SACRAMENTO—As part of an ongoing effort to boost transparency and public communication about its work, Caltrans has published its third issue of The Mile Marker, a periodic and plain-English reporting of where the department is excelling and where it can improve.
“As a government department that touches the lives of nearly everyone in the state every day, it is incumbent on us to provide factual information in a narrative that is easily understandable,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty wrote in the report’s cover letter.
According to the 2015 first-quarter report, pavement and bridge rehabilitation account for two-thirds of the department’s tremendous maintenance and rehabilitation needs. Pavement rehabilitation accounts for nearly half (46 percent) of the state’s transportation upkeep needs while 18 percent is for bridge reconstruction projects. While the state’s bridges are safe, Caltrans has a $19 billion 10-year unfunded need for bridge work. Recently, CalSTA Secretary Brian Kelly called for renewed commitment to the state’s “fix it first” policy, where transportation funding focuses first on maintaining and preserving California’s existing transportation assets.
The Mile Marker is one of many steps Caltrans’ is taking to improve its transparency and accountability by making the department’s work more accessible and understandable to the public. Caltrans is currently undertaking a massive reform effort, called the Caltrans Improvement Project, through which the department is modernizing and becoming a more efficient, sustainable, transparent and accountable organization. Here are some key achievements that have come from this ongoing reform effort:
- New mission, vision, and goals for the department
- Greater focus on multimodal and sustainable transportation through more and better active transportation options, like walking and biking, through the popular Active Transportation Program
- Improved engineer design flexibility to better accommodate pedestrians and cyclists and support local innovation
- Supporting more sustainable and environmentally friendly low-carbon transit improvements through the Low-Carbon Transit Operations Program
- Better communication and partnerships with local transportation stakeholders, through things like this publication, multiple town hall and public meetings, and periodic Caltrans news flashes
These are just a few highlights of how Caltrans is evolving. Additionally the department is hard at work finalizing its strategic management plan, which will help codify the new direction and purpose of the department.
The Mile Marker is distributed to the Legislature, local government agencies, transportation professionals statewide and around the country, and to the public at large online. Through it the department can better tell its story–the hard work being done to improve the mobility, safety, and sustainability of our transportation system in California.
Copies of this issue of The Mile Marker are available at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/ctjournal/MileMarker/2015-1/index.html
Caltrans also releases 23 statutorily required reports on a periodic basis on subjects including project delivery, finance, fish passage, state rail and highway maintenance. These reports are located at: http://dot.ca.gov/reports-legislature.htm
For more information on the Caltrans Improvement Project, visit: http://www.dot.ca.gov/CIP/
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