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Federal Policy NewsFlash Transportation Funding US DOT

Policy in Motion’s Initial Thoughts on House Transportation Reauthorization Proposal

On September 30, 2009 I was teaching a class of undergraduate civil engineering and transportation planning students at UC Davis about the evolution of the federal transportation reauthorization — particularly timely as on the day the current SAFETEA-LU bill expired.  A few months prior on my first day interning as a transportation policy analyst in Washington D.C., then Chairman Oberstar of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), proposed language for the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009 a 700+ page document stating that it would “transform federal surface transportation to a performance-based framework to reduce fatalities and injuries on our Nation’s highways, address the mobility and access needs of people and goods, improve the condition, performance, and connectivity of the United States intermodal surface transportation system, provide transportation choices for commuters and travelers, promote environmental sustainability, public health, and the livability of communities, support robust investment in surface transportation, and for other purposes.”

So here we are today — 646 days later — with another House T&I transportation reauthorization proposal described as a “multi-modal initiative” under Chairman Mica which “streamlines and reforms federal programs, expedites the project approval process, maximizes leveraging of limited resources, provides flexibility for states, and ensures long-term funding stability for job-creating transportation programs.”

However, if you ask anyone else paying attention what the proposal will likely achieve you will probably get a different answer.

The $230 billion proposal represents a 19.5% cut from the $286 billion from SAFETEA-LU (not accounting for the impact of inflation), with the “multi-modal initiative” in this proposal including:

  • Vague performance measurements for highways, transit, and maintenance/state of good repair
  • Major cuts to bicycle, pedestrian, transportation enhancements, and operational Amtrak funds
  • Continues split of 20% for transit and 80% for highways
  • No longer requires states to spend highway funding on non-highway activities
  • No leadership for a federal infrastructure bank

James Corless, director of Transportation for America, responded to the Chairman’s proposal on state flexibility, transit funding and streamlining project delivery outlining that a bill this small would need to be constrained to three key goals:

  • Maintaining our national highway and bridge system, which is quickly approaching its mid-life crisis;
  • Providing more options such as public transportation, vanpools and safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians;
  • Promoting accountability through meaningful performance measures and a more strategic approach to transportation planning.

My overall take is that the proposal outline carries a mood of “making the most out of our scarce resources” — rather than providing for innovation and leadership.  I mean, really, nearly two years later and this is the best we can come up with guys?

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Transportation Funding US DOT

US DOT: Secretary LaHood Announces $527 Million in Funding for New Round of TIGER Grants

DOT 76-11
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Secretary LaHood Announces $527 Million in Funding for New Round of Popular TIGER Grant Program
Competitively Chosen Projects Will Create Jobs, Lay Foundation for Growth

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that $527 million will be available for a third round of the highly successful TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program, which funds innovative transportation projects that will create jobs and have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area.

“Through the TIGER program, we can build transportation projects that are critical to America’s economic success and help complete those that might not move forward without this infusion of funding,” said Secretary LaHood. “This competition empowers local communities to create jobs and build the transportation networks they need in order to win the future.”

In the FY11 budget President Obama signed in April, $527 million was directed to the Department of Transportation for critical investments in the nation’s transportation infrastructure. States, cities, local governments, and other partnerships and groups will have until this fall to prepare their applications for the popular TIGER program, which has funded high-impact projects including roads, bridges, freight rail, transit buses and streetcars, ports, and bicycle and pedestrian paths.

The previous two rounds of the TIGER grant program provided $2.1 billion to 126 transportation projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during the previous two rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 2,500 applications requesting more than $79 billion for transportation projects across the country.

Projects will be selected based on their ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, improve energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of U.S. transportation facilities and improve the quality of living and working environments of communities through increased transportation choices and connections. The Department will also focus on projects that are expected to quickly create and preserve jobs and spur rapid increases in economic activity.

For more information, please visit http://www.dot.gov/tiger/.

Categories
Federal Policy Transportation Funding

DC Streetsblog: Senate Transportation Bill, MAP-21, Freezes Spending at Current Levels

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1 Comment
Senate Transportation Bill, MAP-21, Freezes Spending at Current Levels
by Tanya Snyder on May 25, 2011

Note: See follow-up post, “Boxer: Transpo Funding Will Rise in Senate Bill, Bike/Ped Will Be Preserved” for updates, including clarification that the new bill will fund transportation at current levels plus inflation and an expanded TIFIA program.

