(Considering how long they’ve been meeting, it’s surprising I haven’t been before. There are always some HLC board members in attendance, including Michele Beasley from Greenbelt Alliance who is a task force member, and Corinne Goodrich from the San Mateo County Transit District, who staffs the task force, so our views are covered.)
A large part of the meeting focused on the “Multi-Modal Corridor Plan Travel Demand Forecasting Results.” What does this mean? It means to create models to look at different modes or ways people have to get around under different scenarios of how much transit there is and how much new residential development there is. The study projected that if we speed up transit through bus rapid transit, and increase number of people living near major transit stops (bus and train), then the number of miles people drive alone in a car goes down. Hooray! Not surprising but good to have a model that supports the scenario.
I tweeted the following two quotes from the presentation and wanted to publish them here without needing to keep them within the annoying 140-character limit of Twitter:
Quote-of-the-Day #1: "We should educate the public about how enhancing transit and land use can improve quality of life."
Quote-of-the-Day #2: "We need to be more aggressive in planning for growth in the [El Camino Real] corridor. With the highest intensification of land use, we get the greatest benefits."
In other words, if we just increase buses, they will get some more use. If we increase only the number of residents, we’ll increase the car traffic. But if we increase both, then the synergy will result in surprisingly less car traffic — because the new residents will have access to good transit that they will actually use.