation alternatives to driving alone – including walking and biking, taking the bus, light rail, commuter rail, the subway and/or shared mobility options. Households have more direct and easier access to jobs, schools, shopping, healthcare and entertainment, especially as Millennials form households and the senior population increases. Moreover, focusing future growth in HQTAs can provide expanded housing choices that nimbly respond to trends and market demands, encourage adaptive reuse of existing structures, revitalize main streets and increase complete street investments.
Table 5.1 Regional Housing Needs Assessment
Number of very low income households
Number of low income households
Number of moderate income households
Number of above moderate income households
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Exhibit 5.1 High Quality Transit Area in the SCAG Region for 2040 Plan
Additional local policies that ensure that development in HQTAs achieve the intended reductions in VMT and greenhouse gas emissions include:
Transit Oriented Development, HQTAs and Local Air Quality Impacts
The 2016 RTP/SCS recognizes guidance from the 2005 ARB air quality manual, which recommends limiting the siting of sensitive uses within 500 feet of freeways and urban roads carrying more than 100,000 vehicles per day. This ARB guidance is carefully applied in areas that support Transit Oriented Development. Less than ten percent of HQTAs planned in the 2016 RTP/SCS would fall within 500 feet of freeways and highly traveled corridors, according to geographic information system (GIS) analyses. While density is increased in some areas of HQTAs, growth remains constant in the 500-foot buffer areas to reflect local input, thereby balancing the growth distribution.
Plan for Growth Around Livable Corridors
The Livable Corridors strategy seeks to revitalize commercial strips through integrated transportation and land use planning that results in increased economic activity and improved mobility options. Since 2006, SCAG has provided technical assistance for 19 planning efforts along arterial roadway corridors. These corridor planning studies focused on providing a better understanding of how corridors function along their entire length. Subsequent research has distinguished the retail density and the specific kinds of retail needed to make these neighborhood nodes destinations for walking and biking. From a land use perspective, Livable Corridors strategies include a special emphasis on fostering collaboration between neighboring jurisdictions to encourage better planning for various land uses, corridor branding, roadway improvements and focusing retail into attractive nodes along a corridor.
Livable Corridors Network
SCAG identified 2,980 miles of Livable Corridors along arterial roadways discussed in corridor planning studies funded through the Sustainability Planning Grant program and along enhanced bus transit corridors identified by regional partners. However, the land use strategies proposed in the 2016 RTP/SCS are not tied to a specific corridor. Livable Corridors are predominately a subset of the HQTAs, however 154 miles are not designated as HQTAs. These miles were identified in Sustainability Planning Grant projects and are proposed for active transportation improvements and the land use planning strategies described below.
Livable Corridors Strategies
The Livable Corridors concept combines three different components into a single planning concept to model the VMT and greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits:
streets, downtowns and corridors. Other plans provide guidance for converting single-use office parks and industrial districts into mixed employment, retail and residential districts.
Sustainable Zoning Codes
Many cities and counties in the SCAG region have adopted form-based zoning codes that are tailored to local conditions, such as specifying building size and design parameters but allowing for more flexibility regarding use. Moreover, several cities and counties are updating their zoning codes to make development standards more environmentally friendly and equitable. One example is the City of San Gabriel’s “Greening the Code” strategy, which identifies ways for the City’s existing development code to facilitate more sustainability. New policies can involve coordinating landscaping practices with water conservation, best management practices for stormwater management and capture, creating better pedestrian connectivity, allowing more flexibility for mixed-use development and promoting energy efficient designs.
Climate Action Plans
SCAG is supporting several local governments throughout the region in the formation of Climate Action Plans (CAP). CAPs outline strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost effectively. This is done by creating greenhouse gas inventories, so that local governments can efficiently target their emission reduction practices to sources that pollute the most. Strategies outlined by CAPs in the SCAG region include Green Building guidelines for municipal buildings and facilities, implementing public electric vehicle charging stations and establishing energy retrofit incentive programs for residents.
Protect Natural and Farm Lands
Many natural and agricultural land areas near the edge of existing urbanized areas do not have plans for conservation and they are susceptible to the pressures of development. Many of these lands, such as riparian areas, have high per-acre habitat values and are host to some of the most diverse yet vulnerable species that play an important role in the overall ecosystem.
Developing Conservation Strategies
Local land use decisions play a pivotal role in the fate of some of the region’s most valuable habitat and farmlands. Many local governments have taken steps toward planning comprehensively for conserving natural lands and farmlands, while also meeting demands for growth. Across the region, transportation
Provide More Options For Short Trips
The 2016 RTP/SCS includes land use strategies, Complete Streets integration and a set of state and local policies to encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation for short trips in Neighborhood Mobility Areas (NMAs). In addition to the active transportation strategies that will be discussed below, land use strategies include pursuing local polices that encourage replacing motor vehicle use with Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) use. NEVs are a federally designated class of passenger vehicle rated for use on roads with posted speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less.
Neighborhood Mobility Areas
NMAs have a high intersection density, low to moderate traffic speeds and robust residential retail connections. These areas are suburban in nature, but can support slightly higher density in targeted locations. The land use strategies include shifting retail growth from large centralized retail strip malls to smaller distributed centers throughout an NMA. This strategy has shown to improve the use of active transportation or NEVs for short trips. Steps needed to support NEV use include providing state and regional incentives for purchases, local planning for charging stations, designating a local network of low speed roadways and adopting local regulations that allow smaller NEV parking stalls. NMAs are applicable in a wide range of settings in the SCAG region. The strategies associated with this concept are intended to provide sustainable transportation options for residents of the region who do not have convenient access to high-frequency transit options.
Support Local Sustainability Planning
To implement the SCS, SCAG supports local planning practices that help lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Many local governments in the SCAG region serve as models for implementing the SCS. Sustainable Planning & Design, Zoning Codes and Climate Action Plans are three methods that local agencies have been adopting and implementing to help meet the regional targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions outlined in the SCS.
Sustainable Planning & Design
Many of the local policy documents that SCAG has reviewed are based on best practices that encourage infill and mixed-use development. Mixed-use design guidelines embrace and encourage increased densities and a mixing of uses, while also reflecting community character. For example, numerous suburban specific plans in the SCAG region encourage the revitalization of traditional main
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2016 RTP/SCS Strategy
The SCAG region is crisscrossed by long arterial corridors, many of which are a legacy of Spanish colonial routes that linked the early missions and post-colonial ranchos. The suburban communities that developed rapidly after World War II were formed between these corridors, on a large (often one square mile) grid system. The inland portions of the South Bay, the Gateway Cities, the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, as well as the northern portions of Orange County follow this pattern. SCAG’s Livable Corridors Strategy considers these suburban development patterns and proposes to encourage development along the boulevards that not only serve as major travel routes, but also destinations.
As the region transitions to higher investments in infill development and high quality high frequency transit, these arterials are well suited to connect the region. The Livable Corridor Strategy specifically advises local jurisdictions to plan and zone for increased density at key nodes along the corridor and replacement of single-story under-performing strip retail with well-designed higher density housing and employment centers. This development along key corridors, when coordinated with improvements to the frequency and speed of buses along the corridors, will make transit a more convenient and viable option. Additionally, enhanced roadway designs to accommodate active transportation, will also increase the vibrancy along these boulevards.
Several important transit investments in the SCAG region will help encourage this land use strategy. The Santa Ana Harbor Blvd Specific Plan incorporates the improved Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Bravo Route 543 and the planned Santa Ana Streetcar into its vision of the future. In Rancho Cucamonga, the City received a SCAG grant to reconcile the various specific plans along Foothill Blvd in anticipation of a future extension of the Omnitrans SbX. Across Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is planning for a high frequency network of buses with fewer stops. And the City of Los Angeles incorporated a “Transit Enhanced Network” as part of its General Plan Mobility Element to complement these investments.
Enhancing the Connection Between Transit and Land Use
Image courtesy of National Association of City Transportation Officials
ramps to assist wheelchairs/strollers
2016 RTP/SCS Strategy
About 38 percent of all trips in the region are three miles or less. That is a short enough distance that can be covered by walking or biking, but more than 78 percent of these trips are made by driving. While convenient, driving for short trips can cause unnecessary congestion and pollution. What can be done to make it more convenient for people to walk, bike or even skate instead of driving, when practical?
