Letter to Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)
regarding the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)

[on MTS letterhead]

101 Eighth Street
Oakland, CA 94607
FAX 510 464 7848

May 12, 1999

Subject: RTP public comment

Honorable Commissioners:

The Draft RTP, under Goals, states "Enhance sensitivity to the environment" (page 4). This statement is so vague as to be basically meaningless. Most Bay Area air pollution is now from mobile sources. The Bay Area is already a non-attainment region of the Clean Air Act. The goal should be to "reduce total air pollution from mobile sources to meet levels stipulated in the Clean Air Act."

The RTP needs to recognize the phenomenon of "induced traffic." While the public is beginning to acknowledge this phenomenon (that building or widening roads encourages increased auto use with a resultant return of congestion) some still are unaware. More information on induced traffic is at:

HOV lane construction will increase air pollution and VMT. The Modern Transit Society has done research on effects of HOV lane construction in Santa Clara County. HOV lanes increase solodriving by between 2 and 4 times as much as carpooling. Solodrivers accounted for 79% of 5769 vehicles added to Montague Expressway six years after constructing the HOV lane. This solodriver figure for San Tomas Expressway is 73% and for Rt. 237 is 63% of vehicles added to the roadway. (All vehicle counts are when HOV lanes are activated, AM+PM commute.) Details are provided on our web site HOV lanes cause huge solo driver increase at:

Carpooling has actually decreased since 1980, before HOV lanes existed, despite the construction of over 200 miles of HOV lanes. HOV lanes have been unsuccessfull and counterproductive in the stated goal of decreasing pollution and increasing occupancy. These goals would be accomplished by diverting HOV funds to the least polluting and highest capacity travel mode: public transit. We request that you do exactly that. For more details and sources, please see Carpool Lane Facts at:


Akos Szoboszlay

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