July 31, 2018




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Transportation Drives Regional Economies.


Prop Six Pack

1.  Statewide. In February, ARTBA published a study that found the additional SB1 investment yielded over $180 billion in economic activity over ten years and would create more 68,000 jobs (each year) that generated a payroll of $3.3 billion (each year). Now these numbers and more are available for six key regions. (Orange County, Los Angeles, Inland Empire, San Joaquin Valley, San Diego & Imperial, and Bay Area).  

2.  Wasco-Bakersfield. Kudos to CALCOG Board Member Cheryl Wegman.  Her op-ed in the Bakersfield Californian gets our nod for best use of a Ronald Reagan quote.  

3.  Alameda County.  ACTC has completed a number of educational materials to explain how investments are occuring in each community.  Talking points and social media ideas included.  Just start clicking.

4.  Fresno. We like this presentation from Fresno COG that explains how investments are working in a county that has an average PCI of 65.  Good maps.  Also good would be a comparison of funding with and without SB1.

5.  Merced. Kudos (again) to Lloyd Pareira for his quote in this article about the UC Merced-Hwy 99 Connector: “This would be a 20 to 30-year plan instead of a three to five-year plan.”  He succinctly captures how fund availability accelerates project delivery.  

6.   Coming Soon.  The national research group TRIP  that found that the average Californian pays $739/yr in wear and repair costs due to poor road conditions is due to update their data.  Could it be that the SB1 investment is saving Californians even more?


Ending on a High(way) Note

Shuster's All Star Infrastructure Panel

Retiring House T&I Committee Chair Bill Shuster created a buzz in DC last week by introducing an infrastructure package that would increase the federal gas tax and restore the Highway Trust Fund. But its only a discussion document; slim chance it will be voted on. But NARC put out a good summary with links to a section-by-section overview. And here is another summary by NATSO (National Association of Truck Stop Operators--who knew?).  But our favorite resource is this video-tweet from the T&I Committee itself--where Adam Smith, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhour, and Ronald Reagan testify in support of infrastructure investment (h/t Tess Lengyel). 


Bills We Are Tracking

AB 1771 (Bloom) Regional housing needs assessment.
Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Amends make some improvements; author agrees to address RHNA funding next year

AB 1912 (Rodriguez) Public employees retirement: joint powers agreements: liability
Position: Watch
JPA members must agree to apportion any PERS liability; Comprise language due in Appropriations

AB 2061 (Frazier) Near-zero-emission and zero-emission vehicles.
Position: Watch
Allows ZEVs to exceed weight limits by up to 2000 lbs

AB 2363 (Friedman) Vision Zero Task Force
Position: Watch
Creates Statewide Vision Zero Task Force

AB 2447 (Reyes) California Environmental Quality Act: land use: environmental justice.
Position: Watch
CEQA notice protocols near Disadvantaged Communities; Second Reading

AB 2734 (Frazier) California Transportation Commission
Position: Watch
Re-creates independent CTC; Has yet to receive a no vote in either house

AB 686 (Santiago) Affirmatively further fair housing
Position: Watch
CALCOG Removed Opposition

SB 828 (Wiener) Land use: housing element (RHNA)
Position: Oppose Unless Amended
RHNA, Some parts inconsistent with SB 828; but improving


The Right (of Way) Stuff

Brad Kuhn and Anne Mayer

(Sponsored)  CALCOG members are in the business of delivering projects that often involve securing a Right-of-Way--a complicated task that requires specialists. CALCOG is fortunate to have such a specialist among our partners--Nossaman LLP.  From the latest issue of Right of Way Magazine is this roundtable discussion of a group of experts that include Nossamon's Chair of the Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group, Brad Kuhn and RCTC's Anne Mayer.  They discuss how to manage involvement of ROW experts in project delivery to reduce costs. 


Changing Channels

Its an usually busy year for retirements and changes.  Here is our shortlist: 

  • Ron DiCarli, SLOCOG.  Ron was around when CALCOG formed.  We have documents with his name on it in 1986 back when the CDAC was the CCR. Our meetings will not be the same.

  • Steve Heminger, MTC.  Only the third person to serve as the Executive Director in the 50 year history of MTC just announced his retirement.  He promises to continue to use HOT lanes.  

  • Phil Dow, Mendocino COG.  Retiring after 30 years.  Long a strong voice for small rural counties (our first call with him he reminded us of higher road mile to population ratio in rural counties).  

  • Celia McAdam, PCPTA.  A champion of timely project delivery and fiscal integrity - a true leader within our ranks.  
  • George Dondero, SCCRTC.  A great leader for Santa Cruz--he works to secure his county a sales tax measure, then steps back. Mic drop.

  • Patrick Pittenger, MCAG.  Recently resigned. Deputy Stacie Dabbs is serving as the interim.

  • Maura Twomey, AMBAG.  Just kidding, she is not going anywhere.  We just wanted to see if you were reading this far. 


The "Vague" Advantage of COGs

A COG's Vague Advantage

Our most recent submission to the Viewprint Blog is a guest post from Rick Bishop, Executive Director of the Western Riverside Council of Governments.  He outlines why the COG government flexible (or "vague") structure allows the entity to ask themselves what they "want to achieve" rather than what they "have to do." They provide a forum where members work together to cost-effectively respond to common challenges that do not neatly fit into the purview of local jurisdictions or single-purpose entities. Its a good read.  


SCAG COO gives the 411 on VMT on KPCC

SCAG's Chief Operating Officer Darin Chidsey was a guest panelist on KPCC's AirTalk.  The topic was using vehicle miles traveled as a metric for climate change and the recent ARB-CTC meeting.  Joining Darin was ARB's Lezlie Kimura and SD Union Tribune journalist Joshua Smith.  Darin kept things real, noting both the advantages and the challenges of the VMT metric: "Vehicles are getting cleaner, miles-per-gallon rates are improving, and vehicle miles traveled may no longer be a perfect metric. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be having a conversation about how much people are driving. People want to spend less time in the car. The question is, are we doing a good enough job giving them those options?”


Quick Hits

Uber Pool & Lyft Line Increasing VMT?  A new study says services like UberPool are pulling from transit, biking and walking. The result is more driving. Or is it? The former CEO of Zipcar challenges this finding. 

TAXIng TNCs. Eno reviews efforts to tax TNCs and encourages us to think about TNCs as as now-established presence that should be integrated into current transportation networks.   

Way-mart?  You know something has become mainstream when it shows up at a Walmart. Now, Walmart has teamed with Waymo to use autonomous vehicles to shuttle people to stores, one of many partnerships the Alphabet (Google) subsidiary is developing. Take that, Amazon.

California population to exceed 40 Million.  Fun fact: using last year's population and applying last year's growth rate means California will top 40 million sometime this summer.  But Zocolo Square's Joe Mathews opines that we continue to overestimate growth and to think smaller. 

Mineta Survey Finds National Support for Transit. The survey found 74% of Americans say Congress should increase spending on public transportation. The survey, which was conducted for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), shows that 80% of Americans support use of their tax dollars for creating, expanding, and improving public transportation in their community.



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