Residents Give SANDAG Silent Treatment
on Transportation Plan Vote
Say SANDAG plan fails to meet state and city greenhouse gas emission reduction
targets or assure a health and happy future for children and grandchildren
San Diego, CA - At the vote on the San Diego Forward Regional Transportation Plan at SANDAG’s Board of Directors meeting Friday, residents from around San Diego County urged Board Members to vote no on a plan that fails to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation (the county's largest source of emissions) to meet state targets. Members held photos of their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and spent the majority of their comment time asking Board Members to reflect silently on the future for these children and future generations.
Nancy Yuen, a Mira Mesa resident with a teenage daughter, said “How will our generation be remembered by our children and those who come after? Will we be heroes who acted to solve the climate crisis, or will we have sat by as pollution levels caused devastating, irreversible harm to our children’s environment?” She added, “I’m here because I feel we have no choice but to act.”
Lisa Wellens, Chair of SanDiego350’s Public Policy team, said that the plan was essentially the same as the prior plan, passed four years ago, and that SANDAG has consistently ignored comments from residents, businesses and diverse organizations showing that the plan fails to meet State emission reduction targets, City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan targets, and the basic needs of San Diegans .
“Dozens, if not hundreds of our members have attended SANDAG workshops, given public comments at Board meetings, and submitted letters since the 2050 RTP was adopted four years ago,” she said, “and the new plan is barely changed.”
She said county residents were fed up with the lack of progress. “It’s really simple,” she said, “we need a plan that addresses the needs of San Diegans for convenient and affordable transportation options - especially inner-city low income residents who often do not have a car and spend an inordinate amount of time communiting. And we need a plan that and meets state and city climate targets. The answer is to put transit first while curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Why is this so difficult for SANDAG to grasp?”
Bev Harju, who attended with husband Tom, explained that residents held photos of children dear to them because SANDAG’s failure to act will harm them. “Four years ago we moved the 2,400 miles from North Carolina to be neighbors and to help raise our precious 4 year old granddaughter,” she said. “And you’d better believe we are doing everything we can to make the planet safer for her and for all children. Active hope lights our way.”
In order to be a world class city, we need a world class transportation system that prioritizes transit and active transportation. SANDAG’s own evaluation of the Plan shows that over the next 35 years, transit ridership in the region will barely increase at all, and transit travel times will still be double those of driving trips. Our transit system does not meet the needs of our residents, especially inner-city low income residents who often do not have a car and spend an inordinate amount of time on their commute. It’s time we have transit that is convenient and affordable like all world class cities.
SanDiego350, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, is concerned about climate change and its very real effects on our livelihoods, well-being, and the future for our children. We work to increase awareness of climate change and advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are loosely affiliated with 350.org, the international climate organization, whose work inspires us.