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SoCal's Plan To Fight Climate Change Moving Forward

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The Climate Plan blog is reporting that the Southern California Association of Governments--the region's metropolitan planning organization--voted this afternoon to approve the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Community Strategies, a 25 year plan that aims to reduce vehicle miles traveled, carbon emissions, and sprawl for the region. The RTP/SCS responds to mandates made in the state bill SB 375, which says that land use planning policies must reduce vehicle miles traveled (SB 375 is considered the land use arm of AB 32, a 2006 law also known as the Global Warming Solutions Act). Building out all of the plans included in the RTP/SCS would require $524 billion in spending--but obviously the funds that the state and local governments have to spend on these plans fall well short of that total. If and/or when that money materializes, an unprecedented percentage of that total would go to infrastructure and land use planning that supports walking, biking, and public transportation, reports the Silicon Valley Mercury News: "Nearly half the money--$246 billion--would go to public transportation, and in an attempt to make that money more meaningful the region would aim for 60 percent more housing near public transit than currently exists."

The National Resources Defense Council has a detailed list of what the RTP/SCS plans would entail, including:

-- An increase in funding for biking and walking by more than 350%: "from $1.8 to $6.7 billion"

-- The plan aims to reduce congestion by 24%, even while adding four million residents over the next 25 years

-- The plan seeks to conserve more than 400 square miles of open space

According to the SVMN, the plan still requires federal approval before it can take effect.
· SoCal group votes on foot-friendly transit plan [Silicon Valley Mercury News]
· Will Southern California make transportation history [NRDC]
· SoCal Now Ready to Fix Climate Change, Traffic, Sprawl [Curbed LA]