Categories
Complete Streets Environmental Justice Local Government Metropolitan Planning

Organization of the Month: WALK Sacramento

Last month highlighted the work of the Institute for Local Government.  This month Policy in Motion honors the work of a local organization which has been instrumental in bringing health, environmental and transportation issues to the table in the Sacramento region.  WALK Sacramento is a nonprofit community organization working to improve the walking environment in the Sacramento metropolitan region.  WALK Sacramento works with transportation and land use planners, elected officials and community groups to create safe, walkable environments for all citizens and particularly for children, seniors, the disabled and low-income individuals.

Below is a list of WALK Sacramento’s accomplishments, grants, and awards over the past year.  Lauren Michele is a Board member for WALK Sacramento, committee member for the Sacramento Complete Streets Coalition, and an avid walker/car-free resident in Sacramento’s midtown.  WALK Sacramento plans to build upon its successful efforts in the next year, and is in need of volunteer and financial resources to continue to do their great work.

Please click here to make a donation to WALK Sacramento of any amount!

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Complete Streets: WALK Sacramento has lead the charge on Complete Streets

  • Complete Streets Coalition – formed by the Partnership for Active Communities in 2007, directed by WALKSacramento – includes Sacramento Regional Transit District, AARP, Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA), Breathe California, California Department of Transportation, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, California Highway Patrol, Policy in Motion and others.
  • Influential on Representative Matsui’s introduction of federal Complete Streets legislation
  • Complete Streets policies are now included in Sacramento Transit Master Plan, County Circulation Plan, City General Plan, and regional SACOG funding programs
  • WALK Sacramento & SABA awarded SACOG’s Blueprint Excellence Award
  • Advocated to include Complete Streets in SACOG’s Stimulus Package grants

Land Use Review:  WALK Sacramento works regularly with Sacramento city, county and regional planning staff and elected officials

  • Design Review Committee meets monthly
  • Complete 20-40 reviews of proposed land developments and planning policies each year – leading to small and large improvements for pedestrian and bicycle access
  • Major advocacy of pedestrian accessibility issues in update of Sacramento County’s General Plan both the land use and circulation elements.

Safe Routes to School:  WALK Sacramento is a leader in the Safe Routes to School Program

  • Safe Routes “5E” grant underway – 6 schools in the unincorporated area of the County have had initial audits, 4 more are underway.
  • Second Sacramento Safe Routes to School Conference – November 2010
  • Safe Routes grant for all schools in Citrus Heights to begin 2010

Los Rios Transportation Connections Plan (April 2008) – this plan, drafted by WALK Sacramento, argues for safe, convenient pedestrian, bicycle and transit access to all Los Rios campuses

  • Four campuses — Involvement of faculty & staff & administrators
  • Sac County awarded grants to implement two projects at American River College based on the plan – sidewalks on Orange Grove Avenue and a plan for a bicycle-pedestrian bridge access across Arcade Creek

GRANTS

  • Partnership for Active Communities –Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Final report completed after five year (2003-08) grant.
  • Complete Streets Sustainability Grant – a one year extension grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – ended Nov 09.
  • Los Rios Transportation Connections – funded by Caltrans Community Planning Grant – Partnership of County of Sacramento DOT, Los Rios Community College District, and WALKSacramento.  Completed April 2008.
  • Safe Routes to School “5E’s” Grant – a 2 ½ year partnership of County of Sacramento DOT and WALKSacramento with a Caltrans Safe Routes to School.  To fund 15 school walk/bike audits & plans and 3 annual Safe Routes to School conferences.  Expect extension through 2011.
  • Safe Routes to School Citrus Heights – a 2 year partnership between City of Citrus Heights, San Juan School District and WALKSacramento to fund 12-13 school walk/bike audits and plans.  Getting underway 2010.
  • Clean Air Grant –Funded by Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District — supports involvement in land use review and public outreach.  Extended for two years to June, 2012.
  • California Endowment – Walkable Neighborhoods completed 2003.

