As our land use reporter Andrew Keatts recently put it, “public transit is having a moment” in San Diego.

Along with a recent ruling against San Diego Association of Governments’ $200-billion, 40-year regional transportation plan, two politicians friendly to transit (city of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and City Coucilman Todd Gloria) have risen to power.

The city of San Diego also has a good deal of clout in SANDAG: It’s the only city with two representatives on SANDAG’s 20-member board. Plus, “[a]ny action by the Sandag board needs not just a majority of the 20 votes, but also a majority of 100 weighted votes reflecting the population of each jurisdiction. San Diego has 40 percent of the weighted vote,” Keatts explains.

SANDAG and the folks opposing its proposal made plans to try to hammer out a possible settlement. SANDAG will appeal the court ruling if no settlement can be reached.

What’s the big fuss about? The judge ruled the plan doesn’t comply with new state rules to reduce greenhouse gases. Keatts reports:

“Sandag’s plan allows greenhouse gasses to increase from 2020 through 2050, even though state requirements, based on the executive order, seek to reduce those levels during the same period.

The judge also took issue with the plan’s reliance on individual jurisdictions to deal with the negative environmental effects of each specific project, rather than holding itself accountable for doing so within the overall plan.”

If you want to know more:

• Scott Lewis and Will Carless discussed the ruling in the latest edition of the VOSD Radio show. Keatts broke it down further on KPBS Roundtable and Evening Edition.

• Former VOSD editor Andrew Donohue outlined five interesting things to know about the plan in April 2011.

Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at or 619.550.5669.

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Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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