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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(14) "R_211LBEHR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "789641" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(161655) "Views from the Street Linking Transportation and Land Use February 2011 Louise Bedsworth, Ellen Hanak, and Elizabeth Stryjewski with research support from Davin Reed, Eliot Rose, and Maggie Witt Supported with funding from T he William and Flora Hewlett Foundation http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 2 Summary With the adoption of Senate Bill (SB) 375 in late 2008, California plans to reverse the decades -long upward trend in per capita vehicle miles traveled in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since the law’s adoption, analysts have expended considerable effort to assess the technical capabilities and emission reduction potential of the state’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) —the regional transportation planning agencies responsible for meeting emission -reduction goals . Much less is known about the capabili - ties and potential of cities and counties —the state’s primary land use authori ties and important partner s in the implementation of SB 375. To gain a better understanding of the activities under way locally and the potential that localities see for reducing driving —a major behavioral shift for California residents —we conducted a survey of California’s city and county planning departments. Sixty -five percent of all jurisdictions completed the survey , represent - ing 73 percent of the state’s population . The survey covered the three main strategies for reducing driving : land use policies , investments in transit and other alternativ es, and pricing policies that increase the cost of road use and parking . We also conducted i nterviews with local and regional planners to compl ement the survey r esponses. The responses provide some grounds for optimism regarding the implementation of SB 375, but also some warning signs . Local governments continue to focus attention on climate change , despite the recent recession , and are implementing numerous “ smart -growth ” land use strategies to reduc e dependence on automobiles . Transportation spending has focused on transit capacity expansion since the 1970s and continues to this day. Nearly every locality has bus service , and rail transit is now available in many of the most populous jurisdictions . However, transit ridership remains low , accounting for only 5.5 percent of all commut ing trips . Road p ricing is gaining ground in the largest regions, which are expanding high occu - pancy toll lanes . But an important set of local pricing tools —parking fees and curtailing requirements to provide employee parkin g—are not widely used. And state and federal fees —including the gas tax and mileage charges using electronic toll collection technology —have not made headway, despite evidence that pricing is the single most important tool for changing driving behaviors. S tate and federal gas taxes have remained constant, in nominal terms, since the early 1990s. Generally , local planners believe that using a combination of approaches is the most effective way to reduce driving , a view consistent with research findings that integrate d policies have the greatest potential for success. Local officials also believe that the approaches they are already using are most likely to succeed, even though they are confront ed by a variety of barriers , including public opposition to denser development. Planners in localities served by rail are more optimistic about all of the available options —highlighting the potential of rail to serve as a platform for integration with other strategies . However, most planners are divided in their opinions of pricing strategies. Consistent with the research, they ranked h igher gasoline prices as the option with the greatest potential. B ut they gave low scores to all of the other pricing tools (toll and carpool lanes, parking charges, and car insurance), likely reflecting the political difficulties of imple menting such strategies , given local opposition . V arious local characteristics, including population size, income, and party affiliation, al so affect planners’ perspectives. Note to Readers Many of the findings in this report are summarized in Driving Change: Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in California (Bedsworth, Hanak , and Kolko 2011). That report also draws on a companion paper , “Making the Most of Transit ” (Kolko 2011), which looks at trends in transit usage and residential and employment density around transit stations. All three reports are available on PPIC ’s website ( www.ppic.org). Contents Summary 2 Figures 4 Tables 5 Acronyms 6 Introduction 8 Climate Change Policy and Regional and Local Governments 13 California’s Climate Change Policy 13 Regional Transportation Planning and SB 375 15 Roles and Goals of Local Government 17 Programs and Policies to Reduce Driving 21 Land Use Policies 21 Investments in Transit and Other Alternatives to Driving 24 Increasing the Cost of Driving 30 Maximizing Potential through Integrated Approaches 35 Local Perspectives on the Potential to Reduce Driving 39 Ranking Policy Tools 39 Factors Asso ciated with Higher Potential 41 Comparing Localities 43 Conclusions 45 References 47 About the Authors 52 Acknowledgments 52 Technical appendices to this paper are available on the PPIC website: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/other/211LBR_appendix.pdf http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 4 Figures 1 California’s MPOs cover the state’s most populous counties 9 2 Transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in California 13 3 The largest share of emission reductions is expected to come from the transportation sector 14 4 Local authorities control most transportation funds 15 5 Economic considerations are most important in local development decisions 18 6 Local governments are using a variety of land use tools to increase density and improve access to transit 23 7 Transit became a focus of transportation spending in the 1970s 25 8 Transit is even more important in planned spending by the four large MPOs 25 9 Californians favor rail transit as a transportation investment 26 10 Cities and counties are actively planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure 29 11 VMT per capita in California declined when gas prices began rising in the mid 2000s 31 12 Parking management is a little- used local tool 34 13 The state’s largest MPOs are pursuing multipronged strategies 38 14 Planners view a mix of tools as having high potential to reduce VMT 40 15 Planners in localities with larger populations perceive a higher potential to reduce GHG emissions with transportation and land use policies 44 http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 5 Tables 1 CARB has established regional per capita GHG emission reduction targets for passenger vehicles 10 2 MPOs are stepping up GHG emission reductions since the passage of SB 375 17 3 Despite the recession, local governments have been expanding their climate action programs 19 4 Transit has increased only slightly as a share of commutes since 1990 27 5 Combined strategies show the largest potential for reducing VMT 36 http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 6 A cronyms AB Assembly Bill APS Alternative Planning Strategy AMBAG Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments BART Bay Area Rapid Transit BCAG Butte County Association of Governments CARB California Air Resources Board CEQA California Environmental Quality Act CO 2- eq Carbon Dioxide Equivalent COFCOG County of Fresno Council of Governments GHG Greenhouse Gas GWP Global Warming Potential HD High Density HOT High Occupancy T oll HOV High Occupancy Vehicle KCAG Kings County Association of Governments KCOG Kern Council of Governments MCAG Merced County Association of Governments MCTC Madera County Transportation Commission MMT Million Metric Tons MPO Metropolitan Planning Organization MTC Metropolitan Transportation Commission (San Francisco Bay Area) RTAC Regional Targets Advisory Committee RTP Regional Transportation Plan SACOG Sacramento Area Council of Governments SANDAG San Diego Association of Governments SB Senate Bill SBCAG Santa Barbara County Association of Governments SCAG Southern California Association of Governments SCRTPA Shasta County Regional Transportation Planning Authority SCS Sustainable Communities Strategy http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 7 SJCOG San Joaquin Council of Governments SJV San Joaquin Valley SLOCOG San Luis Obispo Council of Governments StanCOG Stanislaus Council of Governments TCAG Tulare County Association of Governments TOD Transit-O riented Development UGB Urban Growth Boundary VMT Vehicle Miles Traveled http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 8 Introduction California has a long history of success in reduc ing air pollution associated with on -road vehicles (Bedsworth and Taylor, 2007) . In its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate the effects of global warming, the state is once again looking for significant contributions from the transportation sector. Building upon its new regulations to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and encourage the use of low -carbon fuels, California recently became one of the first state s in the nation to se t a goal for reducing driving —or vehicle miles travelled (VMT) —to limit GHG emissions. 1 S enate Bill (S B) 375 , signed into law in 2008, directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish GHG emission reduction target s for the passenger vehicle sector in each of the state’s 18 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs; Figure 1) . MPOs are regional agencies responsible for developing long -term Regional Transportati on Plans (RTP s) t hat coordinate local, state, and federal transportation investments. Under SB 375, each RTP should demonstrate compliance with the regional GHG emission reduction target. CARB recently announced the first set of regional targets for 2020 a nd 2035. 2 For the MPOs in the state’s major metropolitan areas, t he targets call for reductions in per capita GHG emissions from passenger vehicles , relative to baseline conditions, on the order of 7 to 8 percent by 2020 and 13 to 16 percent by 2035 ( Table 1) . Although s ome of these reductions can be achieved through improvements in traffic flow (which improve gas mileage), most will need to come from reductions in the length and frequency of car trips. 3 1 In summer 2008, the state of Washington adopted ambitious per capita VMT reduction targets as part of its climate change legi slation ( T he MPOs are responsible for demonstrating compliance with SB 375, but the process is designed to encourage collaboration with cities and counties —the local governments with authority over land use decisions in California. Rather than sanctions for noncompliance, SB 375 includes regulatory incentives to enco urage local governments to collaborate with MPOs by easing requirements for the environmental review of suitable development projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2007 -08/Pdf/Bills/SessionLaw2008/2815-S2.SL.pdf ). Several East Coast states have also adopted explic it VMT reduction goals as part of their climate change policies ( www.georgetownclimate.org/transportation/files/TCI- SummaryofPolicyOptionsinCl imateAction.PDF). The American Council for an Energy -Efficient Economy identifies California and Washington as leaders in this area ( www.aceee.org/sector/state-policy/ transportation-system -efficiency ) 2 CARB will update the targets every four to eight years. 3 Technically, SB 375 calls for the reduction in emissions from passenger vehicle use above and beyond those gains expected to be achieved through improvements in v ehicle fuel efficiency and the use of low -carbon fuels as required by other regulations (described later in this report). Transportation and land use policies that reduce driving receive the primary focus. To provide flexibility to the regions, “t he targets can be achieved through any combination of land use patterns, transportation system improvements, and transportation-related measures or policies developed at the local and regional level” (California Air Resources Board 2010a, p. 4). In the “most ambiti ous scenarios” for meeting the regional 2035 targets under SB 375, transportation system improvements (including measures to improve traffic flow as well as some dem and management measures we consider under “pricing,” such as carpool programs) are expected to achieve 8 to 17 percent of regional GHG emission reductions in the Bay Area, Southern California, and Sacramento regions. San Diego examined one scenario in which these measu res could achieve over half of the total GHG emission goal (Heminger et al. 2 010). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 9 FIGURE 1 California’s MPOs cover the state’s most populous countie s NOTE: MPOs include the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governemnts (AMBAG), Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG), Council of Fresno County Governments (COFCOG), Kings County Association of Governments (KCAG), Kern Council of Governments (KCOG), Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG), Madera County Tran sportation Commission (MCTC), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG), San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), Shasta County Regional Transportation Planning Agency (SCRTPA), Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG), Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG). For a list of counties belonging to each MPO, see Appendix B. California’s 18 th MPO, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (not shown here) covers portions of counties in California and Nevada surrounding Lake Tahoe. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 10 TABLE 1 CARB has established r egional per capita GHG emission reduction target s for passenger vehicles Region Emission reductions (%) Population 2020 2035 2005 Increase by 2035 (%) Southern C alifornia (SCAG) -8 -13 17,763,285 33 SF Bay Area (MTC) -7 -15 7,094,823 28 San Diego (SANDAG) -7 -13 3,034,388 31 Sacramento Area (SACOG) -7 -16 2,057,200 50 San Joaquin Valley (8 MPOs) -5 -10 3,750,755 67 Other MPOs -7 to +13 -10 to + 14 1,850,698 29 SOURCE: California Air Resources Board (2010 a) and California Department of Finance (2007 , 2009). NOTES: Emission reductions are expressed as a change from 2005 levels. For a list of counties in each region, see A ppendix A . Population estimates are from the MPOs. Population in the 21 rural counties not included in MPOs was 837,977 in 2005, with projected growth of 39 percent by 2035 (California Department of Finance 2007, 2009 ). The targets for the San Joaquin Valley MPOs are placeholders, to be reviewed in 2012 prior to the development of the region’s first RTP s under the new law . The targets for the “O ther MPOs” group were set at business -as -usual levels. CARB plans to revisit these targets as implementation progresses . As a climate policy tool, SB 375 is expected to achieve only modest benefits—in the near-term, 8 percent of all GHG emissions reductions in the transportation sector, and less than 3 percent of all emissions reductions economy -wide (C alifornia Air Resources Board 2008). SB 375 is thus but one of many discrete polic ies in California’s overall strategy for reducing GHG emissions. Yet by reducing the distances between residences, workplaces , and other destinations, enhancing “walkability,” and reducing the amount of time people need to spend in cars, SB 375 is expected to also meet the broader social goal of building more livable, healthy communities. 4 To achieve these goals, the new law implies some potentially important shifts in the way California makes transportation and land use decisions. The central goals of transportation planning have long been to improve mobility while managing the negative environmental effects of vehicle use. Over time, three types of tools have been used to foster these goals by taking the pressure off roadways: (1) more conscious efforts to integrate land use and transportation planning (e.g., transit -oriented development); (2 ) more emphasis on transit , bicycle, and pedestrian alternatives; and (3) the use of pricing incentives to manage traffic and reduce solo driving . While all three tools have been used to s ome degree, meeting SB 375 targets will require using them more aggressively than in the past . In addition, by facilitating the development of denser communities, SB 375 may help meet other sustainability goals with GHG emission benefits , including reducing energy and water use. In the first stages of implement ing the new law , the state has invested considerable time and effort in assessing the technical capabilities of the MPOs to meet the new requirements . A Regional Targets Advisory 4 To foster this connection, the state’s Strategic Growth Council (created in a companion bill to SB 375) is providing grants to fund planning for SB 375, thereby recognizing the potential benefits of SB 375 for public health, conservation, livabilit y, and other elements of healthy communities (Planning Grants and Incentives Management Team 2010). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 11 Committee (RTAC) was established to assess the MPOs ’ technical readiness to conduct the necessary analysis underpinning VMT targets and to offer recommendations with regard to the design of the tar gets ( Regional Targets Advisory Committee, 2009 ). CARB has also received considerable input from the MPOs themselves regarding the feasible magnitude of emission reduction s. However, there has not been an analogous assessment of local governments’ readines s to implement SB 375. Previous work indicate s that California’s local governments have been quite active in address ing climate change, but this analysis did not closely examine local transportation and land use pl anning activities (Hanak et al. 2008). This paper addresses this gap by looking more closely at local land use and transportation policies and programs and how city and county planners view a variety of tools for reducing VMT in their localities. We examine each of the three primary policy are as for reducing VMT : land use planning, investment in alternative modes of transportation , and increasing the cost of driving . Our primary source of information is an original survey that we sent to planning directors in each of California’s 5 7 counties an d 481 cities in the spring of 2010, prior to CARB’s announcement of draft VMT targets in June 2010. 5 We received completed survey responses from 349 localities, covering 65 percent of all jurisdicti ons and 73 percent of the state’ s population, for a broadly representative sample of the state as a whole . 6 Understanding which actions are in place or planned at the local level and how local governments view the potential to respond to the challenge of reducing driving is an important piece of the SB 375 policy puzzle, given the central role of local governments in the successful implementation of the new law. This detailed baseline information will also provide a basis for tracking progress over time and facilitate an exchange of infor mation among policymakers at the local, regional, and state levels . We complemented the survey with in -depth interviews with over two dozen city and county officials and with regional transportation planners in the state’s main metropolitan areas . We also rev iewed transportation sector data from federal, state, and regional sources . In the following section , we review the policy context for the implementation of SB 375 , including the respective roles of transportation agencies and local governments . We then look at th e three broad types of policy tools available to reduce VMT , exploring what is currently in place and what is planned in California . We provide an overview of what the research literature has found with regard to the potential of these tools when used alone and in combination through integrated planning approaches . And we then examine local planners’ views o f the ir community’s potential ability to reduce driving, focus ing on the role of the various local tools and characteristics associated with a highe r likelihood of success. We conclude the paper with an overview of our key findings. Several appendices to this report provide more details on the survey. Appendix A describes the survey methodology and sample characteristics. Appendix B provides answers t o survey questions for major MPO groups, non- MPO counties and the state as a whole . A ppendix C provides details on th e statistical analysis conducted to assess which types of localities are most likely to adopt VMT -related policy tools and which tools are most likely to be ranked highly in terms of the potential to reduce VMT. In this report, we summarize survey results in two ways: as a share of all jurisdictions responding to the survey, and as a share 5 The City and County of San Francisco is a single geographical unit and, in this analysis, we include it with the cities. 6 In the case of counties, we on ly count the population in the unincorporated areas, over which county governments have land use authority. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 12 of the population represented by responding juris dictions. The latter provides an indication of whether larger localities exhibit different patterns of behavior relative to jurisdictions on average. In addition to population, the statistical analysis also considers a range of other factors related to loc al resources, geographic and economic conditions, ideology , and the availability of land use, transit, and pricing tools that can reduce VMT. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 13 Climate Change Policy and Regional and Local Governments California’s Climate Change Policy The transportation sector is the largest source of GHG emissions in California, accounting for 3 7 percent of emissions in 200 8 (Figure 2). Nearly three- quarters of the se emissions are generated by cars and light -duty trucks —most of which are passenger vehicles . 7 FIGURE 2 T ransportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in California SOURCE: California Air Resources Board (2010b ). NOTE: The figure shows emissions for 2008. California has established aggressive goals to reduce GHG emissions that contribute to global warming. In 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S -3 -05, setting a goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (roughly a 30 percent reduction relative to business as usual) and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050—the level considered necessary globally to stabilize the climate. The 2020 goal was codified into law through the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32), which placed responsibility for developing an emission reduction plan with CARB. CARB has outlined a co mprehensive “scoping plan” outlining all the programs that will be put in place to achieve the state’s 2020 emission reduction target (California Air Resources Board 2008) . In all, California will need to reduce statewide GHG emissions by 174 million metri c tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide - equivalent (CO 2- eq). The largest share of these reductions (36%) is expected to come from programs that affect the transportation sector , through a combination of strategies: implementing GHG emission standards for new passen ger vehicles , reducing the carbon content of fuels, and reducing the number of miles driven 7 For example, “light -duty trucks” includes sport utility vehicles. Ag + Forestry 5% Com m ercial 3% Electricity generation 25% Industrial 21% Residential 6% Transportation 37% Not specified 3% http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 14 (Figure 3). VMT reductions are included in the “regional GHG targets” established under SB 375 and depicted in Figure 3. F IGURE 3 The largest share of emission reductions is expected to come from the transportation sector SOURCE: California Air Resources Board (2008 ). NOTE: Figure shows the share of emission reductions by target area for 2020, as presented in the AB 32 Scoping Plan. The GWP segment in the figure represents reductions in materials with “global warming potential” (refrigerants, some solvents, and other industrial gases). Within the transportation sector, “Other” includes measures to improve vehicle design and accessories (air conditioners, paint , and windows) and high -speed rail. Within transportation, t he first two prongs of th e strategy rely on new technologies for vehicles and fuels, and they are expected to account for a large proportion of the near- term reductions in emissions. 8 The reg ional GHG emission targets established under SB 375 address the third prong of the strategy —reducing miles driven. VMT reductions play a relatively modest role in the overall emissions reduction plan —8 percent of all transportation sector reductions and on ly 3 percent of AB 32’s overall target for 2020— anticipating the length of time needed to register cumulative effects from measures such as land use changes and new transit investments, which also require behavioral changes by the public. Although the type s of tools available to achieve VMT reductions —land use changes, transit system improvements, and policies that make solo driving more costly relative to alternatives —are not new, there is only limited experience in applying them in a comprehensive way. 9 8 Half the reductions for the transportation sector will come from new GHG emission standards for passenger vehicles, which will be met primarily through improvements in fuel efficiency. Adopted in 2004, these standards will reduce emissions from new cars 30 percent by 2016. Another quarter of the savings will come from switching to f uels with a 10 percent lower carbon content. Regulations are also being developed to improve vehicle technologies and fuels for heavy -duty trucks and goods movement activities (8 percent of the total). 9 Some have argued that greater reductions in VMT than those in CARB’s scoping plan are possible (Ewing and Nelson 2008; Winkelman, Bishins, and Kooshian 2010), while others argue that VMT reduction is a costly, inefficient, uncertain GHG emission-reduction strategy (Moore, Staley, and Poole 2010). Boarnet (2010) provides a critical overview of this debate. Energy ef f iciency and renewables 28% Cap and trade 20% High GWP m easures 12% Forestry 3%Oth e r 1% Transportation 36% New passenger vehicle GHG standards (18%) Low carbon fuel standard (9%) Heavy-duty and goods m ovem ent (3%) Regional GHG targets (3%) Other (3%) http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 15 Regional Transportation Planning and SB 375 SB 375 implementation focuses on the regional transportation planning process, which is the centerpiece of state wide planning of transportation investments from federal, state, and local sources . Federal requirements apply to the state’s 18 federally designated MPOs; state law applies to the MPOs a nd regional transportation planning associations in rural areas (C alifornia Transportation Commission 20 10). Both s tate and federal law s require that regional transportation plans (RTPs) cover a time horizon of at least 20 years and be updated at least every four to five years. SB 375 augments the state requirements for RTPs, which must remain consistent with pre -existing federal requirements for these planning to ols. SB 375 applies only to the MPOs, within whose domains the vast majority of the state’s population resides . Under s tate law, RTP s must describe regional transportation policy, outline short - and long -term projects to address regional transportation needs , and identify projected costs and revenues. Under federal law , RTPs must address economic, safety , and environmental considerations (23 CFR 450.306). To be eligible for federal funding, RTPs must also be “fiscally constrained” —meaning that all projects must have demonstrated sources of funding. In regions that do not meet federal air quality standards, the RTP must also demonstrate conformity with allowable regional air pollution emission “budgets .” 10 The f iscal constraint is an important element of the RTP. All regions must outline planned projects and identify anticipated revenues to pay for each project. MPOs have control over only a small portion (about 13 percent) of the funds accounted for in the RTPs statewide (Figure 4 ). RTPs from across the state are merged for the develop ment of the statewide transportation plan . 11 F IGURE 4 Local authorities control most transportation funds Many of the spending decisions are made by county transportation agencies or predetermined by voter -approved county sales tax referenda. SOURCE: Authors’ calculations using the most recent RTPs (through 2009). NOTE: Transportation expenditures by type of agency. Total funds include $759 billion, covering a time horizon from the mid 2000s to the mid 2030s . The distribution between local governments and transit agencies likely understates funding for transit agencies from county sales tax measures. 10 The emissions “budget” refers to the amount of emissions that are possible without exceeding air pollution standards. 11 Multicounty MPOs have much less control over transportation spending than single -county MPOs, which control local sales tax revenues in addition to other sources. In one extreme case— the vast region encompassing the Southern California Association of Governments (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counti es)—the MPO is responsible only for planning; all investments and maintenance are carried out by subregional and local authorities. Fed eral g o v ernment3l Tran s12% MPO s13% AQ MDs0.1% Lo c al g ov ernment61% Tran s i t agenc ies11% http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 16 Sustainable Communities Strategy Under SB 375, each MPO is required to develop an SCS as part of its RTP . The strategy mus t identify areas capable of housing the expected population of the region as well as farmland and other land resources . Then it must outline a transportation investment plan for the region that will meet the GHG emission reduction targets established by CARB. The SCS is subject to the same fiscal and air -quality -conformity constraints as the RTP . 12 For the first time, SB 375 aims to synchronize several planning processes that affect transportation and land use. Although the new law does not mandate that l ocal land use policies and plans be changed to meet the targets (e.g., through a general plan revision) , the requirements of the SCS make the connection between transportation planning and local land use more explicit. And t o facilitate the coordination of land use and transportation under the new law, SB 375 harmonizes the timing of the planning processes for the RTP and regional housing needs allocations, under which cities and counties are required to develop and regularly update housing elements as part of their general plan s. Prior to SB 375, these processes occurred on different time scales ; under the new law, t he timing is coordinated and the same set of assumptions will inform both processes. 13 Early responses from the regions The San Diego region will be the first to develop its RTP and the requisite SCS following SB 375’s passage (due July 2011) . B ut MPOs in the other major metropolitan areas have also been actively considering their ability to implement the new law . Table 2 compares the projected per capita GHG emission reductions from the transportation sector under the assumptions of the existing RTPs with the targets recently adopted by CARB for the four largest MPOs . T he table highlights two important points. First, the state’s largest regions were already working to reduce per capita GHG emissions associated with passenger vehicles prior to the passage of SB 375. Indeed, part of the impetus for SB 375 came from the “Regional Blueprint” planning process, which has enc ouraged MPOs and local governments to coordinate transportation and land use planning to meet a range of sustainability goals. The state officially launched this process in 2005, but such efforts had been occurring at some MPOs since the 1990s (Barbour and Teitz 2006). 14 For this reason, several MPO planning directors we interviewed reported that SB 375 codifies what they were already doing and provides “wind at their backs.” 12 If a region is unable to develop an SCS that meets the GHG emission reduction targets, it must develop an Alternative Planning Strategy (APS). Because the APS is not part of the RTP, it is not constrained by fiscal or air quality conformity requirements. Instead, the APS must demonstrate how the region would meet the targets in an unconstrained environment. 13 Prior to SB 375, cities were required to upda te their housing element every five years, whereas most MPOs must update their RTPs every four years. SB 375 lengthen s the housing element update cycle to eight years, bringing it in sync with every other RTP update . 14 The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) supports the Blueprint Planning process, which is designed to help reg ions develop sustainable long -term growth plans. See http://calblueprint.dot.ca.gov / http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 17 TABLE 2 MPOs are stepping up GHG emission reductions since the passage of SB 375 Per capita GHG emission reductions, 2005–2035 (%) Current RTP adoption date Current RTP New target Southern California (SCAG) 2008 -4 -13 SF Bay Area (MTC) 2009 -3 -15 San Diego (SANDAG) 2007 -10 -13 Sacramento Area (SACOG) 2008 -13 -16 SOURCE: Heminger et al . (2010) ; California Air Resources Board (2010a) . NOTE:. Although SANDAG’s current RTP has a time horizon of 2030, the ” current RTP” estimates for 2035 were developed in collaboration with CARB and use consistent fuel price assumptions, update d economic conditions, and updated population and vehicle fleet projections. The target set by CARB for SCAG is higher than the level established by the region in its “most ambitious scenario” (12%) , and the SCAG board voted in September 2010 to reject the new target (with a counterproposal of 8 percent ) unless CARB accepted conditions including the restoration of state funding for transit and demonstration projects (S outhern California Association of Governments 2010). Second, the new law has pushed regions to look for further gains. The targets were informed by each region’s analysis of a “most ambitious scenario” for 2035. T hese scenarios did not include fiscal constraints , air quality conformity, and other requirements necessary for a completed RTP , but they did involve a careful look at a range of transportation and land use policy options. E fforts are also under way in the smaller regions , although the analyses are at an earl ier stage . Notably, in early 2009 the San Joaquin Valley MPOs adopted a p referred growth scenario as part of the region’s Blueprint planning process, which quantifies GHG emission reductions. The se counties will be working with CARB to refine their regional targets for their next RTP updates (San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Planning Process 2009). 