The San Diego Association of Governments' board of directors voted unanimously Friday to adopt the final version of a regional transportation plan that will invest $204 billion into infrastructure projects over the next 35 years.
San Diego Forward addresses the region's current and future transportation needs, including specific plans to help realize that vision by investing in transit projects, bikeways, pedestrian improvements and a managed lanes network (lanes to accommodate carpools and transit, and sometimes toll-paying solo drivers) between now and 2050.
According to SANDAG, the plan seeks to strike a balance, helping to guide future growth in a way that preserves mobility in the region.
It is also meant to supports jobs and the local economy, while creating healthy communities, preserving half the region as open space and exceeding the greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the California Air Resources Board.
The plan projects what funds will be available over a 35-year period, and looks at what can be done with those funds to improve the region's transportation system. The plan is updated every four years.
Overall, the plan approved Friday:
· commits more than 50 percent of its $204 billion investment to transit, including five new trolley lines, 32 new Rapid lines, and significant increases in transit frequencies;
· dedicates 15 percent of its resources to add 160 miles of managed lanes to existing freeways for the specific purpose of allowing transit, carpools and vanpools to be more efficient and bypass traffic;
· directs more than $588 million to building 275 miles of bikeways, making active transportation a realistic alternative to car travel for more people;
· invests a total of $4.9 billion in active transportation improvements throughout the region, including biking and walking improvements; and,
· ensures that in the next five years 75 percent of all transportation funds will be invested in transit and active transportation, including the Mid-Coast Trolley extension, the Mid-City Centerline Rapid Stations project, the South Bay Rapid project, and the continued double-tracking of our coastal rail corridor.
"This plan relies on adding layers of transportation choice," said Jack Dale, SANDAG chair and Santee councilmember. "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."
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