What is the Bay Area’s Plan for 21st Century Transportation?

As part of our series, Boomtown, we’re answering questions from KQED listeners and readers. Our first one comes from Chris Tann, who lives in south San Jose and gets stuck in congestion when he commutes alone to his job in Cupertino on Highway 85.

“When will the city and county planners actually think more than a few years ahead, and put in place the necessary changes to bring Bay Area transportation, both roads and public transit, into the 21st century?”

Bay Area transportation planners are actually looking many decades into the future, but the changes, as an Orinda city official once put it, will be “evolutionary rather than revolutionary.”

Moving more people around the Bay Area will require us to make better use of our current infrastructure, expand public transit, build dense housing around transit corridors and make the streets safer for people to bike and walk, according to three experts who study Bay Area transportation…

“We don’t want to build our way out of this crisis,” says Randy Rentschler, the MTC’s legislative and public affairs director. “We need some strategic investment, we do. We need to fix some highways, we do. We need to widen some, fix some interchanges, we do. But we don’t want it to be what we are only doing here in the Bay Area.”… 

Plan Bay Area, which provides a long-range transportation and housing vision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourages new housing along transit corridors so people have the option of taking a bus or train, instead of driving….  (more)

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