California Policy Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Livable Communities Mentorship NewsFlash Public Health Publications Research Safe Routes to School SB 375

Interns in Motion :: Seeking Graduate Student for Spring Mentorship Program – Become a “POD” Leader!

You’re doing a good service to the field by helping them get established.  We need energetic blood!

— Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Transportation

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.


Jeremy Gray is a senior at the Met Sacramento High School.  With the Met, he has worked at several internship sites which have shaped his interest in film making.  He collaborated with teens and made a documentary on state health insurance through the state organization California Voices.  He was the boom microphone operator on the set of A Cure for the Dead, a miniseries from Misfire Productions.  During the summer of 2011, Jeremy worked on an entry for the Sacramento Film and Music Festival’s 10 x 10 Film Festival.  He co-created the film with Noah Damiani, winner of the festival’s Emerging Filmmaker award.  Currently, Jeremy is starting a youth-run bicycle collective at the Met as his Senior Thesis Project.  As Policy in Motion’s Media Intern, he will be applying his filmmaking skills and interest in sustainable communities towards creating a Policy in Motion Documentary to be released August 10, 2012.


EVELYN :: Local Planning Intern

Evelyn Garcia is currently a senior at UC Davis majoring in Community and Regional Development and minoring in Education.  Evelyn served on advisory board as a liaison for Redwood City’s downtown revitalization efforts and worked closely with City government officials in hopes of bridging the gap between youth and adults in the community.  She mentors independent studies high school students in Sacramento in pursuing higher education and preparing for college admissions through a UC Davis organization called Success Through Educational Mentoring (S.T.E.M.) She is actively involved in her Latina community in promoting professional and educational development while also promoting the advancement of Latinas in higher education to young middle school and high school girls all over the Davis, Woodland, and Sacramento area.  Through Policy in Motion she hopes to gain proper guidance and skills in order to develop her interests within community development and urban planning. As a Local Planning Intern for Policy in Motion she provided support for the Solano County Transportation for Livable Communities Plan Update which focuses on the relationship between transportation and land use through the promotion of smart growth development and sustainable transportation projects in Solano County.


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 during Summer 2011, Amanda provided 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 provided significant editing contributions to Lauren Michele’s new book, “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32.” Amanda is currently completing her M.S. research in São Paulo, Brazil where she is comparing the state environmental policy approaches taken in California and São Paulo — Amanda expresses that her Policy in Motion internship has been the most impressive component to her resume reviewers.

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 over Summer 2011, Mindy learned 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.  Mindy is now working for the California Department of Transportation Headquarters as a Transportation Planner for the Division of Transportation System Information in the Office of Data Analysis and GIS — she was told that her Policy in Motion recommendation review during the interview process was a critical component in the decision to hire her.


Complete Streets Livable Communities NewsFlash Public Health Publications Research Safe Routes to School

When We Have Safe Routes to School We Have Safe Routes for All

I read two articles tonight which caught my attention related to Safe Routes to School – right after a neighborhood bike ride home with my 17 year old nephew from his downtown Sacramento high school where I am volunteering as a mentor to students working on campus bicycle programs.  The first was a tragic article in the Sacramento Bee on Michelle Murigi who was fatally injured just one week before her 17th birthday a few blocks from her high school campus.  The second was on a new report released today by the National Center for Safe Routes to School on how to prevent such tragedy through ways to engage schools in increased safety measures, better infrastructure and education programs.

15% of students in California walk to school each day

— many crossing high speed streets without sidewalks or crosswalks

Key Findings from the California Statewide Travel Demand Model

Source: UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center

  • 15% of all school trips are made by walking, however, funding to support safe infrastructure, programs and plans at schools are far below the demand
  • High income students produce 19% of total school trips – contributing 17% of total trips by automobile
  • While 40% of low income students walk to school, only 8% of high income students walk – many schools lack adequate facilities to support active transportation.
  • Middle income students bike to school more than low and high income students combined – the fact that bicycle trips only account for 1% of total school trips may reflect the lack of investment, planning, and programs needed to foster bikable neighborhoods

Study Identifies Four Key Strategies of Successful Safe Routes to School Programs

National Center for Safe Routes to School Releases New Travel Mode Report

(Chapel Hill, N.C.) January 24, 2012 — Do Safe Routes to School programs that increase walking and bicycling have some characteristics in common? A new report conducted by the National Center for Safe Routes to School has found that may indeed be the case.

