Transportation systems and land use patterns influence air quality. Roads, transit, and other transportation elements shape land development, while the distribution and types of land uses affect travel patterns and transportation facilities. A dispersed pattern of low-density development relies almost exclusively on cars as the primary mode for transportation. Alternatively, denser and more mixed use urban development can combine different land uses in closer proximity, encouraging walking, biking, transit and other non-motorized travel. The type of development is sometimes referred to as “smart growth” or “sustainable development.”
The link between transportation, land use and air quality can be complex. Incorporationg elements of smart growth that offer a choice of transportation options can have a positive impact on air quality, energy use and people's health. In addition, Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies can improve travel through the more efficient use of our existing transportation system rather than buidling new roads or widening existing ones. Strategies include increasing the use of public transit, carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking and telecommuting.
The links below are connected to agencies, organizations and programs that play important roles in the local and regional connection between land use, transportation and air quality:
The SACOG Board of Directors adopted the Preferred Blueprint Scenario in December 2004, a bold vision for growth that promotes compact, mixed-use development and more transit choices as an alternative to low density development. In 2008, the SACOG Board adopted the Metropolitan Transportation Plan for 2035, using the Preferred Blueprint Scenario as the basis for the land use on which transportation investments will be made. The Metropolitan Transportation Plan for 2035 links land use and transportation planning, with $42 billion in transportation investments in the six-county Sacramento region over the next 28 years.
The LGC assists local governments in developing, establishing and implementing the key elements to livable and sustainable communities. LGC’s Center for Livable Communities helps local governments and community leaders be proactive in their land use and transportation planning, and adopt programs and policies that lead to more livable, resource-efficient and air quality friendly land use patterns.
The STA is responsible for countywide transportation planning, programming transportation funds, managing and providing transportation programs and services, delivering transportation projects, and setting transportation priorities for Solano County. SNCI is a division of STA that provides free information and services to employers and commuters on promoting and using alternative forms of transportation in Solano and Napa Counties and surrounding regions.
YCTD administers YOLOBUS, which operates local and intercity bus service 365 days a year in Yolo County and neighboring areas. YOLOBUS serves Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, Woodland, downtown Sacramento, Sacramento International Airport, Cache Creek Casino Resort, Esparto, Madison, Dunnigan and Knights Landing. YCTD also serves as the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) for Yolo County.
The Yolo TMA is a non-profit partnership of public and private employees working together to address local transportation and air quality issues. The goal of the TMA is to make Yolo County a better place to live, work and shop by promoting innovative solutions to parking, commuting and air quality problems.
In 2003, the District, in partnership with the regional transportation agencies, prepared a "Best Practices" handbook titled "Transportation and Land Use Toolkit". The toolkit better describes and illustrates those types of alternative mode projects that should be considered and incorporated into the policies, plans, and projects of the cities and counties.