The Neighborhood Mobility Areas strategy represents a set of state and local policies to encourage the use of active and other non-automobile modes of transportation, particularly for short trips in many suburban areas in Southern California developed between the late 1890s
and the early 1960s. These suburban developments often were designed for streetcars and walking, in addition to automobiles and are characterized by small to medium lot single family homes, a denser grid network of local roads, a higher density of intersections and accessibility to neighborhood retail establishments. By employing Complete Streets strategies, such as bike lanes, wider sidewalks or better lighting, the neighborhood design could encourage a return to greater active transportation use for those short trips. Alternatively, using Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV) for short trips produces negligible greenhouse gas emissions (based on energy production) and zero local pollution. In addition, NEVs take up less
roadway capacity, less parking area at both the origin and destination and reduce the probability of an injury or fatality in the event of a collision with a pedestrian of bicyclist.
The Neighborhood Mobility Area concept is not new. Across the country, they are referred to as streetcar suburbs, first generation suburbs or suburban villages. But its application here in Southern California, when coupled with the renaissance some parts of the region are experiencing with transit and active transportation, would provide residents with greater mobility choices and an alternative to driving short distances.
Neighborhood mobility areas
Encouraging Active Transportation for Short Trips
bulb-outs to make intersections safter
ramps to assist wheelchairs/strollers
street lighting for better visibility and safety
trees and landscaping to provide shade/improve walkability
Image courtesy of National Association of City Transportation Officials
considerations for transportation and that relationship is vital for our region to achieve its long-term regional goals. The same applies to our discussion of transportation strategies. The success of strategies related to transportation can only be achieved if they are tied closely to how we use land – how and where we grow, where we live, work, go to school, shop and so on. SCAG is pursuing numerous strategies divided into two broad categories: Maximizing Our Current System and Completing Our System. In all, the 2016 RTP/SCS includes $556.5 billion in transportation system investments through 2040.
Maximizing Our Current System
Working to make sure our existing transportation system is operating at maximum efficiency is a leading regional priority – and doing this is critical for the land use strategies discussed above to be effective. Over the past half century, the SCAG region has invested hundreds of billions of dollars into building and expanding the multimodal transportation system that we rely on today. Our investments must be protected and properly maintained to ensure that maximum productivity and efficiency are gained from the system. Under the system management approach, priority is given to maintaining and preserving the system, as well as ensuring that it is being operated as safely, efficiently and effectively as possible. This approach is illustrated in the system management pyramid (FIGURE 5.1). Protecting our previous investments and getting the most out of every component continues to be the highest priority for our region.
Preserve Our Existing System
Southern California’s transportation system is becoming increasingly compromised by decades of underinvestment in maintaining and preserving our infrastructure. These investments have not kept pace with the demands placed on the system and the quality of many of our roads, highways, bridges, transit and bicycle and pedestrian facilities are continuing to deteriorate. Unfortunately, the longer they deteriorate the more expensive they will be to fix in the future. Even worse, deficient conditions compromise the safety of users throughout the network. For all of these reasons, system preservation and achieving a state of good repair are top priorities of the 2016 RTP/SCS.
About $274.9 billion, or nearly half of all of the 2016 RTP/SCS proposed expenditures through 2040, is allocated to system preservation and operation (see Figure 5.2). Chapter 6 reflects the allocation of these expenditures for the transit and passenger rail system, the state highway system and regionally significant local streets and roads within the 2016 RTP/SCS. Note that the allocation for the state highway system includes bridges; the allocation for transit includes funding to both preserve and operate the transit system; and
agencies and local governments have used habitat conservation plans and other tools to link land use decisions with comprehensive conservation plans, in order to streamline development.
To support those and other comprehensive conservation planning efforts and to inform the local land use decision making process, SCAG studied regional scale habitat values, developed a conservation framework and assembled a natural resource database.2To coordinate with and support the viability of the Livable Corridors and HQTA land use strategies, this Plan suggests redirecting growth away from high value habitat areas to existing urbanized areas.
SCAG is engaging numerous stakeholders as it creates a Natural Lands Conservation Plan. Building on this effort may lead to a regional conservation program that CTCs, cities, agencies and non-profits can align with and support. This strategic and comprehensive approach allows the region to meet its housing and transportation needs, while ensuring that important natural lands, farmlands and water resources are protected. The 2012 RTP/SCS committed to a regional mitigation plan for inclusion in the 2016 RTP/SCS. With that as the foundation, the following are next steps for further developing a conservation strategy. More information can be found in the Natural and Farm Lands Appendix.
The strategies for land use reviewed above are tightly integrated with
2SCAG 2014 Inventory of Natural Resources Databases in SCAG region. Accessed at http://sustain.scag.ca.gov/Sustainability%20Portal%20Document%20Library/SCAG%20Inventory%20Natural%20Resources%20GIS%20Databases.pdf.
the allocation for regionally significant local streets and roads includes bridges and active transportation safety improvements. The 2016 RTP/SCS system preservation strategies include:
Congestion Management Process (CMP)
Federal regulations for Metropolitan Transportation Planning and Programming require the development, establishment and implementation of a CMP that
is fully integrated into the regional planning process.3 The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines the CMP as a “systematic approach . . . that provides for effective management and operation, based on a cooperatively developed and implemented metropolitan-wide strategy, of new and existing transportation facilities eligible for funding under title 23 U.S.C. and title 49 U.S.C., through the use of operational management strategies.” In compliance with Federal law,4 SCAG has made the CMP an integral part of the regional transportation planning process, including the 2016 RTP/SCS and the Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP). The CMP is part of SCAG’s integrated approach to improving and optimizing the transportation system, to provide for the safe and effective management of the regional transportation system through the use of monitoring and maintenance, demand reduction, land use, operational management strategies and strategic capacity enhancements. SCAG undertakes eight actions that are considered by FHWA to be the core
Figure 5.1 System Management Pyramid
Figure 5.2 Preservation and operations expenditures
Source: California Department of Transportation, 2015 Ten-Year SHOPP Plan
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323 CFR 450.320.
423 USC 134 and 49 USC 5303-5305.
of the CMP. These include developing regional objectives for congestion management; using performance measures and monitoring to understand the causes of congestion; identifying problems and needs; developing alternative strategies; and evaluating effectiveness. A more complete discussion of SCAG’s CMP is provided in the Congestion Management Appendix.
The CMP requires that roadway projects that significantly increase the capacity for single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs) be addressed through a CMP that provides appropriate analysis of reasonable, multi-modal travel demand reduction and operational management strategies for the corridor. If alternative strategies are neither practical nor feasible, appropriate management strategies must be considered in conjunction with roadway capacity improvement projects that would increase SOV capacity. SCAG previously used a $50 million threshold to identify SOV capacity-enhancing projects, but the agency is replacing this criterion with a project distance-based length criterion of one mile or more for the 2017 FTIP. Further details of this process are included in the 2017 FTIP Guidelines.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
The 2016 RTP/SCS commits $6.9 billion toward TDM strategies throughout the region. There are three main areas of focus:
In addition, the following strategies expand and encourage the implementation of TDM strategies to their fullest extent:
Transportation Systems Management (TSM)
The 2016 RTP/SCS includes $9.2 billion for 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 and other Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) improvements.
The 2016 RTP/SCS identifies a comprehensive set of strategies that work in concert to optimize the performance of the transportation system. This set of strategies does not focus solely on expanding the system, but also considers how we operate the system; how we coordinate land use planning with transportation planning; how we deal with incidents such as collisions or special events; how we provide information to the traveling public so people can make informed decisions about how, where and when to travel; and how we maintain the system. All of these strategies are based on a foundation of comprehensive system monitoring so that we can understand how the transportation system is performing and where we need improvement. This approach is based in part on work that California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has done for many years to optimize the performance of the state highway system. Two important categories for TSM strategies are:
1.Corridor Mobility and Sustainability Improvement Plans Caltrans, SCAG and county partners in the past have worked together to improve the efficiency of our highways and arterials through the development of Corridor System Management Plans (CSMPs). Since the passage of Proposition 1B in November 2006 and with the creation Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA), which served to improve mobility on the state highway system, several CSMPs have been developed for various corridors throughout the SCAG region. Historically, the response to congestion has been to add additional capacity. However, CSMPs provided a lower cost, higher benefit option toward making highways and parallel arterial systems, transit and incident response management more efficient
and were designed to focus primarily on operational strategies to optimize corridor performance through ITS strategies, in conjunction with operational and capacity improvements towards improving productivity along highway corridors. SCAG recognizes the efforts taken thus far under the current CSMP framework to improve mobility, but believes that CSMPs can be further improved upon. SCAG encourages the development of Corridor Sustainability Studies (CSS) which will build upon the existing CSMP framework by analyzing the corridor from a multi-modal perspective. More specifically, these studies will include a focus on newer planning priorities such as Complete Streets and a Smart Mobility Framework (not addressed by current CSMPs). SCAG recognizes that the region could benefit from a site specific CSS focused on improving mobility for all modes of travel throughout the region.
