Land Use

The Bay Area’s Fastest Growing Cities and Towns

Aerial view of development in Vacaville
Karl Nielsen

The Census Bureau last week released 2017 population estimates for the nation’s cities and towns, showing that cities in the South (especially Texas) and the West are posting the largest gains. 

What about closer to home here in the Bay Area?  Which jurisdictions are seeing the fastest growth in percentage terms and which jurisdictions are seeing the largest numeric increases in population? Although none of the nine county region’s cities and towns made any of the nationwide “Top 15” lists, a number of locations saw steady or even – dare we say it – moderate growth.

Since 2016, this population growth, both numerically and in percentage terms, has been especially concentrated in Solano, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.  Keep reading to find out more! Read More

Housing

May Map of the Month: When Will Bay Area Cities Reach Plan Bay Area 2040 Housing Targets?

May Map of the Month

May's Map of the Month from MTC and ABAG Executive Director Steve Heminger looks at what year cities around the Bay Area are anticipated to reach their housing growth forecasts, assuming the annualized housing production rate since 2010 doesn't change.

From the Executive Director's latest report to the MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board:

To beat a dead horse, May’s Map of the Month highlights the continued housing production challenges in the Bay Area, comparing Department of Finance housing production data between January 2010 and December 2017 with the Plan Bay Area 2040 housing forecasts by jurisdiction. This month's map shows the year that each city or town would meet its Plan Bay Area 2040 housing growth forecast if it continues on its recent production trajectory, during this lengthy economic expansion. Not surprisingly, most jurisdictions are lagging the Plan’s housing goals – meaning that the region won’t reach its 2040 housing goal until 2072 at the current pace.

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Transportation

Community Celebrates Opening of BART to Antioch Extension

[This post is adapted from a web story on MTC's site.]

A ribbon-cutting celebration was held Friday, May 26, for BART’s newest addition, the BART to Antioch extension.

Elected officials and BART representatives joined hundreds of community members for the ceremony outside of the new Antioch Station, one day before the official start of the clean, modern and fast service, which relies on Diesel Multiple Units, or DMU train cars. After the ceremony, guests were treated to free rides on the new line. 

“East County residents now have an environmentally friendly, comfortable and state-of-the-art commute option,” said BART Director Joel Keller, who serves East Contra Costa County and is among the local leaders who were instrumental in getting the extension built. “The BART to Antioch extension will carry as many people as an additional lane of Highway 4 and will reduce vehicle miles traveled by 99 million per year.” The extension is predicted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 260,000 pounds a day.

Keep reading on to find out more about this exciting development in regional transportation. Read More

Meetings

5/23 MTC Meeting Wrap-Up: Commission Offers Support for Proposed BART TOD Policy, Approves Pilot Program Offering Fare Discounts for Low-Income Transit Riders

MTC Commission and staff sitting in the board room.
Noah Berger

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 23. Highlights included the Commission offering a "Support and Seek Amendments" position on a State Assembly bill related to BART transit-oriented development (prompting a lively debate on regional housing and local zoning control), as well as approval of a pilot program that will provide 20 percent fare discounts to low-income adults on several major Bay Area transit operators.

Read on for all the Commission actions of the day, as well as links to the video recording of the meeting and all the handouts. Read More

Housing

YIMBYs, NIMBYs and the Data That Unites Them

Aerial View of Sonoma County
Karl Nielsen

The latest dispatch from America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers from the U.S. Census provides an in-depth look at how data informs advocacy on both sides of the Bay Area’s housing debate. The story, NIMBY Meets YIMBY: Housing Movement Pushes for More Housing, shows how Census data is used to analyze everything from jobs to housing balance, rent burdens, building permit data and demographic change.

From the article:

Recently, the quest for housing affordability has dominated the national conversation. According to the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year estimates, 38.2 percent of rental households in the San Francisco Metro Area were spending at least 35 percent of their income on basic housing costs and 27.8 percent of homeowners with a mortgage were in the same situation.

Continue reading to find out more, and to see how your own county stacks up along a number of key measures. Read More

Transportation

BART to Antioch Opens Saturday, May 26, Marking First Phase of Extension into Eastern Contra Costa County

The long-awaited expansion of regional rail service into eastern Contra Costa County is (almost) finally here: this Saturday, May 26, the BART to Antioch extension will open for service, giving commuters more travel options and relieving congestion on Highway 4.  A community ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the new Antioch Station on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 11 a.m. to celebrate this major milestone.

As can be seen in the above video, the new trains are convenient, quiet and fast. Continue reading on to find out more about the project, as well as MTC's role in financing it. Read More

Resiliency

Resilient by Design San Francisco Showcase Open from May 22 to June 1, Reception on May 23

Keeping Seal Level Rise at Bay Poster

We recently highlighted the nine final proposals for adapting to sea level rise in vulnerable locations around the Bay that came out of the year-long Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge. Now, you have a chance to take in these innovative projects first-hand at Keeping Sea Level Rise at Bay: Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge | San Francisco Design Showcase.

The design showcase will be on display for public viewing from May 22 to June 1 at the Bay Area Metro Center lobby, 375 Beale Street in San Francisco, and open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

In addition, Resilient by Design, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the East Cut Community Benefit District invite members of the public join them for a reception and talk this Wednesday, May 23, to learn more about the just-unveiled innovative designs for mitigating sea level rise at the Bay’s edge:

Reception and Talk: Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: Bay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA

More information and tickets are available on the Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge website.  Read More

Resiliency

Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge Final Projects Revealed

Bird Tower on the Grand Bay Way
Common Ground/Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge

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 Bay Area Challenge, which in May 2017 selected nine 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.

Now, a year later, Resilient by Design is excited to share the final design concepts developed by local residents, community organizations, public officials and local, national, and international experts. These concepts are “meant to inspire, catalyze action, and push us along the path to a more resilient future.

Keep reading on to view a clickable map as well as video summaries of each project.  Read More