AWARDS

  • ECOS Environmental Organization of Year 2010
  • American Planning Association Visionary Award 2009
  • SACOG Salutes Blueprint Excellence Award 2007 – for collaboration with community on Complete Streets
  • Active Living by Design Innovation Award – for development review   2006
  • Anne Seeley Memorial Award, 2004
  • American Lung Association Clean Air Award 2003

Please click here to make a donation to WALK Sacramento of any amount!


Categories
Federal Policy NewsFlash US DOT

US DOT Announces $11.6M in Grants for Minority/Women Owned Businesses

FHWA 40-10
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $11.6 Million in Grants for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses


Resources will Help Small Businesses Compete for Federal Highway Contracts

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $11.6 million in grants to help disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) compete for federal highway contracts in 30 states and Puerto Rico.

“Giving these small businesses the assistance they need to compete for federal highway contracts creates jobs and ultimately helps taxpayers by reducing project costs,” said Secretary LaHood. “Any way you look at them, these grants are a ‘win-win’ for the American people.”

The grants from the Federal Highway Administration’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Supportive Services (DBE/SS) program provide federal aid to DBE firms to improve their ability to compete for and fulfill federal highway contracts.

Since1982, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has promoted the participation of DBEs in federal-aid highway contracts through state-managed programs. The DBE/SS grants are part of an ongoing federal effort to help state departments of transportation train certified DBE firms on a wide range of business management practices, including procurement assistance and guidance on securing bonding. The goal of the program is to help DBEs successfully compete for federal highway projects.

“Helping DBE firms and their workers enriches the competition for federal highway contracts,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “Grants like these will help people find jobs and are an important part of economic recovery.”

A DBE is a for-profit, small business owned by minorities, women or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals or, in the case of a corporation, in which 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals. The daily business operations must be controlled by at least one of the socially and economically disadvantaged owners. More information about DBE eligibility can be found on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website.

Details of today’s awardees are as follows:

State Recipient Organization Amount Awarded
Alabama Alabama Department of Transportation $373,950
Alabama Alabama Department of Transportation $384,312
Alaska Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities $185,381
Arizona Arizona Department of Transportation $750,000
Arkansas Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department $194,864
California California Department of Transportation $1,000,000
Connecticut Connecticut Department of Transportation $391,320
Delaware Delaware Department of Transportation $262,500
Florida Florida Department of Transportation $600,000
Idaho Idaho Department of Transportation $97,900
Illinois Illinois Department of Transportation $912,600
Indiana Indiana Department of Transportation $603,499
Kansas Kansas Department of Transportation $175,000
Kentucky Kentucky Transportation Cabinet $150,500
Maine Maine Department of Transportation $109,000
Maryland Maryland State Highway Administration $300,000
Michigan Michigan Department of Transportation $475,000
Mississippi Mississippi Department of Transportation $485,900
Montana Montana Department of Transportation $232,190
New Mexico New Mexico Department of Transportation $218,500
North Carolina North Carolina Department of Transportation $514,900
Ohio Ohio Department of Transportation $430,500
Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Transportation $41,166
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Transportation $455,652
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority $92,500
South Carolina South Carolina Department of Transportation $258,383
South Dakota South Dakota Department of Transportation $139,033
Tennessee Tennessee Department of Transportation $600,000
Texas Texas Department of Transportation $500,000
Vermont Vermont Department of Transportation $150,000
Washington Washington Department of Transportation $309,096
Wyoming Wyoming Department of Transportation $160,397
TOTAL $11,554,493

# # #

Categories
California Policy Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Local Government

Local Government Technical Resources

Local governments play a critical role in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions — below are a few resources to support cities and counties with limited staff and fiscal capacity to initiate Climate Action Plans.

Cool Planet Project

The Climate Registry administers an energy efficiency and climate change mitigation program called the Cool Planet Project with electric and gas utilities throughout North America.  The Cool Planet Project is funded by Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric and funds funds the following for “utility customers” (e.g. local governments) FOR FREE for the first year of participation:

  • One year membership in California Climate Registry (for GHG inventory)
  • Third party verification of GHG inventory
  • Public relations services provided to communicate environmental leadership to the public
  • Strengthens an organization’s voice among industry peers and national policy makers

Cool California

Cool California is a partnership of the State of California Air Resources Board, Energy Commission, Public Utilities, and University at Berkeley.  Its mission is to provide all Californians with the tools they need to take action to protect the climate and keep California cool.  The partnership has developed a Local Government Toolkit to identify cost saving actions, financial resources, and case studies to assist local governments with achieving GHG emission reductions.  Cool California provides resources to local government to establish baseline GHG emission inventories and guide the development of a Climate Action Plan.

Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC)

The Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative is a new alliance to help cities and counties reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy. SEEC is a collaboration between three statewide non-profit organizations and California’s four Investor Owned Utilities.

SEEC Members:

SEEC provides education and tools for climate action planning, venues for peer-to-peer networking, technical assistance and recognition for local agencies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.  The collaborative effort is designed to build upon the unique resources, expertise and local agency relationships of each non-profit organization, as well as those of the four investor owned utilities.


Categories
Environmental Justice GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning Modeling/Tools NewsFlash Publications Research

Victoria Transport Policy Institute: Summer 2010 Research Updates

VTPI NEWS
———–
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
“Efficiency – Equity – Clarity”
————————————-
Summer 2010    Vol. 13, No. 3
———————————–
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation problems. The VTPI website (http://www.vtpi.org ) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also provides consulting services.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEW VTPI DOCUMENTS
====================

Changing Vehicle Travel Price Sensitivities: The Rebounding Rebound Effect” ( http://www.vtpi.org/VMT_Elasticities.pdf )
This paper, submitted for presentation at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, summarizes recent findings concerning transportation price sensitivities. Some studies found that fuel and vehicle travel price elasticities declined significantly between 1960 and 2000, but recent research suggests that price sensitivities have returned to more normal levels, indicating that the rebound effect is rebounding. This suggests that mobility management strategies provide greater benefits than many current energy conservation evaluation models indicate.

Sustainability and Livability: Summary of Definitions, Goals, Objectives and Performance Indicators” ( http://www.vtpi.org/sus_liv.pdf )
This short report summarizes basic definitions and concepts for sustainable and livable transportation planning.
*     *     *     *     *

UPDATED DOCUMENTS
=================

Evaluating Rail Transit Criticism” ( http://www.vtpi.org/railcrit.pdf )
This report evaluates criticism of rail transit systems, including a recent paper by Wendell Cox, ‘Washington’s War on Cars and the Suburbs.’ It examines claims that rail transit is ineffective at increasing public transit ridership,that rail transit investments are not cost effective, and that transit is an outdated mode of transportation. It finds that critics often misrepresent issues and use biased and inaccurate analysis.

*     *     *     *     *

PUBLISHED ELSEWHERE
===================

Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits” ( http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2010/Pages/100811_Public%20Health%20Benefits.aspx ), written by VTPI for the American Public Transportation Association.
This report investigates ways that public transportation affects human health, and practical methods for considering these impacts in policy and planning decisions. This research indicates that public transit improvements and more transit oriented development can provide large but often overlooked health benefits. People who live or work in communities with high quality transit tend to drive significantly less and rely more on alternative modes (walking, cycling and public transit) than they otherwise would, which reduces per capita traffic crash and pollution emission rates, increases physical fitness, and improves access to medical care and healthy food. These impacts are significant in magnitude compared with other planning objectives but are often overlooked or undervalued in conventional planning.

Recent Planetizen Blogs ( http://www.planetizen.com/blog/2394 ):
*     *     *     *     *

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
====================

Benefit/Cost Analysis for Transportation Infrastructure: A Practitioner’s Workshop,” sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, held 17 May 2010 in Washington DC. Presentation slides are available at http://tti.tamu.edu/conferences/benefit_cost10/program

Changing Course for the Transport Sector” ADB Transport Forum, Manila, 25-27 May 2010 ( http://www.adb.org/documents/events/2010/transport-forum/default.asp ). Ministers, industry decision-makers, researchers and representatives of civil society from more than 30 countries participated in this event.

