City asks residents to weigh in on new South Richmond transportation plan

The City of Richmond is seeking public comment on the South Richmond Transportation Connectivity Plan (SRTCP) draft, which was released in early May. The plan is the city’s effort to improve transportation connectivity between South Richmond and surrounding key locations. Caltrans awarded a planning grant to the city in 2012.

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or Assembly Bill 32, requires the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state. The goal of the plan is to adopt regulations that could help reduce emissions by 15 percent by the year 2020. Richmond City Senior Planner Lina Velasco said that SRTCP is important in their work “towards the goal of reducing carbon emissions.”

The transportation connectivity plan aims to connect local and regional transit stations—BART, AC Transit, Amtrak, and the future Richmond ferry—to the South Richmond area. It also passes through major streets within and around neighborhoods north and south of highway 580, as well as adjacent communities including El Cerrito, Albany and Berkeley.

The plan covers connections to and from several employment locations, such as the UC Richmond Field Station, which is the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s second campus. It also plans to cover the Health Care Services Department and other “mixed use and high intensity development areas,” the draft plan states. The city will also tap students from Richmond High School to identify transportation issues and needs through UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities and Schools Y-PLAN Program.

“Getting community feedback is critical to see whether it is reflective of the community and their needs,” Velasco said. The Richmond Planning Division headed community meetings and consulted a project advisory group composed of landowners, advocacy groups and business owners to develop the transportation connectivity plan, said Velasco. She said that their goal is to hear feedback to make sure that the project is balanced and fit for the community.

Velasco said that they are currently reviewing feedback already sent by several individuals.

The draft report is available in the project website, and print copies are also available at the Richmond Main Library and in the Planning Division office. The division will accept comments until June 1 through mail and e-mail. Depending on the number of comments and amount of work needing to be done, Velasco said, they aim to have the final draft ready in July before the city council recesses.

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