council calls for merger of regional planning agencies
Well-coordinated regional planning is absolutely critical if we are to address the region’s housing affordability crisis, upgrade its congested transportation networks, sustain its economic growth and meet the climate goals laid out in state policy and international accords. To achieve that, the Bay Area Council is advocating for the merger of our two regional planning agencies into a single entity that can effectively deliver on the promise of regional solutions.
Our two regional planning agencies, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), each have proud histories and legacies of accomplishment. However, this dual agency structure was established for an age in which our region’s housing and transportation challenges were orders of magnitude smaller than they are today and the imperative of restructuring our communities to respond to global climate change not nearly as urgent. Our region has taken some critical first steps but we must better align our transportation and land use plans in one regional vision. It has become abundantly clear that institutional reform is necessary if we are to rise to the challenge.
To that end, MTC and ABAG have convened a process to consider how a merged agency might be structured. The Bay Area Council is advocating for creating a single regional planning agency and has been engaging closely with MTC and ABAG leadership during the process, and has developed a set of principles to help guide the discussion.