Economic Development

Regional Economic Divergence and the Conundrums of Prosperity; ABAG's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Mare Island Naval Shipyard

Over at the Upshot, Emily Badger is asking a difficult, important question: What happens when globalization and technology cause big, rich cities in the U.S. to lose their links to smaller cities and rural areas? The piece starts with an examination of how the Bay Area economy has changed over recent decades:

Well before anyone thought of this place as the center of the tech economy, the Bay Area built ships. And it did so with the help of many parts of the country.

Douglas fir trees logged in the Pacific Northwest were turned into lumber schooners here. Steel from the East, brought in by railroad, became merchant vessels.

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Housing

CASA: Drafting a Blueprint for a Better Bay Area

It’s no secret that that the Bay Area has one of the most severe housing crisis in the nation. In poll after poll, area residents have ranked housing affordability as one of the region’s greatest challenges. The data backs it up too. In an effort to develop and implement game-changing solutions to this crisis, MTC and ABAG have convened CASA – The Committee to House the Bay Area

CASA has brought together nearly 50 leaders from every conceivable sector across the Bay Area with the goal of figuring out how to build an actionable political consensus around increasing housing production, preserving existing affordable housing, and protecting vulnerable populations from housing displacement. Read More

Transportation

Congestion Relief On the Way for Richmond Bridge Eastbound Traffic

Eastbound traffic on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge will soon have an extra lane open to traffic during peak rush-hour congestion. Overhead signs will direct you to the third lane if it's available. Most of the time the shoulder will be set aside for emergency use, but when traffic toward Richmond is heavily congested, officials will use the shoulder lane to keep cars moving. MTC's Mark Jones gets more details from the project inspector, Josh Burmann, in the above video.

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Projects

Honors, Awards and Deals of the Year - Oh My! 2017 in Review

Atrium at the Bay Area Metro Center

As the year winds to a close, it's a good time to take stock of all the things we are grateful for. Here at the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), there is an across-the-board commitment to hard work and excellence at both the staff and leadership level. We are thankful for all of the following honors and awards bestowed on us in 2017 by peers and professional organizations.  Read More

Transportation

The End of the Automotive Era?

A rendering with vehicles with circles around them, indicating awareness of automated vehicles.

The subject of driverless (or autonomous) vehicles and the future of transportations brings about all manner of prognostication. Some commentators think the revolution is nigh: No corner of the transportation sector will be left untouched and impacts will be felt across the entire economy – and soon. Others dismiss this all as so much hype: The technical, political and social barriers are too high and real change is decades (and decades) away.   

Count this piece from Bob Lutz – former vice chairman and head of product development at General Motors – as a provocation from Team Revolution.  Read More

Headlines

"The Nobility of Public Service" – MTC Commissioners Honor the Late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
Kingmond Young

The late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was honored at yesterday's MTC Commission meeting with a moment of silence and resolution of appreciation.

In the below video, MTC Commission Chair Jake Mackenzie reads the posthumous resolution of appreciation while commissioner and Mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf as well as commissioner and Mayor of San Jose Sam Liccardo offer remembrances for their departed friend. Schaaf and Liccardo both emphasized Lee's commitment to regionalism, his dedication to public service, his humanity and decency, and his sense of humor. 

Schaaf's comments start at the 22:58 mark and Liccardo's comments start at 24:04.  Read More

Land Use

2017 North Bay Wildfire Affected Areas; Resources for Bay Area Cities and Counties

2017 North Bay Wildfire Affected Areas

The 2017 North Bay Wildfire Affected Areas Map displays the geographic extent of the four 2017 North Bay Wildfires, as well as the number of structures damaged or destroyed within the fires’ perimeters. The map gives a good sense of just how large the fires were, and how destructive. In addition to the lives lost, there were nearly 6,000 structures reported as damaged or destroyed within the Tubbs Fire alone (#2), taking out a major chunk of Santa Rosa’s (and the wider region’s) housing stock. In response to this regional emergency, MTC and ABAG have offered technical assistance, staff resources and other key information for local elected officials, city managers and the public.  Read More

Resiliency

Resilient By Design | Bay Area Challenge: 10 Teams, 32 Ideas to Address Climate Change

The evidence is everywhere: sea levels are on the rise and countries around the world must adapt before disaster strikes. The San Francisco Bay Area is at the forefront of this nascent adaptation effort with the Resilient by Design challenge, which has selected 10 high-powered teams from across the globe to come up with innovative design ideas that address sea level rise and resilience to climate change around the region. Read More

Transportation

Ferry Service Is Coming to Richmond

After a nearly 60 year hiatus, ferry service is coming back to Richmond.  The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) and the city of Richmond have broken ground on a ferry terminal at the site of a former Ford Motor plant on the Richmond waterfront.  In the above video, MTC’s Mark Jones provides an overview of the project as well as the state of water transportation in the Bay Area. 

The Richmond Ferry Terminal Project includes the construction of a terminal shelter, gangway and dock, improved pedestrian and bike facilities, a kayak launch ramp, ADA access, and parking for 362 cars. Weekday commuter ferry service between Richmond and San Francisco is expected to begin in September 2018.   Read More