SCAG Update: 2016 Regional Transportation Plan & Sustainable Communities Strategy Underway!

scag50logoIt seems like just yesterday that regions across California were creating their first Sustainable Communities Strategies (2012 to be exact), but here we are several years later, and many are preparing to update them. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is well underway with the 2016 update to their Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and SCS, and this post summarizes the latest developments.

About the Sustainable Communities Strategy

The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (Senate Bill 375 for short), requires MPOs to prepare a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) as part of their long-range Regional Transportation Plans (RTP). The goal of the SCS is to integrate land use, housing and transportation strategies into one overall plan in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to target levels set by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). For the SCAG region, these targets are a 8% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020, and a 13% reduction by 2035. These targets will stay the same with the 2016 update. More information about the purpose of the SCS can be found here. SCAG adopted its first SCS in 2012 and it can be found here. SCAG updates its RTP every four years, so the SCS is being updated as part of this process over the next year.

Draft Scenario Planning MatrixR2-page-001Scenario Planning

The 2016 RTP/SCS is currently in the scenario planning phase. Staff released the draft scenario planning matrix at the February Technical Working Group meeting. The matrix contains four scenarios: (1) a no build/baseline; (2) the 2012 plan with an updated growth forecast; (3) a Policy A that updates the 2012 plan with greater consideration for active transportation, public health, environmental justice (EJ), technology and millennials; and (4) a Policy B that “pushes the envelope” with a comprehensive “short trip” strategy that maximizes GHG, air quality, livability, public health, EJ and affordability benefits. Policy B also assumes profound technology effects. The scenarios include eight (8) data inputs, including active transportation. There are also eight (8) policy drivers/performance metrics, including equity, public health and environmental justice. A larger version of the matrix is available here. The RTP/SCS is fiscally constrained, meaning all projects must be fully funded in order to be included. Thus, the second or third scenarios are the most likely to be the final scenario included in the RTP/SCS, even if the fourth (Policy B) would go the furthest in achieving the target GHG reductions. Read more of this post

SCAG Active Transportation and Public Health Working Groups To Meet on April 14

scag50logoThe Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has announced the dates of the next meetings of the Active Transportation and Public Health Working Groups. Both groups will meet back-to-back on Tuesday, April 14 from 9am to noon at SCAG’s main offices in downtown LA. Videoconferencing is available from their satellite office locations. Registration is required.

unnamedInput from the working group meetings will be used to inform the 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan / Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) and other SCAG projects related to active transportation and public health.

Active Transportation Working Group: 9:00am-10:00am (register here)

SCAG’s Active Transportation Working Group (ATWG) provides an opportunity for comments and recommendations regarding development of the active transportation component of the 2016-2040 RTP/SCS. In addition, SCAG is seeking opportunities to collaborate with local jurisdictions in the planning, funding and implementation of regional active transportation solutions. As many active transportation funding opportunities are completed with the aid of federal and state grants, collaboration between agencies is critical for project success. These workshops are intended to help foster that collaboration.

The agenda and meeting materials will be posted here in advance of the meeting. Previous meeting materials are also available at that link.

Public Health Working Group: 10:15am-12:00pm (register here)

The Public Health Working Group will explore SCAG’s role in promoting public health in transportation and land use planning across the region and how public health concerns will be integrated into the 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS). This meeting will review SCAG’s Public Health Analysis Framework for the 2016 RTP/SCS, provide regional best practices on integrating public health in transportation, land use and climate action planning, and discuss policy opportunities for the 2016-2040 RTP/SCS.

The agenda and meeting materials will be posted here in advance of the meeting. Previous meeting materials are also available at that link. SCAG staff have prepared a Public Health Work Program (Draft Action Plan) that is also worth reviewing before the meeting.

 

ATP Cycle 2 Call for Projects is Open!

2015 ATP Simple BannerThe California Transportation Commission (CTC) met in Irvine this afternoon and adopted the 2015 Active Transportation Program (ATP) Guidelines.  During the meeting the Commission requested one significant change to the Guidelines before adoption, related to the funding available for planning in disadvantaged communities.  Following a strong appeal by Commissioner Carl Guardino to put more funding toward projects in lieu of plans, the Commission voted to reduce the cap on planning funds to a maximum of 3 percent of ATP funds in Cycle 2, and to only 2 percent in Cycle 3.

This action to reduce funding available for plans was taken despite public comments by all five speakers (including National Partnership staff) that spoke in strong support of planning funds and the need statewide for pedestrian and bicycle plans, especially in disadvantaged communities that have not had capacity or resources to undertake planning in past years.

With the adoption of the ATP Guidelines, the ATP Cycle 2 Call-for-Projects is now officially open and the application is available on Caltrans ATP website. Project applications must be postmarked by June 1, 2015 to meet the deadline for Cycle 2.

As you prepare your application, be sure to attend one or both of the Caltrans workshops in your region to receive guidance on applying and get your questions answered, and for help developing your project if you are a small agency or applying on behalf of a disadvantaged community.  You can also check the resources on our ATP page, which we’ve been updating with the latest information on Cycle 2.  If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, feel free to email us!