The Environment and Public Works Committee just released an outline of some core principles of its transportation reauthorization bill. In a statement, the top Republicans and Democrats of both the full committee and the Transportation Subcommittee – Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Max Baucus (D-MT) and David Vitter (R-LA) – said:

Sen. Barbara Boxer indicates the Senate transportation bill will hold spending to current levels, hints it will be a short-term bill. Photo: Bumpshack
It is no secret that the four of us represent very different political views, but we have found common ground in the belief that building highways, bridges, and transportation systems is an important responsibility of the federal government, in cooperation with state and local governments and the private sector.

They say their bill, called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21):

Funds programs at current levels to maintain and modernize our critical transportation infrastructure;
Eliminates earmarks;
Consolidates numerous programs to focus resources on key national goals and reduce duplicative and wasteful programs;
Consolidates numerous programs into a more focused freight program that will improve the movement of goods;
Creates a new section called America Fast Forward, which strengthens the TIFIA program to stretch federal dollars further than they have been stretched before; and
Expedites project delivery without sacrificing the environment or the rights of people to be heard.
Nothing about an infrastructure bank, which is likely still a major sticking point. We’ll also be interested in hearing more about their decisions about transportation enhancements – those “beautification” projects the Republicans love to rail against, also known as bike and pedestrian infrastructure. We also wonder how much EPW has worked with the Banking and Commerce Committees so far to work out the language on transit and rail.

The joint statement indicates that Boxer may be softening her insistence on a six-year bill. They specifically say, “Our goal is to attain the optimum achievable authorization length depending on the resources available.” Sounds like a two-year bill to me, if they’re shooting to maintain current funding levels. And we already know that sounds like a two-year bill to Max Baucus, chair of EPW’s Transportation Subcommittee and head of the Finance Committee, which the four senators say they’re collaborating with to explore options for the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund without increasing the deficit – i.e., without transfers from the general fund.

We’re still not expecting to see a completed bill for a little while… the initial Memorial Day target has been pushed back to “sometime in June.”

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Complete Streets NewsFlash Research US DOT

Washington State Legislation Update: Trans & Energy Bills

Policy in Motion has expanded legislative services to Washington State! Below are summaries and links to legislative analyses for 5 bills pertaining to transportation and energy:

Updated May 2nd, 2011

ESHB 1071: Complete Streets

  • This bill will create a Complete Streets grant program. The purpose of the grant program is to encourage local governments to adopt urban arterial retrofit street ordinances designed to provide safe access to all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and public transportation users, with the goals of promoting healthy communities, improving safety, protecting the environment and preserving community character.

SHB 1571: Regulation of EV Charging Facilities

  • This bill prohibits the utilities and transportation commission,under certain circumstances, from regulating the rates,services, facilities, and practices of an entity that offersbattery charging facilities to the public for hire.

ESSB 5251: EV Road Maintenance Fees

  • This bill requires that motor vehicles that are powered solely by electricity and are capable of being driven at a speed of more than 35 miles per hour must pay a $100 fee when the vehicle is registered and annually when the registration is renewed. The fee applies to registrations thatare due on or after March 1, 2012.

SB 5467: 2011-2013 Capital Budget

  • The Omnibus 2011-13 Capital Budget authorizes new capital projects forstate agencies and institutions of higher education for the 2011-13 fiscal biennium.The CapitalBudget generally includes appropriations for the acquisition, construction, and repair ofcapital assets such as land, buildings, and other infrastructure improvements. Funding for theCapital Budget is primarily from state general obligation bonds, with other funding derivedfrom various dedicated taxes, fees, and state trust land revenues.

