Remarks to DMV Moves (long-term funding taskforce)

Thank you for your commitment to transit and our region and to the staff for today’s excellent presentations. We are very hopeful you’re your discussion that you will be bold in creating a new integrated transit vision plan for our region and in prioritizing dedicated funding to make this vision possible.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth advocates for walkable, bikeable, inclusive, transit-oriented communities as the most sustainable and equitable way for the region to grow.

We have just six years to slash our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below 2005 levels, and you have committed to do so in local and regional climate and transportation plans. Electric vehicles will not be enough, so we need to reduce our vehicle miles traveled by at least 20% by 2030. For this we need transit and TOD.

Access to frequent, affordable transit is key for access to jobs and enabling people to escape poverty. Affordable transit combined with affordable housing results in lower combined housing and transportation costs, provides for family security, and enables families and children to succeed. Our transportation network would not work without frequent and extensive transit. And let’s not forget that transit is orders of magnitude safer than driving.

Thank you to all who emphasized land use. CSG’s Blueprint for a Better Region and the commitments you have made locally and through the COG Region Forward plan are all based on a network of transit-oriented communities. We cannot afford more sprawl. And we can move quickly to create more 15-minute neighborhoods with safer walking/biking access to transit and daily needs.

Our transit must be very frequent, reliable, affordable, easy to use, extensive, and tied to compact, walkable communities. Frequency is Freedom according to Jarret Walker. Finally, dedicated lanes for buses are essential and you should not shy away from converting existing road lanes.