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the 2050 Regional
Transportation Plan

Lesa Heebner Pipes Up | Dave Druker Pipes Up


Heebner Explains her YES Vote
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Solana Beach Council Member Lesa Heebner responds to comments attributed to the Cleveland National Forest Foundation (CNFF) before that City’s Clean and Green Committee. Heebner and other North County representatives on the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), including Del Mar Mayor Carl Hilliard, voted for a 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) that has been criticized by environmental groups and the Sandpiper.

CNFF: The Plan invests in freeways first and postpones additions to mass transit until about 2040.

HEEBNER: Absolutely untrue. There are over 200 transit projects at various stages, from planning to current construction along the Coaster route. Other transit projects include the Mid Coast Trolley and improvements to the Blue and Orange trolley lines that will be completed in the first and second decades of the RTP. Over the life of the Plan, 42 cents of each dollar is spent on transit, not including the managed lane projects. Granted more will be spent on transit in the third and fourth decades because that is when the money comes in. I welcome lobbying for more transit money sooner.

CNFF: RTP 2050 will not comply with the requirement to reduce Green House Gas emissions in the year 2050.

HEEBNER: The RTP exceeds the 2020 target and meets the 2035 target. Some gains will be lost from 2035 to 2050. This backsliding is of concern. One reason is few cities have Plans that go out to 2050 and the CA Air Resources Board model only goes out until 2040, so we have incomplete input. I also suspect roads will become more congested at that point and GHG emissions may increase. But the model can’t tell us at this point. In the final motion to approve the RTP, SANDAG agreed to address the backsliding including a commitment to create a prioritized Early Action Project List for pedestrian and bike plans, a Complete Streets Guide for member cities and to work on land use strategies in our update.

CNFF: The Plan does not consider alternatives.

HEEBNER: The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) explored a No Build alternative as well as a version of CNFF’s proposed 50/10 Plan (50 years of transit in ten years) which I would love to see happen but since the money does not all come within 10 years, is unfortunately impossible to implement. There has to be some basis in reality in order to analyze an alternative. The RTP EIR did analyze an alternative as close to the 50/10 plan as was feasible. The final list in the RTP is a set of projects that were a grand compromise, angering freeway proponents as well as transit proponents that resulted from hours of discussing various alternatives.

CNFF: Cited studies show support by California voters at up to 82% in favor of more mass transit.

HEEBNER: It is a shame we don’t have the money to do this. Currently the monies come in for either roads/highways or transit and you can’t use one for the other. If I had my druthers we would put in more transit sooner but knowing the projections for money, this RTP is more aggressive on transit than any plan before.

Heebner will be the featured speaker at the Del Mar Rotary Club meeting beginning at noon, March 22, at St. Peters Episcopal Church, 334 14th St. She will discuss Solana Beach’s development along Highway 101, especially as it relates to Del Mar’s proposals for Camino del Mar.

Editors note: Lesa Heebner is the Solana Beach SANDAG Representative, a former Mayor of Solana Beach, and currently on its City Council.

Lesa Heebner Pipes Up | Dave Druker Pipes Up


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