Categories
California Policy

São Paulo, Brazil and California, USA: Sustainability Partners?

Sustainability Framework Comparison :: Excerpt from Upcoming Policy in Motion Book

–contributed by Amanda Bradshaw; Policy in Motion Intern, Columbia University Graduate Student

In 2005, the State of California and the State of São Paulo, Brazil formally signed an agreement which initiated a partnership between both states to share technical and political expertise to measure and combat the effects of climate change.  More than just a spontaneous decision between the respective Secretaries of the Environment, this agreement was rather a formal acknowledgement of the similarities between both states.  For example, each is responsible for the largest portion of its nation’s economic production; each is the most populous state in its country—and among the most populous in the world—with more than 35 million residents; each is home to the region with the greatest air pollution in its country—the Greater Los Angeles area and San Joaquin Valley in California and the São Paulo Metropolitan Region in São Paulo; each is particularly vulnerable to the threat of global climate change; and each is a leader in the introduction of alternative fuels in pursuit of lowering local pollutants and GHG emissions ([i]).

On a global scale, this partnership was also a formal response to the perceived inability of international agreements to benefit the environmental leadership of both states.  For example, Brazil is exempted from mandatory reductions under the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes that GHG emissions should be reduced among the industrialized-country parties by 5.2 percent from 1990 levels by 2012.  The United States has signed, but not ratified, this Protocol.   However, even in the absence of international reduction commitments, actions by states like São Paulo in Brazil and California in the United States are demonstrating that a broad scope exists for actions that go beyond “business as usual” and achieve significant savings in GHG emissions (i).

On June 5, 2009, São Paulo became the first of Latin America’s cities to implement a citywide plan to address climate change— and the first city to do so in the developing world. The citywide action plan, codified into law, aims to reduce Sao Paulo’s citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent of 2005 levels by 2012 through several measures comprehensively focused on transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, construction and land use ([ii]).

What makes the experience of São Paulo so exceptional is that it goes against the generalization that such “megacities” are “environmentally stressed” and inherently ill-equipped to address the challenges that both rapid urbanization and climate change present. Such portrayals attempt to legitimize the perception that countries like Brazil are late adopters of ideas of environmental responsibility, and thus necessarily solicit the influence of international environmental norms and standards ([iii]).

On the contrary, political opportunities in Brazil have arisen from major political transformations that have propelled Brazilian environmentalism.  These include the recent transition to democracy and a modern tradition of public participation, which have been more important in shaping outcomes than assumed.  Thus the case of São Paulo, similar to the case of California, highlights that contextual political processes, such as political institutions, regulatory frameworks at municipal, state, and national levels, and pressures from civil society, underscore the success of urban planning effort and interventions.


([i]) No Reason to Wait: The Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Reductions in Brazil and Sao Paulo. http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/publications/others/GOLDEMBERG_LLOYD_2005-12-02.PDF. Accessed July 27 2011.

([ii]) Robinson, Kaleigh. “Sao Paulo Adopts Comprehensive Climate Change Policy.” http://www.wri.org/stories/2009/08/sao-paulo-adopts-comprehensive-climate-change-policy. Accessed July 27 2011

([iii]) Hochstetler, Kathryn and Margaret E. Keck. Greening Brazil: Environmental Activism in State and Society. New York: Duke University Press, 2007.

 

 

 

Categories
California Policy GHG Reduction Publications SB 375

Description of Methodology for ARB Staff Review of GHG Reductions in SB 375 Sustainable Community Strategies

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted its “Description of Methodology for ARB Staff Review of Greenhouse Gas Reductions from Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS) Pursuant to SB 375.” The document describes the process that ARB staff will follow to evaluate whether an SCS will achieve the region’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The web address to view/download the report is:

http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/sb375/scs_review_methodology.pdf

The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 requires ARB to review each adopted SCS and either accept or reject the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s determination that the strategy would, if implemented, achieve the region’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

If you have questions about this document, please contact Lucille van Ommering, Manager, State Implementation Plan and Local Government Section, at (916) 322-8261 or lvanomme@arb.ca.gov

Categories
California Policy NewsFlash Transportation Funding

July 17 Update: CA 2011-12 Legislative Session Overview

Policy in Motion is tracking a handful of bills introduced this session pertaining to the integration of land use, transportation, housing affordability, and health within the context of sustainable community development in California. Below are summaries and links to legislative analyses for 21 relevant bills:

2011 Legislative Summaries—Updated July 17, 2011

AB 147 (Dickinson)Subdivision Map Act

  • Expands the existing eligible uses for transportation mitigation impact fees to transit, bike and pedestrian facilities.

