Developing the 2021 Regional Plan

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A Bold New Vision
The SANDAG Board of Directors approved an action plan on February 22, 2019, to develop a bold new vision for the 2021 Regional Plan with the goal to transform the way people and goods move throughout the San Diego region by providing compelling alternatives to driving. This innovative transportation system will strive to get people where they need to go quickly, meet or exceed state climate goals, and support local jurisdictions’ achievements of Climate Action Plan goals using proven technologies and those on the horizon. This new vision for the future will build on the significant public input received so far, as well as ensure  social equity, sustainability, supporting land use and housing, and economic opportunities. Completion of the Regional Plan is anticipated in late 2021. In the meantime, SANDAG will continue to deliver on projects throughout the San Diego region to improve travel options, air quality, and safety.

Strategies to Transform our Region's Transportation System 
As the first major step to developing a bigger and bolder transportation vision, key strategies – known as the 5 Big Moves - were introduced on Friday, April 26, 2019, at a joint meeting of the SANDAG Board of Directors, its Policy Advisory Committees, and the Independent Taxpayers Oversight Committee. The 5 Big Moves will set the framework for a new transportation vision for our region that will help meet the San Diego region’s environmental goals, add capacity to the freeway system, and create compelling transportation alternatives to driving. View an overview of the 5 Big Moves in this brochure (English | Español) or watch the 5 Big Moves webinar series

Community Involvement
The 2021 Regional Plan will be our region’s collective vision for the future. During each step in the plan development process, SANDAG will reach out to the community to seek your input. The input gathered from thousands of people throughout 2018 – through a series of open houses and subregional community conversations, community-based organization outreach events, Board workshop, surveys, and social media – provides a solid foundation to start developing this vision.

Join us in the SANDAG Vision Lab during community drop-in hours. For more opportunities to get involved as the process continues, view the Community Input page and calendar of events, or subscribe to receive email updates. You also can provide comments online by completing this form (English | Español) or emailing SDForward@sandag.org.

Action Plan
A preliminary outline of projects, programs, and policies for the vision will be shared for SANDAG policymaker and public review and input in early 2020. This framework will serve as the basis for the 2021 Regional Plan.

From now through spring 2020, we will assemble the data and tools needed to ensure the vision meets state greenhouse gas requirements and achieves the desired outcomes. Technical modeling work and performance measure analysis of the new transportation system will begin in spring 2020 and results will be available for public review and input in fall 2020. Continued analysis of the transportation system will occur through fall 2020, when the SANDAG Board is expected to select a preferred network for the 2021 Regional Plan. The necessary environmental review process will follow, including public review of the draft plan and Environmental Impact Report, before adoption of the Regional Plan in late 2021. 

State and Federal Collaboration
State and federal laws require SANDAG to update the Regional Plan every four years. SANDAG is working on necessary planning documents concurrently to maintain consistency while extending the visioning and Regional Plan development process, and to protect the vital funding sources that SANDAG has worked so hard to secure.   

State legislation, AB 1730, was signed into law which ensures the current 2015 Regional Plan remains valid for funding eligibility and other consistency purposes until the new plan is adopted in 2021. The legislation also delinks the 2021 Regional Plan from our sixth cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process to allow the timeframe for local jurisdictions to update their housing elements to remain on track. The 2019 Federal Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) was developed to retain air quality conformity from the U.S. Department of Transportation and to maintain funding. The 2019 Federal RTP was adopted by the SANDAG Board on October 25, 2019.

The 2021 Regional Plan, when adopted in late 2021, will include a new Federal Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), Regional Comprehensive Plan (RCP), and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS).

The Decision to Develop a New Vision
SANDAG conducted significant public outreach in 2018 and planned to develop a draft transportation network for review in winter 2019, and ultimately ask the Board to select a preferred network for the Regional Plan in spring 2020. The draft transportation network strived to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets set by the state. Modeling results for the draft network showed that, while it came close, the network didn’t quite meet the targets. This presented an opportunity for our region to step back and take a bigger picture look at our vision for the future to identify compelling alternatives to driving alone - alternatives that are at least as convenient in terms of time and access.

The SANDAG Board approved the action plan to begin developing a bigger and bolder transportation vision for our region in February 2019, which extended development of the Regional Plan to late 2021.

Sign up to receive email updates about development of the vision for the Regional Plan at SDForward.com/subscribe.