2.Integrated Corridor Management (ICM): The ICM Initiative was first introduced by the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) back in 2006. Under the ICM approach, all elements within a corridor are considered to evaluate opportunities that move people and goods in the most efficient manner possible, while simultaneously ensuring that the greatest operational efficiencies are achieved. Since the introduction of ICM, great progress has been made. In Los Angeles, Caltrans (in coordination with Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority or Metro) and various cities have embarked on the first Integrated Corridor Management pilot project on Interstate 210. This project aims to minimize congestion due to collisions and is also referred to as the Connected Corridors initiative. Over the next ten years, Caltrans plans to implement similar projects on 25 additional congested corridors statewide. ICM strategies to be considered as part of the Interstate 210 project include:
Additional System Management Initiatives include:
Promote Safety and Security
Ensuring the safety and security of our transportation network for residents and visitors is a top priority. SCAG continues to support the development and implementation of the State Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), and the agency is continuing to work with the Caltrans and the CTCs toward identifying other means of improving the safety and security of our transportation system.
Currently, there are numerous agencies that participate in the response to incidents and assist with hazard preparations for individual jurisdictions. These include the California Emergency Management Agency, county offices of emergency management, fire departments, police departments and the California Highway Patrol. Collaboration among many of these agencies is essential when addressing incidents regionwide. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees this coordination. However, FEMA defines metropolitan areas differently than the US DOT, so this limits SCAG’s ability to participate at an agency level. Nevertheless, SCAG seeks to use its strengths and organization to assist first responders, recovery teams and planners alike in a supporting role.
SCAG continues to pursue the following strategies toward ensuring safety and security:
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Completing Our System
Strategies for improving and expanding the many modes of transportation that make up the regional network must be integrated closely with our strategies for how we use land. The success of transit; passenger rail; walking, biking and other forms of active transportation; our highways and arterials; the efficient movement of goods; and our regional airport system all depend on a close relationship with how our region utilizes land and how we grow. This is particularly true when it comes to improving and building a transit system that can best serve people in communities throughout our region. It is the first transportation category for which numerous strategies are reviewed:
Since 1991, the SCAG region has spent more than $50 billion dollars on public transportation. This includes high profile investments in rail transit and lower profile but vital investments in operations and maintenance. Looking toward 2040, the 2016 RTP/SCS maintains a significant investment in public transportation across all transit modes and also calls for new household and employment growth to be targeted in areas that are well served by public transportation to maximize the improvements called for in the Plan. This investment package includes a selection of major capital investments described in TABLE 5.2, which displays all locally notable transit capital projects and additional capital investment packages totaling more than $500 million. These investments include new rail transit facilities, vehicle replacements, bus system improvements and capitalized maintenance projects.
When these projects are completed, the region will have a greatly expanded urban rail network, including ten light rail projects and three heavy rail extensions on the Metro Rail system. New BRT routes will provide additional higher speed bus service in Los Angeles and Orange Counties and the Inland Empire. Orange County will add new streetcar services to link major destinations in Anaheim, Santa Ana and Garden Grove to the Metrolink system. Riverside County will extend Metrolink to San Jacinto and San Bernardino County will connect Metrolink to Ontario International Airport and to Redlands
via Downtown San Bernardino.
In addition, the 2016 RTP/SCS includes extensive local bus, rapid bus, BRT and express service improvements. An expanded point-to-point express bus network will take advantage of the region’s carpool and express lane network. New BRT service, limited-stop service and increased local bus service along key corridors, in coordination with transit-oriented development and land use, will encourage greater use of transit for short local trips. See Exhibit 5.2.
Also included in the investment package are renewed commitments to asset management and maintaining a state of good repair. TABLE 5.3 describes all transit operations and maintenance investments over $500 million. This list includes bus, urban rail and paratransit operations, the implementation of the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA’s) Short Range Transit Plan, expanded bus service on targeted corridors, preventative maintenance and an increased commitment on asset preservation funded from innovative revenue sources.
Aside from capital projects, there are many improvements that can help make transit operate more efficiently and effectively, make it more accessible to more travelers and increase ridership. The 2016 RTP/SCS recommends additional transit initiatives. Among them:
Implement and Expand Transit Priority Strategies: Transit priority strategies include transit signal priority, queue jumpers and bus lanes. Signal priority is a highly effective treatment that speeds up bus service and attracts new transit riders. The Metro Rapid program in Los Angeles County has increased speeds by more than 20 percent, compared with the local service on the same street. It also has brought new riders to its system. Bus lanes are even more effective at increasing speeds, however in our region there is a dearth of such lanes. Transit agencies should heavily lobby local jurisdictions in which they operate to implement them, at least for peak-period operation.
Implement Regional and Inter-County Fare Agreements and Media: Implementing additional inter-jurisdictional fare agreements and media, such as Los Angeles County’s EZ Pass, will make transit more attractive and accessible. A pass that would cover all transit services in Los Angeles and Orange counties, or the whole SCAG region, is an example. OCTA, the LOSSAN Managing Agency, recently secured a California Cap-and-Trade grant to esablish fare agreements between the Pacific Surfliner and local transit operators along its
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Airport Metro Connector
Anaheim Rapid Connection
Crenshaw LAX Transit Corridor
Countywide Fixed Route, Express and Paratransit capital (Baseline)–Orange County
East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor
Santa Ana and Garden Grove Streetcar
Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2
Coachella Valley Bus Rapid Service
Exposition Transit Corridor, Phase 2 to Santa Monica
Perris Valley Line
Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2A
Perris Valley Line Extension to San Jacinto
Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension: Azusa to County Line
Foothill/5th Bus Rapid Transit
Gold Line Phase 2B to Montclair
Purple Line Extension to La Cienega, Century City, Westwood
Metrolink San Bernardino Line Double tracking
Sepulveda Pass Corridor
Passenger Rail Service from San Bernardino to Ontario Airport
South Bay Metro Green Line Extension
West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor
West Valley Connector Bus Rapid Transit
Bus & Rail Capital—LA County Near Term
Vermont Short Corridor
Countywide Bus System Improvement–Metro Fleet
Metro Red Line Extension: Metro Red Line Station North Hollywood to Burbank Bob Hope Airport
Countywide Bus System Improvement—LA County Muni Fleet
Metro Green Line Extension: Metro Green Line Norwalk Station to Norwalk Metrolink Station
Metro Rail System Improvements (Capital Costs Only)
Slauson Light Rail: Crenshaw Corridor to Metro Blue Line Slauson Station
Metro Rail Rehabilitation and Replacement (Capital Costs Only)
Transit Contingency/New Rail Yards/Additional Rail Cars (Capital Costs Only)–LA County
Table 5.2 Selected Transit Capital Projects
Source:2016-2040 RTP/SCS Project List
Table 5.3 Major Transit Operations and Maintenance Projects And Investments
Access Services Incorporated (Paratransit)–Metro subsidy
San Bernardino Countywide Local Transit Service Operations
Preventive Maintenance (Capital & Operating Maintenance Items Only) – LA County
Regionwide Transit Operations and Maintenance–Preservation
Countywide Fixed Route, Express and Paratransit Operations–Orange County
Expand Bus Service: Productive Corridors
OCTA SRTP Implementation
Expand Bus Service: BRT
Metrolink Operations–Orange County
Expand Bus Service: Point-to-Point
Transit Extensions to Metrolink–Go Local Operations–Orange County
(Over $500 Million)
Source: 2016-2040 RTP/SCS Project List
Exhibit 5.2 2040 Transit Network Planned and Existing
of these services would provide alternatives for residents of increasingly compact communities.
