Near-Term Action – Promote a reduction in vehicle miles traveled

Through the implementation of the Regional Transportation Plan, SANDAG is collaborating with the local jurisdictions, transit operators, and Caltrans to create a safe, balanced, multimodal transportation system that supports compact and sustainable development and the reduction of vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

Three key state laws establish policy to guide the region in terms of reducing VMT and promoting smart growth and sustainability principles.

  • California’s Complete Streets Act of 2008 (AB 1358) requires jurisdictions to include Complete Streets policies as part of their general plans as they update their local circulation elements.
  • The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (SB 375) supports the State's climate action goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through coordinated transportation and land use planning with the goal of more sustainable communities.
  • SB 743 creates a process to change the way transportation impacts are analyzed under the California Environmental Quality Act to include VMT.

In December 2014,  a Complete Streets Policy was adopted, which requires SANDAG to consider complete streets in the planning, development, and implementation of regional transportation projects, and encourages local jurisdictions to consider complete streets as they implement local transportation projects. Since then, a “Complete Streets” certification form has been developed for SANDAG project managers and Caltrans Corridor Directors to use when planning new transportation projects to ensure that all modes of travel are considered in the project-development process. The Complete Streets Policy also calls for development of a regional database and mapping tool, cost-sharing protocols, training opportunities, and monitoring efforts to benchmark progress.

Complete streets are streets that accommodate people of all ages and abilities traveling by all modes, including walking, biking, using public transit, and driving cars or commercial vehicles. Tools and resources to assist the region and local governments in implementing Complete Streets can be found at sandag.org/CompleteStreets.