ESSB 5764: Innovate Washington

  • Innovate Washington is created as the successor agency to Washington Technology Center (WTC) and the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute (SIRTI). It is to provide and facilitate research supportive of state industries; to provide mechanisms for collaboration between technology-based industries andhigher education institutions; to help businesses develop and integrate technology into new products and helpbusinesses compete; to offer technology transfer and commercialization training opportunities; and to administer the Technology and Innovation Grant and Loan Program.
  • ESSB 5764 Bill Text
  • ESSB 5764 passed in the Senate on April 27, 2011. It is currently pending in the House.
Categories
Federal Policy NewsFlash Transportation Funding

Streetsblog DC: TIGER III Is Grrrrrr-eat News for Transportation Agencies

TIGER III Is Grrrrrr-eat News for Transportation Agencies
by Tanya Snyder on April 21, 2011

News about an upcoming TIGER III award program is beginning to leak out. The USDOT isn’t planning to release a solicitation for proposals until early summer, but the language in the recently-passed budget bill for this year gives some clues as to what we can expect.

TIGER’s survival was one of the happiest surprises of the FY2011 budget. No money from the 2010 TIGER II allocation was rescinded, a pleasant surprise for TIGER fans. And the appropriation for 2011 is just 12 percent lower than the $600 million allocated last year. Part of what was cut, however, was $35 million to help jurisdictions with “planning, preparation or design” of projects. TIGER III will all be for capital investments. Like TIGER II, applicants will have to provide at least 20 percent of the funding, with no more than 80 percent coming from TIGER. A higher match is encouraged. Also like TIGER II, the money won’t be distributed purely on merit but also taking geographical diversity into account.

USDOT is required by statute to wait 60 days after the appropriation to put out the Notice of Funding Availability and then 120 days after that to start accepting applications. The budget was signed into law April 15, meaning we can expect a call for applications no sooner than mid-June, with the first day to actually apply being sometime in mid-October.

The program also might not be called “TIGER,” according to Ron Kirby, director of transportation planning for the Metropolitan Washington Council on Governments. In the budget, it’s referred to as “National Infrastructure Investments,” and when Kirby asked USDOT staff whether that’s what the program would be called, they said that was a decision that was going to be made “on high.”

More than 120 TIGER grants have gone to improving transportation options and land use all across the country – projects like the St. Paul Union Depot Multi-Modal Transportation Hub to bring Amtrak, intercity and local buses, light rail, taxis, and bikes together under one roof in the heart of downtown; the Philadelphia Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Network to complete a 128-mile network of bike/ped facilities, including primary commuter routes; the New Haven Downtown Crossing to convert Route 34 from a limited access highway to urban boulevards; the New Orleans Streetcar-Union Passenger Terminal/Loyola Loop to provide transportation options in the central business district and link to the Amtrak terminal; and the Tower 55 Multi-Modal Improvement to alleviate a major traffic and rail bottleneck and improve safety in Fort Worth, Texas by adding an additional rail track.

Categories
Federal Policy High-Speed Rail NewsFlash Transportation Funding US DOT

Reconnecting America: Federal Funding Compromise Preserves Partnership for Sustainable Communities, Reduces FTA New Starts, Eliminates Rail Programs

For Immediate Release
Contact Rebecca M. (Becky) Sullivan
Communications Director
(w) 202-429-6990, ext. 206
(c) 202-412-5573
bsullivan@reconnectingamerica.org
April 12, 2011

STATEMENT ON CONTINUING RESOLUTION
BY RECONNECTING AMERICA PRESIDENT & CEO JOHN ROBERT SMITH

(April 12, 2011) The recently announced compromise to fund the federal government through the remainder of FY2011 preserves several critical programs, but also raises cause for concern. Reconnecting America is pleased to see that the compromise continues to support the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is effectively coordinating federal housing and transportation programs to provide the greatest benefits at the regional and local levels. Programs such as DOT’s TIGER grants and HUD’s Sustainable Communities grants will save taxpayer dollars over the long-term by helping communities make better investments today.

However, the reduction in the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts/Small Starts program and the complete elimination of the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program in FY 2011 is a step in the wrong direction. In this era of $4-a-gallon gas, Americans need more transportation options, not fewer. In a report to be released tomorrow, Reconnecting America has found that the pent-up capital demand for fixed guideway transit, whose major federal source of funding is New Starts/Small Starts, is at least $233 billion and at current levels it would take 73 years to fund the backlog of transit projects being planned by communities all around America. (See graphic at right.)

