By Daniel Weintraub
The Air Resources Board took another step today toward its implementation of a state law meant to encourage local governments to adopt planning and transportation policies that cut automobile use and lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The ARB released a staff recommendation that will likely lead to goals for regions around the state to reduce their per capita emissions of the gases believed to contribute to global warming.
The targets — which are the result of legislation known as SB 375 — are supposed to result in more support for transit, denser development, toll roads where the rates vary with the level of congestion, and traffic management policies designed to keep freeways and other major roads flowing smoothly.
The staff recommendation is largely similar to a draft recommendation released earlier this summer, and it builds upon decisions already being made at the local level. It will be considered by the full ARB at its Sept. 23 meeting.
In the state’s four largest metropolitan areas, the recommendations call for greenhouse gas reductions of 7 to 8 percent per capital below 2005 levels by 2010. By 2035, the targets would range from a 13 percent reduction Los Angeles and San Diego to 15 percent in the Bay Area and 16 percent in Sacramento.
The staff report also included policy scenarios for each region that gave a crystal-ball look at what kind of changes might be necessary to achieve the emission goals.
In Sacramento, for example, the scenario assumes that 68 percent of new housing will be compact, compared to 60 percent in current land use plans. Growth is focused in the urban core and existing suburban centers, and a higher proportion of the development is served by transit.
The result: a 14 percent reduction in vehicle trips per capital, a 60 percent increase in the use of transit and a 21 percent jump in the walking and biking.
To see the full staff report, go here.
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