Shifting Modes: A Comparative Analysis of Safe Routes to School Program Elements and Travel Mode Outcomes identifies the following four key factors that successful SRTS programs share:

  1. Identifying an in-school leader, often the principal, to champion SRTS.
  2. Conducting activities that reinforce walking and bicycling, such as frequent walker/biker programs and Walk to School Day events.
  3. Generating parent support for SRTS.
  4. Establishing policies that support SRTS, such as early dismissal for students who walk or bicycle home from school.

“SRTS programs across the country are increasing the number of students walking and bicycling to school, and this research reveals some of the ways they did it, which is important for two reasons,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “For transportation and public health officials, it establishes a baseline of data for future research to extend and enrich; for local SRTS program organizers and leaders, it identifies four distinct similarities among successful programs.”

In the Shifting Modes study, National Center researchers explore how school-level dynamics that underlie planning and implementation of SRTS programs relate to the percentage of students who walk and bicycle between home and school. The National Center examined three schools with SRTS programs that measured increases in walking and bicycling to school and compared them to a sample of schools that shared similar demographics but did not increase walking or bicycling to school. To view the complete report, visit

Because the study was limited to schools with three years of data and only those schools that adopted SRTS programs early and met stringent data collection criteria were examined, the study’s sample is small. The student travel mode data were complemented with structured interviews with local SRTS program coordinators. This approach yielded insights into ways to increase the percentage of students who walk and bicycle to school.

The National Center also developed a brief document specifically for the SRTS practitioner. Getting More Students to Walk and Bicycle:  Four Elements of Successful Programs highlights how practitioners can use the study’s findings to increase student participation in walking and bicycling to school. The four key strategies identified in the Shifting Modes study are compared to two schools that have been nationally recognized for increasing walking and bicycling to school; the programs at both schools shared all four identified strategies. To view Getting More Students to Walk and Bicycle, visit

“We encourage those who are on the ground implementing SRTS programs to consider which of these identified strategies might work for their schools and communities,” Marchetti said. “Every school has different needs; however, the key factors identified in the study were common across programs in urban, suburban and rural settings.”


About the National Center for Safe Routes to School

Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School assists states and communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school. The National Center serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, the National Center also provides technical support and resources and coordinates online registration efforts for U.S. Walk to School Day and facilitates worldwide promotion and participation. For more information, visit


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:

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

Complete Streets GHG Reduction Local Government NewsFlash Publications

NRDC releases A Citizen’s Guide to LEED-ND (LEED for Neighborhood Development)

NRDC is pleased to announce the publication of A Citizen’s Guide to LEED-for Neighborhood Development. The Guide is a handbook to help anyone interested in green practices learn, in user-friendly fashion, the ingredients that can make a neighborhood-scale development green. It is available on the web for free. For more about the Guide, start here. To proceed directly to download, go here.

LEED-ND is a comprehensive and logical rating system that reflects the most current thinking about smart, green, sustainable, and well-designed neighborhoods. For neighborhood-scale development to be certified by the US Green Building Council as environmentally exemplary, it must meet the criteria contained in the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. The rating system was developed by USGBC, NRDC, and the Congress for the New Urbanism. It is administered by USGBC.

But the principles embodied in LEED-ND can be applied to situations other than those in which a development is seeking certification. While the formal LEED-ND process is a technical one, the Citizen’s Guide is user-friendly and accessible, to help anyone learn about environmental standards for green land development and become an advocate for implementing these standards in their own communities. NRDC hopes this handbook for citizens will help promote greater widespread adoption of sustainable practices to create more inclusive, healthy, and environmentally sound places for everyone.

The Guide simplifies the three major sections of the formal rating system:

• Smart Location and Linkage: Where to Build
• Neighborhood Pattern and Design: What to Build
• Green Infrastructure and Buildings: How to Manage Environmental Impacts

It also includes some creative suggestions to help users get started using LEED-ND’s diverse standards to evaluate and improve development proposals, to guide improvements to neighborhoods, to inform community planning and zoning, or to inform other policy-making.