Best of luck with your application!

Groundswell of support for more ATP funding – now what?

Last month we asked you to sign on in support of a stronger and better resourced Active Transportation Program.  In a matter of only two weeks, 120 organizations and nearly 700 individual California residents responded with resounding support! A big THANK YOU to everyone that added your name or your organization’s name to the list.

Strengthening the ATP this year would be transformative at a key time in California’s history – both for the health of Californians and livability of communities across the state, as well as for addressing climate change in the transportation sector. We believe this includes three key strategies:

1. Increase funding to the ATP by $100 million

2. Expand the ATP’s capacity to improve access to green space and integrate green infrastructure such as trees, planters, and permeable paving as critical components of walking and bicycling projects

3. Tighten up the program requirements for projects to provide meaningful benefits to disadvantaged communities (DACs), and ensure that the minimum funding level for DACs is truly being met.

Read the full text of the sign on letter, including the full list of organizations and individuals in support.

The Legislative Budget Committees will begin to discuss transportation funding tomorrow in the Senate Budget Subcommittee #2 hearing, and will continue the conversation throughout April. There will be several decision points before the Governor adopts the final budget in June, including the Governor’s May Revised Budget.

We will continue to recruit support for a stronger ATP during the next month of budget talks, and you can help in several key ways:

  • Ask your colleagues, friends, and family to join you in signing on!  We will keep the link live for a few more weeks as we continue to build support.
  • Join the 120 organizations (see the impressive list below) that support a stronger ATP as an organizational signer, and encourage your partner organizations to sign too!
  •  Ask your local elected officials to consider support on behalf of your city or county

Read more of this post

Caltrans rolls out second set of ATP workshops for disadvantaged communities

ATP dac workshop logosThe Caltrans Active Transportation Program staff have been busy!  In addition to preparing the application document and information needed to release the Cycle 2 call for projects, establishing an ATP Advisory Committee, and assisting Cycle 1 grantees in getting their projects going, ATP staff are traveling all over the state to run TWO sets of workshops in all 12 Caltrans districts.  We commend the staff for all of their hard work and the serious overtime they must be putting in to pull all of this off!

The first set of workshops, which we publicized in a blog earlier this month, are designed to give an overview of Cycle 2 and provide in-depth technical training on how to apply for Cycle 2. Safe Routes to School National Partnership staff are supporting these workshops and co-presenting alongside Caltrans and staff from the Technical Assistance Resource Center.

The second set of workshops will provide technical assistance to small and disadvantaged communities around the state for developing an ATP project, plan, or program. These workshops are led by our partners at the Local Government Commission, California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, and Rails to Trails Conservancy, and organized in partnership with Caltrans.

Please note that the two sets of workshops are both being offered between now and early May, but will provide different information to potential applicants for ATP funding. If you are interested in applying for Cycle 2 funding on behalf of a small or disadvantaged community and would like assistance with development of your project, we encourage you to attend BOTH workshops in your area.

Here is the schedule for the small and disadvantaged community technical assistance workshops:

SCAG Announces Dates for Environmental Justice Workshops

EnviroJusticeWorkshop2015HeaderThe Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) will be hosting two workshops in April to update interested stakeholders on the environmental justice analysis process for the upcoming 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS). The 2016-2040 RTP/SCS is a long-range transportation plan that provides a vision for transportation investments throughout six counties in Southern California – Imperial, Los Angeles,
Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. Registration is available here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015: Riverside
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Lakeside Room @ Fairmount Park
2601 Fairmount Blvd, Riverside, CA 92501

Thursday, April 23, 2015: Los Angeles (with videoconferencing option)
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
SCAG Main Office
818 West 7th Street, 12th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017

More information is available on the workshop flyer.

MTC Announces Regional ATP Cycle 2 Workshops

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) announced three Bay Area workshops to provide guidance on applying for the Regional Competitive Active Transportation Program (ATP) Cycle 2.

Information and a flyer can be found here.

MTC Logo

Forty percent of the state ATP funding is being awarded by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in urban areas with populations more than 200,000. At least 25% required to benefit disadvantaged communities. MTC’s share of the ATP funding for 2014 was about $30 million.

Topics for the workshops will include:

  • Statewide vs. Regional Program Guidelines
  • Timeline, scoring criteria, and application overview
  • Best practices on gathering data and lessons learned from Cycle 1
  • On-site discussion and Q&A with MTC and Caltrans staff

These sessions are open to anyone but will be tailored to new applicants, applicants seeking assistance in preparing a competitive application, and agencies or organizations interested in partnering on an application.

LOCATIONS:

North Bay –

Wednesday, April 8, 2015; 1:00p – 3:00p

Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency

625 Burnell Street

Napa, CA 94559

Central Bay –

Tuesday, April 14, 2015; 1:00p – 3:00p

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

101-8th Street, 1st Floor, Auditorium

Oakland, CA 94607

South Bay –

Thursday, April 16, 2015; 1:00p – 3:00p

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

3331 N. First St., Auditorium

San Jose CA  95134-1927

Please register via email to Marcella Aranda at maranda@mtc.ca.gov, no later than Wednesday, April 1. Please be sure make the subject line of your RSVP email: “ATP CYCLE 2 WORKSHOP – (location)”. Space is limited for each of the locations so please refrain from submitting an RSVP for multiple locations.

