SCTLC History

The Sonoma County Transportation / Land-use Coalition was formed in 1991 from members of the Sonoma County Conservation Council who had expressed a special interest in transportation issues. We developed a policies statement which is shown below. In 1992 we registered as a Political Action Committee to enable us to act on the many issues in this field.

SCTLC Steering Committee.

Joel Woodhull (Chair), George Ellman (Chair Emeritus), Bill Kortum (Chair Emeritus), Don Sanders (Treasurer), Lionel Gambill, Will Richards, Len Swensen, Rick Theis.

SCTLC Policies on Transportation and Planning Criteria

Adopted by the SCTLC on Oct. 21, 1997

Any transportation policy or plan should:

  1. be based upon and consistent with sound land use planning;
  2. emphasize energy-efficient and energy-conserving modes of transport. We are particularly concerned that walking and bicycling and efficient forms of public transit receive suitably enhanced public investment.
    The long-term aim is to minimize growth of transportation systems based on fossil fuels;
  3. fully utilize existing rights-of-way, particularly the newly
    acquired rail right-of-way, and emphasize coordinated public transit systems. This means interconnecting automobile, bus, rail and self-propelled transportation systems.
    Continued rail freight service and expanded passenger rail
    service should be developed;
  4. be based upon a county-wide cooperative planning process.

SCTLC's Primary Objectives

  1. Assure that transportation is appropriate for centers of population instead of sprawl.
  2. Work for enhanced bicycling, walking and public transit modes.
  3. Assure public support for financing the operating costs of transit systems.
  4. Work for equitable sharing of transportation costs and distribution of transportation benefits.


We can understand that people facing long commutes on congested highways would like to solve their immediate problems by finding near term solutions. They would rather have their traffic bottlenecks removed now, not wait for years until land use evolves and alternative transportation systems are developed that will offer easier and more environmentally sound ways of moving about.

This being so, elected officials are expected by their constituents to show progress in the short term – or they won't be re-elected. So it is also understandable that officials who feel the pressure keep turning to more of the same – more highways, more parking – in the hope of temporary congestion relief. But the consequence is continued sprawl.

As a voluntary organization, SCTLC can afford to take a longer view of land use and transportation. Included in this perspective is the uncomfortable belief that many of the short term fixes actually postpone the systemic changes that are needed for a more sustainable human environment.