Alternative Planning Strategy  

In March 2015, the MCAG Governing Board appointed 13 community and regional partners and stakeholders to the Alternative Planning Strategy (APS) Steering Committee. The purpose of this committee was to provide guidance on the process of developing an APS for Merced County and to help shape the development of the next Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). 

An Alternative Planning Strategy is primarily a document that shows how the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2020 and 2035, as set by the state under SB 375, can be met by reducing vehicle miles traveled through alternative development patterns, alternative transportation infrastructure, and/or additional transportation measures and policies.

In August 2015, the Steering Committee recommended that MCAG amend the current RTP to include a strategy that achieves the greenhouse gas reduction targets and embraces the committee’s policy recommendations. Following this recommendation, the MCAG Governing Board directed staff to prepare an amendment to the RTP which was adopted by the Governing Board in May 2016. An amended RTP that meets the targets supplants the need for an APS. 

Final 2014 Regional Transportation Plan - Amendment 1 (May 2016)

Agendas & Notes

 April 3, 2015 @ 10:00am, MCAG Agenda              Notes
 May 1, 2015 @ 10:00am, MCAG
Agenda Notes
 June 5, 2015 @ 10:00am, MCAG
Agenda
Presentation 
Notes
July 10, 2015 @ 8:30am, MCAG
Agenda
Proposals:
 August 7, 2015 @ 10:00am, MCAG
Agenda
Survey Results
Policy Recommendations
September 4, 2015 @ 10:00am, MCAG
Agenda     Notes
October 16, 2015 @ 10:00am, MCAG Agenda
Draft RTP Amendment
Notes

Resources
APS Community Outreach Survey - Spanish version
A Guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act
Air Resources Board (ARB) Review of Sustainable Communities Strategies
ARB Research on Impacts of transportation and Land Use Related Policies
Moving Cooler, Urban Land Institute, 2009 (Summary)
APS 101 Presentation - April 3, 2015 meeting powerpoint
RTP/SCS/APS Fact Sheet
2014 RTP/SCS
The Basics of SB 375

Regional Transportation Plans in the San Joaquin Valley 
San Joaquin Council of Governments
Stanislaus Council of Governments
Merced County Association of Governments
Madera County Transportation Commission
Fresno Council of Governments
Kings County Association of Governments
Tulare County Association of Governments
Kern Council of Governments 
Background

Under the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (SB 375) the California Air Resources Board set regional targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from passenger vehicle use. In 2010, ARB established these targets for 2020 and 2035 for each region in the state under the jurisdiction of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Each of California’s MPOs was required to prepare a "sustainable communities strategy" (SCS) as an integral part of its regional transportation plan (RTP). The SCS contains land use, housing, and transportation strategies that, if implemented, would allow the region to meet its GHG emission reduction targets. Once adopted by the MPO, the RTP/SCS guides the transportation policies and investments for the region. If the combination of measures in the SCS does not meet the regional targets, the MPO must prepare a separate “alternative planning strategy" to meet the targets. The APS is not a part of the RTP.