15 Roles and Goals of Local Government To better understand local government actions and their perceptions of the potential to reduce GHG emissions through transportation and land use planning , we conducted a survey of city and county planning offices in the spring of 2010. The survey asked about community development considerations, general climate polic ies, acti vities, and perceived potential in three areas —land use, transit and alternatives to driving, and pricing —and barriers and co ordination issues in these same areas. The responses collected from 349 localities are used in the remainder of this report to examine local government goals, actions, and perceived potential to reduce GHG emissions. Cities and counties —the major players along with the MPOs in implementing SB 375 —are multipurpose entities. All have primary responsibility for land use planning within their jurisdictions ( as do county governments in the unincorporated areas of the county). Many provide a range of other publi c services, including local infrastructure and public facilities (streets and roads, transit, parks and open space), utilities (often water and wastewater, and occasionally energy), and economic and social services (business 15Some MPOs have raised questions about how to pay for the planning required for SB 375. The Strategic Growth Council, a group formed by Senate Bill 732 ( a companion to SB 375) provides some funds for these planning activities . The federal government also provides some planning funds directly to the M POs. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 18 development, social and cultura l programs).16 Thus, local government efforts to reduce GHG emissions occur in the context of numerous policymaking goals. Survey respondents reported that economic considerations ranked among the most important in their locality’s development decisions, a factor likely accentuated by the recent recession. Figure 5 shows the pattern of responses as a share of all jurisdictions that responded to our survey, as well as the surveyed population living in those jurisdictions, providing a way to see whether more populous localities emphasize different goals . 17 FIGURE 5 Economic considerations are most important in local development decisions Roughly half of all localities considered expanding the tax base (53%) and creating jobs (4 7%) “one of the most important” objectives . In contrast, some social and environmental goals ranked considerably lower. Jobs were even more important for more populous localities , which also place a greater emphasis on housing. How important are the following considerations in your city/county government’s decisions on development projects? SOURCE: A ppendix Table B3. Despite the recession and considerable local fiscal stress, California’s cities and counties are continuing to play an active role in addressing climate change. In particular, i ncreasing numbers of cities and counties are undertaking two important general activities: emission inventories and climate action plans (Table 3). Emission inventories develop a baseline of GHG emissions from different sources, enabling localities to identify areas for emission reduction efforts and to monitor progress once those goals are established . Climate action plans are general planning documents that set out strategies for emission reductions and other sustainabilit y measures (Hanak et al. 2008) . Between 2008 and 2010, the share of jurisdictions undertaking both types of efforts increased substantially, with roughly 70 percent of all localities now active . 18 16 These local services are also provided by special districts and investor -owned utilities in some locations. The vast majority of localities active in these general areas reported that they were resulting in goals, policies, or programs to reduce VMT ( a ppendix Table B6). 17 See Appendix A for a discussion of sample representativeness and weighting for population. 18 See also the 2009 survey of local governments on these activities in the 2010 Planners’ Book of Lists (Office of Planning and Research 2010). 0102030405060 Expanding the tax base Creating jobs Offsetting new infrastructure and service costs Revitalizing and strengthening neighborhoods Restoring and protecting the environm ent Providing adequate housing Preserving undeveloped land Share of respondents ranking the consideration "one of the m ost im portant" (%) http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 19 TABLE 3 Despite the recession, l ocal governments have been expanding their climate action programs 2008 2010 Emission inventory – municipal operations 55% 70% Emission inventory – community at large 42 69 Climate Action Plan 52 69 SOURCE: 2008 results from Hanak et al. (2008). 2010 results from Appendix tables B4 and B5. N OTE : Table reports the share of jurisdictions that have completed, are in the process of completing, or are planning to develop emission inventories and climate action plans. Sample size for 2008 survey questions: 301 -307. Sample size for 2010 survey questions: 337 -342. This pattern of increased activity is confirmed when we examine only the localities that responded to both surveys. What type of localities are most likely to engage in climate change activities ?19 Population s ize is one significant factor . Because more populous communities are more likely to be active, over 85 percent of our s ample population will be covered by these tools . From an environmental planning perspective, population size is also a measure of local resources: larger localities can benefit from economies of scale in planning activities ; many have their own environment staff in addition to planning departments. Higher income localities are also more likely to be active , a more general reflection of local resources . Political party affiliation also matters : L ocalities with a higher share of Republican voters are less likely to be engaged in these activities . These three characteristics —size, income, and party affiliation —are also commonly associated with the adoption of other environmental policies (Lubell, Feiock, and Handy 2009; Zahran et al. 2008; Gale and Hart 1992). Climate change activities are also more likely in localities that have adopted smart -growth land use tools. 20 T he positive association of size with climate action is a plus from the perspective of statewide emission reduct ions because larger jurisdictions cover a greater share of the population. The positive association between general climate policies and smart -growth land use tools suggests that the general policies are being backed up by concrete actions. Indeed, although local governments have the ability to affect GHG emissions in a variety of ways, the most direct channel is through land use decisions (Hanak et al. 2008). A city or county general plan presents its long -term development vision. Zoning standards an d building codes translate the general plan into specific land use regulations, including allowable uses, lot size, building height, setbacks , and requirements for parking , as well as energy and water use efficiency in buildings. 21 Cities and counties also influence other important factors affect ing the implementation of SB 375. They have direct authority over some pricing tools, such as parking charges . Many local governments also make transportation spending decisions for local streets and transit, and all have influence over the s uitability of the local network for walking and biking . Finally, the governing boards of most regional agencies , including These decisions are important for residential and commercial energy use —an important factor in GHG emissions —and they also influenc e the use of transit and the length and number of car trips —key factors targeted by SB 375. 19 Results in this paragraph refer to regression results reported in appendix Table C1. 20 For a description of these tools, see the discussion of Figure 6, below . “Edge” cities—those at a greater distance from the central business district —are also less likely to be undertaking emission inventories, but not less likely to adopt Climate Action Plans. Controlling f or population, localities that have lower residentia l densities are also more likely to adopt general climate policies, although density and population size are highly correlated. More rapidly growing localities are more likely to be adopting climate action plans (See appendix Table C1). 21 Minimum building codes for energy, water use, and other measures are set by state law (Title 22 Energy Codes and the recently adopted California Green Building Standards Code), but municipalities are generally free to set higher standards (California Building Standards Com mission 2008). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 20 the MPO , consist of local government officials . In this sense , local government officials are the ultimate decisionmakers when it comes to regional transportation policy. Rather than penalties for failure to comply, SB 375 contains incentives for local governments within a region to work to ward reduc ing GHG emissions —namely, relief from regulatory review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 22 Other communities have expressed skepticism that these incentives will be adequate to encourage climate change activit ies . For example, a plan ner with a San Joaquin Valley MPO said that the CEQA incentives are “totally irrelevant for rural areas that do not have enough transit service for transit priority projects ” eligible for CEQA relief , T here has been considerable debate over whether th is relief is a sufficient “carrot” to encourage stepped- up local government participation. Our survey did not inquire how local officials felt about the new CEQA relief, b ut interviews with regional agency staff and other practitioners suggest that the perceived benefits are greater in some regions than others . Notably, the Sacramento region has viewed the potential for relief favorably and believes that it will be a suffic ient incentive for localities and developers to undertake projects that are consistent with the goals of SB 375. 23 22 SB 375 offers three paths to CEQA relief : (1) programmatic streamlining for certain residential projects that are consistent with a region’s SCS or APS; (2) streamlining or exemption for transit priority projects that are consistent with a region’s SCS or APS; and (3) adoption of a uniform set of traffic mitigation measures for high -density residential developments, which exempts these projects from further traffic mitigation requirements. Local governments may choose whether to allow proje cts in their jurisdiction to take advantage of the CEQA reforms offered by SB 375. and the “required densities are too high for most of t he Valley to qualify for incentives.” One southern California planner also expressed concern that transit service was inadequate to meet the requirements of transit priority projects. However, as discussed below, many local governments appear poised to participate in the development of more integrated transportation and land use planning activities that could reduce VMT, and local planners exhibit cautious optimism about the potential to achieve gains in their localities . 23 A transit priority project is defined as one that is at least 50 percent residential, has a minimum density of at least 20 units per acre, and is within a half mile of a h igh quality transit corridor. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 21 Programs and Policies to Reduce Driving The three primary approaches to reduc e vehicle miles traveled are: (1) changing land use and building patterns to reduce driving distances and/or the number of trips people need to drive, (2) invest ing in a lternatives to driving , such as transit or bike and pedestrian facilities, and (3) increasing the cost of solo driving and parking relative to alternatives including carpooling and transit use . 24 Land Use Policies In this section we examine the types of tools available in each category, the extent to which these tools are being adopted within California, and the types of VMT benefits they have been found to achieve in various settings . Many analysts have examined the relations hip between land use patterns and vehicle use. Overall, the characteristics of the built environment have been shown to have a significant effect on trip frequencies, trip length, and mode choice, although each is also affected by socioeconomic conditions (Ewing and Cervero 2001, 2010). 25 In particular, a range of “ smart-growth ” strategies can reduce demand for single -occupant vehicle trips by addressing what are often referred to as the “Three Ds” of land use: density, diversity of use, and pedestrian design ( Cervero and Kockleman 1997; Ewing and Cervero 2001) . More compact (i.e., more dense) areas have lower per capita VMT because of lower levels of automobile use and greater use of alternative forms of transportation ( Cervero and Murakami 2010; Ewing et al. 2007). Using travel diary data, Cervero and Kockleman (1997) show a small but significant effect of neighborhood density, diversity of use, and pedestrian -friendly design on trip frequency and use of alternative modes of travel. Many studies now inc lude a fourth “D” —access to destinations— and over time, researchers have added additional “Ds,” including distance from transit, demographics, development scale, and demand management (Walters and Ewing 2008). As discussed below, modeling exercises suggest that these measures are likely to be most effective in reducing VMT when integrated with transportation investments and pricing tools. 26 Land Use Strategies in Action Our survey inquired about the use of a range of land use tools that are part of the “ smart-growth ” toolbox designed to raise densities and increase proximity to transit: 27 1. Urban growth boundaries or greenbelts: By restricting development outside of designated areas, these tools aim to increase density within the core urbanized area and prev ent “leap -frog ” development; 24 Other regional policies and characteristics also influence VMT and related metrics. P eople are more likely to walk in communities with lower crime rates (Doyle et al. 2006). E ducation policies that rely on a neighborhood sch ool model rather than a district-wide school choice system can reduce car trips to get students to and from school (Marshall et al. 2010). 25 See also the literature review in the companion paper to this study (Kolko 2011), available at www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=947. 26 Demand management reflects the use of pricing tools, discussed below. 27 These are not the only smart -growth tools available to local governments. For instance, interconnectivity of roads and other elements of street design are also important factors influencing the attractiveness of driving versus alternative modes of travel (Ewing and Cervero 2010). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 22 2. Transit -oriented development (TOD): By designating priority sites or site -specific zoning and building standards around transit nodes and hubs, these tools make special efforts to increase density in close proximity to transit in order to facilitate transit usage; 3. Mixed -use, high -density, or infill development: By designating priority sites or site -specific standards to encourage these types of development, these tools can facilitate fewer and shorter car trips by virtue of mo re diverse land uses within close proximity; 4. Reduced parking requirements: By reducing minimum parking requirements (the number of spaces developers must provide per unit of residential or commercial space), localities can facilitate infill and high- density development by reducing costs to developers; 28 5. Other incentives: Tools such as preferential fees or permit streamlining for qualifying developments can also encourage density by reducing developer costs. Many localities are already employing a range of these tools, and many others are considering them (Figure 6). Statewide, the designation of priority sites and si te-specific standards for mixed- use, high density, or infill development is the most prevalent strategy (used in 58 percent of all localities and under consideration in another 22 percent ). A ll of the other strategies, except urban growth boundaries , are already in use or under consideration in over half of all localities. 28 Another parking tool is “unbundling ,” whereby developers sell the parking spaces separately from the residential or commercial units. This allows those who value parking most to buy it and thus facilitates providing less overall parking. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 23 FIGURE 6 Local governments are using a variety of land use tools to increase density and improve access to transit Has your city/county used any of the following land use policies or tools? SOURCE: A ppendix Table B7. N OTE: HD is “high density,” TOD is “transit -oriented development,” and UGB is “urban growth boundary.” In general, localities with larger populations are leading the way: they have higher rates of adoption of most individual tools, and they are most likely to rely on multiple tools . 29 Another important factor is experience wi th smart -growth tools : For each of these policies, communities that have already adopted other land use tools are significantly more likely to have adopted or to be considering putting other policies in place. T ransit- oriented development, in particular, i s much more likely in communities that already have some form of rail transit (light-rail, commuter rail, subways, or street cars) or that expect to have rail in the future. 30 Experience and familiarity with these tools are important factor s in overcoming the most frequently mentioned obstacle to land use changes —public opposition. Local officials in our survey ranked public opposition to density highest among nine barriers to reducing driving in their communities. In contrast, other factors —such as income levels, party affiliation , growth pressures, and existing levels of density— generally do not appear to make a systematic difference in the adoption of smart -growth land use tools. 31 29 For adoption shares by population, see appendix Table B7. Statistical results reported in this paragraph are presented in app endix Table C2. Population is a significant factor for the number of land use actions adopted, and it is significant for all individual land use tools except urban growth boundaries when a measure of “other land use actions” is not included in the regression. It remains significant for TO D and other incentives even when other land use actions are included. This problem looms much larger than a range of other commonly cited ob stacles to smart-growth land use, including lack of lender or developer support and problems with existing land use patterns and zoning codes. Respondents who reported success in overcoming public opposition pointed to the use of positive examples from within and outside the locality as a way to win support. For example, San Francisco used examples of existing mixed use and high- density developments to educate the public about what density looks li ke and how 30 Communities with existing or planned rail are 26 and 22 percentage points more likely to have adopted a TOD policy, respectively, than thos e without rail. In localities without rail, transit -oriented development tends to focus on higher density and mixed -use development along major bus corridors, or on ensuring good bus connections for retail establishments. Several Central Valley cities also mentioned the possibility of capitalizing on high -speed rail as a focal point for TOD in the future. 31 See appendix Table B24 (j). This barrier ranked among the top three in every region but the San Joaquin Valley. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pri o ri ty si tes fo r mi x ed-use, HD, & infill Red uc ed p ark i ng req ui rements O th er i n c enti vesPriority sites fo r TODUG B/g reenbel t Share jurisdictions (%) Under consideration In place http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 24 good design principle s can affect development. The city of Roseville built a set of educational materials showing how diverse land uses can help build community character and mai ntain property values. The already widespread use of smart- growth land use tools, particularly in the state’s larger localities , may help explain why residential densities are now increasing in California. As Kolko (2011) shows, residential densities in the state increased between 1990 and 2000, a trend that appears to have continued over the first decade of the 2000s. 32 This trend stands in contrast to the nation as a whole, where average residential densities are both considerably lower and are stable or falling. However, California’s employment densities are somewhat lower than the U.S. average and falling, as jobs are spreading outward from city centers. This trend, too, is consistent with reported land use policies from our survey: Among localities with existing or planned projects to increase density, projects are much more likely to emphasize residential than commercial uses. 33 Investments in Transit and Other Alternatives to Driving Although the dispersion of jobs within metropolitan areas may be increasing the jobs-housing ratios within some suburban localities , it can pose obstacles to increasing transit use by commuters, where density is an impor tant factor, as discussed below. Transit serves multiple goals, including mobility and access for low -income, disabled, and elderly residents without cars. However, one key goal of transit, especially since the 1970s, has been to help reduce conges - tion —and its associated air pollution —on roadways during peak periods (Fielding 1995; Hanak and Barbour 2005). 34 Transit Strategies in Action This goal relates most closely to SB 375’s call to reduce GHG emissions from passenger vehicles. Transit has been an important component of transportation spending in California since the end of the federal freeway expansion program in the 1960s (Figure 7 ). Since the early 1980s, transit has accounted for over a third of all transportation spending in California, and from 20 to 30 percent of capital investments. In the four largest MPOs, the projected shares of transit expenditures over the next few decades are even higher, ranging from 40 percent of the total in the San Diego region to 65 percent in the Bay Area (Figure 8 ). 32 Some increase in residential density could be occurring because of an increase in household size, a factor associated with the arrival of large immigrant populations in the 1990s and 2000s (Johnson, Moller, and Dardia 2004; Fulton et al. 2001), but housing unit density also increased in California from 1990 to 2008 ( Kolko 2011). Rising land prices are also likely contributing to denser residential development, even in the absence of smart -growth land use tools. 33 Over half (56%) of the communities with these projects reported that they were all or mostly residential, versus only about a third (31%) evenly split between residential and commercial, and 13 percent mostly commercial ( appendix Table B8, with calculations excluding those without projects or responding “don’t know”). 34 As a recent example, over half of the $4.9 billion committed to projects designed to reduce congestion under the state’s Traf fic Congestions and Relief Act of 2000 was allocated to rail and other transit projects (California Legislative Analyst’s Office 2007). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 25 FIGURE 7 Trans it became a focus of trans portation spending in the 1970s SOURCE: Census of Governments , various years NOTE: Data are adjusted to real per capita basis using the building cost index from Engineering News Record and population data from the California Department of Finance (2009). F IGURE 8 Transit is even more important in planned spending by the four large MPOs SOURCES: Expendi ture data from Heminger et al. (2010). Total RTP expenditures from MPO RTP documents (MTC 2009; SACOG 2007; SANDAG 2007 ; SCAG 2008). NOTE: The figure shows planned spending to 2035 within existing RTP documents , with the exception of SANDAG, which has a horizon of 2030 . The “other” category includes system efficiency improvements, risk assessment, interest payments, general planning funds, and goods movement investments. Most transit capital spending is associated with rail projects. Construction o f the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in the San Francisco Bay Area was begun in the mid -1960s ; San Francisco built a new underground light-rail system in the 1970s ; and four large cities —San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Sacramento —opened new rai l transit systems during the 1980s and 1990s. Rail expansion has continued in recent years : B etween 1992 and 2006, 217 new fixed -line stations (including rail, streetcar, and bus rapid transit) opened in the state, and dozens more are planned ( Hanak and Barbour 2005; Kolko 2011). 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1962196719721977198219871992199720022007 Share expenditures (%) Roads -o p erati ons Roads -c ap ital Tran s i t -o p erati ons Tran s i t -c api tal 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 1962196719721977198219871992199720022007 2009$ per capita Roads Tr ansit 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 SCAG $532 billion MTC $225 billion SANDAG $57 billion SACOG $42 billion Share RTP Expenditures (%) Oth e r Roads -operations Roads -capital Transit -operations Transit -capital http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 26 These shifts in spending appear consistent with the public’s priorities. In surveys of California residents in 2004 and 2006, at least two -thirds indicated that they preferred expansion of public transit and increasing the efficiency of highway use over expansion of existing highways to meet future needs (Baldassare 2004 , 2006). Generally, rail projects are more attractive to the public than other transit investments. When asked what type of surface transportation projects should be given top priority for public funding in the future, rail ranked as high or higher than highways and nearly three times as high as buses (Figure 9). Rail is often included in local sales tax measures , despite its high costs, because it is attractive to voters and can increase the likelihood of the tax measure pass ing (Crabbe et al. 2005; Wachs 2003). FIGURE 9 Californians favor rail transit as a transportation investment SOURCE: Baldassare (2004 , 2006). Although many new capital projects have focused on rail, bus service—generally a far less costly option—is much more widely available ( a ppendix Table B12). Survey respondents reported the availability of local bus service in all but the least populous jurisdictions ; nearly half of all local ities also have express bus services. Just over a quarter (26%) of local governments in the survey reported the availability of some form of rail transit, and rail is planned in another 11 percent . Because the first rail projects were built in the state’s most populous areas, over 60 percent of the sample population lives in localities that have rail transit stations , and that total will reach 70 percent with planned expansions. Of course, availability within a city’s boundaries does not mean that these transit alternatives are within easy access of all residents and workers . Kolko (2011) estimates that only 6 percent of California residents live within a half -mile of a rail transit station, and only 12 percent of workers have jobs within a half- mile of a station. Nonetheless, as discussed below, rail availa- bility does appear to shape planners’ perspectives on the local potential to reduce VMT. Of course, increased ridership is necessary to achieve t ransit’s congestion management and environmental goals. To date, ridership trends for C alifornia’s transit systems ha ve been disappointing , relative to the investments made in this sector . For the state as a whole, the share of commuters taking transit increased f rom 5 percent to 5.5 percent between 1990 and 2008 (Table 4) —76.4 percent of all commuters still drive alone to work . Transit is much more important for commutes in the San Francisco -Oakland metropolitan 0 10 20 30 40 50 Light rail Freeways and highways Public bus system s Local streets and roads Carpool lanes Som ething else Don't know Share all adults (%) What type of surface transportation project do you think should have top priority for public funding as your part of California gets ready for the growth that is expected by 2025? 2004 2006 http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 27 area (15.3 percent —second only to the New York City metro area nationally ). Transit use is slightly higher than the state average in Los Angeles (6.6%) and much lower in other major metropolitan areas. T ABLE 4 Transit has increased only slightly as a share of commutes since 1990 Transit share of commutes (%) 1990 –2008 (%) 1990 2000 2008 Rail Bus Los Angeles -Long Beach -Santa Ana 5.7 5.8 6.6 0.5 0.4 San Francisco -Oakland 14.3 14.4 15.3 1.8 -0.8 San Diego 3.4 3.5 3.6 0.4 -0.2 Riverside -San Bernardino 0.8 1.7 1.9 0.7 0.3 Sacramento 2.4 2.8 3.0 0.2 0.3 San Jose 3.0 3.5 3.8 0.8 0.0 California 5.0 5.2 5.5 0.6 -0.1 U.S. 5.3 4.7 5.2 0.2 -0.3 SOURCE: US Census and American Community Survey. NOTE : Change in rail and bus is a percentage point change. Transit includes rail and bus. Rail includes all rail transit (streetcar, subway, rail); Bus includes ferries, which account for less than 1 percent of the total. City names refer to metropolitan areas. Rail still represents only a small share of overall transit commutes (1.4 percent versus 4.1 percent for buses ), but it has accounted for much of the increased ridership . For example, in the San Francisco -Oakland and San Diego metropolitan areas , increased rail use actually displaced bus use, which declined as a share of all commutes. 35 Between 1990 and 2008, per capita VMT increased in California by 3.5 percent , suggesting that increased trans it did not displace road travel —or at least not enough to reduce overall driving. 36 This may be due to increased automobile use for non -commute trip s: C ommutes account for only a fraction of all car use, and people are much less likely to use transit for non- commute trips. 37 Another challenge for the transit system is cost. Trans it systems the world over rely heavily on operating subsidies. Statewide, transit fares cover only about a quarter of operating costs. Transit investments may also fail to reduce VMT because the reduction in road congestion encourages additional driving , as in the case of trucks moving goods (Duranton and Turner 2009). Driving in California has increased at a lower rate than in the nation overall, where per capita VMT rose by 13.7 percent over the same period. 38 A recent analysis of transit systems in the Bay Area found that operating costs have been increasing much more rapidly t han inflation. 39 35 In a national study, Baum -Snow and Kahn (2005) find that rail investments often fail to increase overall transit ridership because many new rail transit commuters are former bus commuters, not former drivers. 36 Data on VMT are from the Federal Highways Administration (Annual Highway Statistics, Table VM -2, 2010b). 37 In a 2001 national survey of travel behavior, commutes accounted for 27 per cent of VMT; transit was used for 3.7 percent of commute trips, 1.1 percent of trips for family or personal business, and 1 percent of trips for social or recreational purposes (Hu and Reus cher 2004, Tables 6 and 9). In California, 39 percent of trips originating from home are to work (California Department of Transportation 2003). In their assessments of the potential to reduce VMT, MPOs focus on weekday trips, without explicitly distinguishing between work and nonwork trips. 38 Author calculations using d ata from the Census of Governments, 1992 –2007. Recovery rates vary across systems. For instance, at 64.5 percent, the Bay Area’s BART system rate of operating cost recovery is far higher than the statewide average for transit in California . It is also one of the highest rates of recovery of any rail transit system in the country (O’Toole 2010). 39 For the seven largest transit systems in the San Francisco Bay Area, operating costs increased by 83 percent% between 1997 and 2008, whereas the consumer price index increased by 39 percent. Over this period, transit service, measured as revenue vehicle hours, increased only 15 percent and ridership increased only 7 percent (MTC Transit Sustainability Project 2010, available at www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/tsp/ABAG_Focus_presentation.pdf ). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 28 Rail systems— while often preferred to buses by users —are especially costly to build and operate, leaving them open to criticism of cost -ineffectiveness and waste (O’Toole 2010; Poole and Moore 2010). If transit is to contribute to achieving SB 375’s goal of reducing VMT, strategies will be needed to increase ridership and improve cost -effectiveness . Both trans portation policy and land use decisions are likely to play important role s. Research on transit uptake finds that the likelihood of transit use increases with access; d istance to transit is sometimes considered the fifth “D” (Ewing and Cervero 2010). As Kolko (2011) shows, commuter use of transit falls significantly when workers live more than one- quarter to one-half mile from a fixed -li ne transit node, and even faster when their workplace is located at a greater distance. Transit use is higher in areas with higher residential and, especially, employment densities (Kolko 2011). Transit use is also more likely when there is more street con nectivity and a diversity of land uses, both of which can smooth transit operation and make using transit more appealing by reducing distances between origins and destinations and walking distances to transit stops (Ewing and Cervero 2010). In three of the largest regions, planners ranked insufficient transit availability as one of the top three barriers to meeting goals for reducing driving . 40 Walking, Biking, and “Complete Streets” Many survey respondents expressed concerns about the ability to maintain adequate transit service in the face of recent state cuts to transit budgets , which have led to service cuts and fare increases across the state. Perhaps as a result, they ranked funding for transit operations and capital investments as the two most serious public sector funding constraints for development decisions that could reduce car use ( a ppendix Table B 2). In this context, it is worth noting that very few local governments currently assess developer fees to support transit alternatives: O nly 14 percent now do this, although another 11 percent are considering this policy ( appendix Table B 10). Developer fees have been an important source of suppo rt for local infrastructure in California since the 1970s (Hanak and Rueben 2006 ; Hanak 2009), and there appear to be opportunities to make greater use of such fees to support improvements to local transit networks . I n addition to transit, many localities are looking to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to provide an alternative to driving (Figure 10). Nearly 90 percent of California’s cities and count ies ha ve completed or plan to complete a bicycle master plan, and 40 percent of all jurisdictions have already established a continuous network of bicycle routes. Roughly half of all localities have similar planning under way for a pedestrian master plan or a more comprehensive “ complete streets” plan . Complete streets plans aim to improve safe access for all users , including pedestrian s, bicyclists , and transit users, as well as those using cars (Na tional Complete Streets Coalition 2010) . 