Recap: Plan Bay Area 2050+ Summer Engagement
Nearly 3,000 Bay Area residents participated in this summer’s first round of engagement for Plan Bay Area 2050+, a limited and focused update to Plan Bay Area 2050, the long-range plan for transportation, housing, the economy and the environment that was adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) in late 2021.
The public’s input will help staff refine Plan Bay Area 2050’s current plan strategies to reflect residents’ new realities as the Bay Area emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as their concerns for the future as it relates to the four plan elements of housing, the economy, transportation and the environment.
From July 30 to September 6, staff hosted 15 in-person pop-up workshops at festivals, farmers markets and other community events and locations across the nine-county Bay Area to provide residents with the opportunity to comment on the impacts of the pandemic on their lives and their concerns for the future. In total, over 500 people participated in the pop-up workshops, yielding nearly 1,300 comments.
In early August, staff also launched an online survey and two parallel digital promotion campaigns to promote the individual pop-up workshops and the survey. The survey and promotional efforts were conducted in Chinese, English, Spanish and Vietnamese. The survey yielded over 2,900 responses and over 15,000 additional comments.
To support the participation of historically underserved communities, MTC-ABAG staff focused on hosting the majority of pop-ups in Equity Priority Communities, or in communities with larger concentrations of limited-English proficient individuals, youth, people of color and/or low-income residents — in line with the engagement priorities adopted by the Commission as part of the 2023 Public Participation Plan.
To encourage participation in the survey by residents of Equity Priority Communities and those without access to internet, staff partnered with over a dozen community-based organizations (CBOs) throughout the region and established a multi-lingual “Listening Line” that allowed residents to dial a phone number to leave their comments as a voice recording. The CBO partners also helped spread the word about the pop-up workshops and the online survey, and they collected hundreds of hard-copy surveys from members of the communities they serve.
Staff also hosted a listening session with members of the disability community, and the public was encouraged to submit written comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For partners and technical stakeholders, staff hosted office hours, two virtual workshops and a technical webinar. The workshops attracted over 200 attendees from local governments, transit and other agencies, and advocacy organizations, who provided detailed input on the strategy refinements, totaling hundreds of comments. The technical webinar attracted over 90 participants and resulted in over 50 questions and comments that staff were able to address during the webinar.
Read the Nov. 3 Joint MTC Planning Committee with the ABAG Administrative Committee memo for a complete summary of Round 1 engagement activities.
Staff will review and integrate the comments MTC and ABAG received from the public from the online survey, the hard-copy surveys and the pop-up workshops this past summer into the Draft Blueprint. Given Plan Bay Area 2050’s foundation of 35 strategies, the Draft Blueprint phase for Plan Bay Area 2050+ will focus on making targeted refinements to select plan strategies rather than reinventing them completely, with the aim of adopting the Draft Blueprint strategies in early 2024.