Much at stake for Bay Area in regional planning merger talks
Now the hard work begins.
Leaders of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Wednesday temporarily halted their ham-handed bid for a hostile takeover of the Association of Bay Area Governments. Instead, the two regional planning agencies have promised to work cooperatively toward a needed and long-overdue merger.
There's much at stake. The Bay Area must better align housing, jobs and public transit. We spend too much time stuck in traffic. It will only get worse if we fail to build densely near transit centers and continue to approve sprawl along highway corridors already filled to capacity.
Unfortunately, for decades we've had two regional planning agencies -- one for transportation, the other for housing -- that have been engaged in passive-aggressive and sometimes open warfare.
The mantra of ABAG is local control. For MTC, the goal has been imposition of regional order. In other areas of the state, one regional agency oversees the two functions. But in the Bay Area they have always been split. Merging these two cultures won't be easy.
Previous attempts have failed. And this one almost died before it began. Last month, MTC's executive director, Steve Heminger, and board chairman, Dave Cortese, proposed that their agency take away key ABAG staff members. See the Full Article HERE