With today’s release of the California Interregional Blueprint Draft Interim Report (CIB), hundreds of participants from across the state gathered to hear two of Governor Brown’s most recent appointees as well as other regional and state transportation leaders – echoing the need for innovative funding and strategies to support integrated transportation solutions.
Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty welcomed Acting Secretary Brian Kelly from the Business, Housing and Transportation Agency who opened the event tying the CIB to Senate Bill 375 and how Senate Bill 391 is now bringing the “regional revolution up to the state” by focusing the future on investing in a multimodal transportation system to create better communities while working toward the goals of AB 32.
The first panel discussed new tools, partnerships and integrated approaches to transportation – ranging from new investments in active transportation and transit to freight and system efficiency all working together to create an integrated transportation system. Directors from SANDAG and SCAG were asked to respond to how the state can support regional SB 375 efforts. Reinforcing the positive relationship that has been built between the state and the MPOs, the Directors noted several areas for additional support including:
- Implementing and funding Sustainable Community Strategies
- Streamlining project delivery
- Creating sustainable forms of funding sources
- Exploring public-private partnerships
- Funding for the existing transportation system for maintenance and operations
- Integrating school planning into transportation
- Supporting high-speed rail with local roads, transit and land use
- Providing a coordinated voice across state agencies
- Standardizing simple performance measures statewide for local and regional investments
The second panel was led by Bimla Rhinehart, Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission, with a focus on the next steps for the State given the billions of dollars needed to bring the existing transportation system up to preservation alone. Brian Annis, Deputy Secretary for Business, Housing and Transportation Agency, noted that we can leverage investments in both high-speed rail and other strategies like supporting local transportation by integrating our whole system. Reinforcing the theme of integrated approaches, Tim Schott, Executive Director for the California Association of Port Authorities, recommended a blended funding system for a blended transportation system. Considering key performance measures like location efficiency/land use, social equity, health, and safety for not just motorists but bicyclists and pedestrians was also encouraged. Finally, Dan Richard, Chair of the California High Speed Rail Commission, reinforce the need to integrate high-speed rail into local and regional infrastructure while also explaining the importance of engaging the public and media in “ribbon cutting” for important maintenance and operational improvements on our existing system.
Overall the theme was we must integrate our transportation system to maximize not only greenhouse gas emissions but other important performance measures – and we must think with innovation and leadership to find and leverage new integrated funding sources.
Senate Bill (SB) 391 ushered in a new era for statewide transportation planning in California. Among its many provisions, SB 391 directs Caltrans to prepare a new California Transportation Plan (CTP) by the end of 2015. This 2015 CTP will demonstrate how major metropolitan areas, rural areas, and state agencies can coordinate planning efforts to achieve critical statewide goals such as supporting greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets established pursuant to Assembly Bill (AB) 32 and SB 375.
The California Interregional Blueprint (CIB) is a strategic framework that links statewide transportation goals with regional transportation and land use goals to produce a unified transportation strategy. This CIB Interim Report lays the groundwork for the 2015 CTP by summarizing regional efforts with respect to transportation-related GHG reduction, and the potential influence of these regional efforts on the statewide transportation system.