SANDAG board to discuss overview of new regional transit plan

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego Association of Governments’ Board of Directors will consider an overview Friday of the agency’s proposed 2021 regional plan, which would increase funding for public transit projects throughout the county.

The SANDAG Board first announced the plan in April to mixed reviews. The plan, dubbed “Five Big Moves,” remains almost entirely conceptual but would repurpose the county’s network of roads and highways to increase efficiency, expand public transit options and service and implement “mobility hubs,” which would include infrastructure supporting amenities for multiple mobility options.

The plan, pushed by SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata, would overhaul how goods and people move throughout the county. It would also serve as a reworking of the agency’s 2019-2050 regional plan, which it had been drafting since 2017 and would guide local transportation infrastructure development through 2050.

Although some SANDAG Board members like San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer called the plan exciting when it was announced, it has received heavy backlash from local politicians who represent rural areas of the county and argue the needs of their constituents aren’t being considered.

Officials like Supervisor Jim Desmond and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells have also questioned the plan’s utilization of Transnet, a half-cent transit tax that funds countywide infrastructure projects.

Although SANDAG officials stress the plan is still nebulous at best, Desmond and other opponents of the plan have argued the 2021 plan will scrap planned repairs to certain thoroughfares in rural areas of the county like state Routes 52 and 78 that were promised in a 2004 initiative that extended TransNet funding for 40 years.

SANDAG officials have said the plan will have multiple opportunities for public feedback such as public forums and workshops in the coming months. Should the agency weather the plan’s criticism and remain on its current timeline, the plan is likely to be adopted by the end of 2021.

The SANDAG Board will consider an overview of the plan at 9 a.m. in the agency’s board room at 401 B St. on the seventh floor. Residents can also listen to the meetings live at sandag.org.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News