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24 CHAPTER 6 Peer-to-Peer Scenario--Megaregional Partnership to Address Growth Scenario Railroad (UP), the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF), and air travel corridors. Numerous highways and rail As metropolitan regions expand, they are becoming increas- lines, including State Routes 58, 46, 152, 198, and 120, also ingly linked via economic interdependence and common cross the Valley. Though each county has its own transit facil- transportation networks. These megaregions share common ities, there is no unified transit system for the entire region. issues (including economic growth, environmental concerns, Eight MPOs, each representing a single county, are partici- and mobility) and have an increased need to look beyond pating in the SJV Blueprint Process. The region's population jurisdictional boundaries when planning and operating the is expected to double from 3.4 million to 7 million by 2050. transportation system. Megaregional planning also presents The forecasted growth--combined with current mobility, an opportunity to pool funds for more efficient use. environmental, quality-of-life, and economic development There are many challenges to successfully conducting challenges--has motivated regional planning partnerships. megaregional planning. Federal funding is not provided to The Blueprint Process is a multiyear planning effort that megaregions, and local land use plans and decisions often engages the general public, civic groups, business interests, the conflict. MPOs in megaregions have traditionally operated agricultural community, environmental groups, and govern- within well-defined roles and clearly delineated geographic ment officials. The Blueprint Process is developing a regional areas. Those MPOs that have adopted performance measures vision but recognizes that decision-making power and imple- typically do not coordinate with other neighboring MPOs. mentation remain within the region's local jurisdictions. Yet, MPOs across the United States are increasingly faced This megaregional partnership includes a state-mandated with the challenges and opportunities of collaborating with partnership (California Partnership), a regionwide planning their neighboring MPOs. At least nine large megaregions in process (Blueprint), and active participation of all governments the United States have been defined by various regional plan- in the region. The unique nature of the partnerships, the proj- ners and academics, yet these are not officially recognized ect funding source, the coordinated planning components, by the U.S. Census Bureau. Further, many MPOs originally the high level of participation, and the data sharing are all key formed as single-county regions are growing into one another. reasons for the success in developing a megaregional partner- Peer-to-peer megaregional planning partnerships occur pri- ship. The process is just beginning to be implemented, so final marily during early planning. This is mainly because these kinds outcomes are unknown. of partnerships are fairly new and there is little experience on Other case study examples were drawn from the Central which to base megaregional implementation structures. Florida MPO Alliance, the West Central Florida MPO, and the San FranciscoSacramento interregional planning efforts. Case Studies Building Blocks The primary case study is the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) Blue- print Process and related California Partnership established for Establish Partnership Agreements the same region. The SJV stretches from the Tehachapi Moun- Formal Partnership Commitments Between MPOs tains in the south to the San Joaquin Delta in the north, nearly 300 miles. The SJV is between the large metropolitan areas Because megaregional partnerships involve multiple agen- of San Francisco and Los Angeles. The major transportation cies, partnership agreements are vital to their success. Many facilities include Interstate 5, State Route 99, the Union Pacific MPOs exchange information or attend presentations of their