AB 343 (Atkins)Community Redevelopment Act

  • Redevelopment Plans and subsequent projects to be in alignment with climate, air quality and energy conservation goals of Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008.

AB 345 (Atkins)Caltrans to consult with bike/pedestrian reps on traffic control devices.

  • Caltrans to convene an advisory committee of representatives from groups representing bicycle and pedestrian users of streets, roads and highways and consult with this group regarding the installation of traffic control barriers and/or devices.

AB 441 (Monning)Health issues included in transportation plans.

  • Requires the California Transportation Commission to include health issues in regional transportation plans. The Office of Planning and Research would develop guidelines for local government and regional agencies to incorporate health (improvement) issues into general plans.

AB 539 (Williams)Safe Routes to School speed limits.

AB 605 (Dickinson) – OPR to set standards for VMT reductions and CEQA exemptions.

  • A project could be exempt from CEQA analysis of transportation element if project met percentage reduction in vehicle trip miles.

AB 650 (Blumenfield)Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Transportation for the 21st Century

  • Requires task force to be comprised of twelve transportation subject matter experts to prepare a written report which would include findings and recommendations regarding the current state of CA’s transit system, costs of creating the needed system, and potential funding sources.

AB 676 (Torres)Expands use of transportation funds.

  • Existing transportation expenditures are currently legally obligated for transportation related administration, operation, maintenance, local assistance, safety and rehabilitation projects. This bill would allocate remaining funds for the study of, and development and implementation of,capital improvement projects to be programmed in the state transportation improvement program.

AB 710 (Skinner)Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011.

  • Eliminates minimum parking requirements for infill and transit-oriented development. Prohibits city or county from requiring more than one parking space per residential unit and prohibits requirement of more than one parking space per 1,000 sq. ft of commercial units for residential or mixed-use project in a transit intensive area. Also modifies definition of sustainable communities to include communities that incentivize infill development.

AB 819 (Wieckowski)Enhance bicycle safety, complete streets.

  • This bill augments existing Dept. of Transportation responsibility for safety guidelines to include class IV bikeways, in addition to class I, II and III bikeways. The bill defines class IV bikeways as: “segregated bike lanes,” which provide a completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of bicycles on streets and are demarcated by either a physical barrier or by distinct paint markings, or both, to minimize or prevent travel by motor vehicles.

AB 931 (Dickinson)CEQA exemption rule for infill housing modification.

  • CEQA requirements are exempted for infill development if certain criteria are met. This bill would extend the current criteria for the preparation of a community-level environmental review from 5 to 20 years. It would also lower the density requirement for exemption from 20 to 15 units per acre.

AB 995 (Cedillo)OPR report to legislatureon expediting Transit Oriented Development environmental review.

  • This bill would require the Office of Planning and Research, not later than July 1, 2012, to prepare and submit to the Legislature a report containing recommendations for expedited environmental review for transit-oriented development.

AB 1285 (Fuentes)Regional greenhouse gas emission reduction program.

  • Legislation to create community greenhouse gas emission reduction program. Would provide state oversight over local government and nonprofit investments relating to greenhouse gasses.

SB 77 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review)Elimination of state redevelopment agencies.

  • Elimination of state redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and an orderly “wind down” of their responsibilities and assets. Local Govt successor agencies would be created to maintain certain existing RDA obligations. Elimination of state RDA’s has been identified as a method to balance the state’s budget. Property taxes that formerly went to RDAs would be directed to schools and public safety operations. The bill will result in $1.7 billion in additional funding for the 2011-2012 budget.

SB 132 (Lowenthal)School sittings to reflect state planning priorities.