These programs support communities’ efforts to connect people to jobs, to school, to health care. They are creating jobs today, and are helping to build a better future for our children and grandchildren. Reducing support for these programs is short-sighted and ultimately will set us back in our efforts to create stronger and more economically-resilient communities where Americans of all income ranges can afford to live, work, and play.

Reconnecting America’s work across the country has demonstrated the transformative power that investing in infrastructure can have on the economy, sustainability, and quality of life in our communities. Continued investment in transportation options is essential to allow our nation to realize its full potential.

# # #

Reconnecting America is a national nonprofit that is helping to transform promising ideas into thriving communities – where transportation choices make it easy to get from place to place, where businesses flourish, and where people from all walks of life can afford to live, work and visit. Reconnecting America is the managing partner of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, the only national nonprofit effort funded by Congress to promote best practices in transit-oriented development. Reconnecting America is also a founding partner of Transportation for America, a broad coalition of housing, environmental, equal opportunity, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations focused on creating a 21st century national transportation program. For more information visit our website, www.reconnectingamerica.org

Categories
Federal Policy Transportation Funding US DOT

DC Streetsblog: Boxer Pushes LaHood on Financing (VMT Tax) for Transportation

by Tanya Snyder on March 10, 2011

Senator Barbara Boxer got down to brass tacks on transportation funding in a committee hearing yesterday, even as DOT Secretary Ray LaHood remained vague on how to pay for the president’s ambitious proposal. Boxer said she’s not in favor of raising the gas tax, but she’d like it to be indexed to inflation. “We don’t even know if the president would go that far with us,” she said, but clearly something needs to be done.

Boxer: It’s a good news, bad news story. Good news, because people are getting better fuel economy; bad news because the Highway Trust Fund is slipping. And I’m looking for ways to get more money in there but they’re hard to come by. And because I drive a hybrid I’m not paying my fair share.

Ranking Member James Inhofe: That’s all right, you ought to see what I’m driving. We average out.

Boxer: I’m sure we average out. But you’re paying more for the roads than I am. I may be on the road as long as you are but I’m getting 50 miles to the gallon. So I’m not filling up the car and you’re paying more than I am. So it’s not fair to him [Inhofe] – I mean I think I’m wise to this, but we all should pay our fair share. So I think vehicle-miles-traveled is the way to go but I don’t seem to get much excitement when I mention it. I think we could do it easily, when you re-up your registration, this is how many miles I have now, then – but I don’t have any takers. Indexing the gas tax – indexing, not raising it – I could do that.

Boxer started the hearing with a ringing endorsement for a major expansion of the TIFIA loan program. She said both she and House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica “embrace a much more robust TIFIA program.”

She said the federal government is almost entirely shielded from risk with TIFIA. She alluded to the leveraging that is possible when federal funds are used right, using as an example the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail project in Los Angeles, which made more than $500 million available at a cost of just $20 million to the federal government.

TIFIA loans only cover up to a third of a project, with local and state matches covering the rest. Boxer suggested allowing TIFIA to cover half of the project. DOT Budget Director Chris Bertram said that would be a mixed blessing – fewer projects could get federal money and less private investment would be involved, but it could be beneficial for projects that have a harder time attracting private investment.

Boxer asked Secretary LaHood, who was testifying at the hearing before the Environment and Public Works Committee, to support a TIFIA expansion. “In your budget, you call for a very large six-year bill,” she said. “But you really don’t – you say you look forward to working with us on how to fund it. I would respectfully suggest – and this is just me, speaking for myself – that this TIFIA program could be of enormous consequence. My understanding is that we are funding it at a very low level and the requests far surpass what we’ve been funding it at.”

But Secretary LaHood wasn’t nearly as specific as Boxer about how to fund the president’s $556 billion transportation proposal. He responded to Boxer’s push for expanded TIFIA funding by saying, “We like TIFIA,” and throwing in that he also likes the infrastructure bank and tolling. The president’s budget for 2012 authorizes $450 million for TIFIA – almost four times more than the amount authorized in SAFETEA-LU.

LaHood has been telling lawmakers, “We want to work with Congress on that,” when they ask him for funding justification for the president’s ambitious transportation proposal. The EPW hearing was the fourth time in a week that LaHood has appeared before Senate panels to be grilled about where the money for the plan was supposed to come from – especially with a gas tax hike off the table.

