Preferred Land Use and Transportation Investment Strategy
Memo and Slide Presentation (May 4, 2012)
Plan Bay Area is an ambitious regional plan that integrates multiple components. It uses sophisticated computer modeling, analyzes multiple policy options, and sets quantifiable performance targets. It guides intelligent investment of limited funds from local, state and federal sources. And it requires close consultation with cities, counties, business and community groups, and the general public. Despite all these moving parts and players, Plan Bay Area doesn’t have to be confusing. In fact, it can be divided into a few key elements:
Plan Bay Area must project the region’s growth in terms of jobs and population and identify geographic areas sufficient to house that growth. Once the Bay Area’s housing need is projected, a housing plan is developed to allocate voluntary housing unit targets to each local jurisdiction. The housing plan within Plan Bay Area must be consistent with a development pattern that promotes reductions in greenhouse gases. State law requires an emphasis on compact, mixed-use commercial and residential development with access to public transit. Plans for housing must also include sufficient affordable units so that people don’t have to commute from outside the Bay Area to jobs within the region.
Transportation policies and investments identified in Plan Bay Area aim to maintain the region’s extensive existing transportation network as well as support the housing and development pattern that reduces emissions from cars and light trucks. Plan Bay Area uses a performance-based planning to help ensure that we achieve high returns on transportation policies and investments. Plan Bay Area looks at a range of strategies to make it easy, safe and affordable for Bay Area residents to get from point A to point B.
The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is a legally required document that assesses the environmental impacts of Plan Bay Area's proposed development patterns and transportation investments. By examining a series of related actions that are geographically and conceptually related, Plan Bay Area’s program-level EIR can adequately analyze cumulative regional impacts, explore reasonable alternatives, and consider wide-ranging mitigation measures. The EIR’s program-level analysis also helps local jurisdictions and other agencies with their own planning efforts.
The Equity Analysis represents a concerted effort to understand how Plan Bay Area will impact low-income and minority populations. In accordance with Plan Bay Area’s performance-based approach, the Equity Analysis uses quantitative measures to gauge how the plan will affect specific issues identified in consultation with local residents. The Equity Analysis satisfies federal requirements with respect to the metropolitan planning process; it also demonstrates the extent to which Plan Bay Area aspires to advance regional equity.