  • This bill would require the State Allocation Board to revise guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policiesfor the acquisition of schoolsites and the construction of school facilities to reflect the state planning. This bill would also require that advice, standards, surveys, or information regarding the acquisition of school sites or the construction of school facilities provided by the StateDepartment of Education pursuant to this requirement reflect the state planning priorities.

SB 214 (Wolk)Eliminate voter approval requirement for infrastructure finance districts.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval to create and authorize an infrastructure financing district. This bill would authorize a legislative body to create an infrastructure finance district, adopt an infrastructure financing plan, and issue bonds by resolutions by resolution, not requiring voter approval.

SB 310 (Hancock).–.Creation of the Transit Priority Project Program.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval for the creation of an infrastructure financing district and would authorize the appropriate legislative body to create the district, adopt the plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions. This bill would also create a streamlined permit process for development that met certain criteria and it would create a program to reimburse developer fees if a project was located within an Infrastructure Finance District.

SB 450 (Lowenthal)Redevelopment agencies housing expenditures.

  • This bill reforms how redevelopment agencies spend their Low &Moderate Income Housing Funds.

SB 468 (Kehoe).–.An act to add Section 103 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.

  • This bill would impose additional requirements on the departmentwith respect to proposed capacity-increasing state highway projects in the coastal zone, including requiring the department to collaborate with local agencies, the California Coastal Commission, and countywide or regional transportation planning agencies to develop traffic congestion reduction goals.

SB 535 (De Leon)California Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust.

  • This bill would require a minimum of 10% of revenues generated from fees collected by the Air Resources Board from sources of greenhouse gas emissions would be deposited into a trust operated by the CA Treasury Dept. Funds would be in used in communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to mitigate health or environmental impacts of climate change.

SB 907 (Evans and Perez)–.Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission

  • This bill would create the Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission, consisting of specified members, and would require the commission to prepare and submit a strategy and plan for infrastructure development in California that meets certain criteria to the Legislature and the Governor by December 1, 2013.

 

Categories
California Policy NewsFlash

Growing Leaders: Interns in Motion at California’s Capitol

Senate Transportation and Housing Committee's Mark Stivers Takes Policy in Motion Interns and Lauren Michele to the Top of California's Capitol

Policy in Motion’s “Career Development” Mentorship Program is designed to mentor youth, college students and emerging professionals with an interest in public policy and sustainability planning into careers in transportation or urban planning. The program leverages Sacramento as a learning ground by engaging Mentees in the firm’s current local/state/federal policy research and transportation planning projects. It is designed as a work exchange where students provide project and research support for hands-on learning in business development and policy implementation,  as well as personal mentorship into career networks around California’s Capitol. Aligning with Policy in Motion’s vision for fostering the growth of “PODs” — people-oriented development — this program seeks to mentor budding leaders in the field of sustainable transportation planning and policy.

POLICY IN MOTION INTERNS ON CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE CHAMBER FLOOR :: June 11, 2011 (left to right) Louise Hogerheide, Mindy Bacharach, Amanda Bradshaw, Lauren Michele, Kai Faust, Brigitte Driller

GRADUATE STUDENTS IN MOTION

AMANDA :: Policy Research Intern

Amanda Bradshaw is currently completing a dual-degree in Latin American studies and urban planning at Columbia University in New York City.  She received a B.A. in economics and a B.A. in international development studies from the University of California, Berkeley. During her undergraduate career, she served as a research assistant for a U.S. Economic Development Administration-sponsored study which assessed labor markets within California’s green economy, as well as a study conducted by the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. As a graduate student, Amanda’s research interests include environmental and transportation planning, especially as they pertain to North and South America. In January 2012 she will begin conducting research in Brazil for her thesis which focuses on Brazilian environmental governance and urban reform. As a Policy Research Intern at Policy in Motion, Amanda will provide research support for the a Caltrans statewide planning project – California Interregional Blueprint – focusing on the implementation of AB 32, SB 375, and SB 391.  Additionally, she will be tracking the progress of federal Transportation Reauthorization efforts as “MAP-21” draft language is released.