Environment and Energy Research Conference” ( http://cte.ncsu.edu/CTE/EEConference/index.asp ) Transportation Research Board Conference, 6-10 June 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina.
*     *     *     *     *

UPCOMING EVENTS
=================

Indicators for Sustainable Transport Policy Making and Performance Evaluation,” keynote presentation at ‘A New Decade in Sustainable Transport: Fifth Regional EST Forum in Asia’ United Nations Center for Regional Development ( http://www.uncrd.or.jp/env/5th-regional-est-forum/doc/programme.pdf ), 24 August 2010, Bangkok.

Economic Impacts of Transportation Enhancements,” at the  National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Workshop ( http://www.enhancements.org/seminar/seminarfy10.asp ), 16-17 September 2010, Chattanooga, held in conjunction with ProBike/ProWalk ( http://www.bikewalk.org/2010conference/index.php )

Win-Win Emission Reductions” at the Vancouver Island Air & Waste Management Association ( http://www.pnwis.org/Ch_VI/monthlyluncheon.htm )
Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 11:30 – 13:10, Cedar Hill Golf Course Victoria, B.C.

Livable Communities, Housing and Health – Toolbox Session” at ‘Railvolution 2010’ ( http://www.railvolution.com ).
This workshop will identify ways that transit oriented development and more affordable-accessible housing can help achieve public health and social equity objectives.
*     *     *     *     *

USEFUL RESOURCES
=================

Transit Score” ( http://www.walkscore.com/transit-score.php ) measures how well a location is served by public transit based on the distance to the nearest transit stop and the quality of transit service. This is used to calculate a score between 0 – 100, similar to Walk Score ( http://www.walkscore.com )

Framework for Measuring Sustainable Regional Development for the Twin Cities Region “( www.cts.umn.edu/Publications/ResearchReports/pdfdownload.pl?id=1328 ).
This major study by the University of Minnesota developed a framework for evaluating sustainable development in the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The proposed framework includes a set of six sustainability principles, and 38 indicators, each with specific definitions of how it can be measured and suitable data sources. This is one of the best framework of its kind.

Time Lost by Driving Fast in the United States” ( http://mdm.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/03/29/0272989X09357476 )
This study by Professors Donald A. Redelmeier and Ahmed M. Bayoumi indicates that that in the U.S., one hour spent driving was associated with approximately 20 minutes reduction in life expectancy due to crash risk. For the average driver, each one kilometer per hour (0.6-mph) increase in driving speed yielded a 26-second increase in total expected lost time because the savings from reduced travel time were more than offset by time lost to increased crashes.

P-A-Y-D: As easy to support as 1 – 2 – 3” ( http://www.paydpilot.ca ) . This website and video by Cliff Caprani of Sha-na-key films introduces the concept of Pay-As-You-Drive vehicle insurance and advocates its implementation in British Columbia.

Relative Costs And Benefits Of Modal Transport Solutions” ( http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/393/docs/393.pdf )
This report provides guidance to local authorities about the costs and benefits of transport modes. It provides estimates of vehicle costs, infrastructure, travel time, accidents, health impacts, and pollution costs. It also discusses related urban transport planning issues, including travel demand, relationships between land use and transport, and road space and traffic management. A selection of case studies provides specific illustrations of these issues.

Shared Path Widths” ( http://viastrada.co.nz/pub/shared-path-widths ). This poster provides practical guidance on the design and management of non-motorized facilities.

A wonderful 1906 film of a trolley trip along Market Street in San Francisco ( www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=NINOxRxze9k) and a 1908 film of a trolley trip through Barcelona, Spain ( www.flixxy.com/barcelona-spain-1908.htm) show the use of urban streets a century ago.

Data & Capacity Needs for Transportation NAMAs: Report 1, Data Availability” ( http://www.ccap.org/docs/resources/925/CCAP_Transport_NAMA_Data_Availability.pdf ).
This is the first in a series of research reports by Cambridge Systematics and the Center for Clean Air Policy, assessing data and capacity needs for developing, implementing and evaluating successful transportation Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

Reducing Carbon Emissions from Transport Projects” ( http://www.adb.org/evaluation/reports/ekb-carbon-emissions-transport.asp )
This report identifies ways the Asian Development Bank can assistance developing member countries in creating more sustainable transport systems. It describes models for evaluating how specific transport policy decisions affect energy consumption and pollution emissions. This analysis considers the generated traffic impacts, the cobenefits of demand management and other indirect impacts.

