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tv   Beyond the Headlines  ABC  January 19, 2014 10:00am-10:31am PST

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>> welcome to beyond the headli headlines. today we're focusing on what's happening in our neighborhoods regardingtraffg and traffic, otherwise known as urban development. the population of the bay area is projected to balloon by 30%
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by 2040 from 7.1 million residents today to 9.3 million. that's an increase of more than 2 million people. we're going to talk today to some bay area groups who already started to address the expecting increase. improvements are being made to make them more safe and easy congestion. one source of pride has been the eastern section of the bay bridge. here is the story filed when the bridge reopened. >> reporter: with the ceremony y'a al -- the chp said the morning commute went well but bridge tourists may have contributed to a longer than average back up at the toll plaza this family came
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from concord. >> i really like it. it's really open. you can't even really tell it's a bridge at first. it's really broad and nice. >> the chp had been concerned about the new bridge being one giant cause for lots of distracted driving but this officer was pleasantly surprised by very little bad behavior. >> i was expecting a few more people to do things that we were expecking to have happen. it's nice to see the commute went well. >> 93-year-old clara's son drove her here for a look. >> and her thoughts on the newsstand? >> it's magnificent.
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>> abc 7 news. >> it really is magnificent. we have a shot of that every day from a newscast. randy is the director of legislation and public affairs. you had to organize that party. that must have been something. >> it was a lot easier than getting the bridge done. >> i'm sure. 24 years. >> it was really a long time. more important across the state of california, where we have a lot of earthquakes, structures throughout our area have been made safe throughout the period of time. the bay area bridge got a lot of attention, but the key thing around the entire bay area we have a much safer transportation system. >> people don't realize that it does take decades of work. everybody has to weigh in. >> in california, we found ourselves in this predicament. the bay bridge is not alone.
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>> how long is this bridge expected to last. >> it's design is 150 years. this bridge is built to last and built to incredibly high seismic standards. i think another important thing is while california committed to the freeway structure to make it safe, we still have a long way to go including schools and hospitals that need to be made safe. >> and that's going to take a lot of planning, too. it's between two earthquake faults? >> one of the reasons the bay bridge looks the way it does is because of where it's located on a slope of bedrock that goes deep into the bay. all of the mud has risen up. there is a big earthquake fault
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on the san francisco side and a whole host on the east bay side. it had to be structured. >> and there is still work to be done? >> that was an unfortunate way to end the process. the bolts will be replaced. we will have the bridge built to the standard in which it was designed. >> now the western span of the bay bridge? >> it was retro fitted at great expense including the rebuild in san francisco but that expense was worth it. unlike just to the north and to the west you see the westmond center, that bridge needs to last for years. >> everybody wants to know where the troll is. >> trolls are those weird creatures that live under the bridge and they don't like the sun. but that bridge will -- that troll will be protecting that bridge in a place where boaters can find him.
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>> of course. >> just like the old one. >> talk about the america's cup races. so people need to be involved in this. how do you want them to get involved? >> the most important thing is that we in california have a process where everyone is allowed to get involved. ed is you will see that all the plans that we do in the bay area has a significant participation level. it's really your next go on a big project is what people need to focus on, not on this one. >> thank you so much for being here today. >> it's my pleasure. enjoy it. >> and we do have to take a break right now. but coming up in just a moment we will learn about an effort to invest our significant regional growth. stay with us. we will be right back.
