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Fresno COG Short Circuits Member Challenges

By: Meg Prince (Fresno COG) on Aug 15, 2019

When City of Reedley officials wanted to update their Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan, they had limited staffing to do the work in-house.  It was a relatively small job, but still would require a request for proposals that would put the city on the hook for high consultant fees. Instead, Fresno COG circuit planner program offered an cheaper and more efficient alternative. 

Since 2013, Fresno COG has offered a circuit planner program to assist the small cities in Fresno County with less complex transportation and smart-growth-related projects and tasks. A circuit engineer was added in 2015. The Circuit Planner and Engineer Program also supports the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy and assists with other roadblocks in delivering projects.

The program is not intended to replace local contract planning and engineering staff, but help with smaller projects or obstacles so that local agency staff can remain focused on day-to-day duties and larger projects. Often times, staff have limited time to work on projects that go above and beyond their day-to-day duties.

In Reedley’s case, the circuit planner developed a work plan to update baseline conditions, including new bicycle and pedestrian counts, a safety analysis, and an updated planned bicycle and pedestrian network. The final plan was presented for adoption.

“Fresno COG’s circuit planning program has been a welcome addition to the planning toolkit within our community, allowing us to address a collection of planning needs despite staffing and funding limitations,” said Reedley’s Community Development Director Rob Terry. “Having the extra brainpower was a huge benefit for us on this project, and we are already moving forward on additional projects supported through the circuit planning program, with even more to come in the future.”

The Circuit Planner and Circuit Engineer programs have historically been separate consultant contracts each with an annual budget of $50,000. In 2019, the programs were combined into one contract with an annual budget of $100,000. Although originally started with Prop 84 funds in 2013, the programs have since been funded using Fresno COG’s local dollars.  

Fresno COG releases a call for projects each program cycle to which the small cities respond with project suggestions. COG staff score the project suggestions against different criteria, such as consistency with RTP/SCS goals and objectives, near-term benefits, and city preference. The circuit planner and engineer typically each work on approximately three projects at a time and move down the list of scored projects throughout the program cycle. Cities may submit projects for consideration at any time throughout the program cycle as needs arise.

Past projects through the program have included intersection and corridor studies, bicycle and pedestrian plans, grant writing assistance, traffic and bike/ped counts, coordination with other entities such as Caltrans and LAFCo, as well as various land use studies.


  • City of Reedley Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan
  • Operations Analysis for Intersection in the City of Sanger
  • Cost Estimate for City of Huron Drainage Master Plan
  • Manning Avenue Pavement Recommendation for City of Reedley
  • Coordination with LAFCo on Annexation for City of Kingsburg
  • SR-99 and Dinuba Interchange Study
  • City of San Joaquin Traffic Counts
  • City of Huron Traffic Counts
  • City of Kingsburg Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts


  • FCOG's RFP to contract for the Circuit Planning & Engineer Positions (2019)