The Guide also includes a “Sustainable Neighborhood Development Checklist.” The checklist is a sort of “crib sheet” for every LEED-ND credit and prerequisite, presenting them in an easy-to-use format for evaluating development proposals, assessing existing neighborhoods, and informing community planning and policy.

For more information about A Citizen’s Guide to LEED for Neighborhood Development, start here. To proceed directly to download, go here.

Visit Kaid’s sustainable communities blog at

California Policy GHG Reduction Local Government Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Public Transit Publications Research SB 375

Public Policy Institute of California’s New Report on SB375 Implementation: Transit & Pricing Challenges

Encourage Jobs Near Transit, Raise Cost of Driving to Put State on Road to Change

Analysis Reveals Signs Of Hope—And Warning—About Meeting SB 375 Goals

SAN FRANCISCO, February 16, 2011—If California is to achieve its goal of reducing the amount of driving residents do, policymakers should encourage job growth near transit stations and implement strategies that raise the cost of driving, according to a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

The PPIC report assesses how well California’s local and regional governments are positioned to meet the targets set under Senate Bill 375, the 2008 law that aims to reduce passenger vehicle use. The law’s main purpose is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, but it is also expected to have public health benefits by encouraging more walking and biking. SB 375 calls for the state’s major metropolitan areas to reduce per capita emissions from driving about 7 percent by 2020 and about 15 percent by 2035. This will require a major behavioral shift in California, where the vast majority of commuters still drive to work—even if they live or work near a transit station.

“The law encourages an integrated approach to reducing emissions—changing land use patterns to reduce the need to drive, investing in mass transit and other alternatives to driving, and increasing the cost of driving and parking to encourage the use of these alternatives. But it will be up to regional and local leaders to turn the vision into reality,” says Ellen Hanak, PPIC senior fellow, who co-authored the report with PPIC research fellow Louise Bedsworth and Jed Kolko, PPIC associate director and research fellow.

The PPIC analysis draws on a survey of local governments, interviews with land use and transportation planners, and numerous data sources. It reveals reasons for optimism that the state can achieve its goals—but also warning signs.

On the plus side: Transit ridership is increasing, with recent investments directed toward higher-density areas, where they will be more likely to get people of out their cars. Regional transportation authorities and local governments recognize the importance of integrating land use, transit, and pricing policies such as toll lanes, carpool lanes, and parking fees. And, despite the recession, local governments have increased activities to support the goals of SB 375, and they say the policies they have begun to implement have a strong potential to reduce residents’ driving.

But the warning signs are significant. California has failed so far to reap the benefits of its large investment in rail transit. While rail ridership has increased slightly—from 0.9 percent of all commutes in 1990 to 1.4 percent in 2008—the growth is much slower than the pace of transit cost increases and service expansion.

One reason is that transit-oriented development has failed to live up to its potential. Having jobs near transit is more important in boosting ridership than having housing near transit. It’s not hard to see why: while workers can park their cars or bikes at transit stations close to home, they need a way to get to the workplace after getting off the train. But the number of jobs per square mile in California is lower than the national average and declining, a continuation of a decades-long trend of jobs moving out of dense downtowns.

To encourage job growth around transit, the state should consider changes in SB 375, which explicitly favors residential over commercial development near stations. On the local and regional level, specific policies to spur development near transit include relaxing requirements for minimum numbers of parking spaces provided by developers and improving accessibility to surrounding areas through feeder bus services.

The PPIC report notes one more important warning sign: resistance to the use of pricing tools, like higher fuel taxes and road use charges, to discourage solo driving. Local and regional officials are wary of public opposition. But these tools have the highest potential to reduce driving, and they can generate revenue to fill the growing gap in transportation budgets. Coastal regions are making limited use of road tolling to manage congestion and raise revenues. For example, high-occupancy toll lanes are in use in Southern California and the Bay Area that combine free access for carpoolers with a toll option for solo drivers. But for more comprehensive road pricing solutions, state and federal officials will need to take the lead, either by raising the gas tax or introducing general road use fees. Such mileage fees—already in use in other countries and successfully tested in Oregon—are more flexible than the gas tax. They rely on new electronic toll collecting and geographic positioning system technology to charge motorists according to the number of miles driven, time of day, type of road, and type of vehicle.