BRIGITTE :: Research Intern

Brigitte Driller completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from UC Davis. In the fall, she will continue her education at UC Davis, working toward a Master of Science degree in Transportation Technology and Policy. She hopes to focus her studies toward bicycle and pedestrian planning. While at UC Davis, Brigitte has been involved in numerous research projects. She evaluated international variations in urban morphology using Google Earth, and estimated the impact of the urban heat island effect using ArcGIS. Currently, her research focuses on exploring how attitudes toward bicycling are formed, and creating a methodology to evaluate a planned road diet in Davis. Since March, Brigitte has been working as a Policy Research Intern with Policy in Motion. Her work has entailed investigating challenges and successes in regulating greenhouse gases in the transportation sector as well as looking at the different regulatory frameworks in Oregon and Washington.

 

EMERGING PROFESSIONALS IN MOTION

LOUISE :: Legislative Communications Intern

Louise Hogerheide completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography, GIS and Planning with a Minor in Environmental Studies from Sacramento State. While at Sacramento State, she did original research on an eventual route of a public hiking trail in the San Joaquin area, specifically between Walnut Grove and Lodi, along the Mokelumne River. While attending Sacramento State she worked as a Trails Planner for the California State Parks’ Planning Section for three years. Louise has been an invaluable asset to Policy in Motion since March as the Legislative Communications Intern – providing weekly updates on current California legislation pertaining to sustainable community development and testifying on key legislation during the current session. She has been primarily focused this summer on newsletter communications and the publication of Lauren Michele’s first book, “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32.” She hopes to continue her work advocating for biking, hiking, and walking in the Sacramento area and is currently seeking career opportunities.

MINDY :: Green Business Intern

Melinda (Mindy) Bacharach is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning. During her time at UC Davis, Mindy studied abroad in Cambridge England and participated in the University of California DC internship program where she interned at Governor Schwarzenegger’s Washington DC Office. She is now looking forward to a new chapter in life where she will utilize her college experiences and education to pursue a career in environmental policy. It is her goal to attend business school in the future with an environmental policy emphasis. As Policy in Motion’s Green Business Intern, Mindy is learning about the financial and structural operations of a small business through her involvement in the Solano County Transportation for Livable Communities Plan Update overseen by the firm’s principal/owner, Lauren Michele.

 

YOUTH IN MOTION

Kai Faust & US DOT Secretary LaHood

Kai Faust is a 17-year-old aspiring entrepenuer entering his junior year of high school. He currently serves as an intern for TransForm and is helping with their “Invest in Transit” campaign, which was created in response to the State’s significant cuts in transit funding. He was selected as one of fifty high school students by the American Public Transit Association to attend a Youth Summit in Washington D.C. this summer to learn more about careers and issues in transit policy. He had a rare opportunity to meet with US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and shared Policy in Motion’s vision for sustainable communities through transportation policy with the Secretary who told Kai he was “going places.” He has been actively involved in school as the Treasurer of his Speech & Debate Team (2009 Regional Tournament Winner), Secretary of the Philosophy Club, Member of Amnesty International, and serves on the Leadership Team for creating school policies and events while taking an Honors-level curriculum. Kai is interested in policy creation and implementation, and as Lauren Michele’s nephew helps with the administrative functions of the family business – serving as Policy in Motion’s only “in-house” intern :)

 

Categories
California Policy Federal Policy Local Government Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash State Policy Transportation Funding

CALCOG News: California State Budget and Federal Reauthorization Impacts on Transportation

Click here to join the California Association of Councils of Government

State Budget Snapshot

All it took to get a state budget was to assume that the state will see $4 billion more in revenue than we thought before. Easy. That equates to $2 billion in revenue for every week the Legislature did not get paid . . .

But CALCOG members will want to be aware of a few items.  First, the Gas Tax Swap deal remains in tact. Second, the governor used his line item veto authority to eliminate funding for 47.5 CalTrans positions to review impacts of local projects (PIDs) on the state highway system. He also eliminated nearly $150 M in Prop 1B appropriations to enhance local transit routes and feeder systems to high speed rail due to the lack of a comprehensive state rail plan. Also of interest to COGs with RHNA responsibility is the veto of funding for several HCD positions that review housing elements.