Choosing Where We Live: Attracting Residents to Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods; A Briefing Book for City Planners and Managers” ( http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/smart_growth/tod/5-10/Briefing_Book-Choosing_Where_We_Live.pdf )
This report identifies various housing market segments and describes ways to make transit oriented development more attractive in response to their specific needs and preferences. It includes recommendations for improving walking and cycling condition, transit service quality, neighborhood livability (quiet, cleanliness and safety), school quality and accessibility, parking management, and urban housing affordability.

Promoting Livable Communities: Examining The Internal Revenue Code And Reforming Its Influence On The Built Environment” ( http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab083048.pdf ).
This report by Smart Growth America and the American Institute of Architects reviews federal tax code features that affect community development patterns. It recommends specific policy reforms to better support livable community development, including clearer definitions regarding livable community features, changes to federal tax codes, legal provisions to develop livable community tax districts, and federal policies that encourage development of more affordable housing.

The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation: Backgrounder” ( http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/B96B32A2-FA00-4D79-99AB-F0446C63B254/0/TheHiddenHealthCostsofTransportationBackgrounder.pdf )
This report by the American Public Health Association identifies various ways that transportation systems affect public health, including physical activity, safety, air quality, affordability and equity. It describes methods for quantifying and monetizing these impacts and recommends specific policy and planning reforms to create more balanced transportation systems that support health objectives.

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, Recommended Practice” (http://www.ite.org/css )
This free new report by the Institute of Transportation Engineers provides practical guidance on the application of Context Sensitive Solutions to create roadways that better integrate diverse planning objectives and meet community needs.

Growing GreenLITES” ( http://www.nysdot.gov/programs/greenlites )
Greenlites (Green Leadership In Transportation Environmental Sustainability) by the New York State Department of Transportation promotes more sustainable and livable transport planning. It uses a detailed spreadsheet that rates individual projects according to various objectives and impacts.

Vision California – Charting Our Future” ( http://www.visioncalifornia.org )
Vision California uses the new ‘Rapid Fire Model’ spreadsheet tool to evaluate regional and statewide land use and transportation scenario impacts on vehicle travel, pollution emissions, water use, building energy use, transportation fuel use, land consumption, and public infrastructure costs.

Canadian Guidelines for the Measurement of Transportation Demand Management Initiatives” ( http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/environment-urban-guidelines-practitioners-tdmguide2009-menu-1657.htm ).
This guidebook is designed to help organizations implementing TDM strategies to evaluate progress toward established objectives.

TDM Supportive Guidelines For Development Approvals: A Handbook For Practitioners” ( http://www.actcanada.com/actcanada/en/tdmsupportiveguidlines1.aspx )
This report provides recommendations for planners to better incorporate Transportation Demand Management strategies into land development.

ITDP in South Africa” ( http://vimeo.com/13170113 ).
This video by Brian McAllister describes the success of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) in Africa, particularly the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. Also see http://vimeo.com/tag:itdp

Equity Analysis of Land Use and Transport Plans Using an Integrated Spatial Model” ( http://www.transweb.sjsu.edu/MTIportal/research/publications/documents/Equity%20Analysis%20of%20Land%20Use%20(with%20Covers ).pdf )
This study used the PECAS Activity Allocation Module to evaluate the equity effects of land use and transport policies intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The results show that a more compact urban form designed around transit stations can reduce travel costs, labor costs, and housing costs by increasing accessibility, which can lead to substantial net benefits for various industries and lower income households.

The Role of Land Use in Reducing VMT and GHG Emissions: A Critique of TRB Special Report 298” ( http://www.calthorpe.com/files/TRB-NAS%20Report%20298%20Critique.pdf ).
This short report provides additional information on the effects that smart growth land use polices can have in achieving VMT and GHG reduction targets. It critiques the assumptions and modeling methods used in the TRB report, and investigates consumer demand for more accessible, multi-modal residential locations.

