The Sonoma County Transportation & Land Use Coalition was formed in 1991 from members of the Sonoma County Conservation Council who had expressed a special interest in transportation issues. We developed policies and objectives which are shown below.

SCTLC Policies on Transportation and Planning Criteria

Adopted by the SCTLC on Oct. 21, 1997

Any transportation policy or plan should:

  1. be based upon and consistent with sound land use planning;
  2. emphasize energy-efficient and energy-conserving modes of transport. We are particularly concerned that walking and bicycling and efficient forms of public transit receive suitably enhanced public investment. The long-term aim is to minimize growth of transportation systems based on fossil fuels;
  3. fully utilize existing rights-of-way, particularly the newly acquired rail right-of-way, and emphasize coordinated public transit systems. This means interconnecting automobile, bus, rail and self-propelled transportation systems. Continued rail freight service and expanded passenger rail service should be developed;
  4. be based upon a county-wide cooperative planning process.

SCTLC’s Primary Objectives

  1. Assure that transportation is appropriate for centers of population instead of sprawl.
  2. Work for enhanced bicycling, walking and public transit modes.
  3. Assure public support for financing the operating costs of transit systems.
  4. Work for equitable sharing of transportation costs and distribution of transportation benefits.

In 2001, an updated consensus was developed on what transportation and land-use policies the Sonoma County Transportation Land-Use Coalition should support. A summary of the results is below.

Library Study Group on Land Use and Transportation

On Saturday, March 10, 2001, about 30 environmentalists met at the Sonoma County Library in Santa Rosa to develop consensus on what transportation and land-use policies the Sonoma County Transportation Land-Use Coalition should support. Sebastopol Mayor Larry Robinson facilitated the discussion. Notice of the meeting was widely transmitted via email to environmental groups including Transland, Conservation Action, GreenAction, SOCO, Riverissues.

There was consensus to support the following principles and goals.

Overarching Principles

  1. Develop transportation and land-use policies that create developments with a sense of community, and that reduce and even eliminate auto-dependency.
  2. Reframe housing and transportation issues: from “building housing” to “housing people,” from “providing transportation” to “moving people and goods.”
  3. Find the means to fund public transit operations.

Specific Goals

Create livable/walkable Communities
• Mixed-use developments with housing, jobs and services within walking distance of each other.
• Housing affordable for people with very low, low, moderate and above moderate incomes within walking distance of job sites.
• Residential development downtown
• Housing developments and job sites need good access to public transit
• Return to tradition street patterns (grid system)

Intra-county transit needs to be improved
• Greatly expanded bus service
• All transit systems coordinated, one pass for all
• More efficient Paratransit

Reduce the “drive and park” advantage
• Parking cash-out and other transportation demand management tools
• No more “free” parking—anywhere
• Make shopping centers support local shuttles.
• Make future parking lots serve dual purposes, i.e., part of retail, commercial and/or housing on top.
• Remove parking requirements from the development and put responsibility on the driver.
• Provide tax and other incentives to reduce vehicle use.
Eliminate hidden subsidies for autos.

SMART start-up
• Stops need to be part of high-density communities and town centers
• Minimize park-and-ride adjacent to stops
• No stops between urban areas
• Needs to be part of a comprehensive multi-modal system

Improve walkways and bikeways
• Implement countywide bike plan
• Implement city bike plans

Keep rural roads safe and calm
• Create Heritage Road designation
• Put money into maintenance, not widening and straightening

Support an initiative or referendum
• to support bikeways, and walkways
• to fund expanded transit operations

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