Housing

How Big a House? So Much Depends Upon... Location, Location, Location

By Chirag Rabari
December Map of the Month

The latest Map of the Month from MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger looks at an often under-examined issue in housing policy: How big are the houses? As can be seen, the median square footage of a housing unit can vary widely depending upon the metro area. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan statistical area, where the median square footage of a housing unit comes in at under 1,300 square feet, is on the smaller side. The largest median housing units are generally found in Southern metros, as well as the Denver-area in Colorado. Read More

Funding

MTC Approves $386 Million for 180 Projects Across the Region Through the OBAG 2 County Program

By Chirag Rabari
Bicyclist and buildings

The stage is set for $386 million in federal funds to go to 180 transportation projects in 95 jurisdictions across all nine Bay Area Counties with last month's MTC commissioner approval of of the One Bay Area Grant 2 (OBAG 2) County Program of Projects. OBAG 2, which also has a Regional Program, is the policy framework for MTC’s distribution of $862 million in federal Surface Transportation Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds from Fiscal Years 2017-18 to 2021-2022. In the below video, MTC’s Mallory Atkinson provides an overview of the program and Read More

MTC

Preview of 1/10 Meetings: BATA Oversight, Programming and Allocations, etc.

By Julie Teglovic
Bay Bridge Toll Plaza

Several MTC and BATA committees will be meeting this upcoming Wednesday, January 10, at the Bay Area Metro Center, including the MTC Administration Committee, the MTC Programming and Allocations Committee, the BATA Oversight Committee, and the Policy Advisory Council. Of particular note is the BATA Oversight Committee, which will be voting to place Regional Measure 3 on the ballot for this year’s June 5 statewide election. The measure would raise the toll on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned bridges by $1 in 2019, followed by $1 in 2022, and another $1 in 2025. The Mercury News covered the Read More

Environment

San Francisco Estuary Partnership Newsletter, Bay Area Water Trail Maps Now Available

By Chirag Rabari
San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail - North San Pablo Bay map

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) is a collaboration of local, state, and federal agencies, NGOs, academia and business leaders working to protect and restore the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. The Estuary Partnership – which is hosted by ABAG and staffed by MTC – is guided by the development and implementation of the Estuary Blueprint, a comprehensive, collective vision for the Estuary’s future. The Estuary Partnership has a quarterly newsletter which allows readers to follow progress on implementation of the Blueprint. Of particular note in the latest newsletter is the joint Read More

Participatory Budgeting: A Proposed MTC Pilot Project and a Brief Lit Review Jimmy Moore January 3, 2018
By Chirag Rabari

According to the Participatory Budgeting Project, participatory budgeting (PB): ... is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables taxpayers to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives. PB has been around internationally for some time and recently PB projects have been implemented locally on a limited scale in both Vallejo and Oakland. Since 2012, the City of Vallejo has engaged over 15,000 residents in allocating nearly $7 million for 25 local projects. In Oakland, over 1,200 residents of two

What Is Participatory Budgeting? A Proposed MTC Pilot Project and Brief Lit Review
Funding
Chirag Rabari December 18, 2017
By Chirag Rabari

According to the Participatory Budgeting Project, participatory budgeting (PB): ... is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables taxpayers to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives. PB has been around internationally for some time and recently PB projects have been implemented locally on a limited scale in both Vallejo and Oakland. Since 2012, the City of Vallejo has engaged over 15,000 residents in allocating nearly $7 million for 25 local projects. In Oakland, over 1,200 residents of two

Economic Development

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

By Chirag Rabari
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 Read More

Projects

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

By Chirag Rabari
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

Congestion Relief On the Way for Richmond Bridge Eastbound Traffic

By Chirag Rabari

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. Read More