 

In addition, Counties were “disappointed but not disheartened” that Realignment lacks dedicated revenues and constitutional protections, and inversely, cities are fuming over the two-bill “extortion” scheme to take redevelopment revenues, which are arguably dedicated and constitutionally protected under Proposition 22.

Federal Reauthorization: Bridging a $300 Billion Gap

At a time when California is asking its MPOs and regional transportation planning agencies to do more, Congress may be planning on giving them less–significantly less. The story from Transportation Nation is that funding expectations are spiraling downward. Under the proposal unveiled by House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Mica, funding for road and transit investment will be reduced by 35 percent.  See the summary or full outline.  Transportation for America has a concise summary and analysis here. In February, the Administration proposed $556 Billion investment plan over 6 years.  The Mica proposal is for $230 billion. Transportation Issues Dailyhas posted a list (developed by Democrats) that estimates losses on a state by state basis that projects a $7.2 billion loss for California. There is a Committee hearing on July 12, but no language.

 

So far, besides typical partisian criticism, much of the immediate reaction has balanced some praise for some of the streamlining with very significant concerns about funding levels. Transportation Issues Daily has summarized several key reactions here, including a somewhat surprising response from the US Chamber of Commerce arguing for more funding. For more reactions, substantive and trivial, you can search Twitter under the #hashtag: “Micabill” (for those unfamilar with the term, you can Google “hashtag;” for those unfamiliar with Google, get help!).

 

So what does this mean? Will there be a bill before Sept 30, the day in which the current authorization expires? Who knows? The DC Streetblog reports that consideration of any bill before the August recess is unlikely (its not strategic to vote on spending bill before resolution of the debt service issue).  But the National League of Cities reports that Congress is poised to take on the issue.  Hmmmm.

 

Meanwhile, Senator Boxer has proposed a two year, $109 Billion reauthorization at current funding levels (plus inflation) and claims it will save 600,000 jobs. A good explanation of both proposals can be found at the AASHTO Journal.

 

The only thing that seems certain is that the uncertainty related to these revenue streams will remain for the short term future, which has its own consequences in terms of planning and project delivery.

 

Categories
Federal Policy NewsFlash Transportation Funding US DOT

Policy in Motion’s Initial Thoughts on House Transportation Reauthorization Proposal

On September 30, 2009 I was teaching a class of undergraduate civil engineering and transportation planning students at UC Davis about the evolution of the federal transportation reauthorization — particularly timely as on the day the current SAFETEA-LU bill expired.  A few months prior on my first day interning as a transportation policy analyst in Washington D.C., then Chairman Oberstar of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), proposed language for the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009 a 700+ page document stating that it would “transform federal surface transportation to a performance-based framework to reduce fatalities and injuries on our Nation’s highways, address the mobility and access needs of people and goods, improve the condition, performance, and connectivity of the United States intermodal surface transportation system, provide transportation choices for commuters and travelers, promote environmental sustainability, public health, and the livability of communities, support robust investment in surface transportation, and for other purposes.”

So here we are today — 646 days later — with another House T&I transportation reauthorization proposal described as a “multi-modal initiative” under Chairman Mica which “streamlines and reforms federal programs, expedites the project approval process, maximizes leveraging of limited resources, provides flexibility for states, and ensures long-term funding stability for job-creating transportation programs.”

However, if you ask anyone else paying attention what the proposal will likely achieve you will probably get a different answer.

The $230 billion proposal represents a 19.5% cut from the $286 billion from SAFETEA-LU (not accounting for the impact of inflation), with the “multi-modal initiative” in this proposal including:

  • Vague performance measurements for highways, transit, and maintenance/state of good repair
  • Major cuts to bicycle, pedestrian, transportation enhancements, and operational Amtrak funds
  • Continues split of 20% for transit and 80% for highways
  • No longer requires states to spend highway funding on non-highway activities
  • No leadership for a federal infrastructure bank

James Corless, director of Transportation for America, responded to the Chairman’s proposal on state flexibility, transit funding and streamlining project delivery outlining that a bill this small would need to be constrained to three key goals:

  • Maintaining our national highway and bridge system, which is quickly approaching its mid-life crisis;
  • Providing more options such as public transportation, vanpools and safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians;
  • Promoting accountability through meaningful performance measures and a more strategic approach to transportation planning.

