Happy Earth Day!

In celebration of Earth Day’s 40th birthday, I am pleased to announce that I have recently completed my M.S. thesis on the implementation of California’s climate change legislation through the Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) at the University of California at Davis.  Do you think California will be able to achieve its climate change stability goals by Earth Day 2050?  How will sustainable community design through regional planning and improved transportation system management work toward achieving the State’s AB 32 and SB 375 goals?

Check Out My Thesis Highlight Sheet:

Rethinking California’s Planning Frameworks to Support Senate Bill 375: A White Paper on Local, Regional, State and Federal Climate Change Policy Reform

Regulatory reform addressing travel behavior policies that reduce vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) and improve transportation network management is needed if California is to reduce the transportation sector’s 38 percent contribution to total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the State.  This white paper introduces how such policy changes can be used to support California’s goals of climate change stability, economic vitality, and communities that encourage healthier lifestyles.  Further, it poses essential questions pertaining to regulatory reform for the 3-C issues of consistency, conformity, and concurrency that the State will need to address through actively engaging with multiple stakeholders and other government organizations.  The white paper includes an analysis of the theory and practice of California’s land use/transportation planning structure, environmental review process, and funding allocation framework by examining local, regional, state, and federal roles in the implementation of key climate change and sustainable transportation laws.  Analyzing the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s Blueprint-based Metropolitan Transportation Plan under existing State frameworks reveals needed policy reform in order to successfully implement SB 375’s “Sustainable Communities Strategies”.

Without a secure, long-term transit funding source, land use patterns that promote cost-effective and quality transit, statewide pricing mechanisms, and changes to local codes and standards, California’s MPOs will not be able to achieve ambitious per capita GHG reductions under SB 375.  The paper also finds a need to incorporate federal resource agencies in the development of Regional Transportation Plans, establish statewide GHG thresholds for projects within a regional context, and prioritize network management over capacity enhancing transportation project.  Further, it proposes to “decouple” VMT growth from transportation revenue sources by incentivizing local government to reduce VMT and improve network management under a “Low Carbon Transportation Fund” funded by cap-and-trade auction revenues.  The State of California is seeing unprecedented challenges and opportunities to create a more flexible and durable funding framework that directly ties new performance metrics to projects and plans.  These changes will better reflect the array of values and concerns from Californians as the State struggles to fund an antiquated system that largely does not reflect the 3-E sustainability metrics of the economy, equity, and the environment.

And/Or Attend a Live Presentation!

When:     Wednesday, April 28th from 12pm-1pm


  • I will be presenting a “bird’s eye view” of my thesis highlights, including materials from my January Transportation Research Board session, MovingSlower legislative updates in California and DC, and developments at ULTRANS