Highlights from the Regional Council Meeting
June 5, 2014
Hon. Carl Morehouse chairs his first Regional Council meeting as SCAG President
ACTION – RC ADOPTS FIRST MILE/LAST MILE STRATEGIC PLAN
The Regional Council today adopted the SCAG-Metro First Mile/Last Mile Strategic Plan and supported continued collaboration with Metro and other local agencies on activities to implement the plan. The plan, which received the President’s Award at SCAG’s 2014 Regional Conference & General Assembly, is critical to meeting the goals of SCAG’s 2012 – 2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy. It establishes policies and guidelines to more strategically invest agency resources, provide the basis for seeking additional capital funds, and to optimize access to high-quality transit corridors. The plan may serve as a resource for transit agencies and local governments in the SCAG region.
ACTION – RC VOTES ON KEY STATE BILLS
The Regional Council voted to support AB 4707, an LA Metro sponsored bill that would permit installation of triple bike racks on 40-foot municipal buses statewide. Currently, they are only permitted in select, pilot jurisdictions. The RC also adopted ‘Support In Concept’ with amendments on SB 1228 and SB 1418 ‘Support if Amended.’ SB 1228 would continue the Trade Corridors Improvement Fund (TCIF) established by Prop. 1B in 2006 for the purpose of receipt and expenditure of revenues from sources other than the bond, such as from Cap-and-Trade, to fund eligible projects. SB 1418 would repeal statutory provisions that transfer vehicle weight fees from the State Highway Account to the Transportation Debt Service Fund to pay for transportation-related general obligation bonds. SB 1418 would restore the funding State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), State Highway Operation & Protection Program (SHOPP), and local streets and roads funds as they existed before the gas tax swap that passed as part of the 2011-12 state budget authorizing the use of weight fees to pay for transportation bond debt.
ACTION – RC AWARDS 2014 SCHOLARSHIPS
The Regional Council is pleased to announce its scholarship awardees for 2014: Amber Valenzuela, Imperial County; John Marcus and Elena Pineda, Los Angeles County; Andrea Kim, Orange County; Taylor Thomas, Riverside County; Oscar Sandoval-Banuelos, San Bernardino County; and Marisa Pedroso, Ventura County. Each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship award and participate in a two-week internship with SCAG or a local planning agency. SCAG’s scholarship program was launched in 2010 to encourage young leaders to pursue careers in urban planning and local government. More information about SCAG’s scholarship program is available on the agency’s website at www.scag.ca.gov/scholarship.
News From the Executive Director
Additional News for the Month
SCAG ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING
The Call for Projects for California’s 2014 Active Transportation Program (ATP) came to a close on May 21. The ATP will award approximately $360 million to eligible applicants through statewide, rural and regional competitions. SCAG plays a significant role in the implementation of the ATP by supporting local agencies in competing for the statewide competition funds (approximately $180 million), as well as establishing a project selection process for the Southern California regional competition funds (approximately $76 million). Over 200 applications were submitted to Caltrans from the Southern California region for consideration in both the statewide and regional competitions. SCAG, in collaboration with the county transportation commissions and county health departments, submitted an application for the statewide competition to support a Regional Active Transportation Safety and Encouragement Campaign. Award notifications for the statewide competition are expected in August.
SCAG RECEIVES STRATEGIC GROWTH COUNCIL & FEDERAL HIGHWAY GRANTS
On June 3, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) awarded SCAG nearly $1 million – the highest share of nearly $16 million awarded – as part of its Sustainable Communities Planning Grant (Round 3). Among the 88 applicants, 33 received awards. SCAG applied for the funds on behalf of its member cities and the award will be given to six member cities for sustainability projects focusing on implementing key strategies - including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions - outlined in the 2012-2035 RTP/SCS. SCAG also received a grant award from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program. The federal funds are made to the California Division, in collaboration with SCAG, to implement INVEST, FHWA’s sustainability self-evaluation tool, and gather lessons learned. SCAG will evaluate the existing transportation plan using INVEST and make improvements to the next plan based on the evaluation.
Leaders in stormwater management will convene at SCAG on June 13 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to discuss practical strategies for overcoming challenges to stormwater capture. SCAG is co-sponsoring the event with the California Water Boards, US EPA, Planning and Conservation League, Southern California Water Committee, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, and many others. I will be joined by Congresswoman Grace Napolitano and Fran Spivy-Weber of the State Water Resources Control Board. Register: www.sawpa.org/epa-conference.