February 28, 2018




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Effective Regions Through Partnership


SB 1 Adds Fuel to California's Economy


Here are the key economic impacts of SB 1 according to a new study by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association:
  • Economic Activity. A whopping (our word) $182.6 Billion for California residents and businesses. 
  • Jobs & Wages. An average of 68,000 jobs per year for 10 years that will yield $3.3 billion in salaries for California workers each year.
  • Safety. Benefits from reduced crashes, injuries and fatalities valued at $584 million over 10 years.
  • Good for Business. Increase business sales by $112 billion over 10 years.
  • Lower Operating Costs. Drivers will save $8.2 billion in auto operating costs over 10 years. 
  • Better Roads. Supports the repair, repaving, and reconstruction of 84,000 lane miles of roadway on 19,000 miles of roadway.
  • More Bridges. Increased investments will ensure the replacement of an additional 556 bridges
  • Keep on Truckin.'  Saves $1.6 billion per year (e.g., reduced travel times) for the 14 million trucks that use the urban interstate, an average of $114,000 per truck each year.  
And so much more.  Read the full report. We particularly like the section in the end that spells out the economic benefits across 18 major industrial sectors (e.g, Manufacturing, Utilities).  


General Assembly Season Begins


This is the season in "CALCOG-land" when many of our members hold General Assemblies. These are important governance meetings that address core structure, capacity, and priority issues.  But it is also a forum to convene regional leaders to focus on regional issues. We attended the General Assembly for South Bay Cities Council of Governments last week--a GREAT program that focused on disruptions in retail and what current trends meant for land use and fiscal policies. We even "poached" one of the day's best speakers for our Regional Leadership Forum. 


RCTC Leads on Protecting SB1


Last month, RCTC board had a full, meaningful conversation about SB1, Prop 69 (that protects all new SB1 revenues from potential diversion), and the potential repeal initiative. After hearing all sides, the board voted to support Prop 69 and oppose the repeal effort. Our latest blog tells you why RCTC's statement is exemplary for its transparency, clarity, and fairness--and highlights 8 take-ways for other agencies. Visit our new SB 1 Tool Kit for forms and other resources.


Leadership of Story Telling


Still time to register for Regional Leadership Forum (March 15-16).  

Storytelling is an important communication skill.  It's also important in policy discussions because a good story helps people make sense of complex ideas. Our Forum program will prepare you for a year when new transportation investments will be the subject of focused political discussions. Conference keynote and executive coach Matthew Luhn has created some of the most powerful stories of this generation while working at Pixar, including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, and Up. He argues that no matter how good your facts are, its important to think about how you make people feel. The ability to connect with people is increasingly recognized as an important problem-solving tool.



MCAG Gets to Work


Seniors Using New Bus Pass Program

Member Spotlight: SB 1 and a new local sales tax are coming together in a big way in Merced County--and MCAG is working to assure that residents realize their promise.  Caltrans gets an assist by allocating new SB 1 funds to accelerate two safety and mobility projects on SR 152--a major east-west connector and important goods movement route. (MCAG Newsletter, pg 2)  Locally, Measure V has raised its first $10 million--half of which will be invested in local street repair. With an average pavement condition score of 56, or "at risk," MCAG is helping its cities and county by developing specific condition mapping to help their communities prioritize specific projects. Additionally, transit funds are providing a wildly popular free bus service for seniors, veterans, and ADA riders, which has generated more than 90,000 rides.

Kudos to MCAG for setting the regional table for project delivery. 


Join the Mobility Nobility


Redefining Mobility Summit

We recommend spending a day exploring the future at the Redefining Mobility Summit (March 29; San Ramon). Summit organizer Contra Costa Transportation Authority's expertise comes from managing the GoMentum Station, which is the nation’s largest secure testing facility for autonomous and connected vehicle technology. The Summit will provide you with a crash course (poor word choice?) on autonomous and connected vehicles from automobile manufacturers, suppliers, new tech start ups, and researchers. You should go! 

Speaking of Autonomous Vehicles: the DMV gave the green light to fully autonomous cars without safety drivers on Monday. Seems like a really good time to go to the Summit.  


Moving Targets: SB 375 Update


The Air Resources Board has published it's final proposed GHG reduction targets, which must be updated every 8 years under SB 375.  Some MPO targets are updated from the earlier draft; and ARB proposes convening a Working Group to identify additional state strategies to correlate with the Scoping Plan. (Here is the GHG math: 19% MPO reduction average + 6% from additional state strategies = 25% Scoping Plan need).  The staff report also touches on how ARB may approach newly required SB 150 (Allen) status updates to the legislature. ARB will consider the targets on March 22 in Riverside.  


Bay Link Blog


States with gas tax increases

We are big fans of The Bay Link--the joint MTC-ABAG blog that provides news, views, and analysis of key issues affecting the bay area region (and the rest of us).  Here is a sampling: a Participatory Budgeting Lit Review  (just clicking that link made us feel smarter), the Crash and Rise of the Housing Market, or January’s Map of the Month: Red & Blue State Gas Tax Increases Since 1993There is so much good information we find it hard to keep up.  


Quick Hits


  • BOE True Up On Hold. Remember those pre-SB 1 years when the BOE trued up the price-based excise tax to match the amount that would have been collected under the sales tax prior to the gas tax swap of 2011?  (Just writing that makes our head spin). The true up is still around for a little while longer, but earlier this week the BOE elected to forego the adjustment, at least for now.
  • The Future Is Now. Elon Musk has permission to start digging in DC for intial hyperloop testing. He is also digging near LAX. Will fly-over country become tunnel-under county? (At least it's an infrastructure plan in DC that's progressing).
  • Positive Thinking. New Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson says that Amtrak will suspend train routes that don’t have Positive Train Control operating by the end of this year, stating “Amtrak has operated basically as a freight railroad carrying passengers, rather than a world-class passenger-rail agency.”
  • Why did the Millennial Cross the Road?  (A: To take a selfie with the chicken.)  A recent study by UC Davis ITS (in partnership with NCST) now examines "how" Millennials travel. Although there are differences in certain subsets (e.g, urban-rural) the big (and OBVI) finding is that Millenials are more likely to use technology, access shared mobility, and use transit--even when local land use conditions are less supportive of those options.
  • A Digital Road to Safety. The complete street of the future includes programmable road striping to improve road safety. But we still think pedestrians in the demo should still look up from their phones while crossing.
  • Take an Uber and Call Me in the Morning.  First taxis, then transit, . . .  now ambulances? Uber drivers share stories about being hailed for a ride to the emergency room.
  • Public Transit Can Create Public Space. One of London’s ugliest spaces, the Old Street Roundabout, is getting a facelift. Here are 15 proposal drawings identified byThe Telegraph to create the best kind of public space.
  • Out of the Box. Sea urchin spine could provide a model for improving the durability of the more than 83 million tons of concrete the United States uses every year, making it 40 to 100 times more fracture-proof.
  • Your Olympic Moment! As we emerge from the Olympic bubble, did you wonder if you could have been a contender? After all, most winter sports are about seasonal alternative transportation. Find out what winter olympic sport is best for you.


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