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SANDAG’s Draft 2021 Regional Plan – NBC 7 San Diego

Local transportation leaders have come up with a $163 billion plan to advance San Diego County’s mobility future for decades to come.

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has unveiled a draft of their 2021 regional plan, which outlines their transportation priorities for the county through 2050 — when the county’s population is estimated to be about 3.75 million people.

The plan — created in collaboration with the county’s 18 cities and regional, state and federal partners — is based on public feedback and hard data showing the way residents move around the county, how far people are traveling, and which areas are experiencing the most traffic congestion.

“Our economy depends on an efficient transportation system, which provides links between housing and jobs, goods and shops, students and education, visitors and attractions. The 2021 Regional Plan will synchronize the 5 Big Moves to improve these links as the population grows,” SANDAG says.

Fewer cars on the road during the coronavirus pandemic has offered us a glimpse of environmental benefits of fewer drivers on the roads.

The plan focuses on five key areas of advancement — Complete Corridors, which envisions major roads that will seamlessly connect across jurisdictions and modes of transportation; Transit Leap, which would create a network of fast and high-frequency transit services and advance existing services; Mobility Hubs, which links different travel options like walking, biking and transit; Flexible Fleets, which focuses on reducing the need for cars by advancing rideshare services, including bikes and scooters; and Next OS, which SANDAG calls the “brain” of the transportation system — a digital platform that can compile information to better plan mobility.

“We want to make it so that people can get around and do the things they need to do and live a life that’s prosperous and happy without having the stress and the burden of that. So having a transportation network that serves all in a more equitable way is one of the main goals,” said Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG Chair Catherine Blakespear.

The plan includes expanded transit services, bike networks, charging hubs for electric vehicles and major infrastructure projects — like moving the railroad tracks underground through Del Mar, where unstable bluffs have been a threat to the future of transportation in the region.

Steel beams are being used to support bluffs underneath coastal train tracks to prevent erosion. NBC 7’s Joe Little has more on the bluff stabilization project.

The regional plan is updated every four years and the full draft will be presented at the SANDAG Board of Directors meeting on Friday.

Residents will have until July 30 to provide their feedback on the plan to ensure their voices are included in the final regional plan. Read the entire regional plan here and visit here to weigh in.

Funding for the future projects would come from local, state and federal sources like sales taxes, passenger fares, fuel taxes and housing revenue.