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Helping the Bay Area Grow
While the TLC program assists individual Bay Area communities with improving their
livability through small-scale, transportation-based projects, numerous efforts are under
way to promote community improvements on a regional scale. Here's a brief look at a few of
the major efforts.
- The Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Development, formed in 1998
by 45 leaders of business, environmental and social equity groups and government
agencies (including MTC), is striving to forge regional cooperation in transportation,
land use, growth management and other areas of common interest. The alliance is seeking
comments on its draft Compact for a Sustainable Bay Area, which emphasizes the economy,
environment and social equity, and focuses on improving transportation, preserving open
space and revitalizing neighborhoods.
- In 1998, three county supervisors from Alameda, Contra Costa and San Joaquin
counties joined forces to address their mutual concerns about jobs/ housing imbalances,
traffic congestion and air quality. They created the Inter-Regional Partnership
(IRP), consisting of 15 elected officials from 60 cities and five counties:
Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Stanislaus. The IRP promotes
commute-reducing ideas: rezone underdeveloped commercial land for residential use,
limit new commercial development until housing growth catches up to demand, promote
higher density developments near transit hubs, and provide tax incentives for people
who live near their work.
- The Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, made up of major Santa
Clara County employers, actively supports residential development and has joined with
the county to create a Housing Trust Fund that plans to raise $20 million for
first-time homebuyers' assistance, affordable rental housing and homeless
- The Bay Area Transportation and Land Use Coalition, comprising
more than 50 organizations, has adopted a platform that specifies a wide range of
activities to address regional concerns regarding transportation, affordable housing,
air quality, equity and efficient investment.
- MTC, the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Bay Area Air Quality
Management District are developing a partnership that will identify strategies cities
and counties can implement to strengthen the link between land use, transportation,
community vitality, social equity and environmental preservation.
-- Marjorie Blackwell