Driving Change: Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in Californiais supported with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David A. Coulter Family Foundation.


PPIC is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. As a private operating foundation, PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office.

Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Publications Research

New York Times Business Journalist Interviews “Growing Wealthier” Co-Author Steve Winkelman

New York Times

January 20, 2011, 11:02 AM

Growing Without Driving

Image Source: Growing Wealthier, Center for Clean Air Policy, January 2011
VMT, in the chart (left), stands for “vehicle miles traveled.” So what changed in the early 1990s to cause the growth of driving to fall behind the growth of gross domestic product?

Was it simply that economic growth was so fast in the 1990s? Perhaps. But that doesn’t seem the most likely explanation. The gap between G.D.P. and miles driven continued to grow last decade, when economic growth was mediocre. And the rapid economic growth of the 1960s did not outpace the increase in driving.

The Center for Clean Air Policy — a Washington group that advocates for walkable cities, public transportation and other so-called smart growth policies — released the chart at a briefing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. I asked Steve Winkelman, the center’s director of transportation and adaptation programs, what he thought explained the divergence of economic growth and driving growth. Excerpts from his reply follow:

… a couple of months back I took a quick look at relative economic growth in sectors that I guessed were less travel intensive (data limitations hamper assessment of the VMT intensity of specific economic sectors). It is interesting note that from 1998-2008, knowledge- and service-oriented economic sectors such as information, finance, real estate and health care were responsible for more than two thirds of GDP growth, while extracting, manufacturing, transporting and selling physical goods generated less than one third of GDP growth over that period. In the previous decade, these more physically-intensive sectors contributed more than half of all GDP growth…

Transportation planners have been predicting saturation in travel for decades, for example once women fully penetrate the workforce. Perhaps that saturation is finally happening. The big demographic trends are aging of the baby boomers, increasing numbers of households without children and increasing proportion of minority and immigrant households, who typically have lower travel. We’ve also seen strong growth in transit ridership: up 38% percent since 1995, vs. population growth of 14% and highway VMT growth of 21%….

The jury is still out on the net impact of telecommuting and e-commerce on travel demand. While the number of telecommuters increased from about 3 million in 1993 to 6 million in 2008, that’s still only 4% of work trips, and work trips are only about a quarter of all VMT. In fact, VMT for work has decreased from 1969-2009, but shopping VMT almost quadrupled. So, while and Netflix are changing the way we’re shopping and entertaining ourselves, there’s a sense that the internet can both substitute trips but generate others….

The center’s report, arguing that building more roads is not the best way to produce more economic growth, is available on its Web site.

California Policy GHG Reduction Publications SB 375 Transportation Funding

Center for Clean Air Policy finds Smart Growth = Economic Growth: “Growing Wealthier” to be released Jan 19th in Washington D.C.

As we begin 2011, California has just one thing on its mind: MONEY.  With the new Administration releasing what Governor Brown described as a “painful budget” in his January 3rd inauguration, there is no question that every policy action from the state to local level will somehow revolve around the very real economic problems that continue to face us this coming year.

Now more than ever it is imperative that we make strategic investments in our future.

The Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) will be formally releasing a new publication January 19th in Washington, D.C. at an event hosted by Senator Carper (D-Delaware).  Growing Wealthier: Smart Growth, Climate Change and Prosperity challenges popular notions about driving and prosperity – considering standard economic indicators, livability, public health, community vibrancy, and resource sustainability.

The core of Growing Wealthier is a walk through ten smart growth principles to identify a variety of economic and prosperity benefits: Returns on Investment, Savings on Expenditures and Improved Quality of Life. Authors Chuck Kooshian and Steve Winkelman indicate who reaps the benefits – whether it be businesses, households, municipal governments, metropolitan regions or the nation as a whole.

