San José Access & Mobility Plan targets ambitious transportation goals

As the largest, most diverse community in the Bay Area and the capital of Silicon Valley, the City of San José has made building a more sustainable, vibrant, and economically inclusive city a priority. At the same time, the City faces significant challenges, including an affordability crisis and decreasing transit ridership. The pandemic has aggravated social and health disparities, and the City is responding with prioritizing safe access to services and opportunities for the City’s most disadvantaged communities. 

In order to provide access to key destinations, enhance social cohesion, and facilitate an equitable economic recovery, the City of San José has set out a new transportation vision and planning approach focused on equity, data-driven decision-making, and innovation. The City’s goals include increased walking, biking, transit use, and safety and decreased auto-dependency — cutting car use from the 76% of trips it is today to less than 40% of trips in 2040. Arup’s integrated planning consultants are helping the City craft the Access & Mobility Plan (AMP), or the framework, processes, tools, and strategies needed to make their vision a reality in an inclusive, transparent, and adaptable way.

The AMP is being delivered in collaboration with the City, Corinne Winter Consulting, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Toole Design Group, Cityfi, and Arup’s transportation planning, digital, and organizational change experts. Together, the project team is measuring the City’s key performance indicators, then prioritizing improvement strategies such as new bike lanes, rail lines, or bus service. The project is designing a digital Decision Support System (DSS) to both evaluate progress and inform adjustments along the way.  

San José has articulated a bold new vision for the city as a place to live, work, and play, including far-reaching goals for reducing car dependency. The Access & Mobility Plan is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with an ambitious client to modernize the practice of transportation planning. ”

Will Baumgardner Will Baumgardner Arup’s San Francisco Transportation Consulting Practice Leader

The plan process includes partnering with community-based organizations to facilitate public input on how best to support movement without a car and create a system that responds to the needs of the people of San José. Through virtual forums, working groups, and a new website, the team is crafting trip reduction solutions, including bringing the concept of the 15-minute neighborhood into the American context. As a part of the project, the Arup team is conducting an organizational assessment to provide recommendations on how to best structure the City’s Department of Transportation to deliver on their ambitious goals.

This project is slated for completion by mid-2021.