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bigger is always better. ♪ ho ho ho ♪ green giant >> welcome back to "beyond the headlines." we're talking about urban
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development and sprawl. there is is a collaboration of four regional agencies coming up with housing and transportation plans on response to the california sustainable community and protection acts of 2008. what it does is it requires each of the state's 18 metropolitan areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and 7% per capita by 2020 and 15% by 2035. i don't know if that's a tall order but we will find out from our expert here. with me in the studio is the executive director of the ocean of bay area governments, otherwise known as abag. i hope i got all of that right. >> you did. >> something you consider to be very important to the bay area? >> yes. it's a plan for the future. it's a way of the oceans to work with local government and make sure that neighborhoods are being planned in a way that people really will appreciate in the future and that it's connected to a system that is
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close to employment. >> what motivated the legislature to make this happen? >> i think part of it is the work that they were doing already where we recognized that if we didn't do the planning for future land uses that we were going to end up with a lot more growth and that was going to produce an enormous congestion problem on the highways. so to build an alternative to that, we were inviting cities to look at their neighborhoods and see where they think growth would be appropriate and then help fund their planning costs and make sure that their neighborhoods were being developed as a whole and not working it project by project. >> what kind of reaction are you getting? i know there has been some controversy? >> there have been pockets of the bay area where there is a lot of anti-development. but mostly in the areas where we are planning on 98% of the growth around the east bay and
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west bay and peninsula and south bay, local governments have been the ones who have been drive in. >> so if i am hearing you right, you come up with a plan to better increase housing potential and. >> everybody is struggling with public services. usually those are the first cuts that they have to make. if there is an option for dollars to be used to help them with appropriate neighborhood planning and improving amenities in the area. they are very happy to do that. >> sure. this is a great idea. so what are the areas that you see that have the biggest concerns? >> in terms of -- well, the
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concern concerns and that is where you see some of the protest movements. looking at pretty extensive growth in the future and we have to make sure that the infrastructure can support that level of development. >> we're talking about a combination of housing? and better transportation to access all of that? >> it's not one size fits all. it's much higher density in the big central cities than the transit corridors, which are three or four story buildings that are appropriate to size. >> one small was really close to this right? >> yes. i think there has been an awful lot of misinformation that has been spread. agencies are imposing mandates where they will change the way people live. these are all local government plans. every development area has been
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self-nominated by local government. when we offered dollars for planning through the transportation mechanism to tie up the transit, a lot of cities stepped up to that. so we have 70 jurisdictions participating and about 170 priority development areas. >> so one quick question. concern about water and how will that be confronted. >> this type of development is very efficient for energy, water, and other kinds of services, much easier to recycle. most of the water districts can supply urban water. there are a couple of pockets where it's more of a problem but in general, i think the utilities are able to handle the growth in the future. there is still enough capacity. >> all right. great. so interesting to learn about this. >> all right. we do have to take another break but we will learn about planned
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bay area transportation areas.
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created in san francisco last year and that number is expected to be higher this year, putting more strain on the highway system. >> our public transportation system, roads continue to deteriorate. we do have challenges. >> a study group is working on pry ortizing needs. here in the bay area, stake holders said better transportation is crucial for job growth. but who will pay for it? >> it's not all public sector dollars. private sector funding can be part of the answer and we have projects in the state that is totally privately funded. other states and countries are doing this. >> another example where the state kicked in only 10% for the $2.3 billion project. a half cent sales tax has been approved. >> voters have consistently reported measures that are providing more transportation.
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we could not do it without the support of the voters. the name of the game is regional and it is working together. >> and 49er ceo thinks levi stadium will warm people up to support and ride public transit was they take it to games. >> i think once californian's get more comfortable, you will see it more and more. >> this project is still five year ace way. any new project will take years of planning, financing and construction. relief from congestion is many years off. david louise. >> planning director and project manager. >> can you talk about the transportation aspect of it? >> sure. >> i think one of the things
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that is different about this plan than past plans, mtc has been doing regional transportation plans. this is the fourth plan that has been integrated. so if you look at the kind of growth, really focused growth by transit, it's really incumbent on us to come up with a plan. there are a couple of ways that has been done. the plan goes to maintain the existing system. we want to know when our children and grandchildren are trying to get on the train or drive down a neighborhood street that it's in good working order. we also have a performance based plan that looks at projects and does a cost benefit assessment and really tries to maximize the use of public tax dollars and come up with an interconnected system that serves this growth pattern. a couple of the key projects in the system. one is something called bart
