Category: planning

Monterey Bay region Complete Streets policy request for comments

The Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) in California requests comments for their draft of a Complete Streets policy to guide transportation planning and spending in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties.

AMBAG is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Monterey Bay Region, and is responsible for allocating certain Federal and State funds to local agencies in this region. In August 2013, AMBAG adopted its Monterey Bay Area Complete Streets Guidebook. This guidebook does not establish policy, but provides design guidance for local agencies regarding best practices for Complete Streets design. It was groundbreaking in its assertion that planners and engineers are not compelled to use the Caltrans Highway Design Manual and AASHTO Green Book for many local streets.

AMBAG’s Complete Streets Policy will build upon these previous efforts by promoting a transportation system that is designed to be multimodal to safely and comfortably accommodate users of all ages and abilities. The Draft Complete Streets Policy has been released for public comment. Comments are due by March 15, 2024.

For details, visit

VTA: Models over estimate parking demand for transit

VTA Capital Expressway Lightrail extension overview map

I’m reviewing the environment impact review documents for the VTA Capital Expressway Light Rail Project in San Jose, CA.

VTA plans to transform the Capital Expressway traffic sewer into what they call a multi-modal boulevard offering bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail transit, and safe connections to the regional transit system. The images below show Capital Expressway near Story Road as it currently is, and how it might look after the Capital Expressway light rail extension project is complete.


VTA Capital Expressway Light Rail extension project before & after


Redwood City to discuss downtown parking tonight

When municipal leaders talk about parking in downtown business districts, the dialogue usually goes something like this:

Merchant Association: We need parking garages! And time limits on street parking!

Shoppers: We support downtown, but there’s no parking!

Downtown workers: There’s no parking, and I’m tired of skipping out every two hours to move my car!

City Office: We show 500 parking spaces within the downtown core. At most, 258 of them are used at any one time.

Environmentalists: Parking is EVIL!


What would you do with 120 feet of right-of-way?

Have you seen those road cross sections you see in planning documents describing new projects and wished you could quickly and easily redraw them yourself?

Now you can play the amateur planner with a cool new toy called Streetmix. I created a cross section for median Bus Rapid Transit (as proposed, more or less, by VTA) along portions of El Camino Real where the right of way is 120 feet across.

Streetmix: EL Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit cross section

Don’t like what you see? You can click through to my Streetmix, change it up and create whatever you’d like.

See more details about Streetmix and possible future enhancements over at Streetsblog.