CASA

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

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

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

MTC-ABAG

Beyond the Headlines: Reading Recommendations from the MTC-ABAG Library, with a Spotlight on Housing

Hands hold a tablet with text on it; a large book is below the tablet. A cup of coffee and a croissant are in the background.

Love our daily news headlines but craving some deeper knowledge? Settle in for some in-depth reading on the important issues affecting our region. This month we highlight some publications that contextualize and illuminate the regional housing crisis, including this thorough literature review from CASA and a handy summary of the significant housing bills passed in California in 2017.

Other topics included in this month’s reading list include Regional Measure 3, local Bay Area transportation projects, transit ridership, automated vehicles, and climate change. Read More

Housing

Large Homebuilder Pulls Out of North Bay Rebuild Effort

North Bay fires

We recently discussed how record low unemployment across the Bay Area combined with a severe housing shortage could create unexpected challenges for the region, especially as relates to achieving ambitious policy goals that involve significantly increasing housing-related construction activity. Late last week brought unfortunate confirmation of the broader dynamics involved here, with news that a large homebuilder was pulling out of plans to rebuild homes lost during the North Bay wildfires. 

The reason? Financial feasibility concerns driven by a "general labor shortage in home construction" and – in particular – a lack of local framers. From the Press Democrat:

“Our fear is that this is a bellwether of the way things are going to go,” [said Jeff Okrepkie, chairman of the Coffey Strong neighborhood rebuilding group].

Read More
MTC

Meeting Wrap-Up, 1/24: BATA Approves Regional Measure 3 for June Ballot; MTC Approves New Transportation Program Guidelines; CASA Reviews Housing Strategy Framework

375 Beale
Noah Berger

Five meetings were held at the Bay Area Metro Center on Wednesday, January 24. The highlight of the morning was the Bay Area Toll Authority meeting, where the Commission unanimously approved a resolution to place Regional Measure 3 on the June 5 ballot in all nine Bay Area counties. If approved by a combined majority of all voters, a sweeping $4.45 billion package of congestion relief projects would be financed by a $1 increase in tolls on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges beginning Jan. 1, 2019, followed by a $1 increase in January 2022 and another $1 increase in January 2025. Read more about the measure and the vote on MTC’s website or in the newsWatch a recording of the full BATA meeting here, or download the agenda. Read More

Policy

Record Low Unemployment Across (Much of) the Bay Area, and the Delicate Policy Dance That Follows

SF-Oak-Hay unemployment

The Bay Area economy has mostly had a good run since the dark days of the Great Recession (although the benefits have been uneven and not without their complications). For all the hype about the latest tech boom and the length of the current expansion, however, many key regional economic measures had not surpassed records set during the dot-com era nearly two decades ago. 

New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (via FRED) indicate this is starting to change, though. To wit: most key urbanized areas (or MSAs) in the region are at or near record low unemployment levels. As shown in the above chart, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward MSA is now at 2.8 percent, a level last seen during a heady pre-millennium stretch from July to December of 1999.   Read More