40 See appendix Table B24 (j). For the Bay Area, insufficient transit availability ranked highest among nine barriers; this cons traint ranked second highest (after public opposition to raising charges for driving) in the Southern California region, and third (after public opposition to de nsity and the jobs -housing balance) in the San Diego region. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 29 FIGURE 10 Cities and counties are actively planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure SOURCES: Biking, walking, and complete streets p lans, appe ndix Table s B11–B 13; bicycle routes , appendix T able B12. N OTE: Percentages for bicycle master plan, pedestrian master plan, and complete streets plan are responses to the question “Has your city/county developed any of the following …”. Percentages for the continuous network of bicycle routes are responses to the ques tion “Which of the following transportation options are available in your city/county …”. Federal and state policies have supported these efforts. In the early 1990s, the federal government began to focus policy attention and funding on walking and biking in an effort to reverse the decline in these modes as a share of all trips and to reduce pedestrian and biking fatalities, which had been increasing (Federal Highway Administration 2010a ). Federal funding for these programs increased over the following two decades, reaching 1 percent of all federal transportation dollars, and these programs received an additional large boost with the federal stimulus bill passed in early 2009. 41 Some federal funding was also aimed at making routes to school safer for walking and biking. California’s Bicycle Transportation Act, signed into law in 1994, provided additional funding through the state’s transportation tax funds and focused on local assistance to improve access and safety for bicycle commuters. 42 To be eligible, loc al government applicants must complete a bicycle transportation plan. In 2008, the California Complete Streets Act (AB 1358) was adopted, seeking to improve mobility and safety through out the full range of transportation mod alities. 43 Recent analysis at the national level suggests some success in increasing walking and biking as a share of all trips since 1990, and some decline in fatalities. 44 Both nationally and in California, walking declined as a share of commutes over this period, and biking increased slightly, both from a low base. (In California in 2008, walking and biking accounted for 3 percent and 1 percent of all commutes, respectively). 45 41 Nationwide, $600 million were made available annually by the late 20 00s, and this figure doubled in 2009 with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds (Federal Highway Administration 2010a). Walking 42 More information on the Bicycle Transportation Account is available at www.dot.ca.gov/hq/LocalPrograms/bta/btawebPage.htm. 43 The new law requires cities and counties to update the circulation of their general plans to indicate how streets will accomm odate all users. For information on implementation of the policy, see www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/ocp/complete_streets.html . 44 Between national surveys conducted in 1990 and 2009, walking increased from 7.2 to 10.9 percent of all trips, and biking from 0.7 to 1 percent. However, changes in survey methodolo gy may have increased the recording of walking and biking trips, potentially overstating these gains (Federal Highway Administration 2010a). Comparable data are not available at the state level. 45 In California, biking increased slightly, from 0.97 to 1.04 percent, between 1990 and 2008; and walking declined from 3.5 to 2.9 percent. The comparable national figures are, for biking, increasing from 0.4 to 0.6 percent, and for walking, declining from 4 to 2.9 per cent. (U.S. Census and American Community Survey ). 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Bicycle m aster plan Pedestrian m aster plan Com plete streets plan Continuous network of bicycle routes Share jurisdictions (%) Planned In progress In place http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 30 accounts for a greater share of (typically shorter) non -commute trips; however, reducing car use for shorter trips can have disproportionately high benefits for GHG emission reductions, because gas mileage tends to be lower on such trips. 46 And as noted earlier, improving pedestrian access to transit is important for increasing transit usage. Finally , facilitating the use of these alternative modes of transportation is often inspired by the goal to improve public health. 47 Increasing the Cost of Driving Over the past two decades, transportation planners have also focused increasing attention on the potential for financial incentives to manage congestion and reduce emissions . Th ese incentives include explicit pricing tools —such as fuel and road -use charges and parking fees—as well as a group of incentives that practitioners often refer to as “demand manag ement” tools—such as carpool lanes, employee shuttles, and other employer incentives to use transit. Both groups of tools work by creating financial or time -saving incentives to shift trip timing away from peak periods and by making alternatives such as transit, carpooling, and telecommuting relatively more attractive (Deakin et al. 1996; Parry 2009). To the extent that these tools improve gas mileage— a benefit of reduced congestion —they also reduce GHG emissions for a given level of VMT. In addition , many of these tools generate revenues to su pport the transportation system. Sustainable funding of the transportation system is, in and of itself, a major policy concern, with numerous studies indicating a large and growing gap between revenues and funding needs for transportation investment and maintenance (National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission 2009). Transportation analysts consider pricing tools a preferred way to fund transportation, because they simultaneously raise revenues and send a signal to users to use the system more efficiently. The alternative—funding transportation through general tax revenues —does not help to manage dema nd. Local sales tax revenues, which have become an important funding source in recent years, are also highly regressive. However, public opposition can be a formidable challenge to implementing fee increases, as discussed below. Federal, State, and Regiona l Pricing Policies State and federal gas taxes are the primary pricing tool in place today.48 Per gallon gas taxes were i ntroduced in the early 20 th century to rai se revenue for transportation infrastructure. These taxes are a simple form of user fees , resulting in higher charges for those who drive mo re. Nationally, sensitivity to gas prices appears to have declined over the past several decades , a phenomenon that analysts have attributed to the greater reliance on cars brought on by more sprawling land use patterns (Hughes, Knittel, and Sperling 2008) . 49 46 In a 2001 national survey of travel behavior, walking accounted for 2.8 percent of commute trips, 7.1 percent of trips for fa mily or personal business, and 14.5 percent of trips for social or recreational purposes (Hu and Reuscher 2004, appendix Tabl e 9). Bicycle trips were not reported. 47 Research has shown that increase d walking and physical activity is linked to improved health outcomes, including lower rates of obesity and body mass index, both of which are lower in residents of more compact comm unities (Ewing et al. 2003 ; Doyle et al. 2006). 48 California counties can also impose their own gas tax, but they have not pursued this option. The San Joaquin Valley Air Poll ution Control District has implemented another sort of pricing program that is al so being looked to by other regions—the indirect source review fee. This is a fee that is placed on new development to offset the air pollution impacts of increased travel associated with that developmen t. A lower fee may be imposed if the new development is designed to reduce the amount of induced travel. More information on the indirect source review fee is available at www.valleyair.org/rules/currntrules/R3180.pdf . 49 These authors estimat e that the short-run price elasticity of gasoline demand ranges from - 0.034 to -0.077 for the 2001– 2006 period, a significant drop from the 1975– 1980 period, where the range was between -0.21 and -0.34. The income elasticity of gasoline demand is not signi ficantly different between the two periods. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 31 Nevertheless, large increases in gas prices can generate sizable VMT reductions (Figure 11).50 The large run - up in gas prices from 2004 to 2008, whe n average real prices jumped by 54 percent , was accompan ied by a 5.8 percent decline in per capita VMT. 51 F IGURE 11 VMT per capita in California declined when gas prices began rising in the mid 2000s Although the decline s toward the end of this period were likely influenced by the onset of the recession, the decline in VMT per capita began in 2005, when the economy was still booming. SOURCE: VMT data from F ederal Highway Administration , Annual Highway Statistics, Table VM -2 , 2010 b. Inflation -adjusted gas price data are from the California Energy Commi ssion, 2009 . One advantage of the gas tax is its administrati ve simplicity. Over time, however, rising fuel economy and the lack of political will to increase the gas tax have reduced its usefulness as a source of revenue and a price signal to drivers ( Wachs 2010). The federal gas tax has remained at $0.184 per gallon since 1993, and California’s has remained at $0.18 since 1994, 52 somewhat below the national average and far lower than fuel taxes in Europe or Japan . 53 VMT-based fees, which r ely on new electronic toll collecting and geographic positioning system techno - logies, have the potential to be more flexible than the gas tax : t hey can be varied according to time of day , Although raising these taxes and index ing them to inflation could help restore transportation revenues while sending a stronger price signal to drivers, transportation experts see far greater potential over the longer term in an alternative form of user fee—per -mile or VMT charges. 50 To spur real change, some have argued that gas price increases not only need to be large enough, but also sustained. This has led to proposals for a gas price “floor” that could create more certainty for develo pers of alternative fuels and other alternatives to traditional single -occupant driving (Sperling and Gordon 2008; Borenstein 2008). 51 In mid 2008, close to 70 percent of Californians reported that they had cut back on the amount they drove as a result of higher gas prices, and over half had used alternative means of travel (Baldassare et al. 2008). 52 In early 2010, California’s gas tax was increased, with a corresponding decrease in the sales tax on gasoline. This revenue -neutral “fuel tax swap” —adopted t o provide more budget flexibility —will be invalidated under Proposition 26 (described below) unless the legislature approves it again with a two -thirds majority by November 2011 (Legislative Analyst’s Office 2011). 53 The national average is $0.224/gallon. State gasoline taxes range from $0.075 in Georgia to $0.375 per gallon in Washington (Energy Information Administration 2010). Like many other states, California also levies a sales tax on gasoline, similar to that charged on other goods. A portion of the state sales tax revenues is dedicated to transportation funding since the passage of Proposition 42 in 2002 (de Alth and Rueb en 2005). Gas taxes within the European Union range from about $1.90 (Bulgaria) to $3.70/gallon (the Netherlands) and are genera lly augmented by general value -added taxes (European Commission 2010). Japan’s gas tax is roughly $2.25/gallon (Ministry of Finance Japan 2006). 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 10,000 19731978198319881993199820032008 G as p ri c e ($2007/gallon) VMT/capita VMT/capita Real gas price http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 32 type of road, and type of vehicle. Developments in road and vehicle sensors have made VMT -based fees more administratively feasible. Road metering has been gaining ground outside of the U nited States (Sorenson and Taylor 2005a, 2005b ; Spears, Boarnet, and Handy 2010 ). 54 Within the U nited States, a successfu l pilot program for passenger vehicles was recently completed in Oregon (Rufolo and Kimpel 2009). 55 To date, road pricing initiatives in California have been more targeted. Bridge tolls have long been a feature of transportation policy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Statewide, m ost expansions of highway l ane miles since the early 1990s have been for carpool or “high-occupancy-vehicle” (HOV) lanes (Hanak and Barbour 2005). Following the principle that “time is money,” these lanes provide a n incentive to reduce solo driving . Since the mid -1990s, some Southern California metro areas have also experiment ed with the introduction of road toll s. Based on these experiences, a recent national panel recommended that the federal government actively promote pilot programs with VMT charges as part of the next federal transportation funding authorization, with a goal to fully convert to VMT charges by 2020 (National Surface Transpor tation Infrastructure Financing Commission 2009). 56 Expansion of HOT lanes is a major component of planned roadw ay spending within several major metro areas. Within the Bay Area, MTC plans to convert HOV to HOT lanes on most of the region’s highways and to build new HOT lanes . Most of these projects, called high -occupancy -toll (HOT) or “express” lanes, combine free access for carpoolers with a toll option for solo drivers. In several cases, including the I-15 in San Diego and Route 91 in Orange County, and the newly opened HOT lanes on parts of I -680 in the Bay Area, the tolls are variable with the time of day, intending to help manage congestion during peak periods. Like more general VMT- based pricing, HOT lanes rely on electronic toll collection technology , and the revenues are often used to fund infrastructure improvements , including transit , within the same transportation corridors . 57 In addition, the region has recently introduced variable tolls on the San Francisco – Oakla nd Bay Bridge to reduce traffic congestion during peak periods. Following the successful experiences of London and Singapore (Santos 2005), t he San Francisco County Transportation Authority is also considering a cordon pricing scheme (or entry toll) for the downtown core (Bent and Singa 2009). 58 Additional HOT lane conversions and expansions are also slated for several southern California hig hways. 59 54For instance, several European countries now have automated, weight -distance truck tolls on national highways (Sorenson and Taylor 2005a). The Netherlands plans to introduce a program for commercial trucks nationwide, with expansion to all vehicles by 2018 (Stein 2008). Stockholm introduced a congestion -based fee following a trial in which traffic volumes and travel times decreased, with most of the change attributable to a shift to public transit (Eliasson, et al. 2009). Public transit services were expanded to and within the fee zone. The Sacramento area, in contrast, is still focusing on expansion of HOV lanes. Given all of the planned conv ersions and expansions, roughly 40 percent of the localities in our survey ( with over 60 percent of the surveyed population) will be 55 The Oregon pilot program included a flat VMT fee and a congestion-based fee tha t was higher during peak traffic hours. In both cases, the fee was set to be roughly equivalent to gas tax revenues. Both types of fees resulted in a reduction in total daily VMT, although the reduction was larger in the groups that experienced variable VM T fees (Rufolo and Kimpel 2008). Access to transit had a small additional effect on VMT reduction for study participants (Rufolo and Kimpel 2009). 56 Hanak and Rueben (2006) provide descriptions of the early projects in Southern California. 57 When fully built out, MTC estimates that the HOT lane network will cover almost 800 miles. The plan is to convert 400 miles of existing HO V lanes to HOT lanes and construct 100 miles of new HOT lanes in the next four years. Part of the revenue generated will fund t he construction of approximately 300 miles of new HOT lanes (Metropolitan Transportation Commission 2009). 58 For more on the San Francisco congestion pricing program, see www.sfcta.org/content/view/302/148/. 59 Conversion without expansion of lane capacity is likely to be more effective at reducing VMT, but it is also more politically difficult, particularly if it results in the reduction of open -access lanes. One challenge with conversion of HOV to HOT lanes is the desirability of having more than one HOT lane, so that traffic can flow smoothly in the event of an accident. Since most HOV lanes are single lanes, this means ei ther build-ing an additional lane or converting an existing open -access lane to HOT status. In the Bay Area, planners are working to create single -lane HOT lanes from existing HOV lanes in ways that avoid these problems. The new HOT lane on I -680 has double lanes at entry and exit points, but a single lane elsewhere. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 33 within five miles or less of at least one HOT lane, with slightly higher availability of HOV lanes . As with HOV lanes, the efficacy of HOT lanes depends on existing traffic conditions and delays (Dahlgren 2002). Local Parking Policies In contrast to road charges, which are generally determined at the regional level, parking charges and related policies are established by local governments. An analysis of cities worldwide estimate s that , on average , 30 percent of vehicles in congested traffic are looking for a place to park (Shoup 2004). 60 C harg ing for public parking space s can reduce this congestion, encourage the use of alternative means of transportation, and generate revenues at the same time (G iuliano and Agarwal 2010; Shoup 2005) . Local policies regarding parking requirements for new development are another type of indirect pricing tool. L imiting the require- ments for developers to provide parking not only increases density but can also make the use of automobiles relatively more expensive (Shoup 1999). Studies have also shown that solo driving and car use are often substantially reduced when employees must pay for park ing. 61 Parking charges are still a little -used pricing tool in California. Statewide, only 16 percent of the cities and counties in our survey have any type of charges for public parking in commercial areas—although this includes the most populous local ities (Figure 12). Revenue generation is the primary reason these localities charge for parking , although many also do so to promote retail shopping or to manage congestion ( a ppendix Table B18). At least two San Francisco Bay Area cities are adopting innovative approaches, setting prices to maintain a minimum vacancy level ( to reduce the time drivers spend searching for parking ) and employ ing advanced technology to make parking more convenient. 62 60 Estimates range from a low of 8 percent (New York in 1993) to a high of 74 percent (Freiburg, Germany, in 1977). 61 California Legislative Analyst’s Office (2002). One study cited found that 77 percent of San Francisco Bay Area commuters provi ded with free parking drove alone, versus only 39 percent of those required to pay for parking. The corresponding figures for transit use were 4.8 percent and 4. 2 percent, respectively. In their review of factors influencing transit ridership, Taylor and Fink (2003) also stress the centra l role of parking availability. 62 Redwood City adopted a parking management plan in 2005 that set prices to steer different types of parkers to different areas (e.g., downtown workers to free spaces further out, shoppers to prime spots near retail, etc.) and to maintain 15 percent vacancy at all times to cut down on cruising . The city also eliminated time limits to create a more convenient experience for parkers. And it installed high -tech parking meters to facilitate implem entation and increase convenience , reinvest ing all revenue generated through the parking program into the downtown core (Zack 2005). In 2010, San Francisco began implement ing ParkSF, a variable -priced parking program designed to manage parking demand in a few areas of the city (http://sfpark.org/ ). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 34 FIGURE 12 Parking management is a little-used local tool SOURCE: A ppendix Tables B17–B 19. N OTE: Results shown for the following questions: Do businesses in your city/county provide free parking for employees? Does your city/county require new commercial and office developments to provide employee parking? Does your city/county charge fees for public parking in commercial neighborhoods? Other parking tools relate to zoning codes. A large and growing share of jurisdictions is relaxing minimum parking requirements for some new residential and commercial develo pments. However, free parking for employees remains the norm, and the vast majority of localities continue to require new commercial and office developments to provide employee parking (Figure 12). Apart from the strong positive association between population and the use of parking charges, there are no discernable local characteristics associated with the use of parking fees or policies regarding employee parking ( appe ndix Table C4). The Challenge of Public Acceptance Pricing tools can be among the most effective in inducing changes in driving behaviors. However, the introduction of new fees can raise public o pposition. Although our survey of local officials indicated that public opposition was an obstacle for all three types of policy tools, this problem may be especially important for pricing. Among a range of measures, perceived public opposition to higher charges for driving ranks a close second to public opposition to higher density as a barrier to implementing policies and programs to reduce driving ( appe ndix Table B24(j)) . And, as evidenced by the inability of both Congress and the California legislature to raise the gas tax since the early 1990s, the need to gain legislative or voter approval for many fee s increases the difficulties of raising fees. Proposition 26, a new state constitutional amendment passed in November 2010, is likely to compound these difficulties for some types of fees. 63 63 This amendment, passed by 53 percent of voters, raises the vote threshold for new state regulatory fees from one -half to two-thirds, and it requires a two -thirds supermajority o f the voting public to approve or raise local regulatory fees that formerly could be approved by a simple majority of governing boards. Although this change does not affect strict user fees—i.e., charges that cover the costs of providing a service to the p erson being charged —it does affect fees that are used to benefit others. Litigation will likely be required to sort out the exact definition of what falls under the new rules. Thus, while parking fees, toll lane charges, the gas tax, and VMT charges could easily be considered user fees help ing to cover the cost of providing transportation services, some may interpret the new rules to restrict the types of programs that the fees can fund. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Most businesses do not provide free parking No city/county requirem ent for em ployee parking Charge for parking in com m ercial areas Share respondents em ploying tool (%) Response by jurisdiction Response by population http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 35 Past experience may help overcome opposition to some pricing options —for example, those involving choice . Earl y concerns that toll lanes were inequitable have been allayed somewhat by use patterns: A broad cross- section of the population uses the toll facilities on the I -15 and Route 91 (Sullivan 1998; University of California Transportation Center 2003). At the margin, the time savings associated with the HOT lanes is valuable for many drivers, not just the wealthiest. According to the Southern California transpo rtation officials we interviewed, the use of toll revenues to support parallel infrastructure a nd services is another important factor in garnering public support. In contrast, broader VMT charges risk opposition if they are viewed as an addition to existing gas tax charges. Board members of SANDAG, the San Diego area MPO, recently rejected the introduction of a regional VMT -fee because, in contrast to HOT lanes, it would be applied uniformly , not giving users alternative roadway options (San Diego Association of Governments 2010) . Large increases in federal or state road charges through a gas tax or VMT fee would surely raise public ire. In the short-run, raising gas taxes or introducing VMT fees might also raise equity concerns, because lower- and middle -income households would have less flexibility to respond by moving closer to transit or purchasing more fuel -efficient vehicles. Parking policies face the challenge of balancing the needs of commercial areas to attract customers and create business, while also managing congestion . A nd they can raise objections in mixed -use areas, where effor ts to reduce commercial spaces can result in spillover to nearby residential streets. 64 Maximizing Potential through In tegrated A pproaches One strategy that has helped overcome opposition is the reinvestment of parking revenues in the downtown area in which they are collected, a model used in Redwood City ( Zack 2005) and Pasadena (Salzman 2010). Resistance to higher parking charges may also be offset once residents find that it is easier to find a parking space (since one of the goals of such fees is to keep vacancy rates to a low but acceptable level, such as 15 percent). Although numerous empirical studies have examined pieces of the VMT -reduction puzzle , it is much more challenging to develop a comprehensive picture of how various policies will interact to affect dri ving behaviors in particular regions (Rose 2010) . For this purpose, model s are needed which integrate data and assumptions about land use, transportation network services, and pricing, and the way the population will respond to these factors , as well as changing economic and social conditions. California’s MPOs and state agencies are at various stages in their development of such models. Although the largest MPOs generally have the greatest capacity, even they face significant challenges in li nking land use policies and transportation network conditions ( RTAC 2009; Rose 2010). Thus, to some extent, planning for VMT reductions will be a learning -by -doing process. Nevertheless, existing research suggests some useful guideposts. A review of modeli ng studies in the U nited States and Europe highli ghts several key points (Table 5 ): 65 64 For example, in Bakersfield, efforts to limit parking availability have met with resistance from retailers who felt that they needed additional parking to accommodate peak shopping days such as “Black Friday.” And the cities of Los Angeles and Cypress enc ountered problems of spillover in mixed use areas. 65 For detailed reviews of the literature on various strategies, see the Transit Cooperative Research Program’s Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes Handbook , available at http://jayevansconsulting.com/index.php?com=resources&id=1015 (accessed on November 29, 2010). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 36 1. When used on their own, land use tools are likely to generate only modest reductions in VMT. The median reduction in VMT from land use changes ranges from 0.5 percent within 10 year s to 1.7 percent within 40 year s. 2. Expansion of public t ransit, on its own, does not fare better. The median VMT reduction ranges from 0.3 percent within 10 years to 1 percent within 40 years. 3. Of the three types of policy tools, pricing is likely to have the largest and quickest impact on VMT. The median VMT reductions for comprehensive tools, such as a fuel tax and a VMT fee, are in the range of 8 to 10 percent within 10 years , and 11 to 13 percent within 40 years. Less comprehensive tools , including congestion and cordon pricing and parking charges, also have higher near -term median reductions than land use or transit, in the range of 2 to 3 percent within the first 10 years. 4. Integrated policies, combining all three types of policy tools, h ave the largest and fastest potential effect : a median reduction of 14.5 percent within 10 years, and 24 percent within 40 years . T ABLE 5 Combined strategies show the largest potential for reducing VMT Reduction in VMT (%) 10 years 40 years n Land use only 0.5 1.7 19 Transit only 0.3 1.0 20 Pricing only Fuel tax 8.4 12.9 17 VMT fee 9.9 11.1 27 Congestion pricing 2.3 3.8 9 Cordon pricing 2.8 1.7 16 Parking charges 2.2 2.0 16 Combined strategies 14.5 24 15 SOURCE: Rodier ( 2009 ). NOTE : T he t able reports median reductions. For a display of ranges, see Figure 5 in Bedsworth, Hanak, and Kolko ( 2011 ).Combined strategies include all three categories of tools (land use, transit, and pricing). Holding vehicle and fuel characteristics constant, VMT reductions and GHG emission reductions are equivalent. This last point—that integrated policies are most likely to be effective—makes abundant sense. Transit ridership is likely to be higher when land use is tailored to favor density around transit nodes, thus facilitat ing access for residents and, perhaps especially, workers. Higher density land use, in turn, will be more effective in reducing car trips when transit and other alternatives to cars are more readily available. In creased ridership can then lead to increased revenue and service. Several cities have described this “cycle of benefits,” including San Francisco, Poway, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento, and San Carlos. The city of Merced is integrating this goal into its land use planning , proposing a “village concept” development pattern —with commercial centers surrounded by dense housing —as a central feature of its general plan. This concept is a central component of the city’s strategy to improve the convenience of transit and boost ridership. Both land use and transit strategies will be favored by pricing incentives that make solo driving relatively more expensive. And perhaps most important from a social and political perspective, the increased cost of driving will be less onerous for the population when alternatives to driving are readily available. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 37 Research results, such as those shown in Table 5 , suggest that California’s regions can meet the new regional targets under SB 375 by pursuing integrated strategies. It is encouraging to note that to some extent, California’s largest MPOs are already pursuing combined strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation system while reducing negative environmental impact s. This trend is reflected in many of the regional Blueprint strategies and the most recent RTPs , and further efforts are anticipated under SB 375. Figure 13 illustrates the types of multipronged approach es already underway and under consideration. It compares 2005 baseline conditio ns for several key indicators (shown in orange ) with two scenarios of potential change by 2035 : the most recent RTP (gr ay) and the “ most ambitious ” scenario prepared as part of the SB 375 target -setting process (blue). Baseline conditions differ across regions in some important respects: T he Bay Area already has substantially more transit capacity and transit ridership than other regions, and the Sacramento region has a much lower share of “denser” housing units (attached small -lot , single -family homes). The Bay Area and the Southern California SCAG region have more HOV/HOT lane miles per resident than the two smaller regions. In the current RTPs, a ll four regions plan to ramp up efforts in all three policy areas, although pricing receives short shrift. The cost per mile increases in the current RTPs are anticipated primarily from increased fuel costs, and only SANDAG includes a small congestion fee. In its most ambitious scenario, the Bay Area anticipates an aggressive pric ing strategy: expansion of HOT lanes , ramping up congestion fees on roads and bridges , and higher parking fees . This region also anticipates denser land use and increased transit ridership with a constant level of per capita transit stock. In both scenarios, San D iego’s strategy relies on substantially i ncreased densities ( in the current RTP, over three- quarters of all new housing will be attached) , some expansion of transit-oriented development , and expansion of HOT lanes, but at much more modest prices than the Bay Area . Sacramento anticipates a major push toward denser housing and transit expansion, from a lower base than the other regions . The Southern California region envisages a constant level of per capita transit trips, despite increases in transit capacity and a focus on housing in transit -priority areas. HOV and HOT lane expansion s play some role. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 38 FIGURE 13 The state’s largest MPOs are pursuing multipronged strategies SOURCE: Heminger et al. (2010) . NOTE : Denser housing consists of attached units and small -lot , single- family units (lots below 5 ,500 square feet). All transit -priority housing is located in transit -priority areas, defined as being within one -half mile of f requent (15 minute or less) peak transit. Price per mile cost consists of vehicle fuel and maintenance costs as well as congestion, VMT, parking, and other fees, if applicable. HOV and HOT lane share is calculated as a percentage of total mixed flow lanes and HOV/HOT lanes. Transit seat miles (seats available per mile) includes all forms of transit. For projected regional population growth rates, see Table 1. 