The 2016 RTP/SCS proposes three main passenger rail strategies that will improve speed, service and safety and provide an attractive alternative to driving alone. They are:
The state’s High-Speed Train system will provide an additional intrastate transportation option in California, offering an alternative to air and auto travel and providing new capacity for travel on the state’s freeways, highways and airports. The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which has provided $3.6 billion in High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail funding, have chosen to begin construction in the San Joaquin Valley. The system will then be built south to our region, connecting to Palmdale and Burbank Bob Hope Airport by 2022 and Los Angeles Union Station by 2028.
Existing passenger rail facilities in Southern California and the Bay Area (the “bookends” of the Phase One system) will also be improved to provide immediate, near-term benefits while laying the groundwork for future integration with High-Speed Train. This “blended approach” to deliver the full integrated system, through phased implementation over time, will help reduce costs and environmental impacts. With the adoption of the 2012 RTP/SCS, the region and the CHSRA committed to spending $500 million in Prop. 1A funds, plus another $500 million in matching funds, on these early investments in the “bookends.”
This commitment by CHSRA and the transportation agencies was formalized in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between CHSRA, Metrolink, SCAG, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Metro, Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and the City of Anaheim. The MOU includes a candidate project list to which $1 billion will be programmed in order to provide interconnectivity to the California High-Speed Train project and improve the speed, capacity and safety of our existing passenger rail network.
corridor where an Amtrak ticket will be good for a connecting transit fare. All operators along its corridor will participate.
Implement New BRT and Limited-Stop Bus Service: BRT service provides frequent, high quality bus service and is characterized by features such as dedicated lanes, traffic signal priority, limited stops, pre-boarding fare payment and unique branding. BRT is a good 20 percent faster than traditional local bus service. It is viewed as a premium service and has proven to attract new riders to transit. BRT implementation does require some capital investment, but it is scalable so that transit agencies can implement a range of elements to improve bus service depending upon the resources available. In an environment of scarce funding, offering limited-stop service is also an excellent alternative to BRT because it simply involves strategically reducing the number of stops a bus would serve along a given route. Limited-stop service has been shown to be about 15 percent faster than traditional local service.
Increase Bicycle Carrying Capacity on Transit and Rail Vehicles: Bicycling is becoming more popular and our transit system can do more to accommodate bicyclists. Many buses have bike racks with capacity for only two bikes. Meanwhile, Metro and Metrolink are now allowing more bicycles on their railcars and providing bicycle lockers at rail and fixed guideway bus stations. Allowing more bikes on transit vehicles, to a reasonable point, will increase transit ridership.
Expand and Improve Real-Time Passenger Information Systems: Most medium to large size transit agencies now offer up-to-the-minute updates on arrival and departure times. This allows passengers to make more informed travel decisions and improve the overall travel experience.
Implement First/Last Mile Strategies to Extend the Effective Reach of Transit: This is an area of study with recent focus. Making transit more accessible for biking or walking that first mile to a transit station, or from a transit station, or both, will encourage more transit use and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. More than 90 percent of Metrolink riders drive to their origin station, representing a significant potential for providing alternatives. As mentioned before, several cities in Orange County are planning streetcar services to connect Metrolink riders to their final destinations.
Implement Local Circulators: Many cities in the region already have networks of local community circulators and fixed-route systems. Implementing more
for these markets include:
Increase Speed and Service: As noted above, the Southern California High-Speed Train system MOU partners are in the process of planning and implementing the MOU capital projects to improve capacity, speed and service, bringing at least some segments of our rail network up to the federally defined high speed of 110 miles per hour or greater and to implement a blended system of rail services. In addition to the MOU project list, these projects are detailed in the LOSSAN Strategic Implementation Plan for 2030 and the Metrolink 2015 Strategic Assessment that looks out ten years to 2025. As speeds and service levels improve, these services will become more competitive with SOV travel and as a result ridership will continue to grow. Further, their schedules should be adjusted once the state’s High-Speed Train project is implemented, so that all rail services complement and feed one another.
Improve Accessibility and Connectivity: This strategy includes establishing rail connections to our region’s airports and improving transit, bicycling and walking accessibility and connectivity to rail stations. Burbank Bob Hope Airport is the region’s best-served airport by rail, hosting two rail stations in the near future with service provided by two Metrolink lines, Amtrak and the state’s High-Speed Train system in 2022. Ontario International Airport (ONT) is not directly served by rail, although SCAG together with Metro and SANBAG are studying various options to provide direct rail service to the airport. LAX is also currently not served by any rail, but will be within the next decade via the Crenshaw Line and the Airport Metro Connector. Improving transit bicycling and walking accessibility to our region’s passenger rail stations is also critical. Increasing rail feeder bus services in our region to passenger rail stations would reduce the incentive for SOV travel. Establishing more transit services such as OCTA’s Stationlink service would provide this incentive. Finally, there is still little BRT or BRT-Lite service in our region outside of Los Angeles County and establishing more BRT routes to serve rail stations, such as the current Omnitrans sbX Green Line and RTA’s future RapidLink Line 1, will help meet this goal.
Secure Increased Funding and Dedicated Funding Sources: Passenger rail has traditionally lacked dedicated funding streams. Amtrak is funded annually by the U.S. Congress, usually resulting in funding amounts insufficient to meet state of good repair needs or to grow Amtrak’s levels of service and network. With local control of the Pacific Surfliner now complete, the state of California has guaranteed funding levels to maintain current service levels (but not to increase service levels) for the first three years. One new funding
The list includes 74 projects totaling nearly $4 billion and it shows the need for capital investments to improve the speed and service of the existing rail network regionwide. The top six projects on this list are each of the five county’s (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego) top projects – plus the Southern California Regional Interconnector Project (SCRIP, formerly called the Los Angeles Union Station Run-Through Tracks). See TABLE 5.4.
SCRIP is number one on the list because it will deliver regional benefits for all counties. Los Angeles Union Station was originally designed as a “stub” rail facility, with tracks only leaving the station in a northerly direction and no through-train operation capability. Up to six tracks will be built to extend out of the south of Union Station and across U.S. Route 101 to connect with the main tracks along the Los Angeles River. These additional tracks will increase Union Station’s capacity by 40 to 50 percent, enabling the scheduling of many more through trains with improved running times. They will also result in sharply reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from idling locomotives.
Several additional strategies are designed to increase rail ridership in our region by making rail travel more attractive as an alternative to commuting alone by car. These strategies will serve three distinct rail markets: commuter, intercity and interregional. The first is served by Metrolink, the second by Amtrak and the third will be served by California High-Speed Train service. However, the three carriers can be attractive to multiple rail travel markets. Passenger rail strategies
Table 5.4 Top Six MOU Projects
CP = A track switch, or the location of a track signal or other marker with which dispatchers can specify when controlling trains.
Southern California Regional Interconnector Project
CP Brighton to CP Roxford Double Track
State College Blvd. Grade Separation
McKinley St. Grade Separation
CP Lilac to CP Rancho Double Track
San Onofre to Pulgas Double Track
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source is California’s Cap-and-Trade Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, which received $25 million in FY2014-15 and 10 percent of annual Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds beginning in FY2015-16. This FY2015-16 allocation is currently estimated to be more than $200 million. Similarly, the CHSRA has been given a dedicated Cap-and-Trade funding stream of 25 percent of funds, beginning in FY2015-16 (for FY2014-15 CHSRA received $250 million). FY2015-16 funding is estimated at more than $500 million.
Support Increased TOD and First/Last Mile Strategies: Increased TOD and first/last mile planning and investments are crucial to passenger rail station area planning. Increased and effective TOD improves our region’s jobs/housing balance, reduces VMT and air pollution emissions and greenhouse gas emissions. First/last mile investments also reduce VMT and air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and encourage rail users to access rail stations with options other than driving alone.
Implement Cooperative Fare Agreements and Media: Cooperative fare agreements and media also offer opportunities for increasing rail ridership and attracting new riders. For example, the Rail2Rail pass allows Metrolink monthly pass riders who have origin and destination points along the LOSSAN corridor to ride Amtrak. In 2014, the North County Transit District (NCTD) reached an agreement with Caltrans Division of Rail (DOR), in which five daily Pacific Surfliner trains stop at all non-Pacific Surfliner Amtrak (Coaster) stops in San Diego County. This service has proven quite popular and successful. Agreements like this one could be expanded once the California High-Speed Train system is built.