But when is that “working with Congress” part supposed to begin, if not now, while appearing daily before Senate committees that are trying to have a conversation with him about it? When asked about that after the hearing, LaHood just repeated, “We’re going to work with Congress.” But what funding options are even open for debate? “I’m not even going to get into that,” he said. “I’m going to wait to sit down in a room with these members of the House and Senate and see where they want to go.”

Both LaHood and Boxer also referred to a provision in the House budget proposal that would call for unobligated TIGER funds to be rescinded. The Senate is stalemated on the budget right now. LaHood and Boxer both condemned the call for rescissions. LaHood said the rescissions were a bad idea if Congress is trying to create jobs.

“People are expecting this money,” LaHood said. “And some of them are starting to realize now that if H.R.1 were to pass in the Senate, this money would come back to the federal treasury. And their dreams and aspirations and projects for high-speed rail, for transit, for light rail projects, streetcars and other things, roads and bridges, it would come back to the treasury.”

“They just cut the legs out from under these TIGER grants,” Boxer said.

Categories
California Policy Environmental Justice Federal Policy NewsFlash

Policy in Motion Receives Underutilized DBE & Small Business Certification with New USDOT Rule to Expand Program

Policy in Motion is certified as an Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). The firm’s UDBE Certification is linked here — and can be found in the DBE Database under Firm Identification Number 39354

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced in January a final rulemaking that will help economically and socially disadvantaged businesses take advantage of opportunities to participate in federally funded highway, transit and airport projects. The final rule, issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), will also hold states and local agencies more accountable for including disadvantaged businesses in their transportation plans.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program helps small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals compete for government contracts. The Department also requires state and local transportation agencies to establish goals for DBE participation.

The Department of Transportation’s new rulemaking will require greater accountability from state and local transportation agencies for including disadvantaged businesses in their spending plans. Those that fail to meet established goals for DBE participation will be required to evaluate why the goals were not met and offer a plan to help meet the goal in the future.

In addition, the final rule will adjust the personal net worth limit for DBE owners for inflation from the present $750,000 to $1.32 million. The current limit was set in 1989 and has not been adjusted since.

The Department of Transportation’s rulemaking will also add provisions to ensure that prime contractors fulfill commitments to use DBE subcontractors. State and local agencies will be required to monitor each contract to make sure prime contractors are fulfilling their obligations and do not dismiss DBE subcontractors without good cause. The rule also requires state and local agencies to create a plan for improving the use of small businesses, including DBEs.

Another major change under the rulemaking will reduce burdens on small businesses seeking DBE certification in more than one state. As a result of today’s rulemaking, all states will be required to accept DBE certifications obtained in other states, unless the state finds good cause not to accept it. The rule establishes a process for resolving issues with respect to eligibility raised by states concerning out-of-state firms.

The Department anticipates issuing a proposed rulemaking to make changes in its regulation for airport concession DBEs paralleling those in today’s final regulation.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s final rule to improve the DBE Program appeared on the Federal Register’s Electronic Public Inspection Desk today. For the full Federal Register notice please click here.

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Categories
NewsFlash US DOT

USDOT: Nation’s Highway Traffic Reaches Highest Level Since 2007

FHWA 03-11
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nation’s Highway Traffic Reaches Highest Level Since 2007

WASHINGTON – Americans drove three trillion miles in 2010, the most vehicle miles traveled since 2007 and the third-highest ever recorded, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today. The increase in traffic volume comes as the U.S. in 2009 posted its lowest number of traffic fatalities and injuries since 1950.
“More driving means more wear and tear on our nation’s roads and bridges,” said Secretary LaHood. “This new data further demonstrates why we need to repair the roads and bridges that are the lifeblood of our economy.”

The Secretary noted that Americans drove 0.7 percent more, or 20.5 billion additional vehicle miles traveled (VMT), in 2010 than the previous year. Travel increased by 0.6 percent, or 1.4 billion VMT, in December 2010 compared to the previous December. It is the tenth consecutive month of increased driving.

