AIA|LA Encourages S.C.A.G. to Adopt the Envision 2 Alternative of the 2012 - 2035 Regional Transportation Plan
Last Updated: February 14, 2012
AIA|LA Encourages S.C.A.G. to Adopt the
the Envision 2 Alternative of the 2012 - 2035 Regional Transportation Plan
February 14, 2012
President Pam O'Connor
Board of Directors
Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
818 W. Seventh Street, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Dear President Pam O'Connor and Honorable Members of the SCAG Regional Council:
On behalf of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA), I am writing to express our thoughts on the draft 2012 - 2035 Regional Transportation Plan/ Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP). With great respect for the process to draft such a comprehensive plan, we commend you on the progress made so far.
As AIA|LA supports smart growth policies that facilitate infill development projects and concentrate our investments in areas that sustain the vibrancy of the urban core, we encourage you to adopt Alternative 3 (Envision 2 Alternative) of the draft plan. This option will foster smart growth land use and housing patterns to achieve superior environmental results in air quality, aesthetics, open space and farmland preservation, water conservation, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, mobility, and land use.
Transit projects and active transportation investments should take precedent over highway expansion projects. Infill development and transit-first policies are natural allies of each other. Accelerating transit infrastructure and associated joint-use, mixed-income development also helps our region achieve its social, economic and cultural development goals.
AIA|LA is concerned that the current draft plan provides for a disproportionate share of funds towards highway capacity improvement that will facilitate greenfield development. The consequence of additional freeway lanes will be more VMT and more sprawl, with the associated air quality and infrastructure maintenance requirements. Environmentally and economically, facilitating more compact urban development and design conserves our natural resources and our tax dollars. In short, adopting the Envision 2 Alternative Plan will help S.C.A.G. emphasize its leadership role to shape emerging land-use and transportation plans.
Moving forward we invite the S.C.A.G. Board of Directors and staff to work with AIA|LA to shape an environmentally healthy and economically compelling vision for the future of Southern California.
Very truly yours,
Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs
AIA Los Angeles