The 2016 RTP/SCS includes $12.9 billion for active transportation improvements, including $8.1 billion in capital projects and $4.8 billion as part of the operations and maintenance expenditures on regionally significant local streets and roads. The 2016 Active Transportation Plan updates the 2012 Active Transportation Plan, which has goals for improving safety, increasing active transportation usage and friendliness and encouraging local active transportation plans. It proposes strategies to further develop the regional bikeway network, assumes that all local active transportation plans will be implemented and dedicates resources to maintain and repair thousands of miles of dilapidated sidewalks. To accommodate the growth in walking, biking and other forms of active transportation regionally, the 2016 Active Transportation Plan also considers new strategies and approaches beyond those proposed
in 2012. Among them:
The Active Transportation Plan has 11 specific strategies to maximize active transportation in the SCAG region. These are grouped into four broad categories: regional trips, transit integration, short trips and education/encouragement. All 11 strategies are based on a comprehensive local bikeway and pedestrian network that uses complete streets principles. These strategies include:
Regional Trips Strategies:
1.Regional Greenway Network
2.Regional Bikeway Network
3.California Coastal Trail Access
Transit Integration Strategies:
4.First/last mile (to transit)
58-80 years old is an age span that is used as a shorthand to refer to widening the potential for all people to use active transportation. The term refers to addressing the needs school aged children who would be conceivably allowed to walk or bike to school unaccompanied if the environment were safer and older senior citizens who prefer physical separation from the noise and speed of vehicles.
6.Bike Share Services
Short Trips Strategies:
8.Local Bikeway Networks
9.Neighborhood Mobility Areas
10.Safe Routes to School
Regional Trips Strategies
Developing the following networks will serve those longer trips that people make less frequently, but add to total miles traveled. They are primarily biking trips for commuting and recreation. Although trips covering the full length of these corridors may be a small percentage of active transportation travel, the networks provide a backbone for shorter trips, much in the way the Interstate Highway system is used by many people as a bypass for short trips from one on-ramp to the next off-ramp. Completing the following networks are key strategies for promoting regional trips:
1.Regional Greenway Network (RGN): The planned RGN is a 2,200-mile system of separated bikeways mostly using riverbeds, drainage channels and utility corridors. The RGN is a sub-component of the regional bikeway network. This strategy provides the opportunity to better integrate urban green space, active transportation and watershed management, providing new urban green space for residents to go to for travel and recreation, including low-stress access to the California Coastal Trail. Benefits include increased health, improved safety and enhanced quality of life. These low-stress bikeways, connected to the regional bikeway network and local bikeways, should provide an attractive option for those bicyclists who do not wish to ride along roadways with motor vehicles. They include the High Desert Corridor; Santa Ana River Trail; OC Loop; Los Angeles River; San Gabriel River; San Jose Creek; Rio Hondo River; Ballona Creek; Bike Route 33; and CVLink.
2.Regional Bikeway Network (RBN): The planned RBN consists of
2,220 miles of interconnected bikeways that connect to cities, local bikeways and destinations. It includes the RGN and has designated routes and wayfinding signage that help bicyclists easily understand the route structure and destinations. The primary purpose is to serve regional trips, commuting and recreational bicycling. Using locally existing and planned local bikeways as the foundation, the RBN closes gaps, connects cities and provides a regional backbone for local bikeways and greenways. By having assigned route names/numbers, bicyclists can more easily travel across jurisdictions without having to frequently consult maps or risk having bikeways end on busy streets. It is anticipated that trips longer than three miles will likely be used in part on the RBN. SCAG has developed 12 regionally significant bikeways that connect the region. These include Bike Route 66; Bike Route 10; Bike Route 126; Pacific Coast Bike Route; Bike Route 5; Santa Ana River Trail; High Desert Corridor; Bike Route 33; Los Angeles River; San Gabriel River; Bike Route 86; and Bike Route 76 (see EXHIBIT 5.3).
2.California Coastal Trail (CCT)Access: Trails along the coast of California have been utilized as long as people have inhabited the region. The CCT was established by the Coastal Act of 1976 to develop a “continuous public right-of-way along the California coastline; a trail designed to foster appreciation and stewardship of the scenic and natural resources of the coast through hiking and other complementary modes of non-motorized transportation.” The 2016 RTP/SCS Active Transportation Appendix identifies the improvements necessary to help complete the portions of the CCT in Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange counties and to provide biking and walking access to the CCT.
Transit Integration Strategies
Transit Integration refers to a suite of strategies designed to better integrate active transportation and transit by improving access for pedestrians, bicyclists and other people traveling under their own power around transit stations. Active transportation projects that fall within this suite of strategies are particularly competitive for Cap-and-Trade funding programs. They include the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, which aims to better link housing, transit and active transportation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With this in mind, the strategies detailed below will be most
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Exhibit 5.3 Regional bikeway network
successful if they are coordinated with land use strategies such as TOD and providing affordable housing.
4.First/Last Mile (to transit): This strategy uses a complete streets approach to maximize the number of people walking or biking to HQTAs. By 2040, 11 percent of people will live within one half mile of a High Quality Transit Station, and 27 percent will live within one mile of a High Quality Transit Station. By increasing the comfort and removing barriers to walking or biking, more people will walk or bike to transit stations.
The existing transit access “shed” is considered the half-mile radius around a station (requiring a ten-minute walk), although in many cases the access shed is much smaller due to barriers in the built environment (a lack of crosswalks, long blocks, unsafe overpasses or underpasses). The strategy of developing first/last mile solutions will increase the number of people walking within and beyond one-half mile, by creating the conditions that allow people to travel a longer distance in the same amount of time (ten minutes). The number of bicyclists accessing transit is also anticipated to increase, both within the one-mile bike access shed and beyond to a new bike access shed of three miles (requiring a 15 minute bike ride). Infrastructure improvements may include dedicated bike routes, sidewalk enhancements, mid-block crossings (short-cuts), reduced waiting periods at traffic signals, bicycle parking, signage and wayfinding and others.
In Los Angeles County, Metro has proposed an extensive active transportation network to support first/last mile access, including pathways that extend one half-mile around each of the Metro stations. The pathways are envisioned to provide facilities and design elements that are constant across the transit system, enabling seamless and intuitive door-to-door journeys. Pathways will be established along the most heavily traveled routes to transit stations, connecting riders to and from population and employment centers and other major destinations. They will improve and shorten the time it takes to access transit, enhancing the overall transit experience. The pathways will also facilitate transfers between modes, including traditional modes such as buses and park and ride lots, as well as new mobility options
such as bike share and car share that can be “plugged-in” throughout active transportation networks.
First/last mile plans that include many of the same investments as outlined in Metro’s first/last mile plan have been completed in Orange and San Bernardino counties as well. The regional strategy builds upon these planned investments, proposing enhancements at 224 high quality transit stations by 2040. These stations include all Los Angeles County light rail, subway and fixed guideway bus stations and Metrolink stations; all Orange County Metrolink Stations and OC Bravo busways; all San Bernardino County Metrolink stations and SBx busways; all Riverside County Metrolink stations; and all Ventura County Metrolink stations.
5.Livable Corridors: From an active transportation standpoint, this strategy is similar to the first/last mile strategy noted above, but it targets high-quality bus corridors rather than the rail and fixed-guideway system. (Planning for growth around Livable Corridors is also an important land use strategy) Livable Corridors share many of the same characteristics as transit-oriented rail corridors, but they have lower density development. Active transportation investments focus on sidewalk maintenance/enhancement, intersection improvements, bicycle lanes and bicycle boulevards to facilitate safe and easy access to mixed-use commercial nodes where residents can meet most of their daily needs and access bus service. In addition, this strategy promotes the inclusion of bike lanes, shared bus-bike lanes or cycletracks along or parallel to the main corridor to promote inter-regional connectivity. In developing the 2016 RTP/SCS, SCAG identified just under 3,000 miles of potential Livable Corridors. However, the investments proposed in the Plan under this strategy are not tied to a specific corridor; rather, the Plan assumes resources to support 670 miles accessing and along 154 miles of corridor. The Plan also provides policy language to support a much broader rollout of Livable Corridors to inspire and support local planning for projects. Having plans prepared with shovel-ready projects will allow our region to effectively compete for Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program Inter-Connected Projects.
