SACOG pathways

SACOG is in the process of developing the 2024 MTP/SCS, now referred to as the Blueprint in acknowledgement of the innovative and leading 2004 Blueprint. As part of the process, they have defined three pathways or scenarios, shown below. Pathway one is the vision of more greenfield development, more roadways and expanded roadways, ineffective transit, and neglect of already developed areas. Pathway three is close to the vision of advocates for an effective and equitable transportation system. Pathway two is basically continuing what we are doing, some good things along with many bad things.

Where does the 2022 Measure A transportation sales tax measure, which will lock in a vision of transportation for 40 years while costing taxpayers $8.5 billion, is as close to pathway one as possible. It is a mistake for land use planning, for transportation, for equity, and for climate. Please vote against Measure A in November.

PATHWAY 1: OUTWARD EXPANSION
This pathway builds on the land use trends over the last two decades and expands the footprint of the region outwards through significant lower density growth in developing communities and rural residential areas. It will provide the most large lot single-family and rural residential housing and the least amount of infill growth. The Outward Expansion pathway will provide more emphasis on adding roadway capacity to meet mobility needs. Due to this pathway’s more dispersed land use pattern, transit services will focus on geographic coverage rather than frequency of service, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities will focus more on connecting developing communities to existing networks.

PATHWAY 2: COMPACT GROWTH AND PHASED EXPANSION
This pathway will use the key land use metrics from the 2020 MTP/SCS to create a land use forecast and will be updated with current conditions. In the 2020 MTP/SCS, roughly 65 percent of new housing and 85 percent of new jobs were in infill areas and roughly 73 percent of new homes were either small lot single-family or attached products. This pathway will maintain the transportation project list from the 2020 MTP/SCS but will include updates based on completed or modified projects in capital improvement programs or planning efforts. New roadways or transportation investments will be included where the growth pattern has shifted. Transit service in this pathway will focus on increasing vehicle service hours for bus and rail projects.

PATHWAY 3: INWARD EXPANSION
This pathway will explore a future in which most of the future growth occurs in infill areas such as centers and corridors and established communities. This pathway is intended to explore the performance implications of a future that significantly departs from today’s land use trends. This pathway provides the most new small lot and attached housing and growth in infill areas would consist of already approved projects, vacant lots, and significant redevelopment of underutilized commercial corridors oriented around the transportation investments. In this pathway investments in capacity projects will only be used to address extreme bottle necks and congestion. To meet the region’s mobility needs, this pathway will focus on transit service in corridors with sufficient density and mix of uses needed to generate sufficient ridership to justify higher frequency transit, and fully connect existing communities through an integrated bike and trail network to reach essential destinations within communities.

Author: Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.

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