My overall take is that the proposal outline carries a mood of “making the most out of our scarce resources” — rather than providing for innovation and leadership.  I mean, really, nearly two years later and this is the best we can come up with guys?

Categories
Transportation Funding US DOT

US DOT: Secretary LaHood Announces $527 Million in Funding for New Round of TIGER Grants

DOT 76-11
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Secretary LaHood Announces $527 Million in Funding for New Round of Popular TIGER Grant Program
Competitively Chosen Projects Will Create Jobs, Lay Foundation for Growth

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that $527 million will be available for a third round of the highly successful TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program, which funds innovative transportation projects that will create jobs and have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area.

“Through the TIGER program, we can build transportation projects that are critical to America’s economic success and help complete those that might not move forward without this infusion of funding,” said Secretary LaHood. “This competition empowers local communities to create jobs and build the transportation networks they need in order to win the future.”

In the FY11 budget President Obama signed in April, $527 million was directed to the Department of Transportation for critical investments in the nation’s transportation infrastructure. States, cities, local governments, and other partnerships and groups will have until this fall to prepare their applications for the popular TIGER program, which has funded high-impact projects including roads, bridges, freight rail, transit buses and streetcars, ports, and bicycle and pedestrian paths.

The previous two rounds of the TIGER grant program provided $2.1 billion to 126 transportation projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during the previous two rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 2,500 applications requesting more than $79 billion for transportation projects across the country.

Projects will be selected based on their ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, improve energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of U.S. transportation facilities and improve the quality of living and working environments of communities through increased transportation choices and connections. The Department will also focus on projects that are expected to quickly create and preserve jobs and spur rapid increases in economic activity.

For more information, please visit http://www.dot.gov/tiger/.

Categories
California Policy Public Transit Transportation Funding

July 3 Update: CA 2011-12 Legislative Session Overview

Policy in Motion is tracking a handful of bills introduced this session pertaining to the integration of land use, transportation, housing affordability, and health within the context of sustainable community development in California. Below are summaries and links to legislative analyses for 21 relevant bills:

2011 Legislative Summaries—Updated July 3, 2011

AB 147 (Dickinson)Subdivision Map Act

  • Expands the existing eligible uses for transportation mitigation impact fees to transit, bike and pedestrian facilities.

 

AB 343 (Atkins)Community Redevelopment Act

  • Redevelopment Plans and subsequent projects to be in alignment with climate, air quality and energy conservation goals of Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008.

 

AB 345 (Atkins)Caltrans to consult with bike/pedestrian reps on traffic control devices.

  • Caltrans to convene an advisory committee of representatives from groups representing bicycle and pedestrian users of streets, roads and highways and consult with this group regarding the installation of traffic control barriers and/or devices.

 

AB 441 (Monning)Health issues included in transportation plans.

  • Requires the California Transportation Commission to include health issues in regional transportation plans. The Office of Planning and Research would develop guidelines for local government and regional agencies to incorporate health (improvement) issues into general plans.

 

AB 539 (Williams)Safe Routes to School speed limits.

AB 605 (Dickinson) – OPR to set standards for VMT reductions and CEQA exemptions.

  • A project could be exempt from CEQA analysis of transportation element if project met percentage reduction in vehicle trip miles.

 

AB 650 (Blumenfield)Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Transportation for the 21st Century

  • Requires task force to be comprised of twelve transportation subject matter experts to prepare a written report which would include findings and recommendations regarding the current state of CA’s transit system, costs of creating the needed system, and potential funding sources.

 

AB 676 (Torres)Expands use of transportation funds.

  • Existing transportation expenditures are currently legally obligated for transportation related administration, operation, maintenance, local assistance, safety and rehabilitation projects. This bill would allocate remaining funds for the study of, and development and implementation of,capital improvement projects to be programmed in the state transportation improvement program.

 

AB 710 (Skinner)Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011.