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6King County Bike Share Business Plan. (2012). The Bike Share Partnership. Accessed at http://altaplanning.com/wp-content/uploads/King_County_Bike_Share_Business_Plan_0.pdf.
6.Bike Share Services: Bike share is a point-to-point service combining the convenience of a bicycle with the accessibility of public transportation.6 Using closely packed bike rental kiosks in heavily urbanized areas, bike share is designed to replace short-distance motor vehicle trips, reduce parking demand and complement local bus services such as DASH in the City of Los Angeles. Most importantly, bike share acts as a first/last mile strategy and it will be closely integrated with high quality transit stations. Metro and various cities are working to implement bike share within the county, beginning in 2016. The University of California, Irvine already has a bike share system in place for students and faculty. The regional bike share system will be comprised of about 8,800 bikes and 880 stations/kiosks.
Short Trips Strategies
For the purposes of this RTP/SCS, SCAG considers short trips as any trip less than three miles. These trips are primarily the utilitarian trips we take every day to the store, school or a restaurant. Planning policy objectives, including reducing VMT and greenhouse gas emissions and improving public health, depend highly on our region’s ability to address these short trips. That’s because they account for 33 percent of all trips in the region and they can be most easily completed by walking, biking or some other form of active transportation. Just under 38 percent of all trips less than one mile and 15 percent of trips less than three miles, are taken by biking or walking.
The land use strategies described earlier in this chapter and promoted by the 2016 RTP/SCS seek to improve location efficiency – in other words, minimize the distance between origins and destinations to create even more short trips in the future. The short trip strategies described below aim to ensure that the roadway network evolves to help realize the walkable/bikeable vision advanced by land use strategies in regional and local plans and improve mobility and reduce travel times in locations that are already considered location-efficient.
7.Sidewalk Quality: The Plan calls for 10,500 miles of sidewalks to be repaired or improved. This includes making them Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant and adding amenities such as no-maintenance exercise spots and rest seats for older walkers. These improvements are in addition to sidewalk enhancements incorporated into the other active transportation strategies.
8.Local Bikeway Networks: The region’s Local Bikeway Networks promote local mobility, while also providing the needed bikeway density to interconnect with the regional bikeway network. The Plan proposes expanding the local bikeway network by an additional 6,016 miles. This is in addition to the 2,760 additional bikeway miles incorporated into other active transportation strategies, bringing total regional, local and greenway bikeway mileage to 12,700.
9.Neighborhood Mobility Areas: This strategy is targeted to locations that have a high proportion of short trips due to the mix of land uses, a fairly dense street grid pattern and the presence of locally serving retail destinations. These locations, however, do not benefit from high quality transit. Where Livable Corridors focus on connections to a corridor, Neighborhood Mobility Areas focus on connections within the neighborhood – to schools, places of worship, parks or greenways and other destinations.
As noted above, Neighborhood Mobility Areas represent the synthesis of various planning practices and they apply to a wide range of settings in the SCAG region. SCAG has identified potential locations in the region to establish Neighborhood Mobility Areas. However, the investments proposed in the plan under this strategy are not tied to a specific community. Some of the practices that inform this concept include: Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) bicycle planning, NEV planning, Plug-in Vehicle (PEV) readiness planning and a geographic analysis of commute trip lengths. These planning practices are based on the idea that non-auto trips increase as the perceived danger and anxiety for the user decreases.
Getting more people to bike and walk is not just about building the infrastructure. Individuals must feel safe biking and walking. The 2016 RTP/SCS Safety campaigns have two strategies: Safe Routes to School, which focuses on instilling safe habits at a young age while encouraging walking and biking to school; and a Safety/Encouragement campaign, which aims to reach all roadway users through a mix of education and training seminars and encouragement strategies.
10.Safe Routes to School: Safe Routes to School is a comprehensive TDM strategy aimed at encouraging children to walk and bicycle to school. It includes a wide variety of implementation strategies
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Exhibit 5.4 Major Highway Projects
Our region boasts one of the most comprehensive High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) systems in the nation and heavy investments have been made to expand it. As part of the Plan, strategic HOV gap closures and freeway-to-freeway direct HOV connectors are proposed to complete the system. In addition to expanding the HOV network, another proposed strategy is to make certain HOV lanes continuously accessible. Various highways within Orange County feature this and studies show that continuous-access HOV lanes do not perform any worse compared with limited-access HOV lanes. Continuous-access HOV lanes give carpoolers greater freedom of movement in and out of the HOV lane network. TABLE 5.6 highlights some of the Plan’s major HOV projects.
Our region’s arterial system is comprised of local streets and roads that serve many different functions. One is to link our region’s residents with schools, jobs, healthcare, recreation, retail and other destinations. Our region’s arterials account for more than 80 percent of the total road network and they carry a majority of overall traffic. A number of arterials run parallel to major highways and they can provide alternatives to them. Beyond motor vehicles, our arterials serve other modes of travel, including transit and active transportation. The 2016 RTP/SCS proposes a variety of arterial projects and improvements throughout the region. Operational and technological improvements can maximize system productivity through various cost-effective and non-labor intensive means – beyond improvements to expand capacity. These include signal synchronization, spot widening and adding grade separations at major intersections. In addition, as part of the Complete Streets Deputy Directive7 (DD-64-R2), improvements such as bicycle lanes, lighting, landscaping, sidewalk widening and ADA compliance measures have shifted the focus of arterials toward considering multiple users – while also providing a greater sense of place. The 2016 RTP/SCS highways and local arterials framework and guiding principles are summarized here:
centered on the “6 Es” – Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation and Equity. When implemented, the 6 Es improve safety, reduce congestion and VMT, improve air quality and increase the physical activity of students and their parents – which improves public health outcomes. SCAG works with each county through SCAG’s sustainability joint work programs, which are collaborative planning programs designed to support regional sustainability goals through local projects. Each joint-work program includes a Safe Routes to School program component.
11.Education/Encouragement Campaigns: Safety campaigns that employ advertising, public service announcements and media kits are designed to educate the public on the importance of safety. Other efforts aim to educate bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists on the rights and responsibilities of sharing the road. The 2016 RTP/SCS anticipates that these campaigns will be conducted every five years during the course of the Plan.
Highways and Arterials
Active transportation has grown in recent years, but the majority of trips in our region today is still made on our region’s highways and arterials. Yet, the expansion of our highways and arterials has slowed down over the last decade. Revenue from traditional sources to fund transportation improvements is declining and costly expansions to address congestion are no longer financially feasible. However, given that critical gaps and congestion chokepoints still exist within the network, improvements beyond TSM and TDM strategies need to be considered. Closing these gaps to complete the system will allow residents and visitors alike to enjoy improved access to opportunities such as jobs, education, recreation and healthcare.
Our highways and arterials serve as a crucial backbone of our overall regional transportation network. As part of the 2016 RTP/SCS, SCAG continues to advocate for a comprehensive solution based on a system management approach to manage and maintain our highway and arterial network. Although we recognize that we can no longer rely on system expansion alone to address our mobility needs, critical gaps and congestion chokepoints in the network still hinder access to certain parts of the region. County transportation plans have identified projects to close these gaps, eliminate congestion chokepoints and complete the system. Such improvements are included in the 2016 RTP/
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7Complete Streets – Integrating the Transportation System. (2014) [Deputy Directive]. California Department of Transportation. Accessed at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/ocp/docs/dd_64_r2.pdf.
