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MTS Twelve Points - Ouch
by iNet News Manager
Umunum News Room
source: Umunum Chapter of CPRT

•• July 29, 2002 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service •• Twelve Key Points From the Master Transportation Study (MTS)
The MTS is an innovative, community-based approach to create a safe, sustainable transportation future for the City of Santa Cruz that expands travel choices, relieves traffic congestion, and enhances community livability. The MTS articulates a long-term vision set within a comprehensive implementation framework to offer a balanced, integrated transportation strategy for future action.
1. To create a Balanced Transportation Strategy, the MTS recognizes the complex interrelationships that effect travel behavior and travel mode choice: economic necessity, employment and population growth, lifestyle choices, availability of transit services & accessible routes, travelway capacity, parking availability and cost, employment patterns and the location and affordability of housing. Solutions to one issue generally have consequences —both positive and negative — for related issues, and the MTS provides a balanced approach to foster a sustainable, long-term transportation future.
Comment – sustainable means a zero sum activity – as much energy in as out, or else solar source of spent energy. The Commission ignored the suggested skate board which with walking and swimming is almost sustainable.
2. A Simple Framework: the Four Trip Types provide a framework for understanding the character, focus and potential effectiveness of every policy or program element proposed in the MTS:
a. Internal – Internal: “Local City trips” are those over which the MTS will have the greatest influence;
b. External – Internal: “Travel-In” trips may be influenced through parking management programs, expanded regional transit services and HOV-related projects;
c. Internal – External: “Travel-Out” trips are minimally influenced through MTS measures; and
d. External – External: “Pass-Through” trips are influenced by very few, if any, MTS measures.
Comment – an interesting and provocative perspective.
3. Land Use is closely linked to transportation. Through innovative land use planning, (ex. mixed-use development and redevelopment, creation of higher-density housing along transit corridors and within walking distance of commercial services,) the use of alternatives to the Single-Occupant Vehicle (SOV) is enhanced. Moreover, if affordable housing options can be provided where such opportunities exist within the City of Santa Cruz, then perhaps some “Travel-In” trips can be shifted to “Local City” trips, thereby offering greater potential for transportation relief.
Comment – an obvious solution eschewed by transit practitioners. (See ABAG vs VTA)
4. Transit and carpooling offer the greatest promise for traffic reduction through mode shift from SOVs. However, successful implementation of expanded and improved transit services requires development of MetroBase and will benefit from a variety of transit-related roadway improvements (bus bypass lanes, etc.) Comment – this has captured almost 2% of trips in the USA.
5. By their nature, nearly all transit trips are multi-modal. Therefore, recognize the importance of providing adequate pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements in supporting the transit mode. Pedestrian improvements adjoining transit nodes warrant higher priority for implementation than most other pedestrian projects. Comment – Solar transit already in place and is highly consumer-friendly and healthy.
6. Identification of “gaps” and “bottlenecks” in the existing transportation systems (transit service, bike routes, pedestrian ways, roadways, intersections) will help us prioritize TSM projects for implementation. These includes roadway and intersection improvement projects that accommodate multiple modes (transit, rideshare, bike and pedestrian), as well as “livable streets” design measures that enhance neighborhoods. Comment – Takes your breath away.
7. The MTS needs to provide real travel choices while recognizing the potential for new, innovative solutions. UCSC provides many examples of successful transportation programs — transit services, parking management policies and land use plans — that may translate effectively to the larger community. Whatever the measures, these solutions need to be practical and feasible in the near future. Comment – perhaps we should return to old innovations.
8. The MTS process needs to create reasonable expectations of future conditions. If the MTS measures prove successful, then Vehicle Hours of Delay (VHD) in 2020 will only be approximately 15% worse than today. However, if current trends continue over the next two decades, VHD is projected to increase 92%. — nearly double today’s level. Successful implementation of the MTS measures can make future conditions dramatically better. If this community chooses to aggressively pursue innovative solutions the 15% increase in congestion may be reduced. Comment – Traffic increases at 4% a year generally and 10% on freeways; these translate into doubling times of 16 years and 7 years, respectively. 92% in 20 years is pretty good – show us the examples of communities which have increases only 15% in twenty years.
9. Recognize the value of Incremental Change. Many effective programs, such as recycling and water conservation, began with relatively small behavioral changes that evolved toward a larger/greater goal. One appropriate transportation example may the “One-In-Five” program being developed by the SCCRTC. Comment – at least it’s inexpensive.
10. Recognize the Regional Context in which City transportation policies are adopted and transportation improvements are implemented. Certain critical projects — widening Highway 1, the Broadway/Brommer Bike Path, and SCCRTC’s acquisition of the rail right-of-way for alternative uses — proposed on a regional scale will influence the outcome of the City MTS. Forging constructive partnerships between the City and adjoining jurisdictions and agencies is critical to implementing effective change. Comment – Will that stop the addition of lanes to Highway 1?
11. Adoption of a “Good Times/Bad Times” strategy will allow for ongoing implementation of the MTS during fluctuating economic conditions. This flexibility can help keep the MTS responsive and viable over time. Comment – Those were the Good Times which engendered the Bad Times. We should look ahead.
Finally, recognize that Marketing and Education efforts are absolutely critical to the success of the MTS. This is especially true as new “program” solutions like TDM are applied to what have historically been perceived as “project” problems. UCSC’s successes (see #7) can serve as a model for the rest of the community. Also note that many widely accepted sustainability programs — recycling, water conservation and even urban runoff — initially found great support among school-age children. Efforts addressing the K-12 audience should be viewed as a long-term investment with potential benefits much broader than just our local community. Comment – This looks like child’s play to us, too.

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