Categories
California Policy Education/Webinars Local Government NewsFlash

Strategic Growth Council to Host “Smart Schools for Sustainable Communities: Aligning Sustainable Communities Planning and Public Education in California” — August 31

On August 31, 2010, in Sacramento, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) will host our first policy roundtable: Smart Schools for Sustainable Communities: Aligning Sustainable Communities Planning and Public Education in California, in Sacramento. One of the statutory objectives of the SGC is to recommend policies and investment strategies and priorities  to the Governor, the Legislature and other state agencies. We as Californians highly value education and invest billions of dollars in constructing and operating our schools. Community quality and schools are intricately connected and greatly impact our children’s future. Yet, we have not thought strategically how we can connect our investment in building schools to leverage state goals in other areas including improving the quality of our communities, the environment, and the health of our children. I hope that you can join me for an interactive dialogue with state wide decision makers that I know will be engaging and informative.

Date: August 31, 2010

Time: 1-5pm

Location: Health Professions High School, 451 McClatchy Way, Sacramento, CA 95818 (Map/Directions: here)

GOALS

The overall goal of this half-day meeting is to bring together statewide leaders in education, planning, and policy to discuss promising strategies for connecting schools to the creation of healthy, sustainable communities in California. Our three key objectives include:

1. Learn about the federal Housing and Sustainable Communities programs and their connections to education

2. Identify key opportunities to better link schools to the creation of sustainable communities in California, including

  • integrating schools into regional Sustainable Communities Strategies and local planning activities
  • school siting, design, and green construction policies
  • linking school curriculum and sustainable communities

3. Suggest policy strategies to leverage opportunities for improving educational experiences and realizing sustainable communities

BACKGROUND

California has been making tremendous financial and policy investments in improving educational quality and in making our cities and regions more livable and economically sound. Although schools and community quality are intricately connected, rarely do we think about linking policies across these sectors. This forum begins a conversation of doing so, building on recent statewide activities including the Senate Bill 375, federal Sustainable Housing and Communities Program, Senate Select Committee on School Facilities, and the California Department of Education’s new vision and guiding principles for school facilities that enhance achievement for all students.

This invitational state policy roundtable brings together the work of state, regional, and local agencies in the planning of sustainable communities and presents a unique opportunity to leverage California’s ongoing investments in educational innovations and school facilities. As state policy leaders and local communities work towards creating more economically resilient, vibrant, and sustainable communities, young people, and schools can, and should, play important roles.

The event is a collaboration between the Strategic Growth Council, California Department of Education (CDE), UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities & Schools, and other partnering state agencies.

This meeting will be limited in size to ensure that we have time and space to dialog and learn from one another. If you are able to join us, please RSVP to Anna Marie Young (annamarie.young@opr.ca.gov) by August 25, 2010.

An event description and tentative agenda are linked here: 2010 Smart Schools Aug 31 Agenda

I hope to see you on August 31st,

Heather Fargo

Executive Policy Officer
Strategic Growth Council

Categories
GHG Reduction Research

UC Davis Travel Behavior Research: Commuter Response to Fix I-5 Project

RESEARCH FINDINGS

Number 2, August 2010

Travel Behavior: Commuter Response to the Fix I-5 Project

Two years ago this summer, a one-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in downtown Sacramento was intermittently closed over a period of nine weeks for a $27 million reconstruction project. As “The Fix” kicked off, government and business leaders who were worried about congestion and the potential economic impacts of the closure actively promoted commute alternatives, including flex schedules, four-day work weeks, carpooling, transit and telecommuting. At the request of Governor Schwarzenegger, UC Davis research teams led by Civil and Environmental Engineering professors Michael Zhang and Pat Mokhtarian launched a study to track and analyze traveler response. The goal was to learn from the experience and help transportation planners prepare for future fixes in an efficient way. The preliminary findings show auto trips dropped – but not as much as one might expect, and some commuters adopted permanent changes – but not attributable solely to The Fix.

Read more about this project


Download Pat Mokhtarian’s findings

Download Rachel Carpenter’s findings

Learn more about Michael Zhang

Learn more about Pat Mokhtarian

Visit the Research Findings archive for ITS-Davis research results that are guiding governments, NGOs and industry toward a clean transportation future.

