When one of Southern California’s most visionary planning thinkers calls a plan “a model of sustainability”, it seems only right that we should listen. Ventura City Manager Rick Cole’s recent LA Times Op-Ed says that SoCal’s new 25-year, $524-billion plan that emphasizes public transit and walkable communities points the way to a better future.
Atlantic Cities similarly asks Is SoCal America’s Next Environmental Success Story? With the unanimous vote of its 84 member Regional Council to adopt the most transit friendly transportation plan in its history, we agree that the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is setting the region in a new direction.
As we’ve advocated since last fall, the voters seem to prefer a new direction for the region. This plan responds by allocating almost half of its revenues—which in a region this large means $246 billion—for public transportation, increasing the opportunities to live near transit by 60%, and nearly quadrupling funds for active transportation.
With this plan, SoCal leaders are answering the demand for transportation choices people want. No one wants to spend half their paycheck just to fill up the tank and sit in hours of gridlock traffic. Southern California is designing communities of the future, where people are not bound by their cars, but have more freedom of choice in how they get around.