Table 5.5 Sample Major Highway Projects Committed by the Counties
Widen and improve SR-98 or Jasper Rd to 4/6 lanes
Widen and improve to a 6-lane freeway with interchanges to Heber, McCabe and Jasper and overpass at Chick Rd
Improve the SR-57/SR-60 interchange
Add 1 mixed-flow lane in each direction from SR-57 to SR-91
Add 1 mixed-flow lane in each direction and fix chokepoints from I-405 to I-5 and add 1 auxiliary lane in each direction between select on/off ramps and operational improvements through project limits
Add 1 mixed-flow lane on SR-91 eastbound from SR-57 to SR-55 and improve interchange at SR-91/SR-55
Add 1 mixed-flow lane in each direction from I-5 to SR-55
Add 1 mixed-flow lane in each direction from Tapo Canyon Rd to LA Avenue
Construct HOT off-ramp connector from 28th St to Figueroa St
Add 1 HOT lane in each direction from Cajalco Rd to SR-74
Add 2 HOT lanes in each direction from US-395 to I-15/I-215 interchange
Add 1 HOV lane in each direction from Weldon Canyon Rd to SR-14
Add 1 HOV lane in each direction from Ave P-8 to Ave L
Convert expressway to freeway-add 1 HOV lane and 1 mixed-flow lane
Add 1 HOV lane in each direction from Pico to SD County Line
Add 1 HOV lane in each direction from SR-74 to I-15/I-215 interchange
Add 1 HOV lane in each direction from Ford to RV County Line
Add 1 HOV lane in each direction from SR-210 to I-15
Add 1 HOV lane in each direction from I-215 to I-10
Add 1 HOV lane in each direction from Moorpark Rd to SR-33
Table 5.6 Major HOV Projects
Freeway to Freeway HOV Connectors
Rio Rancho Rd
SD County Line
Box Springs Rd
RV/SB County Line
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Table 5.7 Express/HOT Lane Network
Notes: * Dual Express lanes for entire length ** Dual Express lanes for a section*** May be either single or dual Express lanes
Los Angeles County Line
Los Angeles County Line
San Bernardino County Line
Orange County Line
Los Angeles County Line
High Desert Corridor
San Bernardino County Line
Orange County Line
Orange County Line
Riverside County Line
I-405 NB to I-110 NB and I-110 SB to I-405 SB
Existing HOV to proposed HOT direct connector
Existing HOV to proposed HOT direct connector
SR-241 NB to SR-91 EB and SR-91 WB to SR-241 SB
Existing HOV to proposed HOT direct connector
Planned HOV to proposed HOT direct connector
Existing HOV to proposed HOT direct connector
SR-91 EB to I-15 SB and I-15 NB to SR-91 WB
Express Lane Network
Consistent with our regional emphasis on the system management pyramid, recent planning efforts have focused on enhanced system management, including the integration of value pricing to better use existing capacity and offer users greater travel time reliability and choices. Express or High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes that are appropriately priced to reflect demand can outperform non-priced lanes in terms of throughput, especially during congested periods. Moreover, revenue generated from priced lanes can be used to deliver the needed capacity provided by the Express Lanes sooner and to support complementary transit investments.
The regional Express Lane network included in the 2016 RTP/SCS builds on the success of the State Route 91 Express Lanes in Orange County, as well as the Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 Express Lanes in Los Angeles County. Additional efforts underway include the extension of the State Route 91 Express Lanes to Interstate 15, as well planned Express Lanes on Interstate 15 in Riverside County. Express Lanes are also planned for Interstate 15 and Interstate 10 in San Bernardino County. TABLE 5.7 displays the segments in the proposed regional Express Lane network.
Recent regional efforts have focused on strategies to develop a coherent, refined and integrated regional goods movement system that would address expected growth trends. Key strategies are highlighted below.
Regional Clean Freight Corridor System
The 2016 RTP/SCS continues to envision 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. Such a system would address the growing truck traffic and safety issues on core highways through the region and serve key goods movement industries. Truck-only lanes add capacity in congested corridors, improve truck operations and safety by separating trucks and autos and provide a platform for the introduction of zero and near-zero emission technologies. Ongoing evaluation of a regional freight corridor system is underway, including recent work on an environmental impact report (expected to be recirculated in 2016) for the Interstate 710 segment. Additionally, as a part of the 2016 RTP/SCS, SCAG continues to refine the east-west corridor component of the system along the State Route 60 corridor. Current efforts have focused on working to identify an initial operating segment. Additional study is underway to evaluate the East-West Freight Corridor project concept.
The East-West Freight Corridor would carry between 58,000 and 78,000 clean trucks per day that would be removed from adjacent general-purpose lanes and local arterial roads. The corridor would benefit a broad range of goods movement markets, both port-related and local goods movement-dependent industries. Truck delay would be reduced by up to 11 percent. Truck traffic on State Route 60 general purpose lanes would be reduced by 42 to 82 percent, depending on location; it would be reduced by as much as 33 percent on Interstate 10 and as much as 20 percent on adjacent arterials. Separating trucks and autos would also reduce truck-involved collisions on east-west freeways that currently have some of the highest collision levels in the region (20-30 accidents a year on certain segments).
The regional freight corridor system also includes an initial segment of Interstate 15 that would connect to the East-West Freight Corridor, reaching just north of Interstate 10. Additional study anticipated for this segment.
Truck Bottleneck Relief Strategy
In 2013, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) identified the Los
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8Cost of Congestion to the Trucking Industry. (2014). American Transportation Research Institute.
Angeles Metropolitan Area as leading the nation in costs to the trucking industry caused by traffic congestion, with nearly $1.1 billion in added operational costs to truckers.8 The SCAG region had five of the top 100 truck bottlenecks in the U.S. in 2014 – identified by ATRI as follows:
#8State Route 60 at State Route 57 in Los Angeles County
#17Interstate 710 at Interstate 105 in Los Angeles County
#37Interstate 10 at Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County
#39Interstate 15 at State Route 91 in Riverside County
#55Interstate 110 at Interstate 105 in Los Angeles County.9
With driver wages and fuel costs representing more than 50 percent of total motor carrier costs, truck congestion has major impacts on the bottom line of the trucking industry. Truck bottlenecks are also emission “hot spots” that generally have significantly degraded localized air quality because of increased idling from passenger vehicles and trucks.
In past RTPs, SCAG directly addressed truck bottlenecks by developing a coordinated strategy to identify and mitigate the top-priority truck bottlenecks. This analysis has been updated for the 2016 RTP/SCS and includes a “refresh” of truck bottleneck delays for the locations where congestion data were available. It also identifies potential new truck bottlenecks.
The 2016 RTP/SCS allocates an estimated $5 billion toward strategies to relieve goods movement bottlenecks. Examples of bottleneck relief strategies include ramp meterings, extending merging lanes, improving ramps and interchanges, improving capacity, and adding auxiliary lanes. Additional information is provided in the Goods Movement Appendix.
The region’s railroad system provides critical connections between the largest port complex in the country and producers and consumers throughout the U.S. More than half of the international cargo arriving at the San Pedro Bay Ports uses rail. Railroads also serve domestic industries, predominantly for long-haul freight leaving the region. The extensive rail network in the SCAG region offers shippers the ability to move large volumes of goods over long distances at lower costs, compared with other transportation options. The 2016 RTP/SCS continues to incorporate the following rail strategies for goods movement:
The benefits of the rail strategies to the region are considerable and include mobility, safety and environmental gains. These strategies could eliminate nearly 5,500 hours of vehicle delay per day at grade crossings, decrease emissions (NOx, CO2 and PM 2.5) by nearly 44,000 lb. per day and reduce overall train delay to the year 2000 level.
Goods Movement Environmental Strategy
Along with growth in the region’s population and economy comes a growing demand to deliver goods in areas where people live and work. As a result, goods movement transportation has been a major source of emissions that contributes to regional air pollution problems, as well as localized air pollution “hot spots” that can have adverse health impacts. Moreover, much of the SCAG region (and nearly all of the urbanized area) does not meet federal ozone and fine particulate (PM 2.5) air quality standards. The transportation of goods is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. Because of the need to maintain and improve our quality of life, economically and environmentally, SCAG proposes the environmental strategy below to address the air quality impacts of goods movement, while also allowing for the efficient and safe goods movement flow throughout the region. A critical component of this strategy, as described below, is the integration of advanced technologies that have co-benefits such as air quality, energy security and economic growth opportunities.