Categories
California Policy Education/Webinars SB 375

Policy “Makers and Shakers” Celebrate at Policy in Motion Open House

Guests enjoy tours of Policy in Motion's urban office space and garden patio

Lauren ‘Iolani Michele was joined by dozens of California’s policy “makers and shakers” on Tuesday, August 10th in celebrating the completion of her MS thesis and graduate degree from UC Davis, launch of her new policy analysis & education business, personal and professional name change, and all the health & happiness that 2010 has brought this year.  We all influence policy – whether in its initial formation as an idea, the evolution of an idea over time and discussion, the final stages of making an idea a reality, or forming choices around ideas made for or by us.

Anyone can be a policy “taker,” but an effective policy process relies upon “makers” and “shakers”

Click Here to View Full Album of Open House Pictures

Become a Facebook Fan of Policy in Motion by Clicking “Like”

Policy "makers and shakers" enjoy good conversation, local wines, and raw-vegan appetizers

Policy advisors, board/commission members, SB 375 implementation staff, and committee consultants  from the State of California’s Department of Transportation, Energy Commission, Air Resources Board, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Institute of Transportation Studies,  and Senate Transportation and Housing Committee had an opportunity to exchange ideas with prominent NGO leaders from TransForm, ClimatePlan, and Environmental Defense Fund; consultants from leading environmental and transportation planning firms such as Fehr & Peers; and Sacramento’s local/regional planners from the County, Air Quality Management District, and SACOG.

“Lauren, you add so much to the transportation policy dialogue. Thanks.”

~ Sarah Michael, Advisor to Commissioner Boyd, California Energy Commission

Raw-vegan appetizers prepared by raw chef Margaret Gomes with local Sacramento ingredients
Lauren Michele features 2010 Transportation Research Board poster on “California’s SB 375 Implementation”

Categories
California Policy Education/Webinars Public Transit Transportation Funding

California’s Proposition 22 — What it Means for Public Transit

Summary provided by “Yes on 22: Save Local Services

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act of 2010 would protect public transportation funding in the following ways:

  • Strengthens the status of the Public Transportation Account (PTA) as a trust fund.
  • Prohibits the practice of loaning or transferring PTA funds to the General Fund, and prohibits borrowing or using the money in the PTAfor any purposes other than “transportation planning” and “mass transportation,” as defined.
  • Defines mass transportation as surface transportation, operated by bus, rail, ferry, etc; generally for which a fare is charged; and provided by any transit district, joint powers authority, or other agencies that already receive funds for these purposes. School buses are not included under this definition.
  • Requires that the sales tax on diesel fuel, the only remaining core revenue source historically flowing into the PTA, shall be deposited quarterly into the PTA. It also requires that PTA revenue be continuously appropriated. This revenue sources has produced an average of $350 million per year since 2007-08. As part of the “gas tax swap” package, the Legislature raised the rate of sales tax on diesel starting in 2011-12. The Department of Finance estimates this source should generate $431 million in 2011-12.
  • Requires half these core PTA revenues to be spent on the State Transit Assistance (STA) Program – which can fund either transit operations or transit capital projects, and requires the other half of these core revenues to be spent on the historic state, regional and local transit purposes funded in the budget, such as the intercity rail program, or transit capital projects in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP).
  • Strengthens the status of local transportation funds as trust funds. Prohibits the legislature from reducing, diverting, transferring, appropriating, or using the one-quarter cent county sales tax that is deposited into local transportation funds for any purposes other than the historic public transit and streets & roads purposes. This local revenue source, which was created by the Transportation Development Act (TDA) of 1971, generates about $1.4 billion annually.
  • Prohibits the legislature from interfering in any way with locally imposed taxes, including half-cent sales taxes dedicated to transit and transportation purposes. This means the state can’t use the proceeds, reallocate them to some other agency, restrict how a local government uses the proceeds, or borrow them.
  • If approved by the voters, this ballot measure would protect nearly $1.8 billion per year in PTA and TDA funding for public transportation (and not counting local ballot measure sources of transit funding).
Categories
GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Transportation Funding

MTC Awards $44 Million in New Grants to Promote Livable Communities

22 Bay Area Projects Selected

Contacts:
Doug Johnson – 510.817.5846
John Goodwin – 510.817.5862

OAKLAND, CA, July 29, 2010 : This week, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved 22 new capital grants totaling $44 million through its Transportation for Livable Communities (TLC) program to finance pedestrian, bicycle and streetscape improvements near public transit in cities around the Bay Area. The purpose of TLC is to support community-based transportation projects that bring new vibrancy to downtown areas, commercial cores, neighborhoods and transit corridors, making them places where people want to live, work and visit. Pedestrian- and transit-friendly developments are hallmarks of the program.