The new data, from the Federal Highway Administration’s monthly “Traffic Volume Trends” report, show the South Gulf area, a bloc of eight states ranging from Texas to Kentucky, experienced the greatest regional increase in December 2010 at 46.6 billion VMT, an increase of 624 million miles traveled compared to the previous December.
With an increase of 11.1 percent, or 156 million additional miles traveled, Nebraska led the nation with the largest single-state increase that month, and rural driving outpaced urban driving across the country.

“These data are critical to identifying and evaluating patterns of use on America’s road system, which help us to make decisions about investments in critical infrastructure,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “Repairing our nation’s roads, bridges and tunnels will help us ensure safety, strengthen the economy and build for the future.”

To review the VMT data in FHWA’s “Traffic Volume Trends” reports, including that of December 2010, visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tvtw/tvtpage.cfm.
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Categories
Environmental Justice Federal Policy GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Public Health Public Transit SB 375 Transportation Funding US DOT US HUD

Sacramento Region Launches $1.5 Million Grant for Sustainable Community Plans

Last week the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) held its first “Sacramento Regional Consortium” funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. In partnership with other federal agencies including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT), the joint “Partnership for Sustainable Communities” includes the following six objectives which SACOG’s application reflected strongly:

• Providing more transportation choices.
• Promoting equitable, affordable housing.
• Enhancing economic competitiveness.
• Supporting existing communities.
• Coordinating policies and leverage investment.
• Valuing the uniqueness of communities and neighborhoods.

Lauren Michele highlights key points from the event below.

Federal Presence

Cynthia Abbott, Director of HUD’s District 9 Field Office, opened the event praising SACOG’s grant application as being nearly the highest ranked in the country in an extremely competitive process. She pointed to their plan, vision and partnerships as the key elements on why they received a $1.5 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. Other California-based representatives of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities were present, including those from EPA-Region 9, DOT Federal Highway Administration’s California Division, and DOT Federal Transit Administration’s Region IX. In speaking with all four of the federal representatives after the event, it is clear that SACOG’s leadership is being used as a model across the county. While the impacts of the federal budget situation is highly uncertain, the Partnership is hopeful there will be additional Livability grant in the next fiscal year for applicants who did not receive funding during this year’s cycle.

SACOG’s New Planning Process

Joe Concannon from SACOG spoke on SACOG’s bottom-up and input-first approach to the development of their Senate Bill 375 required Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS). With an extensive partnership and steering committee including the Urban Land Institute, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, Regional Water Authority, Valley Vision, and the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, SACOG will be using the $1.5 million federal grant to collaboratively develop performance measures for placing the region’s Transit Priority Areas to work toward their regional per capita greenhouse gas reduction target of 7% by 2020 and 16% by 2035. Transit Priority Areas are defined in SB 375 as 20 dwelling units per acre of residential density within a half mile of transit, and SACOG will be leading a new planning process to engage stakeholders in the initial creation of performance measures for equity, health and economic development. They will be utilizing a “Return on Investment Tool” as well as an “Infrastructure Cost Model” to help guide the process of creating a plan which provides access to opportunities as a priority. As part of the federal grant, SACOG will also integrate their SCS with the Draft Council on Environmental Quality Principles/Guidelines at the federal level.

Integration with MTP Update

The Project Manager for SACOG’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Kacey Lizon, highlighted that 2/3 of the audience participants has not previously attended a SACOG’s MTP update event. She reviewed the three MTP growth scenarios under review at SACOG, which goals of per capita reductions in vehicle miles traveled between -13 and -15 percent by 2035, and increased transit ridership of up to 82 percent by 2035. While the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction scenario was selected as the preferred growth option at nearly every MTP outreach workshop, SACOG’s recommended scenario will be a modified version between Scenario #2 and #3 as presented to the public. SACOG’s effort to expand the regional transportation planning process to other sustainability indicators including housing affordability, environmental justice, and economic development is being recognized by the federal government as a well-deserved model on how transportation policy impacts regional health and happiness. In fact, Chris Benner from the UC Davis Center for Regional Change even pointed to relevance of the “Gross National Happiness Index” as used in the country of Butan.

*The next Regional Consortium will be March 23th to gather input on “Health, Access, and Equity” performance measures*

Register Here