A new law has arrived to help California reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from driving. Senate Bill 375 (SB 375) requires regional agencies to plan future housing, job growth, and transit investments together, rather than separately, to decrease driving—what some people call “smart growth.” In the Bay Area, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are responsible for the planning required by SB 375. Their plan, dubbed “One Bay Area,” includes a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). We are focusing our efforts on advocating in front of these bodies to make sure they address equity issues in their planning.
One Bay Area planning decisions under way now will determine how $240 billion of public transportation money is spent over 30 years. The process will also influence where the region’s new housing, including affordable homes, will be built. Taken together, One Bay Area plans have the potential to shape our lives and determine whether we will indeed be One Bay Area—equal in opportunity and health—or continue as many Bay Areas, segregated by unequal access to transit and housing options and subjected to unequal environmental and health burdens like air pollution and hazardous traffic levels.