Three California MPOs Earn Top Planning Honors

Three California Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), SANDAG, SCAG and MTC, were among the eleven plans selected nationally for recognition by the Federal Highway Administration and the American Planning Association.  The selected plans are singled out for their overall excellence on a variety of factors. Award are only given out every other year.   Top honors went to SANDAG for their regional plan.

“The real winner here are the communities in these regions,” said Bill Higgins, Executive Director of the California Association of Councils of Governments.  “These three have been working together to share planning information and data to learn from one another.  Everyone benefits.”

The plans that were called out for recognition include:

  • Best of the Best: San Diego Forward.  The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) completed San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan. This plan serves as a 21st century blueprint for how the San Diego region will grow, and how SANDAG will invest in transportation infrastructure that provides more choices, while strengthening and supporting thriving communities. The Regional Plan, including a Sustainable Communities Strategy, is built on an integrated set of public policies, strategies, and investments over the next thirty years.  SANDAG’s goal is to maintain, manage, and improve the transportation system so that it meets the needs of the San Diego region through 2050.
  • Planning Excellence:  Plan Bay Area. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Plan Bay Area is the long-range transportation and land use plan for the nine-county San Francisco Bay area. The plan is the first to incorporate a state-mandated Sustainable Regional Strategy for the region. Plan Bay Area seeks to address multiple transportation strategies while providing for housing to accommodate a booming population. While the plan incorporates numerous funding sources, one of its core elements is the new One Bay Area Grant program, which closely links transportation and land use by linking project funding to jurisdictions’ observed and forecasted housing production.
  • Planning Excellence: Go Human.  The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) launched its Go Human program as an outreach and advertising campaign to reduce traffic collisions in Southern California. The campaign uses education, advocacy, information sharing, and events that help residents re-envision their streets and communities. Go Humanhas three unique strategies to reduce collisions and encourage active transportation: (1) an advertising component that delivers safety messaging throughout the region for all users of the road (2) partnerships with cities that demonstrate active transportation interventions (3) a publicly-available toolkit empowering elected officials, advocates, community groups, and workplaces to champion change at the local level for safer streets.

Projects were judged by a distinguished panel of experts on a wide range of criteria including community, public involvement, and partnerships; context sensitive solutions; innovation and effectiveness; equity; Implementation and implementation strategy; multimodalism; and potential for long-term benefits.  (See the distinguished panel listed under the award recipients).

The Federal Highway Administration will be showcasing the project at a later date in a variety of ways, including a digital brochure and webinar sessions.

Or just hang out at the next CALCOG meeting.

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