0 20 40 60 80 100 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Denser housing share, new dwelling units (%) 0 20 40 60 80 100 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Transit priority housing share, all dwelling units (%) $0.00 $0.20 $0.40 $0.60 $0.80 $1.00 $1.20 $1.40 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Price per mile ($2009) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG HO V/HO T lanes share, total lane miles (%) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Transit stockw eekday seat-miles per capita 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Transit usew eekday transit trips per capita 2005 Base 2035 Current RTP 2035 Most ambitious http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 39 Local Perspectives on the Potential to Reduce Driving We have discussed how some of the large regional planning agencies perceive their potential to reduce GHG emissions associated with driving, as well as the types of regional and local tools they anticipate using to achieve this goal. What about city and county planners? To explore this issue, we as ked survey respondents to provide an assessment from two perspectives: the potential effectiveness of various policy tools within their localities (an absolute measure of potential), and how their localit y’s potential to reduce driving compares with other jurisdictions within their region (a relative measure). In contrast to the regional agencies, most local governments do not have detailed quantitative estimates of this potential, so the questions were posed as a simple ranking exercise . The results can be interpreted as planners’ views of the feasibility of these tools and approaches within their communities, taking into account both political acceptability and various other community characteristics that make it easier or harder to make these approaches work. 66 Ranking Policy Tools We asked planners to assess the potential of 16 individual policy tools, including five smart -growth land use strategies ( mixed-use, high -density , or infill development; transit-oriented development ; reduced parking requirements ; urban growth boundaries ; and other land use incentives) five transit options ( local buses, express buses, express bus to rail, rail transit, and continuous network of bicycle routes), and six pricing tools (parking fees, gas prices, pay -as -you -drive insurance, variable road pricing based on congestion, toll lanes, and carpool lanes). Ranking options included high, low, or no potential to reduce or shorten car trips in their loc ality over the next few decades . Like regional transportation agencies, local governments see potential in a range of approaches to reducing VMT. The top five tools —higher gas prices ; local bus service ; priority sites for mixed use, high -density, and infill land uses; express bus service; and priority sites for transit -oriented development —fall into the three different policy categories . No particular category of policy tools stands out as having the most potential to reduce VMT over the next few decades: 36 percent named land use policies, 35 percent named investments in transit and other alternatives to driving, and 30 percent named policies that affect the cost of driving ( a ppe ndix Table B20). M any respondents expressed the need for integrated approaches, in particular linking smart -growth land use s with improved transit options and more accessible streetscapes. Several city officials also indicated the need for better connectivity between transit systems and outlying areas and job centers. For example, San Luis Obispo sees potential for interregional transit to provide a convenient alternative to commuters traveling into the city (where more jobs are located) from outlying communities. Current service that only operates twice a day is not sufficient. Poway, a city in San Diego County, has similar ex perience. According to a local planner, e xpress bus service into San Diego operates at about half capacity. The planner estimates 66 We did not explicitly refer to SB 375, to avoid concerns that the responses might be used to gauge com pliance with the law. Also, the survey was completed before CARB released draft regional emission targets in June 2010, so respondents did not know the level of the regional targets. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 40 that “better service and connectivity on the San Diego end” would increase ridership and provide a more attractive alternative to driving. FIGURE 14 Planners view a mix of tools as having high potential to reduce VMT SOURCE: A ppendix Tables B9, B13, and B19 . N OTE: The policy potential score was calculated as the sample average of the potential ranking for each policy option. A score of 3 was given for high potential, 2 for low potential, and 1 for no potential. For commuter rail and light rail, the score is combined into a single rail category .”HD” is high density development and “TOD” is transit -oriented development. One anomaly in this balance d vision, however, is the split view of pricing tools. Although higher gas prices ranks first among all 16 policies examined, all other pricing tools rank near the bottom. Note, moreover, that the survey asked about gas prices, not gas taxes. We chose this wording to avoid conflating concerns over the perceived political feasibility of raising the gas tax with the perceived effectiveness of a resulting increase in gas prices. Planners’ vie ws of the effectiveness of gas price increases is consistent with the research literature on this tool , but their low expectations regarding other pricing tools is in conflict with the research (Table 5). The explanation may reflect both recent gas price h istory and political realities. On the one hand, t he state’s recent experience with high gas prices demonstrated the potential of increased costs to reduce VMT (Figure 11 ). But this experience was also politically convenient, as it happened through market forces, not an explicit policy change. Most o ther pricing options would be implemented at the local and regional level, and planners are aware of the political difficulties of imposing higher costs on driv ers. Th e opposition faced by SANDAG regarding a reg ional VMT charge, discussed above , illustrat es the problem. Modeling showed that this would be the most effective way to reduce GHG emissions, but the local government -led board did not want to approve comprehen sive fee increases. MTC’s tentative proposal to move aggressively on regional road tolling and congestion pricing in its mo st ambitious scenario (Figure 13) could well face similar local opposition . One surprising result is the relatively high ranking for continuous networks of bicycle infrastructure. Half of all planners give this a “high potential” score, and only 8 percent consider it to have no potential to reduce driving in their localities. In the Bay Area and the Sacramento region, this tool ranks higher than any other trans portation alternative . To some extent, this optimism may reflect the unique governance aspect of this alternative —in contrast to other transit options, this one is nearly always under local control. In addition, http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 41 recent boosts in federal and state funding have focused local attention on this tool. At the same time, the limited r ole of bicycles in current trip shares (currently only 1 percent of commutes in California) , and the fact that they are not likely vehicles for large segments of the populati on, raises questions about their overall potential. Interviews revealed that planners’ optimism for this tool takes into account this low baseline . Also, in many cases, local strategies are focus ing first on improvement of bicycle routes as a recreational amenity , with the expectation that this c ould spur changes in non-recreational trips . Factors Associated with Higher Potential Planners’ optimism about the potential for various tools to reduce driving is influenced by several local characteristics: 67 Experience M atters First, tools are nearly always ranked significantly higher in localities that already are using them or planning to use them . The likelihood of ranking a smart -growth land use tool as having a high potential, rather than no potential, increases by 26 to 40 percentage points in localities that have already adopted the tool, and 21 to 29 percentage points in localities that are considering adoption. For some transit alternatives, this effect is even stronger: H aving or anticipating the introduction of rail transit raises the likelihood of ranking this option highly by roughly 50 percentage points. Similarly, planners in localities that charge for parking have a significantly more optimistic view of its potential, and the same is true regarding existing or planned HOV lanes. The major exception s to this pattern are toll lanes and congestion pricing, where there is no significant boost from being located near these managed lanes . 68 Rail Transit Is a Plus Of course, localities are most likely to adopt policies that they expect will work in their circumstances. But optimism is as high or higher for policies that are already in use, rather than those that are under consideration, suggesting that local planners are not greatly discouraged by on- the-ground barriers to implementation. In localities that already have some form of rail transit (light rail, commuter rail, subway, or streetcar) , planners have significantly greater optimism not only about rail itself, but also about most other tools. 69 With the exception of urban growth boundaries—a generally low- ranked tool—rail access increases the likelihood of ranking smart -growth land use tools in the high- potential category by 12 to 20 percentage points. It also raises the likelihood of perceiving all other transit options more favorably, as well as several pricing tools (higher parking fees, higher gas prices, and congestion pricing). 70 67 This discussion draws on the multiple regression results in Appendix Tables C -5 through C -7. This strong showing for localities with rail is consistent with the research finding tha t integrated strategies can have a greater im pact on VMT. Rail transit can complement other transit options , enhance the use of smart -growth land use tools , and make pricing tools more acceptable. As one official noted: “we have substantial vacant land …[and] existing light 68 In addition, already having a policy of reduced parking requirements for qualifying developments does not have a significant effect on ranking (although planned policy of this nature does), and planned local bus service does not hav e a significant effect (although existing local bus service does). The difficulties encountered in implementing reduced parking requirements, noted above, may account for th e more pessimistic view on this tool. For local bus service, the insignificant result is likely because only a handful of low -population localities fall into the “planned” category. 69 In contrast, there is no systematic effect on the ranking of other tools in localities with planned access to rail or with ex press bus to rail services. 70 For these tools, rail raises the likelihood of moving from a “no” to “high” potential ranking by 13 to 29 percentage points. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 42 rail. This combination gives us the opportunity to ‘get it right.’” Nevertheless, the slow progress in the use of public transit in metro areas that have expanded rail in California suggests much progress is still needed to capitalize on this potential. In contrast with these fin dings for rail, use of land use and pricing tools does not systematicall y increase planner s’ optimism regarding the potential of other tools. More intensive use of smart-growth tools (as measured by the number of tools adopted) is not associated with higher optimism on any tools except reduced parking requirements for qualifying developments. Planners in localities that have parking charges (the only explicit local pricing tool) appear more optimistic regarding the potential of toll lanes, but less optimistic regarding another pricing tool that has recently come under discussion—the use of “pay -as -you - drive” insurance. Familiarity with parking fees does not augment perceived potential of land use or transit options . These findings highlight the unique role played by rail in shaping expectations about integrated strategies. Local Conditions Shape Expectations Several other local factors shape planners’ expectations, but in less systematic ways. Planners in more populous locales are more optimistic about the full range of pricing tools , as well as the potential for transit- oriented development . Consistent with the research literature, which finds that lower income residents are more sensitive to gas price changes, planners in lower income localities anticipate that higher gas prices will be mor e effective at reducing driving . They also anticipate greater effectiveness of most rail and bus options , which are more commonly used by lower income residents (Barbour 2006) . Consistent with the idea that proximity of jobs to residents makes it easier to employ integrated strategies, officials in localities with a higher jobs -housing ratio are more optimistic regarding the potential of most pri cing tools, access to rail, and the promotion of transit -oriented development. 71 In contrast, various other geographic and economic characteristics —population growth rates, distance from central business district, and density—play at most a limited role. Faster growing localities—which should have more flexibility regarding land use tools —do not register any significant differences in ranking from those growing more slowly. Nor are there strong signs that “edge” communities , located further from central business districts, have less potential, even though the greater distances workers must often travel should make transit options less attractive . The extent to which this potential will be realized, in practice, also depends on whether there is a good match between local job skill needs and local workforce skills (Cerver o and Duncan 2006). 72 71 The jobs -housing ratio is calculated as the number of jobs relative to the number of households within a jurisdiction in 2006. A jobs-housing imbalance ranked as one of the top two perceived barriers to implement policies to reduce driving in several regions: San Die go, the San Joaquin Valley, the “Other MPO” group (including Central Coast counties and several northern Sacramento Valley counties), and the “non- MPO” group, including rural counties not currently required to comply with SB 375 ( appendix Table B24 (j)). Theory provides different predictions with regard to the potential effects of residential density. On the one hand, higher density should raise the potential of transit, gi ven the strong association between density and transit use. On the other hand, localities that are already relatively dense can face greater challenges with infill development and other types of smart -growth land use tools , which can involve costly upgrade s to local infrastructure, including underground water and sewer lines . We find no evidence that density affects the potential for land use or pricing tools, and only partial evidence for the boost to transit: Localities with higher residential densities r ank express bus service significantly higher. 72 Distance from CBD has a marginally negative relationship with gas prices, controlling for other factors ( appendix Table C7). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 43 Party Leanings Are Influential, But Not Determinative Residents’ p arty affiliation also shapes their expectations. Most pricing tools are ranked lower in localities with a higher share of registered Republican voters, consistent with the stronger objection to taxes and fees commonly associated with this party’s platforms. 73 P lanners in these areas do not downgrade the potential of higher gas prices to lower VMT ( confirming the distinction among pricing tools noted above ), but they recognize that the politics of imposing higher fees and taxes would make these tools more difficult to implement in these locations. Planners are also more skeptical about the potential for transi t-oriented development in more heavily Republican areas, and are less likely to use this tool. 74, 75 However, party affiliation is not determinative. Adoption of most smart-growth land use tools is not affected by residents’ party affiliation, nor is the perceived potential of many individual tools that can support SB 375 goals. And experience in the Republican -leaning San Diego region demonstrates that party affiliation is not a deal -breaker for developing aggressive regional strategies. Using a combination of increased housing densities, increased transit, and more HOV and HOT lanes, the SANDAG region’s existing RTP is already one of the most ambitious in the state (Table 2 ). SANDAG’s board, composed of its local government officials, approved a “most ambitious scenario” for presentation to CARB in which 83 percent of all new dwelling units are attached housing and nearly 90 percent of all units are in transit-priority areas (Heminger et al. 2010.) . Because many of the state’s fastest growing counties are located in the more heavily Republican inland regions, this partisan split may limit the effectivenes s of SB 375 in places where there is the greatest potential to “build smart” from the ground up. Comparing Localities How do planners rate their localit y’s potential for reducing GHG emissions, relative to other localities in their region? Across all jurisdictions, the answer is “slightly below average”: Only 25 percent of respondents believed that their region had a higher than average potential to reduce GHG emissions , compared to 41 percent who believed that their locality had less than average potential (Figure 15). However, the balance tilts to the other side of the scale when accounting for size: 45 percent of the sample population lives in localities that offic ials believe have higher than average potential, versus 27 percent in localities with lower than average potential . Beyond size, m ost other significant factors are similar to t hose associated with individual policy tools. 76 73 In addition to the tools listed under the pricing heading ( appendix Table C7), planners in these localities also ranked reduced parking requirements for qualifying developments, which we have grouped under land use tools (appendix Table C5), as having significantly less potential. This can also be considered an implicit pricing tool. Notably, planners in lower income localities anticipate greater potential, as do those with access to rail transit . Numerous respondents cited access to transit as giving them an edge, both for attracting jobs and as hubs fo r transit -oriented development. Public attitudes also appear very important: P otential is lower in 74 See appendix Table C2. TOD is the only land -use tool for which party affiliation is significant. 75 Another measure of public attitudes —intensity of public opposition to various tools—is less systematically associated with greater skepticism. Strong public opposition to density does not reduce the perceived potential of smart -growth land use tools, and strong opposition to higher charges for driving does not reduce the ranking for pricing tools. However, strong opposition to transit use lowers the likelihood of ranking express -to-rail and express bus services as a high- potential tool by 14 to 15 percentage points. This measure, derived from the survey, includes localit ies where respondents consider public opposition to be a very serious barrier. 76 This paragraph discusses results from regression analysis reported in appendix Table C8. Among geographic and economic factors, only population density matters: Controlling for population , localities with lower density perceive higher potential to reduce driving. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 44 localities with a higher share of Republican voter s, a s well as in those where planners believe that public opposition to tools that could reduce driving is a serious impediment . FIGURE 15 Planners in localities with larger populations perceive a higher potential to reduce GHG emissions with transportation and land use policies SOURCE: A ppendix Table B21. These findings on overall potential to reduce dri ving present some interesting juxtapositions with the general climate action tools discussed above . In both cases, size matters: more populous jurisdictions are more active in climate policy, and their planners are more optimistic about their potential to be effective at meeting the specific goals of SB 375. These jurisdictions are also better served by the types of tools that can help: more smart -growth land use tools, more rail and express bus service, more HOV and HOT lanes, and more fee- based parking. In both cases, income also matters, al though in opposite ways. Better -off localities are more active in climate policy, as they tend to be in environmental p olicy more generally. But planners correctly perceive that achieving the goals of SB 375 will be more difficult in these localities, because residents can more easily afford to keep driving even when the costs are increased and when transit alternatives are more readily available. Planners are also acutely aware of the dampening effect that public opposition can play. In particular, the partisan split on climate policy in California, which has widened over the past two years, is reflected in adoption patter ns for general climate policy actions and the perceived potential to respond to SB 375. 77 However, as noted, party affiliation does not appear to be an obstacle across the board: A doption of most smart -growth land use tools is not affected, nor is the perceived potential of many individual tools that can support SB 375 goals. 77 Statewide surveys find that Republican voters are less supportive of AB 32 goals than Democrats or Independents, and this gap has widened since 2008 (Baldassare et a l. 2008, 2010). 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Greater potentialAbout the sam e potential Lower potential Share respondents (%) Responses by jurisdiction Responses by population http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 45 Conclusions California’s pioneering new climate law, SB 375, is one of the first in the nation to set a goal of reducing the GHG emissions associated with passenger vehicle use . Altho ugh the law is expected to play only a modest role in meeting the state’s overall emission reduction targets (less than 3 percent of the 2020 goal) , it has the potential to significantly shape the interplay between land use and transportation policy in the years to come. Three main types of tool s—land use that encourages higher densities and closer proximity to transit, expanded transit and other alternatives to driving , and pricing policies that affect the cost of driving —are being considered to ach ieve the regional emission targets for 2020 and 2035. Although none of these tools are new , the law has focused attention on their potential effectiveness and room for expansion . The state’s major Metropolitan Planning O rganizations—responsible for meetin g the new targets—are considering ramped up actions in all three areas. The success of these efforts will ultimately depend on how California residents and businesses respond to new policies, incentives , and public investments. But a key intermediate set of players are city and county governments . Their officials determine regional transportation policy directions by virtue of their member- ship on MPO boards, and their policy and practical decisions on local land use, s treetscapes, and parking policy crucially affect the effectiveness of transportation polic ies and spending. Our survey of these local governments finds some grounds for optimism regarding the implementation of this new state policy to curb GHG emissions. Despite the recent economic downtu rn and associated fiscal stress, cities and counties have stepped up their general climate policy actions, with many more localities now undertaking GHG emission inventories and developing Climate Action Plans than in 2008. We also find significant local government adoption of tools that can support SB 375 goals , including smart-growth land use tools and improved pedestrian and bi cycle infrastructure. More populous localities —which have a higher carbon footprint —are the most active when it comes to general climate policy and the most likely to adopt these specific actions. Transit capacity expansion, largely undertaken by local and regional transit agencies , has constituted a major share of transportation capital spending ( 20 to 30 percent ) for several decades , and this trend is likely to continue. B us service is available in the vast majority of localities, and the major expansion effort has been in more costly rail transit, which serves the state’s most populous communities in the major metropolitan regions. One c oncern with land use tools is their limited potential for reducing driving when they are not used in conjunction with other tools . The concern is similar for transit: There have been only modest gains in the share of transit -based commute tr ips between 1990 and 2008, from a small base ( 5 to 5.5 percent of all commutes ), and transit is used even less for non -commute trips. By these criteria, transit is an underperforming asset . Pricing tools —which have the largest and fastest potential to enco urage changes in travel behavior—are relatively underu tilized. Per gallon federal and state gas taxes are low and haven’t risen since the early 1990s , and California’s local governments have done little to date with parking policies . Nearly 90 percent of all local governments require new commercial and office developments to provide employee parking ; and most businesses provide this parking for free, discouraging transit use. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 46 The main pricing innovation is occurring at the regional level. Following se veral successful projects in Southern California, regional transportation agencies in Southern California and the Bay Area have recently stepped up plans to expand the use of high occupancy toll lanes, and to vary pricing on these lanes by time of day. Ind eed, the San Francisco Bay Area ’s MPO is placing significant emphasis on increasing the cost of driving as a way to reduce VMT. But broader efforts to raise the gas tax or to replace it with a mileage- based fee—as called for by many transportation experts —have been stymied by political opposition. The consequences are not only the lack of incentives for drivers, but also the lack of revenue to support the transportation network. Combined strategies , which integrate land use, transit, and pricing, have the highest potential to change driving behaviors —something both regional agencies and local governments recognize. However, local planners present anomalous views on the potential for pricing tools : T hey rank gas prices highest among a large set of tools but give very low scores to other pricing tools —including parking charges, toll roads, and carpool lanes , all determined by regional and local policies . These perceptions reflect the difficult politics of road pricing and other pricing tools. Planners appear to have a good sense of some of the local factors that are likely to affect potential to respond effectively to SB 375. They are most optimistic about tools already in use or planned within their localities, highlighting the positive role of experience. The y are also much more optimistic about the potential for most other tools when they have rail, the most popular (if most costly) form of transit . This view reflects the potential of rail to help coalesce integrated strategies. Nevertheless, the slow progress in the use of public transit in metro areas that have expanded rail in California suggests much progress is still needed to capitalize on this potential. As Kolko’s findings (2011) suggest, more focused efforts are needed to locate jobs as well as housing near transit nodes . E ven though most local governments consider job creation a high priority, the lack of faster employment growth surrounding most of the state’s new transit stations since the early 1990s suggests that j obs do not “take care of themselves .” Other challenges to meeting SB 375 goals relate to community characteristics. Even though higher income communities are more likely to adopt climate action plans , their planners consider them less likely to respond to SB 375 -rela ted incentives to reduce driving . Higher income households are less sensitive to pricing tools, and they are less likely to use transit. Party affiliation —notably a higher share of Republican voters —is also a barrier to adoption of general clima te policies, and it lowers overall perceived potential to meet the goals of SB 375 . However, party affiliation does not appear to block the use of various individual policy tools, such as higher density land use . In sum, our analysis confirms that local go vernments—key partners in the implementation of SB 375 —are already taking actions to help spur the types of changes in land use and transportation that can reduce Californians’ need to drive. And local planners are also optimistic about the potential for many of these tools to contribute to this goal. Opportunities lie ahead, as do challenges. Coordination among local governments, within a regional framework, will be essential to make the most of the tools available. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 47 References Baldassare, Mark. 2004. Special Survey on Californians and the Future. 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Washington DC: National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing C ommission. Available at http://financecommission.dot.gov/Documents/NSTIF_Commission_Final_Report _AdvanceCopy_Feb09.pdf . http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 50 Office of Planning a nd Research, 2010. The California Planners’ Book of Lists . Sacramento, CA: Governor’s Office of Resea rch and Planning. Available at www.opr.ca.gov/planning/publications/2010bol.pdf . O'Toole, Ra ndal. 2010. Defining Success: The Case Against Rail Transit . Washington DC: Cato Institute. Parry, Ian W.H. 2009. “Pricing Urban Congestion.” Annual Review of Resource Economics 1: 461–84. Planning Grants and Incentives Management Team at the California Department of Conservation, 2010. Sustainable Communities Planning Grants. Available at www.sgc.ca.gov/docs/funding/2010FundingReport_November_23 _2010.pdf . Poole, Robert W., Jr. , and Adrian Moore. 2010 . Restoring Trust in the Highway Trust Fund . Policy Study 386. Los Angeles: Reason Foundation. Regional Targets Advisory Committee. 2009. Recommendations of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee (Rtac) Pursuant to Senate Bill 3 75. Sacramento : California Air Resources Board. Rodier, Caroline. 2009. “Review of the International Modeling Literature: Transit, Land Use, and Auto Pricing Strategies to Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled and Greenhouse Gas Emissions .” Transportation Researc h Record 2132: 1–12. Rose, Eliot. 2010. Working Harder to Grow Smarter : Overcoming Barriers to Senate Bill 375 Implementation . Professional Report, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley. Rufolo, A. M., and T. J. Kimp el. 2008. "Responses to Oregon's Experiment in Road Pricing." Transportation Research Record 2079: 1– 7. Rufolo, A. M., and T. J. Kimpel. 2009. "Transit's Effect on Mileage Responses to Oregon's Experiment in Road Pricing." Transportation Research Record 2115: 60–65. S acramento Area Council of Governments . 2007. Preferred Blueprint Alternative. Sacramento, CA: Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Sacramento Area Council of Governments. 2008. MTP 2035: A Creative New Vision for Transportation in the Sacramento Region. Sacramento, CA: Sacramento Area Council of G overnments. Available at www.sacog.org/mtp/2035/final -mtp/. Salzman , Randy. 2010. “Pasadena, California: Unlikely Home to an Innovative Parking Scheme.” Thinking Highways, North American Edition 5 (3). San Diego Association of Governments. 2007. 2030 San Diego Region Transportation Plan . San Diego, CA: San Diego Associat ion of Governments. San Diego Association of Governments. 2010. Board of Directors Agenda, Item 17, May 28 . Available at http://sandag.org/uploads/meetingid/meetingid_2538_11549.pd f. San Joaquin Valley Blueprint . 2009. San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Update (April ). Available at www.valleyblueprint.org/files/images/Blueprint__Brochure_July_2 009-BL2.pdf . Santos, Georgina. 2005. "Urban Congestion Charging: A Comparison between London and Singapore." Transport Reviews 25 (5): 511– 34. Shoup, Donald. 1999. “The Trouble with Minimum Parking Requirements,” Transportation Research, Part A, 33: 549 –74. Shoup, Donald . 2004. "The Ideal Source of Local Public Revenue." Regional Science and Urban Economics 34 (6): 753 –84. Shoup, Donald. 2005. The High Cost of Free Parking . Chicago: Planner’s Press. Sorensen, Paul, and Brian Taylor. 2005a. “Review and Syn thesis of Road-Use Metering and Charging Systems.” S ubmitted to the Committee for the Study of the Long -Term Viability of Fuel Taxes for Transportation Finance, Transporta tion Research Board, Washington D C: National Academies. Sorensen, Paul, and Brian Tay lor. 2005b. “Paying for Roads: New Technology for an Old Dilemma,” Access 26 (Spring). Southern California Association of Governments. 2008. 2008 Regional Transportation Plan: Making the Connections . Los Angeles: Southern California Association of Governme nts. Southern California Association of Governments. 2010. “Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Regional Council Votes to Recommend SB 375 Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Regional Targets for 2020 and 2035.” Press release. Available at www.scag.ca.gov/media/pdf/pressReleases/2010/PR009 -SCAG-RC-ARB -Target -Vote.pdf . http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 51 Spears, Steven, Marion Boarnet, and Susan Handy. 2010. DRAFT Technical Background Document on the Impacts of Road User Pricing Based on a Review of the Empirical Literature. Sacramento : California Air Resources Board. Sperling, Daniel, and Deborah Gordon. 2008. Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability . Oxford: Oxford University Press. Stein, Adam. 2008. “ Netherlands Plans Massive Road -pricing Scheme. ” The Terrapass Footprint , Dec. 9. Available at www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/netherlands-plans-massive -road-pricing -scheme . Sullivan, Edward. 1998. Evaluating the Impacts of the SR -91 Variable -Toll Express Lane Facility. Final Report, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. Taylor, Brian D., and Camille Fink . 2003. “ The Factors Influencing Transit Ridership: A Review and Analysis of the Ridership Literature .” Working paper, UCLA Department of Urban Planning . University of California Transportation Center. 2003. Intelligent Tr ansportation Systems: A Compendium of Technological Summaries . Berkeley: University of California. Wachs, Martin. 2003. “Local Option Transportation Taxes: Devolution as Revolution.” Access 22 (Spring): 9 –15. Walters, J., and R. Ewing. 2008. “Mixing It Up. ” Urban Land ( August ): 125 –27. Winkelman, Steve, Allison Bishins, and Chuck Kooshian. 2010. "Planning for Economic and Environmental Resilience." Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 44 (8): 575– 86. Zack, Dan. 2005. “The Downtown Redwood City Parking Management Plan.” Redwood City Community Development Department, Redevelopment Division. Available at www.redwoodcity.org/bit/transportation/pa rking/pdf /DowntownRedwoodCityParkingPlan.pdf . Zahran, S., S. D. Brody, A. Vedlitz, M. G. Lacy, and C. L. Schelly, 2008. "Greening L ocal Energy: Explaining the G eographic Distribution of Household Solar Energy Use in the United States ." Journal of the American Planning Association 74 (4): 419– 34. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 52 About the Author s Louise Bedsworth is a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her research focuses on air quality, transportation, and climate change issues. Before coming to PPIC in 2006, Louise was a senior vehicles analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She holds an M.S. in environmental engineering and a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. Ellen Hanak is a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her career has focused on the economics of natural resource management and agricultural development. At PPIC, she has published numerous reports and articles on water policy, land use planning, infrastructure policy, and climate change. Before joining PPIC in 2001, she held positions at the French agricultural development center (CIRAD), the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and the World Bank. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland. Elizabeth Stryjewski is a research associate at the Public Policy Institute of California. Before joining PPIC, she supported research efforts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and at the Equinox Center in San Diego. She holds an M.A. from the University of California at San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, w here she focused on international environmental policy, and a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University. Acknowledgments We have many people to thank for helping us to bring this report to fruition. Hundreds of California’s local and regional officials generously gave of their time to respond to our survey and requests for interviews. Yvonne Hunter and Steve Sanders from the Institute for Local Government, Sande George from the California Chapter of the American Planning Ass ociation, Julia Lave-Jo hnston from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Chris Hoene from the National League of Cities , Carol Whiteside, and Mark Baldassare, Jed Kolko, and Michael Teitz from PPIC provided helpful input on the design of the survey. Eliot Rose and Maggie Witt served as summer interns on the project and conducted numerous interviews of regional and local officials. Davin Reed assisted with the collection and analysis of data on commuting patterns and HOV/HOT lanes. Rob Valletta wrote the computer code used in some of the statistical analy sis. Elisa Barbour, Jed Kolko, Julia Lave -Johnston, Eliot Rose, Michael Teitz, Maggie Witt, and Lynette Ubois provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of this report. We also benefited from comments from Marlon Boarnet, Robert Cervero, Hans Johnson, A lison Nemirow, Dean Misczynski, and Egon Terplan on a related report, Driving Change: Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in California , which incorporates many of the findings presented here. We alone are responsible for any errors in fact or interpretation PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Chamber of Commerce María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison I nternational Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Constance L. Rice Co -Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company http://www The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicat ed to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, educati on, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor do es it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. © 2011 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" } ["___content":protected]=> string(106) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(102) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/views-from-the-street-linking-transportation-and-land-use/r_211lbehr/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8768) ["ID"]=> int(8768) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:39" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4097) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(10) "R 211LBEHR" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(10) "r_211lbehr" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(14) "R_211LBEHR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "789641" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(161655) "Views from the Street Linking Transportation and Land Use February 2011 Louise Bedsworth, Ellen Hanak, and Elizabeth Stryjewski with research support from Davin Reed, Eliot Rose, and Maggie Witt Supported with funding from T he William and Flora Hewlett Foundation http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 2 Summary With the adoption of Senate Bill (SB) 375 in late 2008, California plans to reverse the decades -long upward trend in per capita vehicle miles traveled in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since the law’s adoption, analysts have expended considerable effort to assess the technical capabilities and emission reduction potential of the state’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) —the regional transportation planning agencies responsible for meeting emission -reduction goals . Much less is known about the capabili - ties and potential of cities and counties —the state’s primary land use authori ties and important partner s in the implementation of SB 375. To gain a better understanding of the activities under way locally and the potential that localities see for reducing driving —a major behavioral shift for California residents —we conducted a survey of California’s city and county planning departments. Sixty -five percent of all jurisdictions completed the survey , represent - ing 73 percent of the state’s population . The survey covered the three main strategies for reducing driving : land use policies , investments in transit and other alternativ es, and pricing policies that increase the cost of road use and parking . We also conducted i nterviews with local and regional planners to compl ement the survey r esponses. The responses provide some grounds for optimism regarding the implementation of SB 375, but also some warning signs . Local governments continue to focus attention on climate change , despite the recent recession , and are implementing numerous “ smart -growth ” land use strategies to reduc e dependence on automobiles . Transportation spending has focused on transit capacity expansion since the 1970s and continues to this day. Nearly every locality has bus service , and rail transit is now available in many of the most populous jurisdictions . However, transit ridership remains low , accounting for only 5.5 percent of all commut ing trips . Road p ricing is gaining ground in the largest regions, which are expanding high occu - pancy toll lanes . But an important set of local pricing tools —parking fees and curtailing requirements to provide employee parkin g—are not widely used. And state and federal fees —including the gas tax and mileage charges using electronic toll collection technology —have not made headway, despite evidence that pricing is the single most important tool for changing driving behaviors. S tate and federal gas taxes have remained constant, in nominal terms, since the early 1990s. Generally , local planners believe that using a combination of approaches is the most effective way to reduce driving , a view consistent with research findings that integrate d policies have the greatest potential for success. Local officials also believe that the approaches they are already using are most likely to succeed, even though they are confront ed by a variety of barriers , including public opposition to denser development. Planners in localities served by rail are more optimistic about all of the available options —highlighting the potential of rail to serve as a platform for integration with other strategies . However, most planners are divided in their opinions of pricing strategies. Consistent with the research, they ranked h igher gasoline prices as the option with the greatest potential. B ut they gave low scores to all of the other pricing tools (toll and carpool lanes, parking charges, and car insurance), likely reflecting the political difficulties of imple menting such strategies , given local opposition . V arious local characteristics, including population size, income, and party affiliation, al so affect planners’ perspectives. Note to Readers Many of the findings in this report are summarized in Driving Change: Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in California (Bedsworth, Hanak , and Kolko 2011). That report also draws on a companion paper , “Making the Most of Transit ” (Kolko 2011), which looks at trends in transit usage and residential and employment density around transit stations. All three reports are available on PPIC ’s website ( www.ppic.org). Contents Summary 2 Figures 4 Tables 5 Acronyms 6 Introduction 8 Climate Change Policy and Regional and Local Governments 13 California’s Climate Change Policy 13 Regional Transportation Planning and SB 375 15 Roles and Goals of Local Government 17 Programs and Policies to Reduce Driving 21 Land Use Policies 21 Investments in Transit and Other Alternatives to Driving 24 Increasing the Cost of Driving 30 Maximizing Potential through Integrated Approaches 35 Local Perspectives on the Potential to Reduce Driving 39 Ranking Policy Tools 39 Factors Asso ciated with Higher Potential 41 Comparing Localities 43 Conclusions 45 References 47 About the Authors 52 Acknowledgments 52 Technical appendices to this paper are available on the PPIC website: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/other/211LBR_appendix.pdf http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 4 Figures 1 California’s MPOs cover the state’s most populous counties 9 2 Transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in California 13 3 The largest share of emission reductions is expected to come from the transportation sector 14 4 Local authorities control most transportation funds 15 5 Economic considerations are most important in local development decisions 18 6 Local governments are using a variety of land use tools to increase density and improve access to transit 23 7 Transit became a focus of transportation spending in the 1970s 25 8 Transit is even more important in planned spending by the four large MPOs 25 9 Californians favor rail transit as a transportation investment 26 10 Cities and counties are actively planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure 29 11 VMT per capita in California declined when gas prices began rising in the mid 2000s 31 12 Parking management is a little- used local tool 34 13 The state’s largest MPOs are pursuing multipronged strategies 38 14 Planners view a mix of tools as having high potential to reduce VMT 40 15 Planners in localities with larger populations perceive a higher potential to reduce GHG emissions with transportation and land use policies 44 http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 5 Tables 1 CARB has established regional per capita GHG emission reduction targets for passenger vehicles 10 2 MPOs are stepping up GHG emission reductions since the passage of SB 375 17 3 Despite the recession, local governments have been expanding their climate action programs 19 4 Transit has increased only slightly as a share of commutes since 1990 27 5 Combined strategies show the largest potential for reducing VMT 36 http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 6 A cronyms AB Assembly Bill APS Alternative Planning Strategy AMBAG Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments BART Bay Area Rapid Transit BCAG Butte County Association of Governments CARB California Air Resources Board CEQA California Environmental Quality Act CO 2- eq Carbon Dioxide Equivalent COFCOG County of Fresno Council of Governments GHG Greenhouse Gas GWP Global Warming Potential HD High Density HOT High Occupancy T oll HOV High Occupancy Vehicle KCAG Kings County Association of Governments KCOG Kern Council of Governments MCAG Merced County Association of Governments MCTC Madera County Transportation Commission MMT Million Metric Tons MPO Metropolitan Planning Organization MTC Metropolitan Transportation Commission (San Francisco Bay Area) RTAC Regional Targets Advisory Committee RTP Regional Transportation Plan SACOG Sacramento Area Council of Governments SANDAG San Diego Association of Governments SB Senate Bill SBCAG Santa Barbara County Association of Governments SCAG Southern California Association of Governments SCRTPA Shasta County Regional Transportation Planning Authority SCS Sustainable Communities Strategy http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 7 SJCOG San Joaquin Council of Governments SJV San Joaquin Valley SLOCOG San Luis Obispo Council of Governments StanCOG Stanislaus Council of Governments TCAG Tulare County Association of Governments TOD Transit-O riented Development UGB Urban Growth Boundary VMT Vehicle Miles Traveled http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 8 Introduction California has a long history of success in reduc ing air pollution associated with on -road vehicles (Bedsworth and Taylor, 2007) . In its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate the effects of global warming, the state is once again looking for significant contributions from the transportation sector. Building upon its new regulations to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and encourage the use of low -carbon fuels, California recently became one of the first state s in the nation to se t a goal for reducing driving —or vehicle miles travelled (VMT) —to limit GHG emissions. 1 S enate Bill (S B) 375 , signed into law in 2008, directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish GHG emission reduction target s for the passenger vehicle sector in each of the state’s 18 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs; Figure 1) . MPOs are regional agencies responsible for developing long -term Regional Transportati on Plans (RTP s) t hat coordinate local, state, and federal transportation investments. Under SB 375, each RTP should demonstrate compliance with the regional GHG emission reduction target. CARB recently announced the first set of regional targets for 2020 a nd 2035. 2 For the MPOs in the state’s major metropolitan areas, t he targets call for reductions in per capita GHG emissions from passenger vehicles , relative to baseline conditions, on the order of 7 to 8 percent by 2020 and 13 to 16 percent by 2035 ( Table 1) . Although s ome of these reductions can be achieved through improvements in traffic flow (which improve gas mileage), most will need to come from reductions in the length and frequency of car trips. 3 1 In summer 2008, the state of Washington adopted ambitious per capita VMT reduction targets as part of its climate change legi slation ( T he MPOs are responsible for demonstrating compliance with SB 375, but the process is designed to encourage collaboration with cities and counties —the local governments with authority over land use decisions in California. Rather than sanctions for noncompliance, SB 375 includes regulatory incentives to enco urage local governments to collaborate with MPOs by easing requirements for the environmental review of suitable development projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2007 -08/Pdf/Bills/SessionLaw2008/2815-S2.SL.pdf ). Several East Coast states have also adopted explic it VMT reduction goals as part of their climate change policies ( www.georgetownclimate.org/transportation/files/TCI- SummaryofPolicyOptionsinCl imateAction.PDF). The American Council for an Energy -Efficient Economy identifies California and Washington as leaders in this area ( www.aceee.org/sector/state-policy/ transportation-system -efficiency ) 2 CARB will update the targets every four to eight years. 3 Technically, SB 375 calls for the reduction in emissions from passenger vehicle use above and beyond those gains expected to be achieved through improvements in v ehicle fuel efficiency and the use of low -carbon fuels as required by other regulations (described later in this report). Transportation and land use policies that reduce driving receive the primary focus. To provide flexibility to the regions, “t he targets can be achieved through any combination of land use patterns, transportation system improvements, and transportation-related measures or policies developed at the local and regional level” (California Air Resources Board 2010a, p. 4). In the “most ambiti ous scenarios” for meeting the regional 2035 targets under SB 375, transportation system improvements (including measures to improve traffic flow as well as some dem and management measures we consider under “pricing,” such as carpool programs) are expected to achieve 8 to 17 percent of regional GHG emission reductions in the Bay Area, Southern California, and Sacramento regions. San Diego examined one scenario in which these measu res could achieve over half of the total GHG emission goal (Heminger et al. 2 010). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 9 FIGURE 1 California’s MPOs cover the state’s most populous countie s NOTE: MPOs include the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governemnts (AMBAG), Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG), Council of Fresno County Governments (COFCOG), Kings County Association of Governments (KCAG), Kern Council of Governments (KCOG), Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG), Madera County Tran sportation Commission (MCTC), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG), San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), Shasta County Regional Transportation Planning Agency (SCRTPA), Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG), Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG). For a list of counties belonging to each MPO, see Appendix B. California’s 18 th MPO, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (not shown here) covers portions of counties in California and Nevada surrounding Lake Tahoe. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 10 TABLE 1 CARB has established r egional per capita GHG emission reduction target s for passenger vehicles Region Emission reductions (%) Population 2020 2035 2005 Increase by 2035 (%) Southern C alifornia (SCAG) -8 -13 17,763,285 33 SF Bay Area (MTC) -7 -15 7,094,823 28 San Diego (SANDAG) -7 -13 3,034,388 31 Sacramento Area (SACOG) -7 -16 2,057,200 50 San Joaquin Valley (8 MPOs) -5 -10 3,750,755 67 Other MPOs -7 to +13 -10 to + 14 1,850,698 29 SOURCE: California Air Resources Board (2010 a) and California Department of Finance (2007 , 2009). NOTES: Emission reductions are expressed as a change from 2005 levels. For a list of counties in each region, see A ppendix A . Population estimates are from the MPOs. Population in the 21 rural counties not included in MPOs was 837,977 in 2005, with projected growth of 39 percent by 2035 (California Department of Finance 2007, 2009 ). The targets for the San Joaquin Valley MPOs are placeholders, to be reviewed in 2012 prior to the development of the region’s first RTP s under the new law . The targets for the “O ther MPOs” group were set at business -as -usual levels. CARB plans to revisit these targets as implementation progresses . As a climate policy tool, SB 375 is expected to achieve only modest benefits—in the near-term, 8 percent of all GHG emissions reductions in the transportation sector, and less than 3 percent of all emissions reductions economy -wide (C alifornia Air Resources Board 2008). SB 375 is thus but one of many discrete polic ies in California’s overall strategy for reducing GHG emissions. Yet by reducing the distances between residences, workplaces , and other destinations, enhancing “walkability,” and reducing the amount of time people need to spend in cars, SB 375 is expected to also meet the broader social goal of building more livable, healthy communities. 4 To achieve these goals, the new law implies some potentially important shifts in the way California makes transportation and land use decisions. The central goals of transportation planning have long been to improve mobility while managing the negative environmental effects of vehicle use. Over time, three types of tools have been used to foster these goals by taking the pressure off roadways: (1) more conscious efforts to integrate land use and transportation planning (e.g., transit -oriented development); (2 ) more emphasis on transit , bicycle, and pedestrian alternatives; and (3) the use of pricing incentives to manage traffic and reduce solo driving . While all three tools have been used to s ome degree, meeting SB 375 targets will require using them more aggressively than in the past . In addition, by facilitating the development of denser communities, SB 375 may help meet other sustainability goals with GHG emission benefits , including reducing energy and water use. In the first stages of implement ing the new law , the state has invested considerable time and effort in assessing the technical capabilities of the MPOs to meet the new requirements . A Regional Targets Advisory 4 To foster this connection, the state’s Strategic Growth Council (created in a companion bill to SB 375) is providing grants to fund planning for SB 375, thereby recognizing the potential benefits of SB 375 for public health, conservation, livabilit y, and other elements of healthy communities (Planning Grants and Incentives Management Team 2010). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 11 Committee (RTAC) was established to assess the MPOs ’ technical readiness to conduct the necessary analysis underpinning VMT targets and to offer recommendations with regard to the design of the tar gets ( Regional Targets Advisory Committee, 2009 ). CARB has also received considerable input from the MPOs themselves regarding the feasible magnitude of emission reduction s. However, there has not been an analogous assessment of local governments’ readines s to implement SB 375. Previous work indicate s that California’s local governments have been quite active in address ing climate change, but this analysis did not closely examine local transportation and land use pl anning activities (Hanak et al. 2008). This paper addresses this gap by looking more closely at local land use and transportation policies and programs and how city and county planners view a variety of tools for reducing VMT in their localities. We examine each of the three primary policy are as for reducing VMT : land use planning, investment in alternative modes of transportation , and increasing the cost of driving . Our primary source of information is an original survey that we sent to planning directors in each of California’s 5 7 counties an d 481 cities in the spring of 2010, prior to CARB’s announcement of draft VMT targets in June 2010. 5 We received completed survey responses from 349 localities, covering 65 percent of all jurisdicti ons and 73 percent of the state’ s population, for a broadly representative sample of the state as a whole . 6 Understanding which actions are in place or planned at the local level and how local governments view the potential to respond to the challenge of reducing driving is an important piece of the SB 375 policy puzzle, given the central role of local governments in the successful implementation of the new law. This detailed baseline information will also provide a basis for tracking progress over time and facilitate an exchange of infor mation among policymakers at the local, regional, and state levels . We complemented the survey with in -depth interviews with over two dozen city and county officials and with regional transportation planners in the state’s main metropolitan areas . We also rev iewed transportation sector data from federal, state, and regional sources . In the following section , we review the policy context for the implementation of SB 375 , including the respective roles of transportation agencies and local governments . We then look at th e three broad types of policy tools available to reduce VMT , exploring what is currently in place and what is planned in California . We provide an overview of what the research literature has found with regard to the potential of these tools when used alone and in combination through integrated planning approaches . And we then examine local planners’ views o f the ir community’s potential ability to reduce driving, focus ing on the role of the various local tools and characteristics associated with a highe r likelihood of success. We conclude the paper with an overview of our key findings. Several appendices to this report provide more details on the survey. Appendix A describes the survey methodology and sample characteristics. Appendix B provides answers t o survey questions for major MPO groups, non- MPO counties and the state as a whole . A ppendix C provides details on th e statistical analysis conducted to assess which types of localities are most likely to adopt VMT -related policy tools and which tools are most likely to be ranked highly in terms of the potential to reduce VMT. In this report, we summarize survey results in two ways: as a share of all jurisdictions responding to the survey, and as a share 5 The City and County of San Francisco is a single geographical unit and, in this analysis, we include it with the cities. 6 In the case of counties, we on ly count the population in the unincorporated areas, over which county governments have land use authority. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 12 of the population represented by responding juris dictions. The latter provides an indication of whether larger localities exhibit different patterns of behavior relative to jurisdictions on average. In addition to population, the statistical analysis also considers a range of other factors related to loc al resources, geographic and economic conditions, ideology , and the availability of land use, transit, and pricing tools that can reduce VMT. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 13 Climate Change Policy and Regional and Local Governments California’s Climate Change Policy The transportation sector is the largest source of GHG emissions in California, accounting for 3 7 percent of emissions in 200 8 (Figure 2). Nearly three- quarters of the se emissions are generated by cars and light -duty trucks —most of which are passenger vehicles . 7 FIGURE 2 T ransportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in California SOURCE: California Air Resources Board (2010b ). NOTE: The figure shows emissions for 2008. California has established aggressive goals to reduce GHG emissions that contribute to global warming. In 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S -3 -05, setting a goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (roughly a 30 percent reduction relative to business as usual) and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050—the level considered necessary globally to stabilize the climate. The 2020 goal was codified into law through the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32), which placed responsibility for developing an emission reduction plan with CARB. CARB has outlined a co mprehensive “scoping plan” outlining all the programs that will be put in place to achieve the state’s 2020 emission reduction target (California Air Resources Board 2008) . In all, California will need to reduce statewide GHG emissions by 174 million metri c tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide - equivalent (CO 2- eq). The largest share of these reductions (36%) is expected to come from programs that affect the transportation sector , through a combination of strategies: implementing GHG emission standards for new passen ger vehicles , reducing the carbon content of fuels, and reducing the number of miles driven 7 For example, “light -duty trucks” includes sport utility vehicles. Ag + Forestry 5% Com m ercial 3% Electricity generation 25% Industrial 21% Residential 6% Transportation 37% Not specified 3% http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 14 (Figure 3). VMT reductions are included in the “regional GHG targets” established under SB 375 and depicted in Figure 3. F IGURE 3 The largest share of emission reductions is expected to come from the transportation sector SOURCE: California Air Resources Board (2008 ). NOTE: Figure shows the share of emission reductions by target area for 2020, as presented in the AB 32 Scoping Plan. The GWP segment in the figure represents reductions in materials with “global warming potential” (refrigerants, some solvents, and other industrial gases). Within the transportation sector, “Other” includes measures to improve vehicle design and accessories (air conditioners, paint , and windows) and high -speed rail. Within transportation, t he first two prongs of th e strategy rely on new technologies for vehicles and fuels, and they are expected to account for a large proportion of the near- term reductions in emissions. 8 The reg ional GHG emission targets established under SB 375 address the third prong of the strategy —reducing miles driven. VMT reductions play a relatively modest role in the overall emissions reduction plan —8 percent of all transportation sector reductions and on ly 3 percent of AB 32’s overall target for 2020— anticipating the length of time needed to register cumulative effects from measures such as land use changes and new transit investments, which also require behavioral changes by the public. Although the type s of tools available to achieve VMT reductions —land use changes, transit system improvements, and policies that make solo driving more costly relative to alternatives —are not new, there is only limited experience in applying them in a comprehensive way. 9 8 Half the reductions for the transportation sector will come from new GHG emission standards for passenger vehicles, which will be met primarily through improvements in fuel efficiency. Adopted in 2004, these standards will reduce emissions from new cars 30 percent by 2016. Another quarter of the savings will come from switching to f uels with a 10 percent lower carbon content. Regulations are also being developed to improve vehicle technologies and fuels for heavy -duty trucks and goods movement activities (8 percent of the total). 9 Some have argued that greater reductions in VMT than those in CARB’s scoping plan are possible (Ewing and Nelson 2008; Winkelman, Bishins, and Kooshian 2010), while others argue that VMT reduction is a costly, inefficient, uncertain GHG emission-reduction strategy (Moore, Staley, and Poole 2010). Boarnet (2010) provides a critical overview of this debate. Energy ef f iciency and renewables 28% Cap and trade 20% High GWP m easures 12% Forestry 3%Oth e r 1% Transportation 36% New passenger vehicle GHG standards (18%) Low carbon fuel standard (9%) Heavy-duty and goods m ovem ent (3%) Regional GHG targets (3%) Other (3%) http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 15 Regional Transportation Planning and SB 375 SB 375 implementation focuses on the regional transportation planning process, which is the centerpiece of state wide planning of transportation investments from federal, state, and local sources . Federal requirements apply to the state’s 18 federally designated MPOs; state law applies to the MPOs a nd regional transportation planning associations in rural areas (C alifornia Transportation Commission 20 10). Both s tate and federal law s require that regional transportation plans (RTPs) cover a time horizon of at least 20 years and be updated at least every four to five years. SB 375 augments the state requirements for RTPs, which must remain consistent with pre -existing federal requirements for these planning to ols. SB 375 applies only to the MPOs, within whose domains the vast majority of the state’s population resides . Under s tate law, RTP s must describe regional transportation policy, outline short - and long -term projects to address regional transportation needs , and identify projected costs and revenues. Under federal law , RTPs must address economic, safety , and environmental considerations (23 CFR 450.306). To be eligible for federal funding, RTPs must also be “fiscally constrained” —meaning that all projects must have demonstrated sources of funding. In regions that do not meet federal air quality standards, the RTP must also demonstrate conformity with allowable regional air pollution emission “budgets .” 10 The f iscal constraint is an important element of the RTP. All regions must outline planned projects and identify anticipated revenues to pay for each project. MPOs have control over only a small portion (about 13 percent) of the funds accounted for in the RTPs statewide (Figure 4 ). RTPs from across the state are merged for the develop ment of the statewide transportation plan . 11 F IGURE 4 Local authorities control most transportation funds Many of the spending decisions are made by county transportation agencies or predetermined by voter -approved county sales tax referenda. SOURCE: Authors’ calculations using the most recent RTPs (through 2009). NOTE: Transportation expenditures by type of agency. Total funds include $759 billion, covering a time horizon from the mid 2000s to the mid 2030s . The distribution between local governments and transit agencies likely understates funding for transit agencies from county sales tax measures. 10 The emissions “budget” refers to the amount of emissions that are possible without exceeding air pollution standards. 11 Multicounty MPOs have much less control over transportation spending than single -county MPOs, which control local sales tax revenues in addition to other sources. In one extreme case— the vast region encompassing the Southern California Association of Governments (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counti es)—the MPO is responsible only for planning; all investments and maintenance are carried out by subregional and local authorities. Fed eral g o v ernment3l Tran s12% MPO s13% AQ MDs0.1% Lo c al g ov ernment61% Tran s i t agenc ies11% http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 16 Sustainable Communities Strategy Under SB 375, each MPO is required to develop an SCS as part of its RTP . The strategy mus t identify areas capable of housing the expected population of the region as well as farmland and other land resources . Then it must outline a transportation investment plan for the region that will meet the GHG emission reduction targets established by CARB. The SCS is subject to the same fiscal and air -quality -conformity constraints as the RTP . 12 For the first time, SB 375 aims to synchronize several planning processes that affect transportation and land use. Although the new law does not mandate that l ocal land use policies and plans be changed to meet the targets (e.g., through a general plan revision) , the requirements of the SCS make the connection between transportation planning and local land use more explicit. And t o facilitate the coordination of land use and transportation under the new law, SB 375 harmonizes the timing of the planning processes for the RTP and regional housing needs allocations, under which cities and counties are required to develop and regularly update housing elements as part of their general plan s. Prior to SB 375, these processes occurred on different time scales ; under the new law, t he timing is coordinated and the same set of assumptions will inform both processes. 13 Early responses from the regions The San Diego region will be the first to develop its RTP and the requisite SCS following SB 375’s passage (due July 2011) . B ut MPOs in the other major metropolitan areas have also been actively considering their ability to implement the new law . Table 2 compares the projected per capita GHG emission reductions from the transportation sector under the assumptions of the existing RTPs with the targets recently adopted by CARB for the four largest MPOs . T he table highlights two important points. First, the state’s largest regions were already working to reduce per capita GHG emissions associated with passenger vehicles prior to the passage of SB 375. Indeed, part of the impetus for SB 375 came from the “Regional Blueprint” planning process, which has enc ouraged MPOs and local governments to coordinate transportation and land use planning to meet a range of sustainability goals. The state officially launched this process in 2005, but such efforts had been occurring at some MPOs since the 1990s (Barbour and Teitz 2006). 