The 2016 RTP/SCS focuses on a two-pronged approach for achieving an
9Congestion Impact Analysis of Freight Significant Highway Locations. (2014). American Transportation Research Institute.
efficient freight system that reduces environmental impacts. For the near term, the regional strategy supports the deployment of commercially available low-emission trucks and locomotives while centering on continued investments into improved system efficiencies. For example, the region envisions increased market penetration of technologies already in use, such as heavy-duty hybrid trucks and natural gas trucks. Applying ITS solutions to improve operational efficiency is also recommended. In the longer term, the strategy focuses on advancing technologies — taking critical steps now toward the phased implementation of a zero – and near-zero-emission freight system. SCAG is cognizant of the need to incorporate evolving technologies with plans for new infrastructure. These include technologies to fuel vehicles, as well as to charge batteries and provide power.
The plan to develop and deploy advanced technologies includes phased implementation, during which technology needs are defined, prototypes are tested and developed and efforts are scaled up. FIGURE 5.3 illustrates this process. The phases are summarized as follows:
Phase I Project Scoping and Evaluation of Existing Work: Continue to build on current regional research and technology testing efforts to further define the needs that the new technology must provide and to better understand the current capabilities, costs and stage of development of potential technologies.
Figure 5.3 Phases of Technology Development and Deployment
Figure 5.4 truck and rail technology development and deployment timeline
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Phase II Evaluation, Development and Prototype Demonstrations: Evaluate, develop and test initial vehicle prototypes. Work with public and private sector partners to secure funding commitments for the development of new technology prototypes and demonstrations.
Phase III Initial Deployment and Operational Demonstration: Initially deploy potential technologies, preferably with industry partners who can evaluate and report on their performance in the real world. Funding may be used for incentives for initial deployment and the continued evaluation and development of technologies.
Phase IV Full-Scale Demonstrations and Commercial Deployment: Scale up deployment of viable technologies and implement needed regulatory and market mechanisms to launch them commercially. The Phase IV time frame accommodates the readiness of different levels of technology for various applications.
Phases of New Technology Development and Deployment
The time frames illustrated in Figure 5.4 suggest a path toward implementing the phases described above. This cycle of technology development is continuous, and it will renew itself as new innovations emerge and technologies continue to evolve. The timelines presented are broad, to capture the breadth of technologies in various stages of development and to allow for further innovation in this sector. This path is discussed in greater detail in the Goods Movement Appendix.
Since SCAG adopted the 2012 RTP/SCS, the region has attracted outside funding and committed its own funding to support research and development efforts. Several studies have been conducted to date that contribute to “project scoping” by providing a greater understanding of the regional truck market and how truck use defines key performance parameters such as range and power needs. To evaluate and develop prototypes, three large-scale research and development efforts are underway to develop and test zero-emission trucks and charging infrastructure. These projects require continuing collaboration between original equipment manufacturers and public sector agencies.
Meeting Airport Demand
As discussed in Chapter 2, our region is served by a multiple airport system that includes commercial airports, military airfields and general aviation airports. All of these airports function as part of a system that provides a high level of air service to our residents and to visitors. Services that are not practical or
financially viable at one airport in the system can be provided at an alternative facility. In addition, many of our airports function as relievers for other airports in case of emergencies or irregular operations due to inclement weather or other unusual events.
The commercial passenger and cargo airports in our region, especially those in the urbanized areas, each face constraints on their operations. At each airport, these constraints may include airspace conflicts, runway configurations, terminal capacity, ground access congestion and legal restrictions such as noise control ordinances. Because of the varying constraints on individual airports, it is important to maintain a diverse group of airports to serve the overall air travel demand of the region extending into the future.
Accommodating the future demand for air passenger and air cargo is critical to the economic health of the region. The economic impact of air travel to the region is expected to increase from $27.4 billion in 2012 to $43.8 billion in 2040 (in 2012 dollars), an increase of nearly 60 percent. The number of jobs supported by visitors arriving by air is expected to increase from 275,000 to 452,000. If the region’s aviation system and supporting ground access network cannot accommodate the expected demand, some of this potential economic activity could be lost to other regions.
Forecasting Air Passenger Demand
Based on the historical relationship between economic activity and the demand for air travel, as well as expected future economic conditions in our and other regions, total air passenger demand in our region is expected to increase from 91.2 million annual passengers (MAP) in 2014 to 136.2 MAP in 2040. This represents a 1.6 percent annual growth rate over the forecast period. This regional demand forecast for air passenger travel is strong and reflects the potential for the region to have long-term economic recovery and growth. More detail about the forecast methodology is presented in the Aviation and Airport Ground Access Appendix.
Some of the airports in our region benefit from having long runways, uncongested airspace and spacious, modern terminals. Airports with these benefits are expected to be able to accommodate any growth in demand foreseeable through 2040. However, four of the commercial airports in urban parts of the region face physical or policy constraints that may limit their capacity to accommodate increases in demand by 2040. The individual airport demand forecasts reflect the following constraints:
An analysis of these constraints is included in the Aviation and Airport Ground Access Appendix.
Several recent trends in the airline industry were considered in the capacity analyses. For example, the average number of seats on commercial flights in and out of airports in our region increased from 107 in 2007 to 119 in 2014, so each “operation” (take-off or landing) on the airfield and each “turn” (arrival and departure) of a gate can include more passengers. Therefore, as a result of airline industry trends, the estimated capacity of several constrained airports has increased compared to prior analyses, although there may not have been any physical change at the airport itself.
Based on the overall forecast regional demand for air travel, the origins and destinations of trips within the region and the capacity constraints of individual airports, the figure “2040 Airport Demand Forecasts” on the previous page presents the anticipated air travel demand at each commercial airport in our region in 2040.
Forecasting Air Cargo
The development of the air cargo demand forecasts is similar to that of the air passenger forecasts. The demand for air cargo is driven largely by the economic interrelationship of our region and other regions around the world. Because of its high cost, shipment by air is used primarily for time-sensitive and high-value goods. Total air cargo transported through our region’s airports has experienced an uneven recovery since the recession of 2007, but remained below year 2000 levels even in 2014. Based on the historical relationship between economic activity and the demand for air cargo, as well as expected future economic conditions in our and other regions, total air cargo demand in our region is expected to increase from 2.43 million metric tons in 2014 to 3.78 million metric tons in 2040. This represents a 1.8 percent annual growth rate over the forecast period.
In 2014, more than 99 percent of air cargo in our region was handled at five airports: Los Angeles International Airport (77 percent), Ontario International Airport (19 percent), Burbank Bob Hope Airport (2 percent), John Wayne Airport (0.7 percent) and Long Beach Airport (0.6 percent). Air cargo can be classified as “belly” cargo (carried in the bellies of passenger airplanes) or full-freighter
cargo (carried in dedicated freighter aircraft). LAX handled nearly 99 percent of the region’s belly cargo and 70 percent of the full-freighter cargo.
Following the 2012 RTP/SCS, the air cargo forecasts assume some redistribution of air cargo across the airports in the region. Cargo carried on passenger airlines or by their cargo divisions is unlikely to be redistributed because these carriers benefit from consolidation of their passenger and cargo facilities at the same airport. Cargo carried by integrated delivery services, such as FedEx and UPS, is also unlikely to be redistributed because of the major investments these companies have made in facilities at individual airports (primarily, Ontario International Airport). Therefore, only cargo carried by charter airlines or all-cargo airlines would potentially diversify to other airports and, of the cargo that could potentially diversify, only some actually will.
Airport Ground Access
The ground access network serving the region’s airports is critical to both the aviation system and the ground transportation system. Passengers’ choice of airports is based in part on the travel time to the airport and the convenience of access, so facilitating airport access is essential to the efficient functioning of the aviation system. In addition, airport related ground trips can contribute to local congestion in the vicinity of the airports.
Currently, more than 200,000 air passengers arrive at or depart from the region’s airports every day. By 2040, this number is forecast to increase to more than 330,000. Passenger surveys indicate that three percent of passengers take transit to LAX and one percent take transit to Burbank Bob Hope Airport. Surveys are not available at other airports, but because these two airports have the best transit access in the region it is likely that the transit share at the remaining airports is significantly below one percent.
The large majority of air passengers use a motor vehicle, either their own or a rental vehicle, to get to and from the airport. About half of all air passengers in the region are picked up or dropped off at the airport by a friend or relative. Each end of these pick-up/drop-off air trips results in two ground trips: one to the airport followed by one returning from the airport. Therefore, taking steps to encourage travelers to use transit or other modes of shared transportation is vital.
To reduce ground transportation congestion related to air passenger travel, the 2016 RTP/SCS includes the following strategies: