CA welcomes Federal Automated Vehicle Policy

California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian P. Kelly issued this statement on Federal Automated Vehicle Policy:

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the State of California share the common objective of seeing driverless vehicle technology developed, tested and deployed safely and efficiently on our public streets and roads.  NHTSA’s policy guidance unveiled today is a leap forward in this process, enabling California to advance vehicle safety, innovation and sustainability in the Golden State.  With more than 3,200 traffic-related fatalities and more than 90% of accidents attributed to human error in this state, it is time to unleash the promise of autonomous vehicles to improve public safety. Within the next 30 days, the Department of Motor Vehicles will host a public workshop to gather input from industry, consumer and public interest groups, and the public on revised draft state regulations for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles in California.”

The California Department of Motor Vehicles also issued a statement, below:

“The DMV welcomes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) release of the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy. The DMV worked closely with NHTSA and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) on the model state policy contained within the document. The DMV supports NHTSA’s goal of creating a consistent approach and national framework for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles.

The DMV is currently reviewing NHTSA’s Federal Automated Vehicle Policy and is planning to release revised draft California regulations in the coming weeks. The department will hold a public workshop to solicit input on those revised draft regulations on October 20, 2016.”

Autonomous Vehicle Public Workshop
Department of General Services
707 Third Street West Sacramento, CA 95605
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Read the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy here: www.transportation.gov/av

For more information on the California DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations, visit: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/autonomous/bkgd

 

CalSTA goes on a reality ride to highlight the dangers of distracted driving

On Tuesday, California Highway Patrol Captain Josh Ehlers and Department of Motor Vehicles Director Jean Shiomoto participated in Allstate’s Reality Rides event along with Assembly Member Jim Frazier to encourage drivers to practice safe driving habits.

Distracted driving results in over 3,000 deaths and causes over 400,000 injuries each year. It is the number one cause of death in Americans between the ages of 11 and 27. DMV researchers have found that drivers with multiple cell phone violations on their records experience almost twice as many subsequent crashes as drivers with no violations. Research has also shown that receiving a text or phone call, even if you do not answer or look at the phone, can be a significant distraction while driving.

CHP Captain Josh Elhers asked that drivers with more experience lead by example for teenagers and inexperienced drivers by putting away their phones and practicing safe driving behaviors behind the wheel.

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DMV Director Jean Shiomoto shared the important statistics on the dangers of distracted driving and reminded the community that DMV is committed to educating the public on these dangers through their handbooks and Fast Facts. “Distracted driving could put you, and anyone you know, in danger,” Shiomoto said.

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Allstate is touring the country with its distracted driving simulator with the goal of preventing avoidable collisions and building awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.  The stationary car is equipped with virtual-reality technology that displays a responsive animated environment on a LED television embedded in the windshield.  Using the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, participants attempted to drive while they tried to text.


DMV’s Deputy Director of Communications, Jessica Gonzalez went on a test drive of the simulator to show us just how dangerous distracted driving can be. After the simulation was over, she received an example citation which showed all the infractions she had committed. Participants also took a pledge to “X the Text” and commit to putting away their phone while behind the wheel.

In addition to the simulator, DMV and CHP staff were on hand at informational booths to hand out materials on safe driving and answer questions from the community.

September is California Pedestrian Safety Month

The California State Senate along with the Office of Traffic Safety have declared September “Pedestrian Safety Month” to raise awareness and combat the rising number of pedestrian fatalities in our state.

California has seen a sharp rise in pedestrian fatalities over the last 10 years, 815 pedestrians were killed in 2015 alone according to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) shows pedestrians and bicyclists account for nearly 30 percent of roadway deaths in California and 7,000 have died in the last 10 years. Our pedestrian fatality rate is almost 70 percent higher than other states, according to SWITRS. In addition, almost 12,000 pedestrians are seriously injured each year.

As part of our continuing efforts to address the issue, the Office of Traffic Safety has launched a statewide campaign to promote safe practices by motorists and pedestrians to reduce these high numbers.

 

The campaign features characters, clad in body armor made from car parts, that represent everyday pedestrians. These characters remind everyone that in real life, pedestrians don’t have armor and always lose when hit by a vehicle, no matter who is at fault.

Ped Safety BillboardCampaign billboard

The campaign also reminds Californians of safety tips for both drivers and pedestrians:

Ped Safety BookmarkCampaign bookmark

TIPS FOR DRIVERS:

  • The most dangerous driving behaviors around pedestrians: speeding, distractions (especially cell phones), and failure to yield. Slow down, put down the phone, and look around you.
  • Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
  • Any pedestrian at a crosswalk or intersection, marked or unmarked, has the right of way. When you see them at the corner, slow and stop.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
  • Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians, too.
  • Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path.

TIPS FOR PEDESTRIANS:

  • The most dangerous behaviors of pedestrians near roadways: jay walking, distractions (especially cell phones), and assuming you can be seen.
  • Cross at crosswalks or intersections, obey signs and signals.
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
  • Stop staring at the phone. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
  • Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night. Drivers usually can’t see you on a dark street until they are about 100 feet from you.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street.

This campaign is part of a concentrated effort by the State Transportation Agency and our departments to address the issue of pedestrian fatalities head on as we continue to promote walking as a greener alternative to driving.

As part of this effort, Caltrans is developing the first-ever California State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (CSBPP), which will be a visionary and comprehensive policy plan to support active modes of transportation aimed at improving safety and access for everyone across all transportation modes, particularly bicycle and pedestrian. The plan is anticipated to be complete by February of next year.

In addition, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is emphasizing safe walking through its international award-winning California Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Enforcement and Education Project, and provides educational resources on their website.

For more information and resources on pedestrian safety:

NHTSA: http://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/everyoneisapedestrian/index.html

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/features/pedestriansafety/

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center:  http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/community/tips_pedestrian.cfm

Safe Kids: https://www.safekids.org/walkingsafelytips

Safe Routes to School: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/

 

US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and CalSTA Secretary Brian Kelly visit Transbay Transit Center

On Thursday, US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx joined Secretary Brian Kelly for a visit to the Transbay Transit Center construction site. Foxx met with the Center’s team and was briefed on the project. Managed by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the site will be a multimodal hub for transit connectivity throughout the Bay Area and state.

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Photo Aug 25, 2 06 31 PMView of the city from the rooftop deck and public park
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Crews working on the façade of the Center

On track to be certified LEED Gold, the transit center will serve 11 different transit systems in center of San Francisco. The terminal will include a bus deck which will connect Transbay bus service from the East Bay with service to Marin County and down the Peninsula.

Photo Aug 25, 1 48 34 PM (1)CalSTA team touring the bus bay level of the Transbay Center

Photo Aug 25, 1 47 53 PM (1)The bus deck will also have a direct connection the Bay Bridge via a new onramp and 60% of the center’s visitors will come from the East Bay. It will also connect transit users with Amtrak and Greyhound bus service to move throughout the state.

Photo Aug 25, 1 58 35 PM (1)This is the direct connect ramp from the Bay Bridge to the bus deck – the large pillar will have cables extending to emulate the new East Span of the Bay Bridge

The center will also include a train platform which will serve as the northern terminus for both Caltrain and high-speed rail. This will extend rail 1.3 miles to connect a new underground rail station at Fourth and Townsend, replacing the current SF depot, and bringing Caltrain commuters closer to the city’s center. This section of the center was made possible through an $400 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Grant.

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The underground train platforms

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In addition to the transit platforms and bus bays, the facility will also house a concourse level for ticketing, bike storage, and 100,000 square feet of retail. One of the highlights of the center will be the 5.4 acres of open space on top of the center which will feature a walking/jogging trail, amphitheater to seat around 1,000 people, restaurant, a children’s playground and over 13 gardens. It will have 10 different access points.

The Transbay Transit Center is scheduled to open in 2017.

BCDC greenlights permits for next round of Bay Bridge pier demolition

Last Thursday, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission granted Caltrans permits to implode two piers of the Bay Bridge’s old east span in October. The project uses controlled explosives to demolish fifteen pier foundations of the old east span. As part of the permitting process, BCDC also granted permits for the implosions of Piers E6-18 which are scheduled to occur in 2017 and 2018.

This year’s implosion will occur over two weekends in October during slack tide, Caltrans will be publicizing the implosion dates shortly. For the first two piers, the debris would fall into its hallow casing below the mudline of the Bay Bridge. Like the previous implosion of Pier E3, a blast attenuation system (bubble curtain) will be used to cut down noise and sound pressure waves from the explosive charges. Caltrans will continue to work with environmental and biological experts to monitor the area preceding, during, and after the blast to ensure no protected species is harmed.

Watch the video simulation for Pier E5 here: https://vimeo.com/179255514/790e4a57f3

This follows the successful implosion of Pier E3 in which the largest pier was demolished in just six seconds. Watch the implosion of Pier E3 here:

Each implosion is a coordinated effort to ensure limited environmental impact on the Bay and wildlife. Caltrans produced a news flash detailing the efforts of staff to limit that impact:

Transportation Agency Awards $390 Million in Cap and Trade Grants to Expand Transit, Reduce Emissions and Create Jobs

Sacramento –  Tuesday, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced 14 recipients for the 2016 Transit and Intercity Capital Program (TIRCP) grants.  The group of projects moves forward the Brown Administration’s focus on reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions while advancing the state’s public transportation system. This year’s awards total $390 million in competitive grants made possible through the state’s Cap and Trade auction proceeds.

“This investment of Cap and Trade dollars is really about transforming this state’s transportation system to create jobs, reduce harmful emissions, and expand mobility options so Californians can get around as efficiently and conveniently as possible,” said CalSTA Secretary Brian Kelly.

“Today we invest in California’s future—improved bus services in Fresno, BART to San Jose in the Bay Area, expanded ACE service to better connect the Northern San Joaquin Valley with Silicon Valley, new streetcar systems in Sacramento and Santa Ana, electrified transit services in the Bay Area and Southern California, vital improvements to LA Metro’s Green, Purple and Red lines, expanded rail services between Southern California cities and the Central Coast, and a new rail service connecting a major university with downtown San Bernardino.

California’s transportation future is about providing good, clean travel options while expanding access to mobility and economic opportunity for all.  This Cap and Trade program delivers today and promises to deliver much more in the future.  I’m proud to put these vital transportation dollars to work for all Californians.”

41 applications for funding from around the state were submitted for consideration this year. The 14 projects selected, valued at more than $3.8 billion, will reduce more than 4.1 million tons of CO2 statewide and 13 of the 14 recipient projects directly benefit disadvantaged communities.

Looking ahead, through Senate Bill 9 (Beall, 2015) CalSTA will be adopting a 5-year program of projects by July 1, 2018.  The 5-year program calls for larger, more transformative projects to be funded.  With that, the state anticipates being a long-term funding partner to see transformative projects come to fruition, for example:

  • The BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension to San Jose Diridon and Santa Clara stations
  • Commuter and intercity rail projects in northern California, such as expanded ACE, San Joaquin and Capitol Corridor service, that will link the high-speed rail project to millions of Californians through shared stations in the Bay Area and the Central Valley
  • Expanded capacity for Los Angeles Union Station
  • Commuter and intercity rail projects in southern California, such as expanded Metrolink, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, and Coaster service that will link the high-speed rail project to millions of Californians through shared stations in the south
  • Street car, light rail, and high-frequency bus projects all around the state that expand transit ridership with zero-emission vehicles well suited to the achievement of climate goals
  • Investments in stronger integration between local transit and the statewide high speed, intercity and regional rail network, such as those underway in Fresno, that grow ridership and increase the utilization of existing services
  • Expansion of the intercity rail network into new markets, such as the Coachella Valley and the Central Coast, and development of zero emission services on the intercity feeder bus network

CalSTA will hold workshops in late 2016, continuing into 2017, to receive public input on guideline development for the 2018 program.

Project funding for the 2016 awards will be supported by Cap and Trade auction proceeds from eight anticipated auctions in fiscal year 2016-17 and 2017-18, so cumulative auction proceeds are more important than the amount of revenue received from a single auction.

If the Legislature directs additional funds to the TIRCP in this legislative session, CalSTA may increase funding for announced awards and/or fund additional projects submitted as part of the 2016 program.

A complete list of this year’s recipients can be found here:

Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program 2016 Awards 
Detailed Project Award Summary