Growing Wealthier discusses the concept of “empty miles” (i.e. portion of VMT not economically productive) and how strategically reducing daily driving by just two and half miles per person would result in more economically efficient communities.  The authors also discuss the national trend between GDP and VMT, citing the United States Chamber of Commerce’s analysis that the importance of travel as a component of the economy has been declining since the early 1990s, and is projected to decline through 2030.  The study also highlights how investments in transportation can be strategically focused around job creation – for example, that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act found that transit investments reaped nearly twice as many “job-months” as those for highways.

CCAP recommends a “Do. Measure. Learn.” policy framework centered on themes of action, measurement and analysis.  Growing Wealthier calls for enhanced technical assistance to equip and empower state and local practitioners to plan, implement and evaluate smart growth and travel efficiency policies and their economic impacts.

California has shown national leadership on measuring environmental impacts of transportation investments; however, we cannot afford to continue the business-as-usual planning and entitlement approach to the business-of-the-future we wish to create.  To achieve the legislative intent of California’s SB 375 we will need to take serious consideration of not only the environmental impacts but also the direct and indirect economic impacts of our planning and entitlements – whether at the state or local level.

Two reports were released in 2010 which began the conversation of incorporating the economics of smart growth.  The State of California’s Strategic Growth Council and High Speed Rail Authority released Vision California, which laid out that household expenditures are reduced under a “Growing Smarter” scenario at the statewide level.   The Urban Land Institute also released findings in a report called SB 375 Impact Analysis which highlights the quality of life benefits through more efficient municipal services and infrastructure investments.

Despite these report findings, there seems to be a lack of their integration into California policy implementation.  CCAP is hopeful, however, that perhaps the third time will be the charm with the upcoming release of their much anticipated Growing Wealthier and will be the tipping point that California policy makers and shakers truly need to make the case that we simply must make smarter investments in land use and transportation projects.

CCAP will also hold a webinar on Thursday, January 20th from 1:30-3:00pm (EST) to provide highlights on the report.

Visit to purchase a high-resolution bound copy of the report, or to download a free copy of the report available on January 19th.

California "Pre-Release" at Revolution Wines in Sacramento

Policy in Motion’s Lauren Michele hosted a California “Pre-Release” of Growing Wealthier.  CCAP Author, Chuck Kooshian, spoke to influential California policy makers on the economic benefits of smart growth.  Guests included political and organization leaders from California state, regional, and local governments — Jerry Walters, Anthony Eggert, Larry Greene, Joe Krovoza, Julia Lave Johnston, Mike McCoy, Heather Fargo, Mike McKeever, Nancy McKeever, and Judy Corbett joined in the celebration.


Find out what California policy leaders are endorsing as a 2011 “must-read” for transportation planning enthusiasts!

Growing Wealthier sheds important light on how smart growth policies can enhance prosperity and quality of life while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

– Mary Nichols, Chairman, California Air Resources Board

“CCAP is a strong, credible, influential voice on issues of transportation and climate change. This is another must-read report.”

Dan Sperling, Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis

“Kooshian and Winkelman make a clear and convincing case that as we develop our communities, doing the right thing for the climate can do the right thing for the economy.”

– Mike McKeever, Executive Director, Sacramento Area Council of Governments

California Policy GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Publications

2010 California Regional Progress Report Released by Caltrans & Strategic Growth Council

The 2010 California Regional Progress Report: One State, Many Regions, Our Future was publicly released for the first time at the December 3 Strategic Growth Council meeting. The report presents twenty integrated, place-based quality-of-life indicators that benchmark and measure the progress of the regions in moving toward sustainability. It was developed with the collaboration of more than 40 state, regional, non-profit and academic organizations.

The Strategic Growth Council will be using the report to convene policy discussions on the findings and implications,  as well as coordinate data and indicator work around sustainability.  Further, the Council will be developing a recommended set of sustainability indicators. The State report catalogs the Schwarzenegger administration sustainability achievements, and recommends unifying California’s sustainability approach.

2010 California Regional Progress Report

Report sponsors include the California Department of Transportation and the California Strategic Growth Council, in partnership with the University of California at Davis, governance reform group California Forward, regional government association CALCOG, the non-profit WELL Network, and regional Councils of Government and transportation agencies from Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, and Calaveras.

