New routes for bicycles and pedestrians, denser housing near transit stops, and more frequent and reliable train service were the top three strategies chosen by more than 3,100 people who played the Mayor of Bayville this fall as part of the development of Plan Bay Area 2050, a long-range transportation and housing plan that will help chart a course for the Bay Area’s future over the next 30 years.
The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) received over 10,000 responses via the Mayor of Bayville online tool from residents of all nine Bay Area counties during November and December. Participants were invited to prioritize and comment on proposed strategies for improving mobility, meeting the Bay Area’s housing challenges, sustaining economic growth and protecting the environment. All told, residents in 84 of the Bay Area’s 101 cities and towns participated.
Strategies in the transportation and housing categories garnered the most responses from participants, followed by those in the environment and the economy. Overall the five most popular strategies include:
- Prioritize active modes: Build a network of safe paths for bicycles, e-bikes, scooters and pedestrians
- Regional policy: Allow apartments and denser housing around transit stops
- Invest in transit: Improve the reliability and frequency of the existing rail network
- Price transportation service: Provide free transit to low-income riders
- Reuse and redevelopment: Transform aging malls into neighborhoods
Below is a summary of the top five strategies, in descending order, for each of the four topic areas:
1. Prioritize Active Modes
|Build a network of safe paths for bicycles, e-bikes, scooters and pedestrians|
2. Invest in Transit
|Improve the reliability and frequency of the existing rail network|
|3. Price Transportation Service||Provide free transit to low-income riders|
|4. Invest in Transit||Build and operate a next-generation Bus Rapid Transit network|
|5. Price Transportation Service||Apply time-of-day tolls on all freeways|
|Housing||1. Regional Policy||Allow apartments and denser housing around transit stops|
|2. Reuse and Redevelopment||Transform aging malls into neighborhoods|
|3. Housing Affordability||Require 10% to 20% of all new housing to be affordable|
|4. Housing Affordability||Raise new revenue to fund affordable housing production and preservation|
|5. Regional Housing Policy||Allow affordable housing in high-opportunity areas|
|Environment||1. Open Space||Expand parks, trails and greenways, and preserve agricultural lands|
|2. Earthquake||Expand financing for energy, water, seismic, fire and accessibility improvements|
|3. Sea Level Rise||Partially adapt to sea level rise|
|4. Sea Level Rise||Fully adapt to sea level rise|
|5. Open Space||Keep current urban growth boundaries in place|
|Economy||1. Shift Location of Jobs||Create incubator programs in economically challenged neighborhoods|
|2. Worker Training and Compensation||Expand childcare support for low-income families|
|3. Shift Location of Jobs||Apply a fee on new office development in areas where long auto commutes are common|
|4. Worker Training and Compensation||Provide portable benefits for part-time and freelance workers|
|5. Worker Training and Compensation||Expand construction workforce programs|
Feedback collected from the Mayor of Bayville, along with the comments received at 37 Plan Bay Area 2050 pop-up events, will inform which strategies are recommended for inclusion in Plan Bay Area 2050, the Bay Area’s plan for investments and policy related to transportation, housing, the environment and the economy over the coming decades.
The next step in the development of Plan Bay Area 2050 is the preparation of a Blueprint that will analyze a set of transportation, housing, economic and environmental strategies within the fiscal constraints of the available revenue that reasonably can be expected over the next 30 years. With an anticipated adoption date of mid-2020, the Blueprint will serve as the foundation of Plan Bay Area 2050.
ABAG and MTC will produce a shorter-term Implementation Plan, along with an associated Environmental Impact Report, before finalizing Plan Bay Area 2050. The Implementation Plan will outline tangible actions that the agencies and their partners can advance to make the Bay Area more equitable and resilient in the future. ABAG and MTC both are expected to adopt the final Plan Bay Area 2050 in summer 2021.