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25 neighbors, and a few have begun to formalize partnership A partnership called the Blueprint Learning Network helps agreements across their boundaries. The SJV Blueprint Process coordinate shared data and learning experiences about the is an "unprecedented example of local jurisdictions demon- megaregional planning effort. strating increased regional identity and a unified purpose in The San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council, consist- addressing the region's challenges."6 Eight Councils of Gov- ing of two elected officials from each MPO, made the final ernment (COGs) in the valley agreed to take part in the Blue- Blueprint scenario recommendation. print Process. The SJV Blueprint Process has been well served by estab- lished working relationships among the partners. The eight The Central Florida MPO Alliance was formed in counties are all within a regional air quality basin and have a 1997 by METROPLAN ORLANDO and the Volusia history of working together on air quality issues. County MPO with a collaborative focus on Coordinated regional planning also can identify needs for regional transportation issues. The alliance con- regionwide programs. The Corridor Enhancement Plan for sists of six MPOs and two Florida DOT Districts, California State Route 99 (an expressway that spans the val- governed by a joint resolution of the participat- ley) is a multicounty initiative that arose from the California ing member MPOs and the Florida DOT. The Partnership and Blueprint Process. alliance developed a Central Florida Long-Range Transportation Plan that unifies regional goals Collaboratively Leverage Funding for Planning, and coordinates individual MPO plans. The plan Programs, and Projects synthesizes existing MPO plans, rather than devel- oping a separate regional vision. Under a new The eight COGs within the SJV used state funding, receiv- Florida DOT program, the alliance (and other ing a $4 million grant from the state, with an additional regions with interlocal agreements between $500,000 in matching funds from the Valley's Air Pollution MPOs) is eligible to receive state funding (up to Control District. The Blueprint Process also has drawn on the a 50% share) for facilities that serve regional, work of the California Partnership (a publicprivate partner- state, or national functions. (www.metroplan ship established by executive order of the California Gover- orlando.com/siste/parterships/cfmpo.asp) nor with a focus on improving regional economic vitality and quality of life) to help support coordinated data collection and integration of regional needs. Define Performance Measurement Framework Assistance from Outside Organizations Interregional Adoption of Common Goals, In a multi-MPO partnership, the support of various groups, Objectives, and Vision including nonprofit organizations, can help maintain work- ing relationships and keep agencies focused on regional issues. The megaregional scenario addresses the challenges of For the SJV Blueprint Process, supportive agencies include the growth while recognizing the limitations existing agencies following: face in tackling problems that stretch beyond their borders. Addressing growth across MPO boundaries requires an under- The Great Valley Center (GVC), a nonprofit community standing of how a megaregion is growing and changing and a development organization, is the regional facilitator for the common set of goals or a vision for addressing this growth. Blueprint Process. The GVC also is the headquarters for The SJV Blueprint Process integrates transportation, hous- the California Partnership. ing, land use, economic development, and environmental data The Blueprint Regional Advisory Committee supports the to produce growth scenarios for 2050. The starting point for entire effort, acting as champion of the final Blueprint the Blueprint Process was a "status quo" scenario projection vision, advocating implementation with local jurisdictions, of how all eight counties would grow based on current trends. and promoting regional strategies at state and federal levels. Alternative scenarios were developed based on land use, The SJV Blueprint Professional Planners Group consists of transportation, conservation, and housing plans. These sce- land use planners from each county who provided a frame- narios addressed questions such as work to develop the guiding principles for community outreach and scenario planning. How and where should we grow? How will we travel around the region? How will growth affect our environment and our overall 6 http://www.fresnocog.org/files/Blueprint%20Summary%20-%20Brochure.pdf quality of life?