Report Highlights

  • Resource for understanding the critical challenges and opportunities facing California related to sustainability
  • Provides an integrated approach to defining sustainability for California
  • Shows the progress across regions and for the state as a whole on a wide range of issues related to economic vitality, environmental quality, and high quality of life. (or economic, social, human, and environmental well-being indicators)
  • Calls attention to regional-scale issues such as air quality, housing affordability, vehicle miles traveled and electricity use
  • Finds gaping data needs for important regional indicators such as new development, combined housing and transportation costs, and equity – issues that currently can’t be measured
  • Identifies regional disparities in making progress, with challenges in the San Joaquin valley and rural regions in particular
  • Shows positive trends in almost half of the issues measured, including green business, vehicle miles traveled, air quality, water use, and transit ridership
  • Calls for dialogue between state, regional, and local governments to share successful strategies, address regional disparities, define sustainability, and improve sustainability measurement
  • Was developed with the collaboration of more than 40 state, regional, non-profit and academic organizations
California Policy GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning Modeling/Tools Publications SB 375

Caltrans Releases Statewide Interregional Blueprint: Lauren Michele’s UC Davis Master’s Thesis Research Integrated into Report for Initial Phase of SB 391 Compliance

In a time where both state and federal efforts are pointing toward sustainable planning, Lauren Michele had a unique opportunity to integrate her M.S. Thesis research under the Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) at UC Davis into the California Interregional Blueprint Phase I Narrative.

Caltrans partnered with ULTRANS to develop a narrative analysis as an initial baseline assessment of the relationship between current plans for the statewide transportation system and regional land use visions. This Phase I Report focuses on regional transportation plans and regional blueprint plans from the State’s four largest metropolitan planning organizations and the eight metropolitan planning organizations working collaboratively in the San Joaquin Valley.

Lauren Michele explains how her work on the California Interregional Blueprint complies with Senate Bill 391 (2009) during a Caltrans Stakeholder Workshop

The California Department of Transportation is expanding the State’s trans­portation planning process to include the development of a state level trans­portation blueprint focused on interregional travel needs. The California Interregional Blueprint (CIB) will articulate the State’s vision for an integrated, multimodal interregional transportation system that complements regional transportation plans and land use visions. The CIB when fully developed will become the foundation of the 2040 update to the State’s long-range trans­portation plan, the California Transportation Plan (CTP).

The CIB will help evaluate how well our collective plans (both State and regional) will address future demand for interregional travel, while meet­ing our goals for a sustainable transportation system. It will strengthen and add relevance to the existing CTP policy plan and will expand the understand­ing of the interactions between land use and transportation investments, especially those related to greenhouse gas emissions. This understanding will position us to respond to new legislative requirements (SB 391) for the next CTP update that require the plan to define the statewide transportation system that meets our climate change goals under AB 32 and SB 375. The ultimate benefit of this effort will be stronger partnerships, with regional and local agencies and tribal governments, and better data for improved deci­sion-making at the State, regional, and local level.

The California Interregional Blueprint will integrate proposed interregional highway, transit, rail (including high-speed and intercity rail), intelligent transportation system, and goods movement and other transportation system and strategic plans into a common framework for analysis. The CIB will be completed in two phases. As part of Phase I, the Department compiled project data from the State’s long range planning documents – as well as projects from Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs) developed by the State’s Metro­politan Planning Organizations and Regional Transportation Planning Agen­cies – to define the future interregional transportation system. Using regional growth and land use projections in regional blueprint plans and RTPs, the resulting system will then be analyzed to determine how well it will meet projected demand. As more advanced tools and data become available, the project concepts and strategies along with growth and land use projections will be modeled, and their impact on various outcomes, including greenhouse gas emissions, will be quantified.

The report is broken into sections below for easier download, but only viewable in Internet Explorer:

Environmental Justice GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning Modeling/Tools NewsFlash Publications Research

Victoria Transport Policy Institute: Summer 2010 Research Updates

Victoria Transport Policy Institute
“Efficiency – Equity – Clarity”
Summer 2010    Vol. 13, No. 3
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation problems. The VTPI website ( ) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also provides consulting services.


