Since our last post in late September, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) staff has held multiple workgroups to finalize the RTP Guidelines, and released the final draft in late November. There are still a few sections, notably those dealing with public health and social equity, where additional edits are still taking place. We are working with CTC staff, MPOs and other stakeholders to weigh in as the language gets finalized. The final version should be released in early January and go to the California Transportation Commission for approval at their January 18-19 meeting.
Here are a few key changes that made it into the final version of the RTP Guidelines:
- Adding new Public Health language, especially in Section 2.3 and Appendix K.
- Adding language on active transportation, complete streets, and first/last mile issues.
- Including stronger Title VI, civil rights, social equity factors, public engagement strategies, and environmental justice language
- Creating a new chapter dedicated to performance management and measures (Chapter 7).
- Creating a new Appendix (L) on Planning Practice Examples including may examples that the Safe Routes Partnership suggested, as well as those from ClimatePlan’s recent Leading the Way report.
However, we are concerned about a few things, including:
- The update process has been extremely rushed, starting in June 2016 and wrapping up now. It has been difficult for some of our partners and communities impacted by the Guidelines to keep up with the fast pace and attend all meeting.
- Consensus building among the MPOs, CTC staff and outside stakeholders has sometimes proven difficult. We have had to compromise on a lot of language that we would have liked to see added.
- Many of our comments were addressed by adding items to the Appendix and not the actual Guidelines language.
- Little mention of housing issues as they relate to transportation and RTP/SCS development.
- Removing references to legislation directed at state and local agencies. We feel the RTP Guidelines were a critical document to highlight the connection between different levels of planning, and are disappointed that these references were largely removed.
You can read our four comment letters on the process here: