Transportation

"Why Do Bridges Fail?" Plus A Regional Good News Story

A bridge under construction
Karl Nielsen

The collapse earlier this month of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University (FIU) was shocking and upsetting for many reasons: six people lost their lives, the bridge had been intended to increase pedestrian safety, and there's a possibility that warning signs went unheeded.

But beyond the tragedy and fall-out, it also raises several questions: Why? What makes a bridge collapse? And what are conditions like for our bridges here in the Bay Area? Continue reading on to find out more. Read More

Meetings

3/28 Meeting Previews: BATA, MTC and CASA Technical Committee

The interior of the Bay area Metro Center Board Room is shown, seen from behind three rows of chairs facing the front of the room. The room is empty.

Three meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Bay Area Metro Center. Some highlights include a a proposed amendment to Plan Bay Area 2040 and the amended 2017 TIP (attachment), priorities for Round 3 of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program (attachment), funds for the North-South Greenway Project and the SMART Multi-Use Pathway in Marin County (attachment), decision-making tools and Work Group Action Plans from CASA (attachment), and much more.

Continue reading on to find links to all meeting agendas, meeting packets and key background materials. Tune in to the meetings live on Wednesday morning at https://mtc.ca.gov/whats-happening/meetings/live-webcasts. Read More

Funding

New Report Details How Cap-and-Trade Proceeds Benefit California and the Bay Area

Alameda County
Karl Nielsen

Last week a report was released detailing the dramatic progress made by California Climate Investments – the statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work – in supporting projects that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening local economies, and improving public health and the environment across the state.

The California Climate Investment Annual Report to the Legislature for 2018, a joint effort produced by the California Air Resources Board and California Department of Finance, contains lots of good news for the state, and the Bay Area specifically:

More than $720 million in new funding last year went to projects that were either under way or completed across all of California’s 58 counties, a two-thirds increase in implemented investments. From rebates for electric cars to affordable housing units, completed projects totaled 75,000, including doubling the number of home energy efficiency installations and nearly tripling the number of trees planted….

Continue reading on for more details about the Cap-and-Trade system and for an overview of the Bay Area projects that received support through Cap-and-Trade proceeds. Read More

Policy

Fun With U.S. Census Data: Bay Area Highlights from the 2017 Local Population Estimates

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau today released their 2017 local population estimates and – as usual – there’s a smorgasbord of fascinating data on where and how the U.S. population changed between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017.

From the press release:

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area’s 146,000-population increase last year was the most of any metro area and Maricopa County, Ariz., saw a population increase of nearly 74,000 — the most of any county last year — according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 1, 2017, population estimates released today. The statistics provide population estimates and components of change for the nation’s 382 metropolitan statistical areas, 551 micropolitan statistical areas and 3,142 counties… 

For an interesting perspective breaking down the nation's recent population growth through the lens of 2016 Presidential Election results, check out this piece from Jed Kolko over at CityLab: Red Counties + Blue Folks = Purple? Reading the New Census Data.

Closer to home, the story is much more “slow and steady.”  Keep reading on for more detail on how the Bay Area's nine counties fared over the last year. Read More

Resiliency

What If a 7.0 Earthquake Hit the San Francisco Bay Area?

HAYWIRED Logo

What if a major earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area? Would you and your family be prepared? 

Next month, the HayWired Scenario – a major California regional and statewide earthquake preparedness initiative – will be released to the public, providing a scientific, realistic and quantitative depiction of what would happen if there was a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault with an epicenter in Oakland. The initiative wants to shift behavior surrounding earthquakes by improving communications and the use of earthquake hazard, early warning and aftershock forecast information, as well as inform building codes, build community capacity and foster business continuity planning.

Developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, the scenario's public release will kick off on April 18, 2018, with a press event at U.C. Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium, University Club, with the annual Lawson Lecture, including a panel from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. so you can ask the HayWired team questions. The release of the HayWired Scenario also marks the beginning of the HayWired Public Engagement Campaign, known as Outsmart Disaster. Read More

MTC-ABAG

MTC and ABAG Release First-Ever Joint Annual Report to Congress

Annual Report to Congress

MTC and ABAG have released their first-ever joint annual report to Congress for 2018, urging lawmakers in Washington D.C. to honor long-standing bipartisan commitments to transportation, housing and disaster relief.  The report, Accelerating Progress: Strong Partnerships Move the Bay Area Forward:

  • Provides an overview of the Bay Area’s policy and funding priorities, including priorities for a national infrastructure and a response to the Trump Administration’s budget proposal
  • Discusses the region’s major capital investment grant requests, including Caltrain modernization and the Bay Area’s next generation of transit capacity
  • Provides an update on both agencies’ major ongoing initiatives, including North Bay wildfire recovery efforts, climate change adaptation, bold efforts to solve the region’s housing crisis, the expansion of the Bay Area Express Lanes network, as well as research, planning and funding to maximize the benefits of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies. 

For more detail on these and other issue areas and initiatives, download the report. Read More

MTC-ABAG

New from the MTC-ABAG Library: Reports, Research Articles and More Available Online

A pair on glasses rests on a laptop keyboard. Several books and a coffee cup are shown to the side of the laptop.

This month’s open access, long-form reading recommendations from the MTC-ABAG Library cover housing issues, Regional Measure 3, local and state transit, the inner workings of ridesharing companies, climate change, and the overall resilience of the Bay Area. Continue reading on to take a closer look! Read More

Housing

An Overview of the 2018 Housing Policy Landscape in California

Housing Near Milpitas BART Station
Karl Nielsen

Last year was a very active year for housing legislation in California, with approval of a housing package that included new funding for affordable housing as well as some modest regulatory changes. It appears, however, this may have just been a warm-up act for 2018. Currently, there are nearly 20 different major housing bills under consideration by lawmakers in the state’s capitol. Outside organizations are also organizing to place various housing-related measures on the statewide ballot in November 2018.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of these various bills and initiatives and then segue into a discussion of key policy considerations for MTC and ABAG in light of regional goals, particularly those articulated in Plan Bay Area 2040, the nine-county Bay Area’s long-range transportation and land use plan jointly adopted by both agencies in July 2017.

Overview of Housing Bills and Ballot Initiatives

Staff has grouped these bills and initiatives into a few major categories: State Zoning Preemption and Housing Production; Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA); Fiscalization of Land Use/Property Taxes; and Rent Control, Tenant Protections and Anti-Displacement. Continue reading on for the bill summary and policy discussion. Read More

Meetings

3/15 Meeting Preview: ABAG Executive Board

BAMC entrance

ABAG’s Executive Board will meet this Thursday, March 15, starting at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Bay Area Metro Center.  The meeting will consist of reports from ABAG’s Administrative Committee, Legislation Committee, Finance Committee, and Regional Planning Committee.  View the agenda and download relevant attachments here, and continue reading on for a summary of major discussion and action items. Read More

Learn More About Electric Vehicles and Go For a Spin at Electrify America's "Discover and Drive Tour"

Electric Vehicle test drive
Noah Berger

Interested in Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV)? Ever wanted to take a Tesla Model S out for a spin? Bay Area residents will have a chance to learn more and go for a (free!) test drive through the rest of this week thanks to Electrify America's "Discover and Drive" tour.

This Tuesday through Thursday (3/13 – 3/15) at the Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco, and from Friday to Sunday (3/16 – 3/18) at the Great Mall in Milpitas, Electrify America invites participants to discover more about EV ownership, incentives and chargers and drive EVs such as the Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf, Honda Clarity Electric and Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.

Event details including dates, times and location are provided below. Registration is required – RSVP here. Read More