Changing Vehicle Travel Price Sensitivities: The Rebounding Rebound Effect” ( )
This paper, submitted for presentation at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, summarizes recent findings concerning transportation price sensitivities. Some studies found that fuel and vehicle travel price elasticities declined significantly between 1960 and 2000, but recent research suggests that price sensitivities have returned to more normal levels, indicating that the rebound effect is rebounding. This suggests that mobility management strategies provide greater benefits than many current energy conservation evaluation models indicate.

Sustainability and Livability: Summary of Definitions, Goals, Objectives and Performance Indicators” ( )
This short report summarizes basic definitions and concepts for sustainable and livable transportation planning.
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Evaluating Rail Transit Criticism” ( )
This report evaluates criticism of rail transit systems, including a recent paper by Wendell Cox, ‘Washington’s War on Cars and the Suburbs.’ It examines claims that rail transit is ineffective at increasing public transit ridership,that rail transit investments are not cost effective, and that transit is an outdated mode of transportation. It finds that critics often misrepresent issues and use biased and inaccurate analysis.

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Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits” ( ), written by VTPI for the American Public Transportation Association.
This report investigates ways that public transportation affects human health, and practical methods for considering these impacts in policy and planning decisions. This research indicates that public transit improvements and more transit oriented development can provide large but often overlooked health benefits. People who live or work in communities with high quality transit tend to drive significantly less and rely more on alternative modes (walking, cycling and public transit) than they otherwise would, which reduces per capita traffic crash and pollution emission rates, increases physical fitness, and improves access to medical care and healthy food. These impacts are significant in magnitude compared with other planning objectives but are often overlooked or undervalued in conventional planning.

Recent Planetizen Blogs ( ):
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Benefit/Cost Analysis for Transportation Infrastructure: A Practitioner’s Workshop,” sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, held 17 May 2010 in Washington DC. Presentation slides are available at

Changing Course for the Transport Sector” ADB Transport Forum, Manila, 25-27 May 2010 ( ). Ministers, industry decision-makers, researchers and representatives of civil society from more than 30 countries participated in this event.

Environment and Energy Research Conference” ( ) Transportation Research Board Conference, 6-10 June 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina.
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Indicators for Sustainable Transport Policy Making and Performance Evaluation,” keynote presentation at ‘A New Decade in Sustainable Transport: Fifth Regional EST Forum in Asia’ United Nations Center for Regional Development ( ), 24 August 2010, Bangkok.

Economic Impacts of Transportation Enhancements,” at the  National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Workshop ( ), 16-17 September 2010, Chattanooga, held in conjunction with ProBike/ProWalk ( )

Win-Win Emission Reductions” at the Vancouver Island Air & Waste Management Association ( )
Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 11:30 – 13:10, Cedar Hill Golf Course Victoria, B.C.

Livable Communities, Housing and Health – Toolbox Session” at ‘Railvolution 2010’ ( ).
This workshop will identify ways that transit oriented development and more affordable-accessible housing can help achieve public health and social equity objectives.
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Transit Score” ( ) measures how well a location is served by public transit based on the distance to the nearest transit stop and the quality of transit service. This is used to calculate a score between 0 – 100, similar to Walk Score ( )

Framework for Measuring Sustainable Regional Development for the Twin Cities Region “( ).
This major study by the University of Minnesota developed a framework for evaluating sustainable development in the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The proposed framework includes a set of six sustainability principles, and 38 indicators, each with specific definitions of how it can be measured and suitable data sources. This is one of the best framework of its kind.

Time Lost by Driving Fast in the United States” ( )
This study by Professors Donald A. Redelmeier and Ahmed M. Bayoumi indicates that that in the U.S., one hour spent driving was associated with approximately 20 minutes reduction in life expectancy due to crash risk. For the average driver, each one kilometer per hour (0.6-mph) increase in driving speed yielded a 26-second increase in total expected lost time because the savings from reduced travel time were more than offset by time lost to increased crashes.

P-A-Y-D: As easy to support as 1 – 2 – 3” ( ) . This website and video by Cliff Caprani of Sha-na-key films introduces the concept of Pay-As-You-Drive vehicle insurance and advocates its implementation in British Columbia.

