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SANDAG to consider final version of regional transportation plan update

The regional transportation plan update that has been under development for two years at the San Diego Association of Governments will face a possible adoption vote this week, as SANDAG officials are planning its consideration at the agency's board meeting this Friday.

The plan update, known as San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, will supersede the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan adopted by SANDAG in 2011. That plan faced criticism from environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the Cleveland National Forest Foundation for, as courts have since found, failing to meet requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act in its long-range assessments of greenhouse gas emissions and ways in which to reduce them over time.

The same groups have complained that the new update, which SANDAG is mandated by law to provide every four years, is based largely on similar information and analysis used in the 2050 RTP.

Though a San Diego Superior Court Judge ruled in 2012 that plans for transportation emissions reductions and projected emissions in the 2050 RTP failed to comply with state laws enacted in 2008 — with that ruling backed in 2014 by an appellate court — the state Supreme Court provided a lifeline to the previous version of the plan when it granted earlier this year SANDAG's request for a review of the appellate court decision.

According to SANDAG, the updated $204 billion plan, which will serve as a blueprint for transportation spending through 2050, "seeks to strike a balance, helping to guide future growth in a way that preserves mobility in the region and supports jobs and our economy."

The plan, SANDAG added in a release, will help create healthier communities and preserve half of the region as open space.

“This plan relies on adding layers of transportation choice,” said SANDAG Chair and Santee Councilmember Jack Dale. “By growing within our existing communities -- then connecting those communities with not just freeways, but with carpool lanes, transit services, bikeways, and safe walking routes -- we can achieve all of our goals.”

Friday's board meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the SANDAG Board Room, located on the seventh floor at 401 B St. in downtown San Diego.

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San Diego Association of Governments Executive(s):

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Tom Brown

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