Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A missed opportunity, and the shortcomings of regional planning

Gearing up to prepare the next update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has been evaluating a new policy framework to determine when a transportation project is considered to be a regional commitment.  Projects that are committed will be included in the next RTP.  Projects that are not committed could be included, but they would first be subject to a benefit-cost analysis and would have to be approved separately by the Commission.
At what point is a project far enough along in the process to be “committed”?  We looked before at the two policy choices that were being considered.  There is more detail in that previous post, but the brief recap is that with “Option 1,” a project is committed if it has been environmentally cleared, e.g. the project has an EIR certified under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  With “Option 2,” a project is not committed until dirt has turned and construction is underway.  Of these two options, I supported Option 2 because it would expose commissioners to a benefit-cost analysis for more projects, thereby empowering them with greater discretion to decide whether even older projects are still worthy of pursuit.  The Planning Committee also supported Option 2 and voted to move it forward to the full Commission.

more about regional planning:

Governance of Tehran City - Region: Challenges and Trends

Research Methods in Urban and Regional Planning

Integration of landscape fragmentation analysis into regional planning: A statewide multi-scale case study from California, USA

Regional Development in the Philippines: A Review of Experience, State of the Art and Agenda for Research and Action

1 comment:

  1. It is not surprising that  even when sitting on a regional board, commissioners are still elected local officials at heart, interested in moving projects forward with a minimum of delay and controversy. And the local project is the best and most cost-effective way to meet identified regional performance
    urban planners