The Metropolitan Transit System has launched its Elevate SD public outreach effort, looking for feedback from residents about how to improve the transit system and create a more connected San Diego.
As MTS is preparing to put a half-cent sales tax increase on the 2020 ballot, they want public participation on what a better transit system would look like in all communities and Carmel Valley is a stop on their outreach route: an Elevate SD forum will be held on Tuesday, June 11 at 5 p.m. at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center focusing on Carmel Valley and Sorrento Valley areas.
“Carmel Valley is a unique area for transit and there are a lot of immediate needs for better transportation options,” said Sonya Solinsky, who heads up the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s North West Transit Subcommittee. “MTS is looking to provide that. This is a great opportunity for local residents to weigh in on what our priority projects should be.”
Solinsky said local priorities could include better service to schools, more transit options for seniors, more frequency, improved weekend service, more routes that connect to other communities and connections to Coaster service.
With the North West Transit Subcommittee, Solinsky has been making the case to bring transit options to the region over the last several months. More than just Carmel Valley, this effort includes Del Mar, Del Mar Mesa, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines, Rancho Penasquitos, Torrey Highlands and Black Mountain Ranch.
The subcommittee has now received approval from all the planning boards in San Diego’s District 1 and Councilmember Barbara Bry has written an official letter to MTS emphasizing the need for transit in the area.
Solinsky was recently appointed as a representative to the MTS Elevate SD 2020 Community Advisory Committee. Solinsky and the transit subcommittee team attended the MTS CAC’s first meeting at the end of April with many other community planning groups, climate activists, economic development groups and other transit-interested coalitions.
“The meeting was very informative and collaborative to see that everyone is now striving for a common goal of improving transit for San Diego in a timely manner,” Solinsky said. “When MTS presented its regional map coverage, it actually cut off our communities and only showed the northern area up to Sorrento Valley and Mira Mesa. It was an important moment for us to point out to MTS that we have been ignored for too long.”
Solinsky said the subcommittee is also closely following SANDAG’s new vision for transit in San Diego. SANDAG’s plan has faced opposition from the North West area’s local representatives on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Supervisors Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond. On April 30, the supervisors voted 3-2 against the plan which proposes taking transportation dollars away from voter-approved highway projects in favor of mass transit.
“Many active community groups are trying to focus all government agencies on to a common goal for providing effective and efficient alternatives for transportation in San Diego,” Solinsky said. “Our transit subcommittee follows this lead, that we are not taking away the car, we are just interested in providing other transportation options.”
Starting back in February, the subcommittee started a transit survey in an effort to show that there is community support for transit for all communities of North West San Diego. The survey has had almost 600 responses with 80 percent positive response to transit. The survey will be up throughout the summer at tinyurl.com/sdtransitsurvey
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For more on MTS Elevate SD visit ElevateSD2020.com