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September 2010
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Bullet Final greenhouse gas targets proposed
Bullet Unconstrained Transportation Network accepted
Bullet Take our survey
Final greenhouse gas targets proposed

Passenger vehicles are the single largest producers of greenhouse gases in the state, contributing some 30 percent of emissions. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff this month concurred with SANDAG proposed greenhouse gas reduction targets for cars and light trucks in the San Diego region. These targets will be considered by the CARB board and final targets announced by Sept. 30.

If approved, the targets would represent a seven percent per capita decrease in greenhouse gas emissions for 2020 and a 13 percent per capita decrease for 2035, relative to 2005 levels. In the San Diego region in 2005, drivers of passenger vehicles emitted an average of 26 pounds of carbon dioxide per person each weekday. A “pound” of C02 has enough volume to fill two large garbage bags.

To meet the seven percent reduction goal, a person would need to cut his or her emissions by 1.8 pounds per weekday. That’s like burning 21 fewer gallons of gas a year or planting five trees and maintaining them for 10 years. For a 13 percent reduction, a person would need to cut his or her emissions by 3.4 pounds per weekday. That’s like burning 38 fewer gallons of gas a year, or planting nine trees and maintaining them for 10 years, or shutting off your home electricity for two weeks, or recycling 228 pounds of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

A person could achieve a seven percent reduction by telecommuting to work one day a month, or carpooling two days a month, or biking or walking instead of driving 10 miles a week, or taking the bus instead of driving 12 miles a week. To get to a 13 percent reduction, a person could telecommute to work two days a month, or carpool to work four days a month, bike or walk instead of driving 18 miles a week, or take a bus instead of driving 21 miles a week.

Greenhouse gas reduction strategies SANDAG is considering include increasing transit service; making

freeway improvements to reduce bottlenecks; better connecting homes and jobs to the transportation network; and enhancing programs aimed at taking more cars off the road, such as alternative work schedules and incentives for carpooling and vanpooling.

These approaches will be detailed in the “Sustainable Communities Strategy” that will be included in the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).

The draft Sustainable Communities Strategy will be considered by the SANDAG Board of Directors this fall as part of the draft RTP. The draft RTP will be released for public comment in early 2011, with Board adoption anticipated for summer 2011.

Thanks to the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and to CoolCalifornia.org, for providing research assistance.

Unconstrained Transportation Network accepted
When you’re building a new house, you start with your dream home in mind. Then, you mold that dream into a reality by prioritizing your needs and wants based on what you can afford.

Building a transportation network happens in much the same way. It starts with a list that includes all transit, highway, and road projects to meet the region’s transportation needs, unfettered by budget considerations. For SANDAG, that is the Unconstrained Transportation Network developed for the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). It represents a vision for transit, highway, freight, and road improvements and operations for the region to meet travel demand 40 years into the future.

The Unconstrained Network was accepted by the SANDAG Board of Directors in July. Now, the work of crafting a realistic, budget-based plan out of that vision is under way.
Projects included in the Unconstrained Network are being prioritized based on Board-approved evaluation criteria and will be combined into different network scenarios developed based on projected revenue for 2050.

These “revenue constrained” scenarios will attempt to build and operate as much of the Unconstrained Transportation Network as possible, given revenue availability and project priorities. Each scenario then will be evaluated using Board-approved performance measures.

Finally, this fall the Board will select a preferred revenue constrained scenario that does the best job of affordably meeting the region’s transportation needs. This constrained scenario will become the fundamental building block of the 2050 RTP.
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