March 20, 2018




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SB 1: Takin' It To The Streets


Story Book Ending


Matt Luhn (Credits incl: Toy Story, Finding Nemo)

Thank you to the participants, speakers, and sponsors who participated in last week's Regional Leadership Forum. From the feedback we received, it was one of our most successful Forums ever (if we do say so ourselves). The new Monterey Convention Center provided an excellent venue. As we learned, every good story needs a hero on a journey. And while it was timely to focus on taking the SB 1 story to the streets, the Forum also provided a storyline for the future by highlighting how we create on our journey to serve our member communities. Regions really do work. 


30 Second Conference Recap


We posted all the presentations. Here is the 30 second overview (though its no substitute for being there):

  • Story Telling. Mathew Luhn (Pixar) nailed it with The Power of Storytelling. Therese McMillan (LA Metro; "make your story memorable, impactful, and personal") and Adnan Mahmud (Livestories) expanded the theme. We ended with a workshop (and workbook) with tips to craft a compelling (& authentic) story to support SB1.  

  • Takin' SB1 to the Streets.  Kiana Valentine (CSAC), Fran Inman & Susan Bransen (CTC), and Eric Thronson (Assembly Transportation Committee) gave an interactive update. Nossaman attorney Bill Pellman reminded us to "educate, don't advocate" with public resources. See SB1 Resources to get the all the latest information. 

  • Retail Distortion. Pragmatic futurist and thought leader Larry Kosmont challenged us to think about: How do you design a city for online retail? Do you need parking for shared and autonomous vehicles? He made the case that the future of retail is place-making with experiential uses that attract trips. But it got really interesting when his vision of the future blended perfectly with sustainable urbanism. 
  • Cybersecurity & Autonomity. What does an autonomous future mean? More efficiency from our existing infrastructure says Habib Shamskhou (President, Advanced Mobility Group). Different approaches to funding infrastructure says Jim Madaffer (needs no introduction). And new safety challenges like "professional hacking" says Ash Padwal (President, Allied Telesis). More food for thought.

  • Emergency Planning. A fascinating (and concerning) conversation by Frannie Edwards (Mineta Institute) and Board-member Brian Tisdale was followed by the first hand accounts of fire, fury, and mudslides from our own Darren Kettle (VCTC) and Marjie Kirn (SBCAG).  

Peruse all the materials at your leisure on the conference webpage.    


The California Dreamin' Playlist


Any good conference has a little fun. We released our Top 20 songs that explore the idea of the California Dream. How did we do? Do you agree or would you nominate another song? Let us know by adding your comment to our blog. Or just listen to all this great music during your next active mode trip or work out. (All songs posted on our Spotify Playlist). 


By the Numbers: Ten Years of SB 1


  • $139 billion: backlog of deferred road maintenance statewide
  • $54 billion: amount generated for investment each year
  • $20 billion: savings from not deferring local maintenance
  • $187 billion: additional economic activity generated by SB 1
  • 68,203: number of additional jobs created each year
  • $3.3 billion: annual payroll of those 68,000 jobs
  • $762: Average motorist cost for wear and damage from poor condition
  • $117: Estimated cost of new gas tax and fees per driver per year
  • 2nd: Rank of California in amount paid in added costs due to bad roads
  • 84,000: road lane miles that will be repaired, repaved, and reconstructed
  • $584 million: value of reduced costs from highway crashes and fatalities
  • 25%: California bridges that show significant deterioration
  • 556: number of additional bridges that SB 1 helps replace

Sources: National Transportation Research Group (TRIP); American Road and Transportation Builders Association; Rebuilding California Website; American Society of Civil Engineers 2016 report; Business Insider 2017 report.


Thank You Forum Sponsors!
















One Project Tells Us About SB1's Promise


Map of Downtown Improvements

Woodlake is a community of 7,000 residents in the Sierra foothills. It's downtown needed revitalization.  Businesses were suffering. City officials identified the need for better transportation facilities--street improvements, a transit center, and a roundabout to relieve congestion where two state highways met. They worked with their regional agency, the Tulare County Association of Governments, to secure funding.  

The results were dramatic. The downtown is starting to thrive. The streets are safer. Congestion at the main intersection has eased. Transit use is up by 26%, buoyed by the new transit center that increased connectivity to jobs and education resources for many of the City’s disadvantaged residents. The new street improvements can also take at least partial credit for 8 new businesses in the downtown and the improved sales at pre-existing businesses.   

SB1 makes more projects like this possible (the Woodlake project was completed before 2017). It nearly doubles the funding that cities and counties will receive to fix potholes and make other street improvements. Additional funds are also available to improve transit and state highways, and increase safety in downtown areas.


ARB Targets Thursday


The Air Resources Board will set the second round of targets this Thursday (March 22) in Riverside. The ARB staff report outlines a statewide average of 19% reductions for MPOs (p. 34), and identifies the need for additional state-level strategies to get further reductions. This state-focused category makes sense because modeled travel behavior is affected by both local strategies and state policy.  Moving forward, buckle up for the ride - SB 150 report (which will focus on the effectiveness of various strategies) is about to start.


Quick Hits


  • Looking Down the Road. The opportunities for enhanced mobility from autonomous vehicles are exciting but they will have a huge impact on our society effecting everything from infrastructure to public safety to labor. Local, regional, state, federal, and private sector coordination and collaboration are required to make it work.

  • Bicycle Transportation Planning & Design. The Active Transportation Program, a joint Strategic Growth Council-Caltrans program, is offering introductory planning and design classes in Redding, Stockton and Oakland this May.   
  • Five Transit Deserts vs. Five Renaissance Factors. This Smithsonian article mapped areas in major metropolitan areas--including 5 in California--and identified "deserts" in transit service and provides some advice for local agencies. Meanwhile, one of our favorite academics, Susan Shaheen, identifies 5 converging trends that are fundamentally changing transportation services. 

  • Be Prepared at Work. Frannie Edwards, Deputy Director, National Transportation Safety and Security Center (and conference speaker), reminded us that staff needs to be personally prepared for disaster overtime. Here is a how-to on putting together a work place disaster kit.  Edwards keeps her’s in the car. 

  • It is a Millennial World!  Larry Kosmont had a little fun with this video: #@TheGym. And now an appropriately ironic rebuttal from the Millennials: We Suck and Were Sorry (sic).  


Mix Up Regarding Next Year’s Forum


2018 YMPC Hike (Lucas Frerichs)

Things will be different next year. The CALCOG Board approved holding a joint conference with the Local Government Commission. (This year our Regional Leadership Forum overlapped with their Yosemite Policy Makers Conference--formerly the Ahwahnee Conference.)  We think of it as a Lyft Line (or Uber Pool) for conferences. According to City of Santa Monica Council Member Pam O’Connor, who serves on the Board of both organizations, holding a joint conference "will bring together people whose interests overlap but who do not always interact. It will be a great opportunity mix things up a bit!” The new sharing economy is all about connecting to cover that last mile (or conference session). See you in Yosemite in 2019. (More details soon!).


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