  • Eliminates minimum parking requirements for infill and transit-oriented development. Prohibits city or county from requiring more than one parking space per residential unit and prohibits requirement of more than one parking space per 1,000 sq. ft of commercial units for residential or mixed-use project in a transit intensive area. Also modifies definition of sustainable communities to include communities that incentivize infill development.

 

AB 819 (Wieckowski)Enhance bicycle safety, complete streets.

  • This bill augments existing Dept. of Transportation responsibility for safety guidelines to include class IV bikeways, in addition to class I, II and III bikeways. The bill defines class IV bikeways as: “segregated bike lanes,” which provide a completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of bicycles on streets and are demarcated by either a physical barrier or by distinct paint markings, or both, to minimize or prevent travel by motor vehicles.

 

AB 931 (Dickinson)CEQA exemption rule for infill housing modification.

  • CEQA requirements are exempted for infill development if certain criteria are met. This bill would extend the current criteria for the preparation of a community-level environmental review from 5 to 20 years. It would also lower the density requirement for exemption from 20 to 15 units per acre.

 

AB 995 (Cedillo)OPR report to legislatureon expediting Transit Oriented Development environmental review.

  • This bill would require the Office of Planning and Research, not later than July 1, 2012, to prepare and submit to the Legislature a report containing recommendations for expedited environmental review for transit-oriented development.

 

AB 1285 (Fuentes)Regional greenhouse gas emission reduction program.

 

  • Legislation to create community greenhouse gas emission reduction program. Would provide state oversight over local government and nonprofit investments relating to greenhouse gasses.

 

SB 77 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review)Elimination of state redevelopment agencies.

  • Elimination of state redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and an orderly “wind down” of their responsibilities and assets. Local Govt successor agencies would be created to maintain certain existing RDA obligations. Elimination of state RDA’s has been identified as a method to balance the state’s budget. Property taxes that formerly went to RDAs would be directed to schools and public safety operations. The bill will result in $1.7 billion in additional funding for the 2011-2012 budget.

 

 

SB 132 (Lowenthal)School sittings to reflect state planning priorities.

  • This bill would require the State Allocation Board to revise guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policiesfor the acquisition of schoolsites and the construction of school facilities to reflect the state planning. This bill would also require that advice, standards, surveys, or information regarding the acquisition of school sites or the construction of school facilities provided by the StateDepartment of Education pursuant to this requirement reflect the state planning priorities.

 

SB 214 (Wolk)Eliminate voter approval requirement for infrastructure finance districts.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval to create and authorize an infrastructure financing district. This bill would authorize a legislative body to create an infrastructure finance district, adopt an infrastructure financing plan, and issue bonds by resolutions by resolution, not requiring voter approval.

 

SB 310 (Hancock).–.Creation of the Transit Priority Project Program.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval for the creation of an infrastructure financing district and would authorize the appropriate legislative body to create the district, adopt the plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions. This bill would also create a streamlined permit process for development that met certain criteria and it would create a program to reimburse developer fees if a project was located within an Infrastructure Finance District.

 

SB 450 (Lowenthal)Redevelopment agencies housing expenditures.

  • This bill reforms how redevelopment agencies spend their Low &Moderate Income Housing Funds.

 

SB 468 (Kehoe).–.An act to add Section 103 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.

  • This bill would impose additional requirements on the departmentwith respect to proposed capacity-increasing state highway projects in the coastal zone, including requiring the department to collaborate with local agencies, the California Coastal Commission, and countywide or regional transportation planning agencies to develop traffic congestion reduction goals.

 

SB 535 (De Leon)California Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust.

  • This bill would require a minimum of 10% of revenues generated from fees collected by the Air Resources Board from sources of greenhouse gas emissions would be deposited into a trust operated by the CA Treasury Dept. Funds would be in used in communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to mitigate health or environmental impacts of climate change.

 

SB 907 (Evans and Perez)–.Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission

  • This bill would create the Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission, consisting of specified members, and would require the commission to prepare and submit a strategy and plan for infrastructure development in California that meets certain criteria to the Legislature and the Governor by December 1, 2013..