Seattle Far Ahead of Bay Area in Protecting the Climate

Half of Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come from passenger vehicles, similar to the Bay Area. However, Seattle is far more committed to acting on climate change than the Bay Area. In a far-reaching plan released recently, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan “announce[d] that the City will develop and release a strategy to address congestion and transportation emissions through pricing, coupled with investments in expanded transit and electrification in underserved communities.” This is strikingly important, as no other jurisdiction in the U.S. has considered using pricing as a tool to control climate emissions. As the plan states: Research suggests that the most effective…

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Seattle Gets It!

Seattle voters approved a Transportation Benefit District in 2014. The first year’s Performance Report contains the statement “… the City of Seattle is working … to identify projects, like One Center City, that will improve the quantity and quality of non-automobile transportation options and accommodate this projected growth in travel demand through non-SOV [Single-Occupant Vehicle] travel.” By adding bus service, Seattle has succeeded in changing the trend of Single-Occupant Vehicle use. In this graph from the Performance Report, solo driving has already declined, and is projected to drop even more in the future. MTC has failed to do this for the Bay Area.…

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Nashville Voters to decide on bold multimodal plan

Unlike the Bay Area, Nashville is presenting voters with a comprehensive plan that can realistically change how residents travel. While TRANSDEF has no opinion on the merits of the proposal, we applaud the innovation and courage of the agencies and groups involved in developing this proposal. It clearly is bold–and potentially very effective. Read more about the plan here. This is what real planning looks like.

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Seattle’s effectiveness in getting people on transit highlights how badly the Bay Area is doing

A recent story in City Lab entitled How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus provides compelling on-the-ground evidence of the efficacy of transportation planning in reducing regional congestion. Seattle’s strategies are clearly working to reduce the share of solo commuting by new residents. The Bay Area, in contrast, is projected to have the same proportion of solo drivers in 2040 as there is now. The strategy here isn’t working at all… Adding a million more solo drivers to already congested roads is a formula for gridlock. Regional Measure 3’s defeat in June will help influence MTC to…

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What’s the solution to the transportation mess?

TRANSDEF, the creator of this site, put forward a potential solution back in 2004 that demonstrated promising results. When MTC evaluated the environmental impacts of the plan we posed, MTC determined that it had lower overall impacts than the plan it adopted. The TRANSDEF Smart Growth plan offered more benefits.  When supporters of Regional Measure 3 claim that “We have to move forward with these strategies–they are the only thing that works” you now know they are wrong.

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