The TLC Program also supports the region’s FOCUS Program by investing in Priority Development Areas (PDAs), designated areas in which there is local commitment to developing housing, along with amenities and services, to meet the day-to-day needs of residents in a pedestrian-friendly environment served by transit. To help reward the 60 Bay Area jurisdictions that applied for a portion of their city to be designated a PDA, eligibility for the TLC grants was for the first time limited to projects located in PDAs. A local match of 20 percent is required and the maximum grant award is $6 million.

“The TLC program is a concrete way of expanding transportation choices while also making our neighborhoods more environmentally sustainable and attractive places to live and work,” explained Solano County Supervisor and MTC Commissioner Jim Spering, who chairs MTC’s Planning Committee. “Whether in downtown areas or in other neighborhoods, TLC projects help build a sense of community by making it easier and more inviting for residents to use public transit, walk or bicycle. The streetscape enhancements and pedestrian/bicycle access improvements built with this money will pay immediate dividends in terms of quality of life and public health.”

The 22 projects approved for funding today are being developed by community groups and local authorities throughout the region, including the three largest cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland, and 14 other cities (Berkeley, San Leandro, Hayward, Richmond, Alameda, Union City, San Carlos, Concord, Livermore, Hercules, Vallejo, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Cotati). These projects were selected from a pool of 33 projects, requesting $80 million in funds. Applications were received from seven of the nine Bay Area counties. Marin and Napa counties did not apply for funding in this cycle. View a list of the 22 projects awarded capital grants at http://www.mtc.ca.gov/news/press_releases/TLCgrantlist2010.pdf.

Since the TLC program’s inception in 1998, about $200 million has been invested to help provide better linkages between housing and public transit. TLC provides funding for projects that provide for a range of transportation choices, support connectivity between transportation investments and land uses, and are developed through an inclusive community planning effort.

Informational materials explaining the TLC programand project application procedures are available through the MTC-ABAG Library by e-mail (library@mtc.ca.gov), fax (510.817.5852) or telephone (510.817.5836). Information about the program also may be found on the MTC website atwww.mtc.ca.gov/planning/smart_growth/index.htm.

MTC is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Categories
California Policy GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash SB 375

California Proposes “Ambitious & Achievable” SB 375 GHG Reduction Targets for Regions

Today the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released a report on the “Proposed Regional Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets Pursuant to Senate Bill 375.”

The report, required under SB 375 (Steinberg, 2008), proposes targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 and 2035 associated with passenger vehicle travel in the state’s eighteen Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), including the four largest: Southern California, San Diego, the Bay Area, and the Sacramento region. The Air Resources Board will consider adopting these targets in September.

Today’s press release from ARB stated that:

“These proposed targets are ambitious, achievable and very good news for Californians” and “Regions that meet the targets will receive incentives in the form of easier access to federal funding, and streamlined environmental review for development projects.”

Policy in Motion founder Lauren Michele provides a summary of the proposed targets here.

For the four largest MPOs, the report outlines proposed targets of per capita greenhouse gas reductions of 7 to 8 percent by 2020, and between 13 and 16 percent in 2035 compared to 2005 levels.

A separate approach was developed for the eight planning organizations that comprise the San Joaquin Valley, establishing placeholder targets of a 5 percent reduction in per capita emissions in 2020, and a 10 percent reduction in 2035.For California’s four largest MPOs, the report outlines proposed targets of per capita greenhouse gas reductions of 7 to 8 percent by 2020, and between 13 and 16 percent in 2035 compared to 2005 levels.

Targets for the remaining six Metropolitan Planning Organizations – the Monterey, Butte, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, and Lake Tahoe regions – reflect each region’s current plans for 2020 and 2035.