From the in box:
"But exactly how transportation
planning officials have decided which projects to spend billions on —
and when, and why — has been shrouded in secrecy. Their justification
is detailed in complex models, formulas and data that few understand."
"Local transit advocates have long sought to dig into them to
understand how Sandag makes its decisions, but the agency has resisted
their requests to release the information.
Advocates had to hire lawyers to get Sandag to release the models
at all. The agency relented, but even then only on the condition that
the advocates not share them with anyone else and only use them in
"Last year, lawyers for local transit advocate Duncan McFetridge
threatened to sue the agency, and it finally released the data. But the
information was so indiscernible they had to hire a consultant to help
them understand it. What they found troubled them. They believe
Sandag's formulas make assumptions that allow the agency to justify
highways over transit — reinforcing advocates' chief criticism."
"One of the assumptions they found is that poorer people are more
likely to ride transit while wealthier people will not, even if the
service is improved. Sandag's model predicts that higher income
residents will take just 4 percent of work trips on transit while lower
income residents take 37 percent. The advocates argue that assumption
allows Sandag to justify highway expansions by saying some people will
just never ride buses or trolleys no matter how convenient it is."
Read more at VoSD.
Solution: Don't change any practices or policies. Just make sure SANDAG is run by people we can trust, then it will be all good.