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The Dow Inter-Regional Index Falls by Two

By: Bill Higgins on Sep 26, 2019
Headshots of Phil & Art on Declining Graph
 
Phil Dow and Art Dao Set to Retire
 
One of the joys of working with regional governments is getting to know the wonderful group of people who have dedicated their career to serving their regions.  So its will a combination or joy and sadness that two outstanding public servants (who share the same last name . . .  at least phonetically) have announced their retirement.  Together, Phil Dow (Mendocino COG) and Art Dao (ACTC) have logged nearly 75 years of public service.  Like so many of their peers, they are very capable and highly professional, and brought character, integrity, and kindness to their work. 
 
Both will be a hard act to follow.  
 
Godspeed. 
 
 
Phil Dow, Executive Director, Mendocino Council of Governments
 
Phil Dow has served more than 40 years in public transportation.  A registered traffic engineer, he served as the Transportation Planner for MCOG starting in the 1980s, then as Executive Director since 1999.
 
Mr. Dow has long been a champion for remote rural communities. (In case you have not heard Phil opine, rural counties are underfunded and too often asked to implement policies designed to address the problems of more populated urban areas). He was a founding member of the Rural Counties Task Force and was a frequent participant and one-time chair CALCOG's CDAC (executive directors group) meetings.  There, he would sometimes reminded his peers who represented larger metropolitan agencies that in Mendocino, the executive director had to set the traffic counters to collect data and advise the board of directors.  But regardless the point, his voice always had the respect of his peers.
 
Mr. Dow also managed the delivery of his share of local projects.  He shepherded local plans for downtown safety improvements, promoted bicycle and pedestrian projects, and supported public transit.  He could be very innovative and knew how to stretch a rural transportation dollar. His most significant accomplishment was to facilitate funding of the largest priority project in the Regional Transportation Plan, seeing the Willits Bypass through construction in 2016. 
 
Locally, Mr. Dow will long be remembered for his commitment to service.  Richey Wasserman from the Point Arena states it well, “When I was first on MCOG, I was struck with how much attention Phil paid to our little town of less than 500 people. He would come to our meetings and sometimes wouldn’t get back until after 11 at night. Later I realized that he cared about everything in the county. He’s not just a public servant, he’s a wonderful person.”
 
Indeed. 
 
The Rural Counties Task Force is holding a reception in his honor this evening (September 26, 2019).  
 
 
Art Dao, Executive Director, Alameda County Transportation Commission
 
Art Dao will retire in December 2019 after more than 33 years in the transportation industry. Mr. Dao’s career has included infrastructure delivery and investments to support mobility, efficiency, access, economic development and the environment throughout the Bay Area.   As Alameda CTC’s first executive director, Mr. Dao led the merger of the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA) and the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (ACCMA) in 2010, which has resulted in improved governmental efficiency and strengthened the funding and delivery of capital projects and programs.
 
Under Mr. Dao’s leadership, Alameda CTC, engaged in the following planning and policy outcomes:
  • Developed the 2014 Transportation Expenditure Plan, Measure BB, which was overwhelmingly approved by Alameda County voters in November 2014 to generate more than $8 billion of transportation investments in the county over 30 years, which would result in $20 billion of economic activities and a significant number of jobs;
  • Developed and achieved consensus on a set of comprehensive plans and strategies for goods movement investments, transit improvements, and major multimodal arterials improvements throughout Alameda County;
  • Strengthened partnerships and coordination with state, regional, and local agencies and transit operators to increase transportation investments in Alameda County. 
  • Vanguard programs, such as Safe Routes to Schools and the Affordable Student Transit Pass Program, both a part of the Alameda County School Travel Opportunities Program. 
Prior to being the Executive Director of Alameda CTC, Mr. Dao was the Deputy Director of Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA). In that capacity, Mr. Dao was responsible for the delivery of the $1.4 billion 2000 Measure B capital program almost 10 years ahead of schedule.
 
Led by Mr. Dao, notable projects over the past eighteen years include:
  • The Bay Area’s first express lanes, the Interstate 680 Sunol Express Lanes, the first in a 550-mile regional network of high-occupancy toll lane projects, and subsequent express lanes on Interstate 580.
  • Successfully delivered over $800 million of State Proposition 1B bond-funded projects to relieve congestion on major freeway corridors;
  • Exemplary transit projects: the BART to Warm Springs station, the BART West Access Bridge and Plaza, the BART/Oakland Airport Connector and the $178 million East Bay Bus Rapid Transit project.
  • The introduction of Integrated Corridor Mobility technology for the approximately 270,000 vehicles per day that use the I-80 corridor, one of the Bay Area’s top 10 busiest corridors. 
  • Critical interjurisdictional arterial corridors: the East 14th Street/Mission Boulevard and Fremont Boulevard Corridor and the San Pablo Avenue Corridor projects, both of which traverse a number of Alameda County jurisdictions.

Thank you for your leadership.   

We will give Art the last word:  “I have been at the helm all of these years, but I am well aware that none of this happens without my excellent and passionate staff. It has been my privilege to serve alongside such hardworking and dedicated people that are cognizant of the value of the good work that we do here at Alameda CTC.”