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26 These scenarios were used to produce a regional vision, communities in a visioning process that was incorporated goals, and objectives. The final Blueprint product will include into a valleywide vision. Engaging the public at this level is growth strategies for each county and the entire Valley. The an enormous undertaking, but the bottom-up approach COGs in the Blueprint initiative plan to track progress toward encourages local decisionmakers to embrace and promote the valleywide goals and make any "midcourse corrections" nec- regional vision. essary to stay on track. Maintaining this bottom-up approach of the Blueprint Pro- cess presents challenges, especially for local decision-making authority. Though local jurisdictions are often wary of regional plans that may impact local decision making, the bottom-up The Central Florida MPO Alliance worked with approach has facilitated a collaborative process. As the Blue- myregion.org, a Central Florida nonprofit, to print Process is implemented, changes to the strategies and create a regional vision through studies and decisions from the Blueprint planning process could lead outreach efforts, including the How Shall We local jurisdictions to view the plan as top-down. Outcomes of Grow? Regional Vision Project. Myregion.org is the regional Blueprint Process and the California Partnership developing a position paper to identify what cannot supersede local land use authority. Central Florida must do to build a world-class multimodal transportation system. The top Developing Measurement issues include a regional funding mechanism; and Data Collection Methodologies education of the community and stakeholders, and the need for an integrated regional vision Adopt a Base Set of Metrics, incorporating all modes of transportation. but Allow for Flexibility (www.myregion.org/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx) Where multiple agencies are involved, it can be challenging to have the appropriate data and tools available to evaluate the performance measure framework across agency boundaries. For the SJV Blueprint Process, a common set of measures was Allow for Flexibility and Bottom-Up Planning reviewed and adopted by each COG, allowing for flexibility Though a common vision is important to megaregional to use additional measures based on each COG's unique network performance, it is equally necessary to avoid apply- planning needs and county goals. Table 6.1 lists the common ing measures or strategies using a top-down approach. At this set of measures used by all eight COGs. level of application, a network performance approach must All performance measures used by counties during the provide flexibility to the various agencies involved, or they are Blueprint Process were selected based on data availability unlikely to participate. and forecasting capabilities. Additional measures would For the SJV Blueprint Process, each of the counties devel- strain the modeling capacity of some of the COGs. Intra- oped its own goals and strategies, though there are significant county differences also make applying a single set of measures overlaps. For example, impractical. Merced County's strategies include an intermodal trans- Ensure Appropriate Technical Support portation system, light-rail transit, and high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes; Megaregional network performance analysis benefits from Kern County examined multiple scenarios, including (1) a partners with significant technical analysis and modeling "Major Change" scenario focused on mixed development, expertise. For the SJV Blueprint Process, the COGs worked walkable centers, and transit and (2) a "Moderate Change" with the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) to model scenario focused on transportation choices and cost-effective land use scenarios and generate performance measures. use of infrastructure; and The counties built on regional model coordination for pre- Fresno County's strategies include connecting centers, con- vious air quality planning efforts to develop the necessary data gestion relief, transportation choices for people and goods, sharing and modeling techniques for analysis of the mega- and access to key economic assets. region. Part of the Blueprint Process funding was used for geo- graphic information systems (GIS), land use modeling, and In addition, the Blueprint Process included public meetings visualization technology to forecast urbanization in 2050. The and scenario planning sessions that involved a broad array of land use model, UPlan, developed by UC Davis, provided tech- stakeholders. With the help of GVC, each COG engaged local nical and data support to the COGs and local governments.

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27 Table 6.1. San Joaquin Valley Blueprint measures. California's Bay Area and Sacramento are work- Category and Measures Tool(s) ing together in an interregional planning context Transportation Measures to use funding to address freight movements. The regions are beginning to work together to Person-hours and vehicle-hours Traffic model and of travel (per day) mode split model coordinate land use and transportation models to Person-hours and vehicle-hours Traffic model and help evaluate multiregional issues. of delay (per day) mode split model Reliability of travel times Traffic model Mass Transit Mode split Mode split model Proportion of transit Mode split model usage Transit suitability GIS The West Central Florida Chairs Coordinating Air Quality Committee includes six MPOs, two Florida DOT Reduction of emissions Traffic model, Districts, and several Regional Planning Councils. EMFAC (or other) The committee meets quarterly to provide a Reduction in VMT per household Traffic model consistent approach to long-range planning, Reduction in truck-related Mode choice congestion management, land use planning, emissions* public involvement, air quality management, Housing/Jobs/Balance and regional modeling. The committee supports Change in jobs/housing ratio UPlan or other a regional travel demand model developed by Community balance GIS member agencies and a regional GIS for sharing Agriculture Land Conservation transportation information across agencies. Reduction in land conversion GIS, UPlan (www.regionaltransportation.org) Environmental Conservation Reduction of impacts to GIS, UPlan environmental resources Source: http://www.sjvalleyblueprint.com/process.htm * Cannot currently be estimated. EMFAC = EMission FACtors model; GIS = geographic information system.