June 13, 2016 Jodie Medeiros

Plan Bay Area 2040

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) adopted Plan Bay Area 2013 to plan how our nine-county region manages the next generation of growth and how to pay for it. It requires an update every four years, with the next Plan Bay Area to be adopted in summer 2017. Plan Bay Area’s San Francisco’s open house will take place this Tuesday, June 14th. The SFHAC will be there to weigh in on how we should smartly grow and you should attend, too!

The biggest insight from 2013 to date is that our regional growth forecast was incorrect. Whoops, we aimed too low! We need to plan for 820,000 new homes across the region, not 660,000. That’s a 25 percent increase. Where job growth occurs needs to be reassessed as well. The Bay Area will have approximately 1.3 million new jobs added by 2040, not 1 million, as originally predicted. How will we manage this increased growth?

MTC and ABAG  have proposed three land-use scenarios to sort out how to accommodate 800,000 new households. Those proposals can be found here.

  1. Main Streets: This scenario targets future population and employment growth to the downtowns of every city in the Bay Area to foster a region of moderately-sized, integrated town centers. This scenario emphasizes a dispersed distribution of households and jobs and limited growth in San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.
  2. Connected Neighborhoods: This scenario targets future population and employment growth to locally-identified priority development areas (PDA) along major corridors, with an emphasis on growth in medium-sized cities with access to the region’s major rail services, such as BART and Caltrain.
  3. Big Cities: This scenario concentrates future population and employment growth in the locally-identified priority development areas and transportation plan areas within the Bay Area’s three largest cities: San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.

The SFHAC would like to see some combination of scenarios 2 or 3 adopted. To us, it makes sense to locate most housing and jobs along existing transit corridors. This focuses density in cities, big and small, maximizes green space and reduces sprawl. Plan Bay Area is a vision and a plan, not a policy. It doesn’t have any teeth to enforce it in individual jurisdictions. Right now, it’s all “carrots” (funding) and no “sticks” (penalties) if the Bay Area counties don’t meet their obligations to plan for growth.

San Francisco Open House
Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Place: Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market Street, San Francisco

Jodie Medeiros

Jodie is the former Deputy Director of SFHAC.

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