By Henrietta J. Burroughs
East Palo Alto Today
Posted September 16, 2010
Can Bay Area residents actually make a difference with the input that they give government agencies? The Metropolitan Transportation Commission thinks so.
The MTC is expressly encouraging area resi- dents to voice their opinions on $11.1 billion worth of proposed transportation projects, all
of which are a part of the Bay Area's Transportation Improvement Program, known
as TIP. All of the improvement projects involve federal funding and/or approvals and are regionally important projects.
The projects will run through 2014 and, according to the MTC's September 2010 e-Newsletter, the entire project includes 1,000 mass transit, highway, local road, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Each project costs over $200 million.
In order to make it easy for individuals to understand the projects and get involved in the decision-making process, the MTC has published a pocket guide that lists the proposed projects and explains how the public can voice its input.
The guide has a special section that shows the 2011 TIP Investment Analysis with a "Focus on Low-Income and Minority Communities." The section presents observations which compare the amount of TIP investments as they relate specifically to the percentages and the distribution of different minority groups in the Bay Area. Here, for example, are a several observations presented in the guide. "While the share of the total population that is low-income is 25%, low-income passengers account for 56% of transit trips in the Bay Area."
Also, "Minority households make up 54% of the population in the Bay Area, but account for only 40% of the vehicle miles traveled in the Bay Area." From another graph, the observation drawn states, "While minority groups make up 54% of the Bay Area population, this population accounts for 60% of all transit trips."
One of the proposed TIP projects focuses on the Dumbarton Corridor, which, as some readers might recall, was the subject of a series of local area meetings called the Dumbarton Dialogue Project that was held several year's ago.
The MTC will hold several public hearings this month to receive public testimony. The next hearing is on September 22, 2010, at 9:45 a.m. in the Dahms Auditorium which is in the MTC's offices at the Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter located at 101 Eighth Street in Oakland, CA.
The deadline for written comments is 5 p.m. on September 30, 2010. Comments can be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail and by fax. Letters should be sent to MTC Public Information Office, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, CA 94607; or faxed to (510)817.5848. The Transportation Improvement Program is scheduled for adoption on October 27, 2010.
To read the complete document on the Bay Area's Transportation Improvement Program, click A Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area's Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP.
To see a Guide to TIP, read the Draft Air Quality Conformity Analysis and the Focus on Low-Income and Minority Communities report go to the MTC's website.