The city's draft Climate Action Plan aims to empower half of residents in urban areas to commute by transit, walking, and bicycling by 2035, whereas SANDAG’s draft regional plan – as revealed in the new report using SANDAG’s own data – would put the city on a path to achieve only 15 percent of commutes on alternative transit in the same area. Or, put another way, the city’s goals are over three-times greater than SANDAG’s.
Climate Action Campaign and Circulate SD revealed the significance of the report’s findings and were joined by American Lung Association, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, SanDiego350, IBEW 569, and the California Nurses Association in calling on the city to vote ‘no’ on SANDAG’s Regional Plan and rewrite it with a heavier emphasis on transit.
“Pollution from cars and trucks is the largest driver of climate change in San Diego and impacts the region’s quality of life, health, as well as our ability to compete in a 21st century economy,” said Nicole Capretz, executive director of Climate Action Campaign. “It's imperative that the City of San Diego and SANDAG work together to allocate enough resources to offer real transportation options.
“The city is doing what's necessary by proposing visionary, enforceable goals in its Climate Action Plan, but SANDAG isn't pulling its weight. That's a problem because SANDAG controls the purse strings,” she added.
“The city’s Climate Action Plan is a chance to improve our lives today and in the future. But the plan faces a huge roadblock if SANDAG fails to allocate adequate transit funding and planning in its regional transportation plan,” added Colin Parent, policy director of Circulate San Diego.
“It's time to turn up the heat on SANDAG or else climate change will keep turning the heat up on us. The city’s representatives on the SANDAG board must stand up to fight for our future and the integrity of their climate plan by voting ‘no’ on the regional transportation plan,” Parent said.
SANDAG is expected to vote on its Regional Plan at its Oct. 9 board meeting, while the San Diego City Council is expected to vote on its own Climate Action Plan in early December.
Climate Action Campaign is a climate watchdog organization. For more information, visit www.climateactioncampaign.org.