14 For this reason, several MPO planning directors we interviewed reported that SB 375 codifies what they were already doing and provides “wind at their backs.” 12 If a region is unable to develop an SCS that meets the GHG emission reduction targets, it must develop an Alternative Planning Strategy (APS). Because the APS is not part of the RTP, it is not constrained by fiscal or air quality conformity requirements. Instead, the APS must demonstrate how the region would meet the targets in an unconstrained environment. 13 Prior to SB 375, cities were required to upda te their housing element every five years, whereas most MPOs must update their RTPs every four years. SB 375 lengthen s the housing element update cycle to eight years, bringing it in sync with every other RTP update . 14 The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) supports the Blueprint Planning process, which is designed to help reg ions develop sustainable long -term growth plans. See http://calblueprint.dot.ca.gov / http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 17 TABLE 2 MPOs are stepping up GHG emission reductions since the passage of SB 375 Per capita GHG emission reductions, 2005–2035 (%) Current RTP adoption date Current RTP New target Southern California (SCAG) 2008 -4 -13 SF Bay Area (MTC) 2009 -3 -15 San Diego (SANDAG) 2007 -10 -13 Sacramento Area (SACOG) 2008 -13 -16 SOURCE: Heminger et al . (2010) ; California Air Resources Board (2010a) . NOTE:. Although SANDAG’s current RTP has a time horizon of 2030, the ” current RTP” estimates for 2035 were developed in collaboration with CARB and use consistent fuel price assumptions, update d economic conditions, and updated population and vehicle fleet projections. The target set by CARB for SCAG is higher than the level established by the region in its “most ambitious scenario” (12%) , and the SCAG board voted in September 2010 to reject the new target (with a counterproposal of 8 percent ) unless CARB accepted conditions including the restoration of state funding for transit and demonstration projects (S outhern California Association of Governments 2010). Second, the new law has pushed regions to look for further gains. The targets were informed by each region’s analysis of a “most ambitious scenario” for 2035. T hese scenarios did not include fiscal constraints , air quality conformity, and other requirements necessary for a completed RTP , but they did involve a careful look at a range of transportation and land use policy options. E fforts are also under way in the smaller regions , although the analyses are at an earl ier stage . Notably, in early 2009 the San Joaquin Valley MPOs adopted a p referred growth scenario as part of the region’s Blueprint planning process, which quantifies GHG emission reductions. The se counties will be working with CARB to refine their regional targets for their next RTP updates (San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Planning Process 2009). 15 Roles and Goals of Local Government To better understand local government actions and their perceptions of the potential to reduce GHG emissions through transportation and land use planning , we conducted a survey of city and county planning offices in the spring of 2010. The survey asked about community development considerations, general climate polic ies, acti vities, and perceived potential in three areas —land use, transit and alternatives to driving, and pricing —and barriers and co ordination issues in these same areas. The responses collected from 349 localities are used in the remainder of this report to examine local government goals, actions, and perceived potential to reduce GHG emissions. Cities and counties —the major players along with the MPOs in implementing SB 375 —are multipurpose entities. All have primary responsibility for land use planning within their jurisdictions ( as do county governments in the unincorporated areas of the county). Many provide a range of other publi c services, including local infrastructure and public facilities (streets and roads, transit, parks and open space), utilities (often water and wastewater, and occasionally energy), and economic and social services (business 15Some MPOs have raised questions about how to pay for the planning required for SB 375. The Strategic Growth Council, a group formed by Senate Bill 732 ( a companion to SB 375) provides some funds for these planning activities . The federal government also provides some planning funds directly to the M POs. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 18 development, social and cultura l programs).16 Thus, local government efforts to reduce GHG emissions occur in the context of numerous policymaking goals. Survey respondents reported that economic considerations ranked among the most important in their locality’s development decisions, a factor likely accentuated by the recent recession. Figure 5 shows the pattern of responses as a share of all jurisdictions that responded to our survey, as well as the surveyed population living in those jurisdictions, providing a way to see whether more populous localities emphasize different goals . 17 FIGURE 5 Economic considerations are most important in local development decisions Roughly half of all localities considered expanding the tax base (53%) and creating jobs (4 7%) “one of the most important” objectives . In contrast, some social and environmental goals ranked considerably lower. Jobs were even more important for more populous localities , which also place a greater emphasis on housing. How important are the following considerations in your city/county government’s decisions on development projects? SOURCE: A ppendix Table B3. Despite the recession and considerable local fiscal stress, California’s cities and counties are continuing to play an active role in addressing climate change. In particular, i ncreasing numbers of cities and counties are undertaking two important general activities: emission inventories and climate action plans (Table 3). Emission inventories develop a baseline of GHG emissions from different sources, enabling localities to identify areas for emission reduction efforts and to monitor progress once those goals are established . Climate action plans are general planning documents that set out strategies for emission reductions and other sustainabilit y measures (Hanak et al. 2008) . Between 2008 and 2010, the share of jurisdictions undertaking both types of efforts increased substantially, with roughly 70 percent of all localities now active . 18 16 These local services are also provided by special districts and investor -owned utilities in some locations. The vast majority of localities active in these general areas reported that they were resulting in goals, policies, or programs to reduce VMT ( a ppendix Table B6). 17 See Appendix A for a discussion of sample representativeness and weighting for population. 18 See also the 2009 survey of local governments on these activities in the 2010 Planners’ Book of Lists (Office of Planning and Research 2010). 0102030405060 Expanding the tax base Creating jobs Offsetting new infrastructure and service costs Revitalizing and strengthening neighborhoods Restoring and protecting the environm ent Providing adequate housing Preserving undeveloped land Share of respondents ranking the consideration "one of the m ost im portant" (%) http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 19 TABLE 3 Despite the recession, l ocal governments have been expanding their climate action programs 2008 2010 Emission inventory – municipal operations 55% 70% Emission inventory – community at large 42 69 Climate Action Plan 52 69 SOURCE: 2008 results from Hanak et al. (2008). 2010 results from Appendix tables B4 and B5. N OTE : Table reports the share of jurisdictions that have completed, are in the process of completing, or are planning to develop emission inventories and climate action plans. Sample size for 2008 survey questions: 301 -307. Sample size for 2010 survey questions: 337 -342. This pattern of increased activity is confirmed when we examine only the localities that responded to both surveys. What type of localities are most likely to engage in climate change activities ?19 Population s ize is one significant factor . Because more populous communities are more likely to be active, over 85 percent of our s ample population will be covered by these tools . From an environmental planning perspective, population size is also a measure of local resources: larger localities can benefit from economies of scale in planning activities ; many have their own environment staff in addition to planning departments. Higher income localities are also more likely to be active , a more general reflection of local resources . Political party affiliation also matters : L ocalities with a higher share of Republican voters are less likely to be engaged in these activities . These three characteristics —size, income, and party affiliation —are also commonly associated with the adoption of other environmental policies (Lubell, Feiock, and Handy 2009; Zahran et al. 2008; Gale and Hart 1992). Climate change activities are also more likely in localities that have adopted smart -growth land use tools. 20 T he positive association of size with climate action is a plus from the perspective of statewide emission reduct ions because larger jurisdictions cover a greater share of the population. The positive association between general climate policies and smart -growth land use tools suggests that the general policies are being backed up by concrete actions. Indeed, although local governments have the ability to affect GHG emissions in a variety of ways, the most direct channel is through land use decisions (Hanak et al. 2008). A city or county general plan presents its long -term development vision. Zoning standards an d building codes translate the general plan into specific land use regulations, including allowable uses, lot size, building height, setbacks , and requirements for parking , as well as energy and water use efficiency in buildings. 21 Cities and counties also influence other important factors affect ing the implementation of SB 375. They have direct authority over some pricing tools, such as parking charges . Many local governments also make transportation spending decisions for local streets and transit, and all have influence over the s uitability of the local network for walking and biking . Finally, the governing boards of most regional agencies , including These decisions are important for residential and commercial energy use —an important factor in GHG emissions —and they also influenc e the use of transit and the length and number of car trips —key factors targeted by SB 375. 19 Results in this paragraph refer to regression results reported in appendix Table C1. 20 For a description of these tools, see the discussion of Figure 6, below . “Edge” cities—those at a greater distance from the central business district —are also less likely to be undertaking emission inventories, but not less likely to adopt Climate Action Plans. Controlling f or population, localities that have lower residentia l densities are also more likely to adopt general climate policies, although density and population size are highly correlated. More rapidly growing localities are more likely to be adopting climate action plans (See appendix Table C1). 21 Minimum building codes for energy, water use, and other measures are set by state law (Title 22 Energy Codes and the recently adopted California Green Building Standards Code), but municipalities are generally free to set higher standards (California Building Standards Com mission 2008). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 20 the MPO , consist of local government officials . In this sense , local government officials are the ultimate decisionmakers when it comes to regional transportation policy. Rather than penalties for failure to comply, SB 375 contains incentives for local governments within a region to work to ward reduc ing GHG emissions —namely, relief from regulatory review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 22 Other communities have expressed skepticism that these incentives will be adequate to encourage climate change activit ies . For example, a plan ner with a San Joaquin Valley MPO said that the CEQA incentives are “totally irrelevant for rural areas that do not have enough transit service for transit priority projects ” eligible for CEQA relief , T here has been considerable debate over whether th is relief is a sufficient “carrot” to encourage stepped- up local government participation. Our survey did not inquire how local officials felt about the new CEQA relief, b ut interviews with regional agency staff and other practitioners suggest that the perceived benefits are greater in some regions than others . Notably, the Sacramento region has viewed the potential for relief favorably and believes that it will be a suffic ient incentive for localities and developers to undertake projects that are consistent with the goals of SB 375. 23 22 SB 375 offers three paths to CEQA relief : (1) programmatic streamlining for certain residential projects that are consistent with a region’s SCS or APS; (2) streamlining or exemption for transit priority projects that are consistent with a region’s SCS or APS; and (3) adoption of a uniform set of traffic mitigation measures for high -density residential developments, which exempts these projects from further traffic mitigation requirements. Local governments may choose whether to allow proje cts in their jurisdiction to take advantage of the CEQA reforms offered by SB 375. and the “required densities are too high for most of t he Valley to qualify for incentives.” One southern California planner also expressed concern that transit service was inadequate to meet the requirements of transit priority projects. However, as discussed below, many local governments appear poised to participate in the development of more integrated transportation and land use planning activities that could reduce VMT, and local planners exhibit cautious optimism about the potential to achieve gains in their localities . 23 A transit priority project is defined as one that is at least 50 percent residential, has a minimum density of at least 20 units per acre, and is within a half mile of a h igh quality transit corridor. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 21 Programs and Policies to Reduce Driving The three primary approaches to reduc e vehicle miles traveled are: (1) changing land use and building patterns to reduce driving distances and/or the number of trips people need to drive, (2) invest ing in a lternatives to driving , such as transit or bike and pedestrian facilities, and (3) increasing the cost of solo driving and parking relative to alternatives including carpooling and transit use . 24 Land Use Policies In this section we examine the types of tools available in each category, the extent to which these tools are being adopted within California, and the types of VMT benefits they have been found to achieve in various settings . Many analysts have examined the relations hip between land use patterns and vehicle use. Overall, the characteristics of the built environment have been shown to have a significant effect on trip frequencies, trip length, and mode choice, although each is also affected by socioeconomic conditions (Ewing and Cervero 2001, 2010). 25 In particular, a range of “ smart-growth ” strategies can reduce demand for single -occupant vehicle trips by addressing what are often referred to as the “Three Ds” of land use: density, diversity of use, and pedestrian design ( Cervero and Kockleman 1997; Ewing and Cervero 2001) . More compact (i.e., more dense) areas have lower per capita VMT because of lower levels of automobile use and greater use of alternative forms of transportation ( Cervero and Murakami 2010; Ewing et al. 2007). Using travel diary data, Cervero and Kockleman (1997) show a small but significant effect of neighborhood density, diversity of use, and pedestrian -friendly design on trip frequency and use of alternative modes of travel. Many studies now inc lude a fourth “D” —access to destinations— and over time, researchers have added additional “Ds,” including distance from transit, demographics, development scale, and demand management (Walters and Ewing 2008). As discussed below, modeling exercises suggest that these measures are likely to be most effective in reducing VMT when integrated with transportation investments and pricing tools. 26 Land Use Strategies in Action Our survey inquired about the use of a range of land use tools that are part of the “ smart-growth ” toolbox designed to raise densities and increase proximity to transit: 27 1. Urban growth boundaries or greenbelts: By restricting development outside of designated areas, these tools aim to increase density within the core urbanized area and prev ent “leap -frog ” development; 24 Other regional policies and characteristics also influence VMT and related metrics. P eople are more likely to walk in communities with lower crime rates (Doyle et al. 2006). E ducation policies that rely on a neighborhood sch ool model rather than a district-wide school choice system can reduce car trips to get students to and from school (Marshall et al. 2010). 25 See also the literature review in the companion paper to this study (Kolko 2011), available at www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=947. 26 Demand management reflects the use of pricing tools, discussed below. 27 These are not the only smart -growth tools available to local governments. For instance, interconnectivity of roads and other elements of street design are also important factors influencing the attractiveness of driving versus alternative modes of travel (Ewing and Cervero 2010). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 22 2. Transit -oriented development (TOD): By designating priority sites or site -specific zoning and building standards around transit nodes and hubs, these tools make special efforts to increase density in close proximity to transit in order to facilitate transit usage; 3. Mixed -use, high -density, or infill development: By designating priority sites or site -specific standards to encourage these types of development, these tools can facilitate fewer and shorter car trips by virtue of mo re diverse land uses within close proximity; 4. Reduced parking requirements: By reducing minimum parking requirements (the number of spaces developers must provide per unit of residential or commercial space), localities can facilitate infill and high- density development by reducing costs to developers; 28 5. Other incentives: Tools such as preferential fees or permit streamlining for qualifying developments can also encourage density by reducing developer costs. Many localities are already employing a range of these tools, and many others are considering them (Figure 6). Statewide, the designation of priority sites and si te-specific standards for mixed- use, high density, or infill development is the most prevalent strategy (used in 58 percent of all localities and under consideration in another 22 percent ). A ll of the other strategies, except urban growth boundaries , are already in use or under consideration in over half of all localities. 28 Another parking tool is “unbundling ,” whereby developers sell the parking spaces separately from the residential or commercial units. This allows those who value parking most to buy it and thus facilitates providing less overall parking. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 23 FIGURE 6 Local governments are using a variety of land use tools to increase density and improve access to transit Has your city/county used any of the following land use policies or tools? SOURCE: A ppendix Table B7. N OTE: HD is “high density,” TOD is “transit -oriented development,” and UGB is “urban growth boundary.” In general, localities with larger populations are leading the way: they have higher rates of adoption of most individual tools, and they are most likely to rely on multiple tools . 29 Another important factor is experience wi th smart -growth tools : For each of these policies, communities that have already adopted other land use tools are significantly more likely to have adopted or to be considering putting other policies in place. T ransit- oriented development, in particular, i s much more likely in communities that already have some form of rail transit (light-rail, commuter rail, subways, or street cars) or that expect to have rail in the future. 30 Experience and familiarity with these tools are important factor s in overcoming the most frequently mentioned obstacle to land use changes —public opposition. Local officials in our survey ranked public opposition to density highest among nine barriers to reducing driving in their communities. In contrast, other factors —such as income levels, party affiliation , growth pressures, and existing levels of density— generally do not appear to make a systematic difference in the adoption of smart -growth land use tools. 31 29 For adoption shares by population, see appendix Table B7. Statistical results reported in this paragraph are presented in app endix Table C2. Population is a significant factor for the number of land use actions adopted, and it is significant for all individual land use tools except urban growth boundaries when a measure of “other land use actions” is not included in the regression. It remains significant for TO D and other incentives even when other land use actions are included. This problem looms much larger than a range of other commonly cited ob stacles to smart-growth land use, including lack of lender or developer support and problems with existing land use patterns and zoning codes. Respondents who reported success in overcoming public opposition pointed to the use of positive examples from within and outside the locality as a way to win support. For example, San Francisco used examples of existing mixed use and high- density developments to educate the public about what density looks li ke and how 30 Communities with existing or planned rail are 26 and 22 percentage points more likely to have adopted a TOD policy, respectively, than thos e without rail. In localities without rail, transit -oriented development tends to focus on higher density and mixed -use development along major bus corridors, or on ensuring good bus connections for retail establishments. Several Central Valley cities also mentioned the possibility of capitalizing on high -speed rail as a focal point for TOD in the future. 31 See appendix Table B24 (j). This barrier ranked among the top three in every region but the San Joaquin Valley. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Pri o ri ty si tes fo r mi x ed-use, HD, & infill Red uc ed p ark i ng req ui rements O th er i n c enti vesPriority sites fo r TODUG B/g reenbel t Share jurisdictions (%) Under consideration In place http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 24 good design principle s can affect development. The city of Roseville built a set of educational materials showing how diverse land uses can help build community character and mai ntain property values. The already widespread use of smart- growth land use tools, particularly in the state’s larger localities , may help explain why residential densities are now increasing in California. As Kolko (2011) shows, residential densities in the state increased between 1990 and 2000, a trend that appears to have continued over the first decade of the 2000s. 32 This trend stands in contrast to the nation as a whole, where average residential densities are both considerably lower and are stable or falling. However, California’s employment densities are somewhat lower than the U.S. average and falling, as jobs are spreading outward from city centers. This trend, too, is consistent with reported land use policies from our survey: Among localities with existing or planned projects to increase density, projects are much more likely to emphasize residential than commercial uses. 33 Investments in Transit and Other Alternatives to Driving Although the dispersion of jobs within metropolitan areas may be increasing the jobs-housing ratios within some suburban localities , it can pose obstacles to increasing transit use by commuters, where density is an impor tant factor, as discussed below. Transit serves multiple goals, including mobility and access for low -income, disabled, and elderly residents without cars. However, one key goal of transit, especially since the 1970s, has been to help reduce conges - tion —and its associated air pollution —on roadways during peak periods (Fielding 1995; Hanak and Barbour 2005). 34 Transit Strategies in Action This goal relates most closely to SB 375’s call to reduce GHG emissions from passenger vehicles. Transit has been an important component of transportation spending in California since the end of the federal freeway expansion program in the 1960s (Figure 7 ). Since the early 1980s, transit has accounted for over a third of all transportation spending in California, and from 20 to 30 percent of capital investments. In the four largest MPOs, the projected shares of transit expenditures over the next few decades are even higher, ranging from 40 percent of the total in the San Diego region to 65 percent in the Bay Area (Figure 8 ). 32 Some increase in residential density could be occurring because of an increase in household size, a factor associated with the arrival of large immigrant populations in the 1990s and 2000s (Johnson, Moller, and Dardia 2004; Fulton et al. 2001), but housing unit density also increased in California from 1990 to 2008 ( Kolko 2011). Rising land prices are also likely contributing to denser residential development, even in the absence of smart -growth land use tools. 33 Over half (56%) of the communities with these projects reported that they were all or mostly residential, versus only about a third (31%) evenly split between residential and commercial, and 13 percent mostly commercial ( appendix Table B8, with calculations excluding those without projects or responding “don’t know”). 34 As a recent example, over half of the $4.9 billion committed to projects designed to reduce congestion under the state’s Traf fic Congestions and Relief Act of 2000 was allocated to rail and other transit projects (California Legislative Analyst’s Office 2007). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 25 FIGURE 7 Trans it became a focus of trans portation spending in the 1970s SOURCE: Census of Governments , various years NOTE: Data are adjusted to real per capita basis using the building cost index from Engineering News Record and population data from the California Department of Finance (2009). F IGURE 8 Transit is even more important in planned spending by the four large MPOs SOURCES: Expendi ture data from Heminger et al. (2010). Total RTP expenditures from MPO RTP documents (MTC 2009; SACOG 2007; SANDAG 2007 ; SCAG 2008). NOTE: The figure shows planned spending to 2035 within existing RTP documents , with the exception of SANDAG, which has a horizon of 2030 . The “other” category includes system efficiency improvements, risk assessment, interest payments, general planning funds, and goods movement investments. Most transit capital spending is associated with rail projects. Construction o f the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in the San Francisco Bay Area was begun in the mid -1960s ; San Francisco built a new underground light-rail system in the 1970s ; and four large cities —San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Sacramento —opened new rai l transit systems during the 1980s and 1990s. Rail expansion has continued in recent years : B etween 1992 and 2006, 217 new fixed -line stations (including rail, streetcar, and bus rapid transit) opened in the state, and dozens more are planned ( Hanak and Barbour 2005; Kolko 2011). 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1962196719721977198219871992199720022007 Share expenditures (%) Roads -o p erati ons Roads -c ap ital Tran s i t -o p erati ons Tran s i t -c api tal 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 1962196719721977198219871992199720022007 2009$ per capita Roads Tr ansit 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 SCAG $532 billion MTC $225 billion SANDAG $57 billion SACOG $42 billion Share RTP Expenditures (%) Oth e r Roads -operations Roads -capital Transit -operations Transit -capital http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 26 These shifts in spending appear consistent with the public’s priorities. In surveys of California residents in 2004 and 2006, at least two -thirds indicated that they preferred expansion of public transit and increasing the efficiency of highway use over expansion of existing highways to meet future needs (Baldassare 2004 , 2006). Generally, rail projects are more attractive to the public than other transit investments. When asked what type of surface transportation projects should be given top priority for public funding in the future, rail ranked as high or higher than highways and nearly three times as high as buses (Figure 9). Rail is often included in local sales tax measures , despite its high costs, because it is attractive to voters and can increase the likelihood of the tax measure pass ing (Crabbe et al. 2005; Wachs 2003). FIGURE 9 Californians favor rail transit as a transportation investment SOURCE: Baldassare (2004 , 2006). Although many new capital projects have focused on rail, bus service—generally a far less costly option—is much more widely available ( a ppendix Table B12). Survey respondents reported the availability of local bus service in all but the least populous jurisdictions ; nearly half of all local ities also have express bus services. Just over a quarter (26%) of local governments in the survey reported the availability of some form of rail transit, and rail is planned in another 11 percent . Because the first rail projects were built in the state’s most populous areas, over 60 percent of the sample population lives in localities that have rail transit stations , and that total will reach 70 percent with planned expansions. Of course, availability within a city’s boundaries does not mean that these transit alternatives are within easy access of all residents and workers . Kolko (2011) estimates that only 6 percent of California residents live within a half -mile of a rail transit station, and only 12 percent of workers have jobs within a half- mile of a station. Nonetheless, as discussed below, rail availa- bility does appear to shape planners’ perspectives on the local potential to reduce VMT. Of course, increased ridership is necessary to achieve t ransit’s congestion management and environmental goals. To date, ridership trends for C alifornia’s transit systems ha ve been disappointing , relative to the investments made in this sector . For the state as a whole, the share of commuters taking transit increased f rom 5 percent to 5.5 percent between 1990 and 2008 (Table 4) —76.4 percent of all commuters still drive alone to work . Transit is much more important for commutes in the San Francisco -Oakland metropolitan 0 10 20 30 40 50 Light rail Freeways and highways Public bus system s Local streets and roads Carpool lanes Som ething else Don't know Share all adults (%) What type of surface transportation project do you think should have top priority for public funding as your part of California gets ready for the growth that is expected by 2025? 2004 2006 http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 27 area (15.3 percent —second only to the New York City metro area nationally ). Transit use is slightly higher than the state average in Los Angeles (6.6%) and much lower in other major metropolitan areas. T ABLE 4 Transit has increased only slightly as a share of commutes since 1990 Transit share of commutes (%) 1990 –2008 (%) 1990 2000 2008 Rail Bus Los Angeles -Long Beach -Santa Ana 5.7 5.8 6.6 0.5 0.4 San Francisco -Oakland 14.3 14.4 15.3 1.8 -0.8 San Diego 3.4 3.5 3.6 0.4 -0.2 Riverside -San Bernardino 0.8 1.7 1.9 0.7 0.3 Sacramento 2.4 2.8 3.0 0.2 0.3 San Jose 3.0 3.5 3.8 0.8 0.0 California 5.0 5.2 5.5 0.6 -0.1 U.S. 5.3 4.7 5.2 0.2 -0.3 SOURCE: US Census and American Community Survey. NOTE : Change in rail and bus is a percentage point change. Transit includes rail and bus. Rail includes all rail transit (streetcar, subway, rail); Bus includes ferries, which account for less than 1 percent of the total. City names refer to metropolitan areas. Rail still represents only a small share of overall transit commutes (1.4 percent versus 4.1 percent for buses ), but it has accounted for much of the increased ridership . For example, in the San Francisco -Oakland and San Diego metropolitan areas , increased rail use actually displaced bus use, which declined as a share of all commutes. 35 Between 1990 and 2008, per capita VMT increased in California by 3.5 percent , suggesting that increased trans it did not displace road travel —or at least not enough to reduce overall driving. 36 This may be due to increased automobile use for non -commute trip s: C ommutes account for only a fraction of all car use, and people are much less likely to use transit for non- commute trips. 37 Another challenge for the transit system is cost. Trans it systems the world over rely heavily on operating subsidies. Statewide, transit fares cover only about a quarter of operating costs. Transit investments may also fail to reduce VMT because the reduction in road congestion encourages additional driving , as in the case of trucks moving goods (Duranton and Turner 2009). Driving in California has increased at a lower rate than in the nation overall, where per capita VMT rose by 13.7 percent over the same period. 38 A recent analysis of transit systems in the Bay Area found that operating costs have been increasing much more rapidly t han inflation. 39 35 In a national study, Baum -Snow and Kahn (2005) find that rail investments often fail to increase overall transit ridership because many new rail transit commuters are former bus commuters, not former drivers. 36 Data on VMT are from the Federal Highways Administration (Annual Highway Statistics, Table VM -2, 2010b). 37 In a 2001 national survey of travel behavior, commutes accounted for 27 per cent of VMT; transit was used for 3.7 percent of commute trips, 1.1 percent of trips for family or personal business, and 1 percent of trips for social or recreational purposes (Hu and Reus cher 2004, Tables 6 and 9). In California, 39 percent of trips originating from home are to work (California Department of Transportation 2003). In their assessments of the potential to reduce VMT, MPOs focus on weekday trips, without explicitly distinguishing between work and nonwork trips. 38 Author calculations using d ata from the Census of Governments, 1992 –2007. Recovery rates vary across systems. For instance, at 64.5 percent, the Bay Area’s BART system rate of operating cost recovery is far higher than the statewide average for transit in California . It is also one of the highest rates of recovery of any rail transit system in the country (O’Toole 2010). 39 For the seven largest transit systems in the San Francisco Bay Area, operating costs increased by 83 percent% between 1997 and 2008, whereas the consumer price index increased by 39 percent. Over this period, transit service, measured as revenue vehicle hours, increased only 15 percent and ridership increased only 7 percent (MTC Transit Sustainability Project 2010, available at www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/tsp/ABAG_Focus_presentation.pdf ). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 28 Rail systems— while often preferred to buses by users —are especially costly to build and operate, leaving them open to criticism of cost -ineffectiveness and waste (O’Toole 2010; Poole and Moore 2010). If transit is to contribute to achieving SB 375’s goal of reducing VMT, strategies will be needed to increase ridership and improve cost -effectiveness . Both trans portation policy and land use decisions are likely to play important role s. Research on transit uptake finds that the likelihood of transit use increases with access; d istance to transit is sometimes considered the fifth “D” (Ewing and Cervero 2010). As Kolko (2011) shows, commuter use of transit falls significantly when workers live more than one- quarter to one-half mile from a fixed -li ne transit node, and even faster when their workplace is located at a greater distance. Transit use is higher in areas with higher residential and, especially, employment densities (Kolko 2011). Transit use is also more likely when there is more street con nectivity and a diversity of land uses, both of which can smooth transit operation and make using transit more appealing by reducing distances between origins and destinations and walking distances to transit stops (Ewing and Cervero 2010). In three of the largest regions, planners ranked insufficient transit availability as one of the top three barriers to meeting goals for reducing driving . 40 Walking, Biking, and “Complete Streets” Many survey respondents expressed concerns about the ability to maintain adequate transit service in the face of recent state cuts to transit budgets , which have led to service cuts and fare increases across the state. Perhaps as a result, they ranked funding for transit operations and capital investments as the two most serious public sector funding constraints for development decisions that could reduce car use ( a ppendix Table B 2). In this context, it is worth noting that very few local governments currently assess developer fees to support transit alternatives: O nly 14 percent now do this, although another 11 percent are considering this policy ( appendix Table B 10). Developer fees have been an important source of suppo rt for local infrastructure in California since the 1970s (Hanak and Rueben 2006 ; Hanak 2009), and there appear to be opportunities to make greater use of such fees to support improvements to local transit networks . I n addition to transit, many localities are looking to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to provide an alternative to driving (Figure 10). Nearly 90 percent of California’s cities and count ies ha ve completed or plan to complete a bicycle master plan, and 40 percent of all jurisdictions have already established a continuous network of bicycle routes. Roughly half of all localities have similar planning under way for a pedestrian master plan or a more comprehensive “ complete streets” plan . Complete streets plans aim to improve safe access for all users , including pedestrian s, bicyclists , and transit users, as well as those using cars (Na tional Complete Streets Coalition 2010) . 40 See appendix Table B24 (j). For the Bay Area, insufficient transit availability ranked highest among nine barriers; this cons traint ranked second highest (after public opposition to raising charges for driving) in the Southern California region, and third (after public opposition to de nsity and the jobs -housing balance) in the San Diego region. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 29 FIGURE 10 Cities and counties are actively planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure SOURCES: Biking, walking, and complete streets p lans, appe ndix Table s B11–B 13; bicycle routes , appendix T able B12. N OTE: Percentages for bicycle master plan, pedestrian master plan, and complete streets plan are responses to the question “Has your city/county developed any of the following …”. Percentages for the continuous network of bicycle routes are responses to the ques tion “Which of the following transportation options are available in your city/county …”. Federal and state policies have supported these efforts. In the early 1990s, the federal government began to focus policy attention and funding on walking and biking in an effort to reverse the decline in these modes as a share of all trips and to reduce pedestrian and biking fatalities, which had been increasing (Federal Highway Administration 2010a ). Federal funding for these programs increased over the following two decades, reaching 1 percent of all federal transportation dollars, and these programs received an additional large boost with the federal stimulus bill passed in early 2009. 41 Some federal funding was also aimed at making routes to school safer for walking and biking. California’s Bicycle Transportation Act, signed into law in 1994, provided additional funding through the state’s transportation tax funds and focused on local assistance to improve access and safety for bicycle commuters. 42 To be eligible, loc al government applicants must complete a bicycle transportation plan. In 2008, the California Complete Streets Act (AB 1358) was adopted, seeking to improve mobility and safety through out the full range of transportation mod alities. 43 Recent analysis at the national level suggests some success in increasing walking and biking as a share of all trips since 1990, and some decline in fatalities. 44 Both nationally and in California, walking declined as a share of commutes over this period, and biking increased slightly, both from a low base. (In California in 2008, walking and biking accounted for 3 percent and 1 percent of all commutes, respectively). 45 41 Nationwide, $600 million were made available annually by the late 20 00s, and this figure doubled in 2009 with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds (Federal Highway Administration 2010a). Walking 42 More information on the Bicycle Transportation Account is available at www.dot.ca.gov/hq/LocalPrograms/bta/btawebPage.htm. 43 The new law requires cities and counties to update the circulation of their general plans to indicate how streets will accomm odate all users. For information on implementation of the policy, see www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/ocp/complete_streets.html . 44 Between national surveys conducted in 1990 and 2009, walking increased from 7.2 to 10.9 percent of all trips, and biking from 0.7 to 1 percent. However, changes in survey methodolo gy may have increased the recording of walking and biking trips, potentially overstating these gains (Federal Highway Administration 2010a). Comparable data are not available at the state level. 45 In California, biking increased slightly, from 0.97 to 1.04 percent, between 1990 and 2008; and walking declined from 3.5 to 2.9 percent. The comparable national figures are, for biking, increasing from 0.4 to 0.6 percent, and for walking, declining from 4 to 2.9 per cent. (U.S. Census and American Community Survey ). 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Bicycle m aster plan Pedestrian m aster plan Com plete streets plan Continuous network of bicycle routes Share jurisdictions (%) Planned In progress In place http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 30 accounts for a greater share of (typically shorter) non -commute trips; however, reducing car use for shorter trips can have disproportionately high benefits for GHG emission reductions, because gas mileage tends to be lower on such trips. 46 And as noted earlier, improving pedestrian access to transit is important for increasing transit usage. Finally , facilitating the use of these alternative modes of transportation is often inspired by the goal to improve public health. 47 Increasing the Cost of Driving Over the past two decades, transportation planners have also focused increasing attention on the potential for financial incentives to manage congestion and reduce emissions . Th ese incentives include explicit pricing tools —such as fuel and road -use charges and parking fees—as well as a group of incentives that practitioners often refer to as “demand manag ement” tools—such as carpool lanes, employee shuttles, and other employer incentives to use transit. Both groups of tools work by creating financial or time -saving incentives to shift trip timing away from peak periods and by making alternatives such as transit, carpooling, and telecommuting relatively more attractive (Deakin et al. 1996; Parry 2009). To the extent that these tools improve gas mileage— a benefit of reduced congestion —they also reduce GHG emissions for a given level of VMT. In addition , many of these tools generate revenues to su pport the transportation system. Sustainable funding of the transportation system is, in and of itself, a major policy concern, with numerous studies indicating a large and growing gap between revenues and funding needs for transportation investment and maintenance (National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission 2009). Transportation analysts consider pricing tools a preferred way to fund transportation, because they simultaneously raise revenues and send a signal to users to use the system more efficiently. The alternative—funding transportation through general tax revenues —does not help to manage dema nd. Local sales tax revenues, which have become an important funding source in recent years, are also highly regressive. However, public opposition can be a formidable challenge to implementing fee increases, as discussed below. Federal, State, and Regiona l Pricing Policies State and federal gas taxes are the primary pricing tool in place today.48 Per gallon gas taxes were i ntroduced in the early 20 th century to rai se revenue for transportation infrastructure. These taxes are a simple form of user fees , resulting in higher charges for those who drive mo re. Nationally, sensitivity to gas prices appears to have declined over the past several decades , a phenomenon that analysts have attributed to the greater reliance on cars brought on by more sprawling land use patterns (Hughes, Knittel, and Sperling 2008) . 49 46 In a 2001 national survey of travel behavior, walking accounted for 2.8 percent of commute trips, 7.1 percent of trips for fa mily or personal business, and 14.5 percent of trips for social or recreational purposes (Hu and Reuscher 2004, appendix Tabl e 9). Bicycle trips were not reported. 47 Research has shown that increase d walking and physical activity is linked to improved health outcomes, including lower rates of obesity and body mass index, both of which are lower in residents of more compact comm unities (Ewing et al. 2003 ; Doyle et al. 2006). 48 California counties can also impose their own gas tax, but they have not pursued this option. The San Joaquin Valley Air Poll ution Control District has implemented another sort of pricing program that is al so being looked to by other regions—the indirect source review fee. This is a fee that is placed on new development to offset the air pollution impacts of increased travel associated with that developmen t. A lower fee may be imposed if the new development is designed to reduce the amount of induced travel. More information on the indirect source review fee is available at www.valleyair.org/rules/currntrules/R3180.pdf . 49 These authors estimat e that the short-run price elasticity of gasoline demand ranges from - 0.034 to -0.077 for the 2001– 2006 period, a significant drop from the 1975– 1980 period, where the range was between -0.21 and -0.34. The income elasticity of gasoline demand is not signi ficantly different between the two periods. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 31 Nevertheless, large increases in gas prices can generate sizable VMT reductions (Figure 11).50 The large run - up in gas prices from 2004 to 2008, whe n average real prices jumped by 54 percent , was accompan ied by a 5.8 percent decline in per capita VMT. 51 F IGURE 11 VMT per capita in California declined when gas prices began rising in the mid 2000s Although the decline s toward the end of this period were likely influenced by the onset of the recession, the decline in VMT per capita began in 2005, when the economy was still booming. SOURCE: VMT data from F ederal Highway Administration , Annual Highway Statistics, Table VM -2 , 2010 b. Inflation -adjusted gas price data are from the California Energy Commi ssion, 2009 . One advantage of the gas tax is its administrati ve simplicity. Over time, however, rising fuel economy and the lack of political will to increase the gas tax have reduced its usefulness as a source of revenue and a price signal to drivers ( Wachs 2010). The federal gas tax has remained at $0.184 per gallon since 1993, and California’s has remained at $0.18 since 1994, 52 somewhat below the national average and far lower than fuel taxes in Europe or Japan . 53 VMT-based fees, which r ely on new electronic toll collecting and geographic positioning system techno - logies, have the potential to be more flexible than the gas tax : t hey can be varied according to time of day , Although raising these taxes and index ing them to inflation could help restore transportation revenues while sending a stronger price signal to drivers, transportation experts see far greater potential over the longer term in an alternative form of user fee—per -mile or VMT charges. 50 To spur real change, some have argued that gas price increases not only need to be large enough, but also sustained. This has led to proposals for a gas price “floor” that could create more certainty for develo pers of alternative fuels and other alternatives to traditional single -occupant driving (Sperling and Gordon 2008; Borenstein 2008). 51 In mid 2008, close to 70 percent of Californians reported that they had cut back on the amount they drove as a result of higher gas prices, and over half had used alternative means of travel (Baldassare et al. 2008). 52 In early 2010, California’s gas tax was increased, with a corresponding decrease in the sales tax on gasoline. This revenue -neutral “fuel tax swap” —adopted t o provide more budget flexibility —will be invalidated under Proposition 26 (described below) unless the legislature approves it again with a two -thirds majority by November 2011 (Legislative Analyst’s Office 2011). 53 The national average is $0.224/gallon. State gasoline taxes range from $0.075 in Georgia to $0.375 per gallon in Washington (Energy Information Administration 2010). Like many other states, California also levies a sales tax on gasoline, similar to that charged on other goods. A portion of the state sales tax revenues is dedicated to transportation funding since the passage of Proposition 42 in 2002 (de Alth and Rueb en 2005). Gas taxes within the European Union range from about $1.90 (Bulgaria) to $3.70/gallon (the Netherlands) and are genera lly augmented by general value -added taxes (European Commission 2010). Japan’s gas tax is roughly $2.25/gallon (Ministry of Finance Japan 2006). 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 10,000 19731978198319881993199820032008 G as p ri c e ($2007/gallon) VMT/capita VMT/capita Real gas price http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 32 type of road, and type of vehicle. Developments in road and vehicle sensors have made VMT -based fees more administratively feasible. Road metering has been gaining ground outside of the U nited States (Sorenson and Taylor 2005a, 2005b ; Spears, Boarnet, and Handy 2010 ). 54 Within the U nited States, a successfu l pilot program for passenger vehicles was recently completed in Oregon (Rufolo and Kimpel 2009). 55 To date, road pricing initiatives in California have been more targeted. Bridge tolls have long been a feature of transportation policy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Statewide, m ost expansions of highway l ane miles since the early 1990s have been for carpool or “high-occupancy-vehicle” (HOV) lanes (Hanak and Barbour 2005). Following the principle that “time is money,” these lanes provide a n incentive to reduce solo driving . Since the mid -1990s, some Southern California metro areas have also experiment ed with the introduction of road toll s. Based on these experiences, a recent national panel recommended that the federal government actively promote pilot programs with VMT charges as part of the next federal transportation funding authorization, with a goal to fully convert to VMT charges by 2020 (National Surface Transpor tation Infrastructure Financing Commission 2009). 56 Expansion of HOT lanes is a major component of planned roadw ay spending within several major metro areas. Within the Bay Area, MTC plans to convert HOV to HOT lanes on most of the region’s highways and to build new HOT lanes . Most of these projects, called high -occupancy -toll (HOT) or “express” lanes, combine free access for carpoolers with a toll option for solo drivers. In several cases, including the I-15 in San Diego and Route 91 in Orange County, and the newly opened HOT lanes on parts of I -680 in the Bay Area, the tolls are variable with the time of day, intending to help manage congestion during peak periods. Like more general VMT- based pricing, HOT lanes rely on electronic toll collection technology , and the revenues are often used to fund infrastructure improvements , including transit , within the same transportation corridors . 57 In addition, the region has recently introduced variable tolls on the San Francisco – Oakla nd Bay Bridge to reduce traffic congestion during peak periods. Following the successful experiences of London and Singapore (Santos 2005), t he San Francisco County Transportation Authority is also considering a cordon pricing scheme (or entry toll) for the downtown core (Bent and Singa 2009). 58 Additional HOT lane conversions and expansions are also slated for several southern California hig hways. 59 54For instance, several European countries now have automated, weight -distance truck tolls on national highways (Sorenson and Taylor 2005a). The Netherlands plans to introduce a program for commercial trucks nationwide, with expansion to all vehicles by 2018 (Stein 2008). Stockholm introduced a congestion -based fee following a trial in which traffic volumes and travel times decreased, with most of the change attributable to a shift to public transit (Eliasson, et al. 2009). Public transit services were expanded to and within the fee zone. The Sacramento area, in contrast, is still focusing on expansion of HOV lanes. Given all of the planned conv ersions and expansions, roughly 40 percent of the localities in our survey ( with over 60 percent of the surveyed population) will be 55 The Oregon pilot program included a flat VMT fee and a congestion-based fee tha t was higher during peak traffic hours. In both cases, the fee was set to be roughly equivalent to gas tax revenues. Both types of fees resulted in a reduction in total daily VMT, although the reduction was larger in the groups that experienced variable VM T fees (Rufolo and Kimpel 2008). Access to transit had a small additional effect on VMT reduction for study participants (Rufolo and Kimpel 2009). 56 Hanak and Rueben (2006) provide descriptions of the early projects in Southern California. 57 When fully built out, MTC estimates that the HOT lane network will cover almost 800 miles. The plan is to convert 400 miles of existing HO V lanes to HOT lanes and construct 100 miles of new HOT lanes in the next four years. Part of the revenue generated will fund t he construction of approximately 300 miles of new HOT lanes (Metropolitan Transportation Commission 2009). 58 For more on the San Francisco congestion pricing program, see www.sfcta.org/content/view/302/148/. 59 Conversion without expansion of lane capacity is likely to be more effective at reducing VMT, but it is also more politically difficult, particularly if it results in the reduction of open -access lanes. One challenge with conversion of HOV to HOT lanes is the desirability of having more than one HOT lane, so that traffic can flow smoothly in the event of an accident. Since most HOV lanes are single lanes, this means ei ther build-ing an additional lane or converting an existing open -access lane to HOT status. In the Bay Area, planners are working to create single -lane HOT lanes from existing HOV lanes in ways that avoid these problems. The new HOT lane on I -680 has double lanes at entry and exit points, but a single lane elsewhere. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 33 within five miles or less of at least one HOT lane, with slightly higher availability of HOV lanes . As with HOV lanes, the efficacy of HOT lanes depends on existing traffic conditions and delays (Dahlgren 2002). Local Parking Policies In contrast to road charges, which are generally determined at the regional level, parking charges and related policies are established by local governments. An analysis of cities worldwide estimate s that , on average , 30 percent of vehicles in congested traffic are looking for a place to park (Shoup 2004). 60 C harg ing for public parking space s can reduce this congestion, encourage the use of alternative means of transportation, and generate revenues at the same time (G iuliano and Agarwal 2010; Shoup 2005) . Local policies regarding parking requirements for new development are another type of indirect pricing tool. L imiting the require- ments for developers to provide parking not only increases density but can also make the use of automobiles relatively more expensive (Shoup 1999). Studies have also shown that solo driving and car use are often substantially reduced when employees must pay for park ing. 61 Parking charges are still a little -used pricing tool in California. Statewide, only 16 percent of the cities and counties in our survey have any type of charges for public parking in commercial areas—although this includes the most populous local ities (Figure 12). Revenue generation is the primary reason these localities charge for parking , although many also do so to promote retail shopping or to manage congestion ( a ppendix Table B18). At least two San Francisco Bay Area cities are adopting innovative approaches, setting prices to maintain a minimum vacancy level ( to reduce the time drivers spend searching for parking ) and employ ing advanced technology to make parking more convenient. 62 60 Estimates range from a low of 8 percent (New York in 1993) to a high of 74 percent (Freiburg, Germany, in 1977). 61 California Legislative Analyst’s Office (2002). One study cited found that 77 percent of San Francisco Bay Area commuters provi ded with free parking drove alone, versus only 39 percent of those required to pay for parking. The corresponding figures for transit use were 4.8 percent and 4. 2 percent, respectively. In their review of factors influencing transit ridership, Taylor and Fink (2003) also stress the centra l role of parking availability. 62 Redwood City adopted a parking management plan in 2005 that set prices to steer different types of parkers to different areas (e.g., downtown workers to free spaces further out, shoppers to prime spots near retail, etc.) and to maintain 15 percent vacancy at all times to cut down on cruising . The city also eliminated time limits to create a more convenient experience for parkers. And it installed high -tech parking meters to facilitate implem entation and increase convenience , reinvest ing all revenue generated through the parking program into the downtown core (Zack 2005). In 2010, San Francisco began implement ing ParkSF, a variable -priced parking program designed to manage parking demand in a few areas of the city (http://sfpark.org/ ). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 34 FIGURE 12 Parking management is a little-used local tool SOURCE: A ppendix Tables B17–B 19. N OTE: Results shown for the following questions: Do businesses in your city/county provide free parking for employees? Does your city/county require new commercial and office developments to provide employee parking? Does your city/county charge fees for public parking in commercial neighborhoods? Other parking tools relate to zoning codes. A large and growing share of jurisdictions is relaxing minimum parking requirements for some new residential and commercial develo pments. However, free parking for employees remains the norm, and the vast majority of localities continue to require new commercial and office developments to provide employee parking (Figure 12). Apart from the strong positive association between population and the use of parking charges, there are no discernable local characteristics associated with the use of parking fees or policies regarding employee parking ( appe ndix Table C4). The Challenge of Public Acceptance Pricing tools can be among the most effective in inducing changes in driving behaviors. However, the introduction of new fees can raise public o pposition. Although our survey of local officials indicated that public opposition was an obstacle for all three types of policy tools, this problem may be especially important for pricing. Among a range of measures, perceived public opposition to higher charges for driving ranks a close second to public opposition to higher density as a barrier to implementing policies and programs to reduce driving ( appe ndix Table B24(j)) . And, as evidenced by the inability of both Congress and the California legislature to raise the gas tax since the early 1990s, the need to gain legislative or voter approval for many fee s increases the difficulties of raising fees. Proposition 26, a new state constitutional amendment passed in November 2010, is likely to compound these difficulties for some types of fees. 63 63 This amendment, passed by 53 percent of voters, raises the vote threshold for new state regulatory fees from one -half to two-thirds, and it requires a two -thirds supermajority o f the voting public to approve or raise local regulatory fees that formerly could be approved by a simple majority of governing boards. Although this change does not affect strict user fees—i.e., charges that cover the costs of providing a service to the p erson being charged —it does affect fees that are used to benefit others. Litigation will likely be required to sort out the exact definition of what falls under the new rules. Thus, while parking fees, toll lane charges, the gas tax, and VMT charges could easily be considered user fees help ing to cover the cost of providing transportation services, some may interpret the new rules to restrict the types of programs that the fees can fund. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Most businesses do not provide free parking No city/county requirem ent for em ployee parking Charge for parking in com m ercial areas Share respondents em ploying tool (%) Response by jurisdiction Response by population http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 35 Past experience may help overcome opposition to some pricing options —for example, those involving choice . Earl y concerns that toll lanes were inequitable have been allayed somewhat by use patterns: A broad cross- section of the population uses the toll facilities on the I -15 and Route 91 (Sullivan 1998; University of California Transportation Center 2003). At the margin, the time savings associated with the HOT lanes is valuable for many drivers, not just the wealthiest. According to the Southern California transpo rtation officials we interviewed, the use of toll revenues to support parallel infrastructure a nd services is another important factor in garnering public support. In contrast, broader VMT charges risk opposition if they are viewed as an addition to existing gas tax charges. Board members of SANDAG, the San Diego area MPO, recently rejected the introduction of a regional VMT -fee because, in contrast to HOT lanes, it would be applied uniformly , not giving users alternative roadway options (San Diego Association of Governments 2010) . Large increases in federal or state road charges through a gas tax or VMT fee would surely raise public ire. In the short-run, raising gas taxes or introducing VMT fees might also raise equity concerns, because lower- and middle -income households would have less flexibility to respond by moving closer to transit or purchasing more fuel -efficient vehicles. Parking policies face the challenge of balancing the needs of commercial areas to attract customers and create business, while also managing congestion . A nd they can raise objections in mixed -use areas, where effor ts to reduce commercial spaces can result in spillover to nearby residential streets. 64 Maximizing Potential through In tegrated A pproaches One strategy that has helped overcome opposition is the reinvestment of parking revenues in the downtown area in which they are collected, a model used in Redwood City ( Zack 2005) and Pasadena (Salzman 2010). Resistance to higher parking charges may also be offset once residents find that it is easier to find a parking space (since one of the goals of such fees is to keep vacancy rates to a low but acceptable level, such as 15 percent). Although numerous empirical studies have examined pieces of the VMT -reduction puzzle , it is much more challenging to develop a comprehensive picture of how various policies will interact to affect dri ving behaviors in particular regions (Rose 2010) . For this purpose, model s are needed which integrate data and assumptions about land use, transportation network services, and pricing, and the way the population will respond to these factors , as well as changing economic and social conditions. California’s MPOs and state agencies are at various stages in their development of such models. Although the largest MPOs generally have the greatest capacity, even they face significant challenges in li nking land use policies and transportation network conditions ( RTAC 2009; Rose 2010). Thus, to some extent, planning for VMT reductions will be a learning -by -doing process. Nevertheless, existing research suggests some useful guideposts. A review of modeli ng studies in the U nited States and Europe highli ghts several key points (Table 5 ): 65 64 For example, in Bakersfield, efforts to limit parking availability have met with resistance from retailers who felt that they needed additional parking to accommodate peak shopping days such as “Black Friday.” And the cities of Los Angeles and Cypress enc ountered problems of spillover in mixed use areas. 65 For detailed reviews of the literature on various strategies, see the Transit Cooperative Research Program’s Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes Handbook , available at http://jayevansconsulting.com/index.php?com=resources&id=1015 (accessed on November 29, 2010). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 36 1. When used on their own, land use tools are likely to generate only modest reductions in VMT. The median reduction in VMT from land use changes ranges from 0.5 percent within 10 year s to 1.7 percent within 40 year s. 2. Expansion of public t ransit, on its own, does not fare better. The median VMT reduction ranges from 0.3 percent within 10 years to 1 percent within 40 years. 3. Of the three types of policy tools, pricing is likely to have the largest and quickest impact on VMT. The median VMT reductions for comprehensive tools, such as a fuel tax and a VMT fee, are in the range of 8 to 10 percent within 10 years , and 11 to 13 percent within 40 years. Less comprehensive tools , including congestion and cordon pricing and parking charges, also have higher near -term median reductions than land use or transit, in the range of 2 to 3 percent within the first 10 years. 4. Integrated policies, combining all three types of policy tools, h ave the largest and fastest potential effect : a median reduction of 14.5 percent within 10 years, and 24 percent within 40 years . T ABLE 5 Combined strategies show the largest potential for reducing VMT Reduction in VMT (%) 10 years 40 years n Land use only 0.5 1.7 19 Transit only 0.3 1.0 20 Pricing only Fuel tax 8.4 12.9 17 VMT fee 9.9 11.1 27 Congestion pricing 2.3 3.8 9 Cordon pricing 2.8 1.7 16 Parking charges 2.2 2.0 16 Combined strategies 14.5 24 15 SOURCE: Rodier ( 2009 ). NOTE : T he t able reports median reductions. For a display of ranges, see Figure 5 in Bedsworth, Hanak, and Kolko ( 2011 ).Combined strategies include all three categories of tools (land use, transit, and pricing). Holding vehicle and fuel characteristics constant, VMT reductions and GHG emission reductions are equivalent. This last point—that integrated policies are most likely to be effective—makes abundant sense. Transit ridership is likely to be higher when land use is tailored to favor density around transit nodes, thus facilitat ing access for residents and, perhaps especially, workers. Higher density land use, in turn, will be more effective in reducing car trips when transit and other alternatives to cars are more readily available. In creased ridership can then lead to increased revenue and service. Several cities have described this “cycle of benefits,” including San Francisco, Poway, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento, and San Carlos. The city of Merced is integrating this goal into its land use planning , proposing a “village concept” development pattern —with commercial centers surrounded by dense housing —as a central feature of its general plan. This concept is a central component of the city’s strategy to improve the convenience of transit and boost ridership. Both land use and transit strategies will be favored by pricing incentives that make solo driving relatively more expensive. And perhaps most important from a social and political perspective, the increased cost of driving will be less onerous for the population when alternatives to driving are readily available. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 37 Research results, such as those shown in Table 5 , suggest that California’s regions can meet the new regional targets under SB 375 by pursuing integrated strategies. It is encouraging to note that to some extent, California’s largest MPOs are already pursuing combined strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation system while reducing negative environmental impact s. This trend is reflected in many of the regional Blueprint strategies and the most recent RTPs , and further efforts are anticipated under SB 375. Figure 13 illustrates the types of multipronged approach es already underway and under consideration. It compares 2005 baseline conditio ns for several key indicators (shown in orange ) with two scenarios of potential change by 2035 : the most recent RTP (gr ay) and the “ most ambitious ” scenario prepared as part of the SB 375 target -setting process (blue). Baseline conditions differ across regions in some important respects: T he Bay Area already has substantially more transit capacity and transit ridership than other regions, and the Sacramento region has a much lower share of “denser” housing units (attached small -lot , single -family homes). The Bay Area and the Southern California SCAG region have more HOV/HOT lane miles per resident than the two smaller regions. In the current RTPs, a ll four regions plan to ramp up efforts in all three policy areas, although pricing receives short shrift. The cost per mile increases in the current RTPs are anticipated primarily from increased fuel costs, and only SANDAG includes a small congestion fee. In its most ambitious scenario, the Bay Area anticipates an aggressive pric ing strategy: expansion of HOT lanes , ramping up congestion fees on roads and bridges , and higher parking fees . This region also anticipates denser land use and increased transit ridership with a constant level of per capita transit stock. In both scenarios, San D iego’s strategy relies on substantially i ncreased densities ( in the current RTP, over three- quarters of all new housing will be attached) , some expansion of transit-oriented development , and expansion of HOT lanes, but at much more modest prices than the Bay Area . Sacramento anticipates a major push toward denser housing and transit expansion, from a lower base than the other regions . The Southern California region envisages a constant level of per capita transit trips, despite increases in transit capacity and a focus on housing in transit -priority areas. HOV and HOT lane expansion s play some role. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 38 FIGURE 13 The state’s largest MPOs are pursuing multipronged strategies SOURCE: Heminger et al. (2010) . NOTE : Denser housing consists of attached units and small -lot , single- family units (lots below 5 ,500 square feet). All transit -priority housing is located in transit -priority areas, defined as being within one -half mile of f requent (15 minute or less) peak transit. Price per mile cost consists of vehicle fuel and maintenance costs as well as congestion, VMT, parking, and other fees, if applicable. HOV and HOT lane share is calculated as a percentage of total mixed flow lanes and HOV/HOT lanes. Transit seat miles (seats available per mile) includes all forms of transit. For projected regional population growth rates, see Table 1. 0 20 40 60 80 100 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Denser housing share, new dwelling units (%) 0 20 40 60 80 100 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Transit priority housing share, all dwelling units (%) $0.00 $0.20 $0.40 $0.60 $0.80 $1.00 $1.20 $1.40 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Price per mile ($2009) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG HO V/HO T lanes share, total lane miles (%) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Transit stockw eekday seat-miles per capita 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 MTCSACO GSANDAGSCAG Transit usew eekday transit trips per capita 2005 Base 2035 Current RTP 2035 Most ambitious http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 39 Local Perspectives on the Potential to Reduce Driving We have discussed how some of the large regional planning agencies perceive their potential to reduce GHG emissions associated with driving, as well as the types of regional and local tools they anticipate using to achieve this goal. What about city and county planners? To explore this issue, we as ked survey respondents to provide an assessment from two perspectives: the potential effectiveness of various policy tools within their localities (an absolute measure of potential), and how their localit y’s potential to reduce driving compares with other jurisdictions within their region (a relative measure). In contrast to the regional agencies, most local governments do not have detailed quantitative estimates of this potential, so the questions were posed as a simple ranking exercise . The results can be interpreted as planners’ views of the feasibility of these tools and approaches within their communities, taking into account both political acceptability and various other community characteristics that make it easier or harder to make these approaches work. 66 Ranking Policy Tools We asked planners to assess the potential of 16 individual policy tools, including five smart -growth land use strategies ( mixed-use, high -density , or infill development; transit-oriented development ; reduced parking requirements ; urban growth boundaries ; and other land use incentives) five transit options ( local buses, express buses, express bus to rail, rail transit, and continuous network of bicycle routes), and six pricing tools (parking fees, gas prices, pay -as -you -drive insurance, variable road pricing based on congestion, toll lanes, and carpool lanes). Ranking options included high, low, or no potential to reduce or shorten car trips in their loc ality over the next few decades . Like regional transportation agencies, local governments see potential in a range of approaches to reducing VMT. The top five tools —higher gas prices ; local bus service ; priority sites for mixed use, high -density, and infill land uses; express bus service; and priority sites for transit -oriented development —fall into the three different policy categories . No particular category of policy tools stands out as having the most potential to reduce VMT over the next few decades: 36 percent named land use policies, 35 percent named investments in transit and other alternatives to driving, and 30 percent named policies that affect the cost of driving ( a ppe ndix Table B20). M any respondents expressed the need for integrated approaches, in particular linking smart -growth land use s with improved transit options and more accessible streetscapes. Several city officials also indicated the need for better connectivity between transit systems and outlying areas and job centers. For example, San Luis Obispo sees potential for interregional transit to provide a convenient alternative to commuters traveling into the city (where more jobs are located) from outlying communities. Current service that only operates twice a day is not sufficient. Poway, a city in San Diego County, has similar ex perience. According to a local planner, e xpress bus service into San Diego operates at about half capacity. The planner estimates 66 We did not explicitly refer to SB 375, to avoid concerns that the responses might be used to gauge com pliance with the law. Also, the survey was completed before CARB released draft regional emission targets in June 2010, so respondents did not know the level of the regional targets. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 40 that “better service and connectivity on the San Diego end” would increase ridership and provide a more attractive alternative to driving. FIGURE 14 Planners view a mix of tools as having high potential to reduce VMT SOURCE: A ppendix Tables B9, B13, and B19 . N OTE: The policy potential score was calculated as the sample average of the potential ranking for each policy option. A score of 3 was given for high potential, 2 for low potential, and 1 for no potential. For commuter rail and light rail, the score is combined into a single rail category .”HD” is high density development and “TOD” is transit -oriented development. One anomaly in this balance d vision, however, is the split view of pricing tools. Although higher gas prices ranks first among all 16 policies examined, all other pricing tools rank near the bottom. Note, moreover, that the survey asked about gas prices, not gas taxes. We chose this wording to avoid conflating concerns over the perceived political feasibility of raising the gas tax with the perceived effectiveness of a resulting increase in gas prices. Planners’ vie ws of the effectiveness of gas price increases is consistent with the research literature on this tool , but their low expectations regarding other pricing tools is in conflict with the research (Table 5). The explanation may reflect both recent gas price h istory and political realities. On the one hand, t he state’s recent experience with high gas prices demonstrated the potential of increased costs to reduce VMT (Figure 11 ). But this experience was also politically convenient, as it happened through market forces, not an explicit policy change. Most o ther pricing options would be implemented at the local and regional level, and planners are aware of the political difficulties of imposing higher costs on driv ers. Th e opposition faced by SANDAG regarding a reg ional VMT charge, discussed above , illustrat es the problem. Modeling showed that this would be the most effective way to reduce GHG emissions, but the local government -led board did not want to approve comprehen sive fee increases. MTC’s tentative proposal to move aggressively on regional road tolling and congestion pricing in its mo st ambitious scenario (Figure 13) could well face similar local opposition . One surprising result is the relatively high ranking for continuous networks of bicycle infrastructure. Half of all planners give this a “high potential” score, and only 8 percent consider it to have no potential to reduce driving in their localities. In the Bay Area and the Sacramento region, this tool ranks higher than any other trans portation alternative . To some extent, this optimism may reflect the unique governance aspect of this alternative —in contrast to other transit options, this one is nearly always under local control. In addition, http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 41 recent boosts in federal and state funding have focused local attention on this tool. At the same time, the limited r ole of bicycles in current trip shares (currently only 1 percent of commutes in California) , and the fact that they are not likely vehicles for large segments of the populati on, raises questions about their overall potential. Interviews revealed that planners’ optimism for this tool takes into account this low baseline . Also, in many cases, local strategies are focus ing first on improvement of bicycle routes as a recreational amenity , with the expectation that this c ould spur changes in non-recreational trips . Factors Associated with Higher Potential Planners’ optimism about the potential for various tools to reduce driving is influenced by several local characteristics: 67 Experience M atters First, tools are nearly always ranked significantly higher in localities that already are using them or planning to use them . The likelihood of ranking a smart -growth land use tool as having a high potential, rather than no potential, increases by 26 to 40 percentage points in localities that have already adopted the tool, and 21 to 29 percentage points in localities that are considering adoption. For some transit alternatives, this effect is even stronger: H aving or anticipating the introduction of rail transit raises the likelihood of ranking this option highly by roughly 50 percentage points. Similarly, planners in localities that charge for parking have a significantly more optimistic view of its potential, and the same is true regarding existing or planned HOV lanes. The major exception s to this pattern are toll lanes and congestion pricing, where there is no significant boost from being located near these managed lanes . 68 Rail Transit Is a Plus Of course, localities are most likely to adopt policies that they expect will work in their circumstances. But optimism is as high or higher for policies that are already in use, rather than those that are under consideration, suggesting that local planners are not greatly discouraged by on- the-ground barriers to implementation. In localities that already have some form of rail transit (light rail, commuter rail, subway, or streetcar) , planners have significantly greater optimism not only about rail itself, but also about most other tools. 69 With the exception of urban growth boundaries—a generally low- ranked tool—rail access increases the likelihood of ranking smart -growth land use tools in the high- potential category by 12 to 20 percentage points. It also raises the likelihood of perceiving all other transit options more favorably, as well as several pricing tools (higher parking fees, higher gas prices, and congestion pricing). 70 67 This discussion draws on the multiple regression results in Appendix Tables C -5 through C -7. This strong showing for localities with rail is consistent with the research finding tha t integrated strategies can have a greater im pact on VMT. Rail transit can complement other transit options , enhance the use of smart -growth land use tools , and make pricing tools more acceptable. As one official noted: “we have substantial vacant land …[and] existing light 68 In addition, already having a policy of reduced parking requirements for qualifying developments does not have a significant effect on ranking (although planned policy of this nature does), and planned local bus service does not hav e a significant effect (although existing local bus service does). The difficulties encountered in implementing reduced parking requirements, noted above, may account for th e more pessimistic view on this tool. For local bus service, the insignificant result is likely because only a handful of low -population localities fall into the “planned” category. 69 In contrast, there is no systematic effect on the ranking of other tools in localities with planned access to rail or with ex press bus to rail services. 70 For these tools, rail raises the likelihood of moving from a “no” to “high” potential ranking by 13 to 29 percentage points. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 42 rail. This combination gives us the opportunity to ‘get it right.’” Nevertheless, the slow progress in the use of public transit in metro areas that have expanded rail in California suggests much progress is still needed to capitalize on this potential. In contrast with these fin dings for rail, use of land use and pricing tools does not systematicall y increase planner s’ optimism regarding the potential of other tools. More intensive use of smart-growth tools (as measured by the number of tools adopted) is not associated with higher optimism on any tools except reduced parking requirements for qualifying developments. Planners in localities that have parking charges (the only explicit local pricing tool) appear more optimistic regarding the potential of toll lanes, but less optimistic regarding another pricing tool that has recently come under discussion—the use of “pay -as -you - drive” insurance. Familiarity with parking fees does not augment perceived potential of land use or transit options . These findings highlight the unique role played by rail in shaping expectations about integrated strategies. Local Conditions Shape Expectations Several other local factors shape planners’ expectations, but in less systematic ways. Planners in more populous locales are more optimistic about the full range of pricing tools , as well as the potential for transit- oriented development . Consistent with the research literature, which finds that lower income residents are more sensitive to gas price changes, planners in lower income localities anticipate that higher gas prices will be mor e effective at reducing driving . They also anticipate greater effectiveness of most rail and bus options , which are more commonly used by lower income residents (Barbour 2006) . Consistent with the idea that proximity of jobs to residents makes it easier to employ integrated strategies, officials in localities with a higher jobs -housing ratio are more optimistic regarding the potential of most pri cing tools, access to rail, and the promotion of transit -oriented development. 71 In contrast, various other geographic and economic characteristics —population growth rates, distance from central business district, and density—play at most a limited role. Faster growing localities—which should have more flexibility regarding land use tools —do not register any significant differences in ranking from those growing more slowly. Nor are there strong signs that “edge” communities , located further from central business districts, have less potential, even though the greater distances workers must often travel should make transit options less attractive . The extent to which this potential will be realized, in practice, also depends on whether there is a good match between local job skill needs and local workforce skills (Cerver o and Duncan 2006). 72 71 The jobs -housing ratio is calculated as the number of jobs relative to the number of households within a jurisdiction in 2006. A jobs-housing imbalance ranked as one of the top two perceived barriers to implement policies to reduce driving in several regions: San Die go, the San Joaquin Valley, the “Other MPO” group (including Central Coast counties and several northern Sacramento Valley counties), and the “non- MPO” group, including rural counties not currently required to comply with SB 375 ( appendix Table B24 (j)). Theory provides different predictions with regard to the potential effects of residential density. On the one hand, higher density should raise the potential of transit, gi ven the strong association between density and transit use. On the other hand, localities that are already relatively dense can face greater challenges with infill development and other types of smart -growth land use tools , which can involve costly upgrade s to local infrastructure, including underground water and sewer lines . We find no evidence that density affects the potential for land use or pricing tools, and only partial evidence for the boost to transit: Localities with higher residential densities r ank express bus service significantly higher. 72 Distance from CBD has a marginally negative relationship with gas prices, controlling for other factors ( appendix Table C7). http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 43 Party Leanings Are Influential, But Not Determinative Residents’ p arty affiliation also shapes their expectations. Most pricing tools are ranked lower in localities with a higher share of registered Republican voters, consistent with the stronger objection to taxes and fees commonly associated with this party’s platforms. 73 P lanners in these areas do not downgrade the potential of higher gas prices to lower VMT ( confirming the distinction among pricing tools noted above ), but they recognize that the politics of imposing higher fees and taxes would make these tools more difficult to implement in these locations. Planners are also more skeptical about the potential for transi t-oriented development in more heavily Republican areas, and are less likely to use this tool. 74, 75 However, party affiliation is not determinative. Adoption of most smart-growth land use tools is not affected by residents’ party affiliation, nor is the perceived potential of many individual tools that can support SB 375 goals. And experience in the Republican -leaning San Diego region demonstrates that party affiliation is not a deal -breaker for developing aggressive regional strategies. Using a combination of increased housing densities, increased transit, and more HOV and HOT lanes, the SANDAG region’s existing RTP is already one of the most ambitious in the state (Table 2 ). SANDAG’s board, composed of its local government officials, approved a “most ambitious scenario” for presentation to CARB in which 83 percent of all new dwelling units are attached housing and nearly 90 percent of all units are in transit-priority areas (Heminger et al. 2010.) . Because many of the state’s fastest growing counties are located in the more heavily Republican inland regions, this partisan split may limit the effectivenes s of SB 375 in places where there is the greatest potential to “build smart” from the ground up. Comparing Localities How do planners rate their localit y’s potential for reducing GHG emissions, relative to other localities in their region? Across all jurisdictions, the answer is “slightly below average”: Only 25 percent of respondents believed that their region had a higher than average potential to reduce GHG emissions , compared to 41 percent who believed that their locality had less than average potential (Figure 15). However, the balance tilts to the other side of the scale when accounting for size: 45 percent of the sample population lives in localities that offic ials believe have higher than average potential, versus 27 percent in localities with lower than average potential . Beyond size, m ost other significant factors are similar to t hose associated with individual policy tools. 76 73 In addition to the tools listed under the pricing heading ( appendix Table C7), planners in these localities also ranked reduced parking requirements for qualifying developments, which we have grouped under land use tools (appendix Table C5), as having significantly less potential. This can also be considered an implicit pricing tool. Notably, planners in lower income localities anticipate greater potential, as do those with access to rail transit . Numerous respondents cited access to transit as giving them an edge, both for attracting jobs and as hubs fo r transit -oriented development. Public attitudes also appear very important: P otential is lower in 74 See appendix Table C2. TOD is the only land -use tool for which party affiliation is significant. 75 Another measure of public attitudes —intensity of public opposition to various tools—is less systematically associated with greater skepticism. Strong public opposition to density does not reduce the perceived potential of smart -growth land use tools, and strong opposition to higher charges for driving does not reduce the ranking for pricing tools. However, strong opposition to transit use lowers the likelihood of ranking express -to-rail and express bus services as a high- potential tool by 14 to 15 percentage points. This measure, derived from the survey, includes localit ies where respondents consider public opposition to be a very serious barrier. 76 This paragraph discusses results from regression analysis reported in appendix Table C8. Among geographic and economic factors, only population density matters: Controlling for population , localities with lower density perceive higher potential to reduce driving. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 44 localities with a higher share of Republican voter s, a s well as in those where planners believe that public opposition to tools that could reduce driving is a serious impediment . FIGURE 15 Planners in localities with larger populations perceive a higher potential to reduce GHG emissions with transportation and land use policies SOURCE: A ppendix Table B21. These findings on overall potential to reduce dri ving present some interesting juxtapositions with the general climate action tools discussed above . In both cases, size matters: more populous jurisdictions are more active in climate policy, and their planners are more optimistic about their potential to be effective at meeting the specific goals of SB 375. These jurisdictions are also better served by the types of tools that can help: more smart -growth land use tools, more rail and express bus service, more HOV and HOT lanes, and more fee- based parking. In both cases, income also matters, al though in opposite ways. Better -off localities are more active in climate policy, as they tend to be in environmental p olicy more generally. But planners correctly perceive that achieving the goals of SB 375 will be more difficult in these localities, because residents can more easily afford to keep driving even when the costs are increased and when transit alternatives are more readily available. Planners are also acutely aware of the dampening effect that public opposition can play. In particular, the partisan split on climate policy in California, which has widened over the past two years, is reflected in adoption patter ns for general climate policy actions and the perceived potential to respond to SB 375. 77 However, as noted, party affiliation does not appear to be an obstacle across the board: A doption of most smart -growth land use tools is not affected, nor is the perceived potential of many individual tools that can support SB 375 goals. 77 Statewide surveys find that Republican voters are less supportive of AB 32 goals than Democrats or Independents, and this gap has widened since 2008 (Baldassare et a l. 2008, 2010). 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Greater potentialAbout the sam e potential Lower potential Share respondents (%) Responses by jurisdiction Responses by population http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 45 Conclusions California’s pioneering new climate law, SB 375, is one of the first in the nation to set a goal of reducing the GHG emissions associated with passenger vehicle use . Altho ugh the law is expected to play only a modest role in meeting the state’s overall emission reduction targets (less than 3 percent of the 2020 goal) , it has the potential to significantly shape the interplay between land use and transportation policy in the years to come. Three main types of tool s—land use that encourages higher densities and closer proximity to transit, expanded transit and other alternatives to driving , and pricing policies that affect the cost of driving —are being considered to ach ieve the regional emission targets for 2020 and 2035. Although none of these tools are new , the law has focused attention on their potential effectiveness and room for expansion . The state’s major Metropolitan Planning O rganizations—responsible for meetin g the new targets—are considering ramped up actions in all three areas. The success of these efforts will ultimately depend on how California residents and businesses respond to new policies, incentives , and public investments. But a key intermediate set of players are city and county governments . Their officials determine regional transportation policy directions by virtue of their member- ship on MPO boards, and their policy and practical decisions on local land use, s treetscapes, and parking policy crucially affect the effectiveness of transportation polic ies and spending. Our survey of these local governments finds some grounds for optimism regarding the implementation of this new state policy to curb GHG emissions. Despite the recent economic downtu rn and associated fiscal stress, cities and counties have stepped up their general climate policy actions, with many more localities now undertaking GHG emission inventories and developing Climate Action Plans than in 2008. We also find significant local government adoption of tools that can support SB 375 goals , including smart-growth land use tools and improved pedestrian and bi cycle infrastructure. More populous localities —which have a higher carbon footprint —are the most active when it comes to general climate policy and the most likely to adopt these specific actions. Transit capacity expansion, largely undertaken by local and regional transit agencies , has constituted a major share of transportation capital spending ( 20 to 30 percent ) for several decades , and this trend is likely to continue. B us service is available in the vast majority of localities, and the major expansion effort has been in more costly rail transit, which serves the state’s most populous communities in the major metropolitan regions. One c oncern with land use tools is their limited potential for reducing driving when they are not used in conjunction with other tools . The concern is similar for transit: There have been only modest gains in the share of transit -based commute tr ips between 1990 and 2008, from a small base ( 5 to 5.5 percent of all commutes ), and transit is used even less for non -commute trips. By these criteria, transit is an underperforming asset . Pricing tools —which have the largest and fastest potential to enco urage changes in travel behavior—are relatively underu tilized. Per gallon federal and state gas taxes are low and haven’t risen since the early 1990s , and California’s local governments have done little to date with parking policies . Nearly 90 percent of all local governments require new commercial and office developments to provide employee parking ; and most businesses provide this parking for free, discouraging transit use. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 46 The main pricing innovation is occurring at the regional level. Following se veral successful projects in Southern California, regional transportation agencies in Southern California and the Bay Area have recently stepped up plans to expand the use of high occupancy toll lanes, and to vary pricing on these lanes by time of day. Ind eed, the San Francisco Bay Area ’s MPO is placing significant emphasis on increasing the cost of driving as a way to reduce VMT. But broader efforts to raise the gas tax or to replace it with a mileage- based fee—as called for by many transportation experts —have been stymied by political opposition. The consequences are not only the lack of incentives for drivers, but also the lack of revenue to support the transportation network. Combined strategies , which integrate land use, transit, and pricing, have the highest potential to change driving behaviors —something both regional agencies and local governments recognize. However, local planners present anomalous views on the potential for pricing tools : T hey rank gas prices highest among a large set of tools but give very low scores to other pricing tools —including parking charges, toll roads, and carpool lanes , all determined by regional and local policies . These perceptions reflect the difficult politics of road pricing and other pricing tools. Planners appear to have a good sense of some of the local factors that are likely to affect potential to respond effectively to SB 375. They are most optimistic about tools already in use or planned within their localities, highlighting the positive role of experience. The y are also much more optimistic about the potential for most other tools when they have rail, the most popular (if most costly) form of transit . This view reflects the potential of rail to help coalesce integrated strategies. Nevertheless, the slow progress in the use of public transit in metro areas that have expanded rail in California suggests much progress is still needed to capitalize on this potential. As Kolko’s findings (2011) suggest, more focused efforts are needed to locate jobs as well as housing near transit nodes . E ven though most local governments consider job creation a high priority, the lack of faster employment growth surrounding most of the state’s new transit stations since the early 1990s suggests that j obs do not “take care of themselves .” Other challenges to meeting SB 375 goals relate to community characteristics. Even though higher income communities are more likely to adopt climate action plans , their planners consider them less likely to respond to SB 375 -rela ted incentives to reduce driving . Higher income households are less sensitive to pricing tools, and they are less likely to use transit. Party affiliation —notably a higher share of Republican voters —is also a barrier to adoption of general clima te policies, and it lowers overall perceived potential to meet the goals of SB 375 . However, party affiliation does not appear to block the use of various individual policy tools, such as higher density land use . In sum, our analysis confirms that local go vernments—key partners in the implementation of SB 375 —are already taking actions to help spur the types of changes in land use and transportation that can reduce Californians’ need to drive. And local planners are also optimistic about the potential for many of these tools to contribute to this goal. Opportunities lie ahead, as do challenges. Coordination among local governments, within a regional framework, will be essential to make the most of the tools available. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 47 References Baldassare, Mark. 2004. Special Survey on Californians and the Future. 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Zack, Dan. 2005. “The Downtown Redwood City Parking Management Plan.” Redwood City Community Development Department, Redevelopment Division. Available at www.redwoodcity.org/bit/transportation/pa rking/pdf /DowntownRedwoodCityParkingPlan.pdf . Zahran, S., S. D. Brody, A. Vedlitz, M. G. Lacy, and C. L. Schelly, 2008. "Greening L ocal Energy: Explaining the G eographic Distribution of Household Solar Energy Use in the United States ." Journal of the American Planning Association 74 (4): 419– 34. http://www.ppic.org/main/home.asp Views from the Street 52 About the Author s Louise Bedsworth is a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her research focuses on air quality, transportation, and climate change issues. Before coming to PPIC in 2006, Louise was a senior vehicles analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She holds an M.S. in environmental engineering and a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. Ellen Hanak is a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her career has focused on the economics of natural resource management and agricultural development. At PPIC, she has published numerous reports and articles on water policy, land use planning, infrastructure policy, and climate change. Before joining PPIC in 2001, she held positions at the French agricultural development center (CIRAD), the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and the World Bank. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland. Elizabeth Stryjewski is a research associate at the Public Policy Institute of California. Before joining PPIC, she supported research efforts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and at the Equinox Center in San Diego. She holds an M.A. from the University of California at San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, w here she focused on international environmental policy, and a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University. Acknowledgments We have many people to thank for helping us to bring this report to fruition. Hundreds of California’s local and regional officials generously gave of their time to respond to our survey and requests for interviews. Yvonne Hunter and Steve Sanders from the Institute for Local Government, Sande George from the California Chapter of the American Planning Ass ociation, Julia Lave-Jo hnston from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Chris Hoene from the National League of Cities , Carol Whiteside, and Mark Baldassare, Jed Kolko, and Michael Teitz from PPIC provided helpful input on the design of the survey. Eliot Rose and Maggie Witt served as summer interns on the project and conducted numerous interviews of regional and local officials. Davin Reed assisted with the collection and analysis of data on commuting patterns and HOV/HOT lanes. Rob Valletta wrote the computer code used in some of the statistical analy sis. Elisa Barbour, Jed Kolko, Julia Lave -Johnston, Eliot Rose, Michael Teitz, Maggie Witt, and Lynette Ubois provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of this report. We also benefited from comments from Marlon Boarnet, Robert Cervero, Hans Johnson, A lison Nemirow, Dean Misczynski, and Egon Terplan on a related report, Driving Change: Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in California , which incorporates many of the findings presented here. We alone are responsible for any errors in fact or interpretation PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Chamber of Commerce María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison I nternational Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Constance L. Rice Co -Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company http://www The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicat ed to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, educati on, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor do es it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. © 2011 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. 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