To maintain our high quality of life, we must protect the scenic and cultural heritage of our region. Plan 2040 includes a Regional Resource Plan that provides an inventory of important natural areas and historic and cultural resources. It flags those that may be particularly vulnerable to development and offers strategies and best practices that local governments can use to protect them.
The 30-year, $61 billion Regional Transportation Plan in Plan 2040 provides new options for residents including expanded rail and bus transit, HOT lanes to manage congestion on freeways, improvement of key interstate interchanges, additional sidewalk and bicycle infrastructure, roadway expansions and system optimization. And, if voters approve the transportation referendum in 2012, we can nearly double the amount of new improvements Plan 2040 can deliver in just 10 years.
The challenges confronting our region are complex and do not lend themselves to simple solutions. Nor can one organization or agency do the job alone. The combined leadership of our region: local governments — both counties and cities, the state, planning partners and the citizens themselves — all must play a part in moving our region forward.
The steps we take in the next few years, starting now, will set a positive direction for our great region in the decades to come. We now have in place an overarching strategy to focus our leadership on the big picture and to measure our progress toward regional goals. Plan 2040 is that blueprint.
Tad Leithead is chairman of the ARC.