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metro. it's the highest scoring project. it would provide a lot more capacity in the core of the bart system that lead into this segment talks about our job growth. we are fort naunate to be bring in so many jobs. to support that, people have to get to work. we need more frequent service. >> are you dealing with high speed rail at all? >> we are dealing with high speed rail. one of the key projects is ele electrification. it is right now a dee sill system. >> that's another project that has a lot of angst in connection with it because of the dollar
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amount? r >> it's a big public works project and it will take a lot to get it right. >> and we touched on highway widening projects. can you tell us about some of the big projects? >> highway widening is not a big part of the plan. there are no new freeways. there is something called the regional express lanes network. most are familiar with the high occupancy lanes. at this point they are probably also familiar with the fact that there are segments that are not complete. that is a problem for buses and van pools and things of that sort that attempt to get people to and from work efficiently. that program would help address some of those gaps. we have some other major transit projects moving forward in the
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near term. bart to san jose is now under construction. that's a few years away. but there are more imminent openings coming. another commuter rail line is the smart corridor up in the north bay as well as the connection to oakland airport. >> can't wait until that's done. ken, thank you so much for being here and explaining what is going on. >> my pleasure. >> we do have to take another break. we will talk to a san francisco planning and urban research about public transit options. stay with us. stay with us. we will be right back.♪ ♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good for me around ♪ ♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit tired ♪ ♪ of craving something that i can't have ♪ ♪ turn around, barbara ♪ forever i've been praying for a snack in my life ♪
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>> we are back with "beyond the headlines" talking about urban development. spurs was called san francisco urban research but now it is
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much, much bigger. >> we have opened in san jose, which many people don't know is not only the largest city in the bay area but all of northern california. >> a lot of people need to get around there. >> what do you do? >> i'm the regional planning director so i am trying to think about the bay area as we are today and where we're going and how we get there. the urban policy think tank but we are also a group with members. we really try to bring a lot of the urban planning ideas out to the people and to the decision makers to think about where do we go? >> how do you do that? public town hall meetings? >> we have an urban center. we just opened an urban city. we have speakers on a wide array of topics. >> we have about 400,000 people
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who rely on public transportation daily. >> about 10% of people are taking public transit to work each day. it equates to 1.5 million trips. it is a critical and crucial part of how people get around in the bay area. imagine the freeways without that level of transit service. >> like during the bart strike. >> and the fires and a little before that. transit is critical to moving people around. it is also critical when you think about increasing where we are going in our economy. people want close connections to each other. innovation and more. you need transit to move people in and out of the dense job centers. >> how is it working right now? >> it's working well. we have a very good transit system. but there are a couple of big problems. one is we need more money to really operate this system. and a lot of that is about reliability and speed. a lot -- it goes well and has
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great service but don't go quite fast enough. we need to grow the ridership. >> what's your goal? what's your dream goal? we have got 10% now? >> we can compare ourselves to other parts of the world. it is more important, we have a lot of capacity that we could add people that don't have as many people riding it today. that's one particular goal. and other systems where we are getting closer particularly coming in and out of downtown, we need to invest more there. a lot of people will take trans more money put more money into that corridor. >> we have about a dozen major subway systems in new york. here we have about two dozen? >> we have 27 different transit properties. really there is about seven big ones. bart is about 400,000 riders.
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bart of the challenge when you have so many operators, it's a little bit difficult to navigate. we want to move forward in a direction where someone can more seamlessly go between the different operators within the region and look and feel like one region, not 27 different operators. >> so we need to coordinate that? >> we are doing a better job. we have clipper, it's not on every system. we need to push it a lot further. but just imagine someone coming on. they might learn the bart map. we have different maps where you go under the train. we need a common map. >> i have just a few seconds. transit villages, are they worth investing in? >> an old idea that we had. neighborhoods like rock ridge.
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simply the notion we want to put a lot of people's jobs and activities around them. they are doing a good job. >> all right. we are out of time. my thanks to all of our wonderful guests today. for more information, just go to our website. we're on facebook at abc 7 community affairs and follow me on twitter. thanks for joining us have a thanks for joining us have a great week. [ laughing ] want to play hide and seek? yeah! 1... 2... 6... 10! [ female announcer ] piña colada yoplait. it is so good when you need a little escape. [ mom ] still counting. ♪ more than a feeling ♪ when i hear that old song they used to play ♪ ♪ more than a feeling [ female announcer ] yoplait light boston cream pie. at 90 calories it is so good when you want more than a feeling.
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