The SANDAG Board has unanimously approved the evaluation criteria for a Pilot Smart Growth Incentive Program that will use $17 million of federal Transportation Enhancement funds. Funding will go to projects that integrate smart growth land uses and transportation facilities. Eligible projects include: bicycle and pedestrian paths and bridges; on-street bike lanes; pedestrian plazas; pedestrian street crossings; pedestrian bulb-outs or traffic circles; transit stop amenities; streetscape enhancements such as median landscaping, street trees, lighting, and street furniture. There is a $2 million cap per project.
This pilot program adheres to a key principle of SANDAG’s Regional Comprehensive Plan (RCP) using monetary incentives to encourage the coordinated regional planning of smart growth development. The RCP is the strategic planning blueprint for the San Diego Region. It provides a broad context in which local and regional decisions can be made that foster a healthy environment, a vibrant economy, and a high quality of life for all residents. The plan balances regional population, housing, and employment growth with habitat preservation, agriculture, open space, and infrastructure needs to build a sustainable future one with more choices and opportunities for all residents.
Beginning in 2008, a longer term smart growth incentive program ($280 million) will be funded through the local TransNet sales tax program.