Relative Costs And Benefits Of Modal Transport Solutions” ( )
This report provides guidance to local authorities about the costs and benefits of transport modes. It provides estimates of vehicle costs, infrastructure, travel time, accidents, health impacts, and pollution costs. It also discusses related urban transport planning issues, including travel demand, relationships between land use and transport, and road space and traffic management. A selection of case studies provides specific illustrations of these issues.

Shared Path Widths” ( ). This poster provides practical guidance on the design and management of non-motorized facilities.

A wonderful 1906 film of a trolley trip along Market Street in San Francisco ( and a 1908 film of a trolley trip through Barcelona, Spain ( show the use of urban streets a century ago.

Data & Capacity Needs for Transportation NAMAs: Report 1, Data Availability” ( ).
This is the first in a series of research reports by Cambridge Systematics and the Center for Clean Air Policy, assessing data and capacity needs for developing, implementing and evaluating successful transportation Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

Reducing Carbon Emissions from Transport Projects” ( )
This report identifies ways the Asian Development Bank can assistance developing member countries in creating more sustainable transport systems. It describes models for evaluating how specific transport policy decisions affect energy consumption and pollution emissions. This analysis considers the generated traffic impacts, the cobenefits of demand management and other indirect impacts.

Choosing Where We Live: Attracting Residents to Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods; A Briefing Book for City Planners and Managers” ( )
This report identifies various housing market segments and describes ways to make transit oriented development more attractive in response to their specific needs and preferences. It includes recommendations for improving walking and cycling condition, transit service quality, neighborhood livability (quiet, cleanliness and safety), school quality and accessibility, parking management, and urban housing affordability.

Promoting Livable Communities: Examining The Internal Revenue Code And Reforming Its Influence On The Built Environment” ( ).
This report by Smart Growth America and the American Institute of Architects reviews federal tax code features that affect community development patterns. It recommends specific policy reforms to better support livable community development, including clearer definitions regarding livable community features, changes to federal tax codes, legal provisions to develop livable community tax districts, and federal policies that encourage development of more affordable housing.

The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation: Backgrounder” ( )
This report by the American Public Health Association identifies various ways that transportation systems affect public health, including physical activity, safety, air quality, affordability and equity. It describes methods for quantifying and monetizing these impacts and recommends specific policy and planning reforms to create more balanced transportation systems that support health objectives.

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, Recommended Practice” ( )
This free new report by the Institute of Transportation Engineers provides practical guidance on the application of Context Sensitive Solutions to create roadways that better integrate diverse planning objectives and meet community needs.

Growing GreenLITES” ( )
Greenlites (Green Leadership In Transportation Environmental Sustainability) by the New York State Department of Transportation promotes more sustainable and livable transport planning. It uses a detailed spreadsheet that rates individual projects according to various objectives and impacts.

Vision California – Charting Our Future” ( )
Vision California uses the new ‘Rapid Fire Model’ spreadsheet tool to evaluate regional and statewide land use and transportation scenario impacts on vehicle travel, pollution emissions, water use, building energy use, transportation fuel use, land consumption, and public infrastructure costs.

Canadian Guidelines for the Measurement of Transportation Demand Management Initiatives” ( ).
This guidebook is designed to help organizations implementing TDM strategies to evaluate progress toward established objectives.

TDM Supportive Guidelines For Development Approvals: A Handbook For Practitioners” ( )
This report provides recommendations for planners to better incorporate Transportation Demand Management strategies into land development.

ITDP in South Africa” ( ).
This video by Brian McAllister describes the success of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) in Africa, particularly the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. Also see

Equity Analysis of Land Use and Transport Plans Using an Integrated Spatial Model” ( ).pdf )
This study used the PECAS Activity Allocation Module to evaluate the equity effects of land use and transport policies intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The results show that a more compact urban form designed around transit stations can reduce travel costs, labor costs, and housing costs by increasing accessibility, which can lead to substantial net benefits for various industries and lower income households.

The Role of Land Use in Reducing VMT and GHG Emissions: A Critique of TRB Special Report 298” ( ).
This short report provides additional information on the effects that smart growth land use polices can have in achieving VMT and GHG reduction targets. It critiques the assumptions and modeling methods used in the TRB report, and investigates consumer demand for more accessible, multi-modal residential locations.