 

Caltrans Announces Dates for ATP District Workshops

ct_logo_trans (1)Caltrans will be holding ATP Application Workshops in all of its districts in March and April. The following dates have been confirmed by Caltrans on this spreadsheet posted to their website. All workshops take place from 8:30am to 4:00pm. No registration is necessary.

March 19: Oakland (District 4)

  • Location: Caltrans District 4 Office, Auditorium, 111 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
  • Contact Jose Reyes, (510) 286-5233, jose.reyes@dot.ca.gov

March 23: Eureka (District 1)

  • Location:Turf Club West Side Redwood Acres Fairground, 3750 Harris Street, Eureka, CA 95503
  • Contact: Lori Dusi, (707) 445-6460, Lori.Dusi@dot.ca.gov

March 25: Redding (District 2)

March 27 or 30 (pending): Webinar

April 1: Fresno (District 6)

  • Location: Caltrans District 6 Office, Yosemite Room 145, 2015 E. Shields Ave., Fresno, CA. 93726
  • Contact: Karen Moore, (559) 445-5573, karen.moore@dot.ca.gov

April 2: San Luis Obispo (District 5)

  • Location: Caltrans District 5 Office, Atoll Building, Manzanita Room, 1150 Laurel Lane, San Luis Obispo, CA. 95819
  • Contact: Lori Marinello, (805) 594-6192, Lori.Marinello@dot.ca.gov

April 7: Bishop (District 9)

  • Location: Caltrans District 9 Office, Coffee Room, 500 S. Main Street, Bishop, CA. 93514
  • Contact: Robin Giovanine, (760) 872-1369, Robin.Giovanine@dot.ca.gov

April 9: San Bernardino (District 8)

  • Location: Caltrans District 8 Office, Room 805, 464 W. 4th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92401
  • Contact: David Lee, (909) 806-4759, david.lee@dot.ca.gov

April 14: Stockton (District 10)

  • Location: Caltrans District 10 Office, Conference Room 56 / 71, 1976 East Charter Way / Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Stockton, CA. 95205
  • Contact: Jaylene Hess, (209) 948-3616, Jaylene.Hess@dot.ca.gov

April 15: Los Angeles (District 7) (flyer here)

  • Location: Caltrans District 7 Office, 100 South Main St, Room 01.040 A, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Contact: Joann Eustache, (213) 897-2958, joann.eustache@dot.ca.gov .

April 21: San Diego (District 11)

  • Location: Caltrans District 11 Office, Garcia Room, 4050 Taylor Street, San Diego, CA. 92110
  • Contact: Deborah Ledesma-Ribera, (619) 278-3766, Debora-Ledesma-Ribera@dot.ca.gov

April 22: Irvine/Orange County (District 12)

  • Location: Caltrans District 12 Office, Conference Room 218, 3347 Michelson Drive, Irvine, CA. 92612
  • Contact: Homa Nouri, (949) 724-2410, Homa_Nouri@dot.ca.gov

April 29: Marysville (District 3)

  • Location: Caltrans District 3 Office, Sierra Nevada Room, 703 B St., Marysville, CA. 95901
  • Contact: Felicia Haslem, (530) 741-4156

**For those in Southern California, don’t forget the SCAG workshop on March 16!

We will update this post if dates & locations change. Also be sure to check the Caltrans website for further details.

One week left! Sign on NOW to increase ATP funding!

Join more than 70 organizations from around the state that have already signed on!  There’s just one week left to add your support before the March 12 deadline.

California has a tremendous opportunity to achieve climate goals and create healthy active communities by fulfilling the promise to increase funding for the Active Transportation Program (ATP). Nearly $800 million in shovel-ready walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School projects and programs were left unfunded in ATP Cycle 1. 

Sign on now in support of a larger, stronger and more effective ATP:

1. Increase the Active Transportation Program by $100 million.
2. Integrate and incentivize green infrastructure as well as access to parks and open space with active transportation projects to maximize climate and health benefits.
3. Ensure meaningful benefits to disadvantaged communities through ATP projects.

Organizations and individuals are encouraged to sign on. Deadline is March 12, 2015.

SCAG Hosting ATP Workshop on March 16: Register Today!

scag50logoThe Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is hosting an ATP Project Development Workshop on Monday, March 16 from 9:00am to 3:00pm at its main office in downtown Los Angeles. The March 16 workshop seeks to assist potential project sponsors in the SCAG region in developing the best project possible. Project sponsors will learn about effective public outreach/engagement strategies, innovative design concepts, multi-modal access and integration as well as how to develop successful planning projects and public health partnerships. Guest presenters include staff from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, Southern California Leadership Council, Public Health Alliance, Metro, Stantec and Alta Planning+Design.

To register for this event, please click here.

Should you have any questions, please contact Stephen Patchan, Senior Regional Planner, at patchan@scag.ca.gov.

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