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

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 Read More

Funding

What Is Participatory Budgeting? A Proposed MTC Pilot Project and Brief Lit Review

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 Read More

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

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

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

The End of the Automotive Era?
Transportation
carrie December 8, 2017
By Chirag Rabari
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.

Headlines

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

By Chirag Rabari
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

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 Read More