Progress Continues on Sustainable Freight Action Plan

CalSTA is working with Caltrans to develop work plans for two sustainable freight pilot projects, which are a product of the Governor Brown’s executive order on sustainable freight.  These projects demonstrate advanced technology that works towards achieving the goals of the Sustainable Freight Action Plan (Action Plan).

The first pilot project, Advanced Technology Corridors at Border Ports of Entry, will deploy advanced technologies to establish an integrate data system to improve freight mobility and air quality along the CA – Mexico border. The pilot deploys technology necessary for building a sophisticated binational border wait time measurement and information dissemination system. Long-term, optional phases of the pilot include strategies for incentivizing zero emissions trucks (i.e. dedicated zero emission crossing lanes and/or toll discounts for zero emissions truck). The project covers includes border crossings and southbound routes in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

The second project, Advanced Technology for Truck Corridors, consists of three major components: the first component deploys advanced communications systems designed to improve truck mobility along the I-710 South highway; the second component pilots needed truck parking in Riverside County; and the last component defines a high-level plan for deploying charging and alternative fueling stations along I-710 South.

At the two-day Sustainable Freight Symposium in Santa Monica last month, industry experts and policy makers discussed the future of California’s freight transport system.  Secretary Brian Kelly also joined the group for part of the discussion.  This Symposium is one action item listed in the Action Plan and covered many topics from land use practices to improving community engagement. 20170719_0933101

Another hot topic covered at the Symposium was the transitioning of California’s freight transport system to zero and near zero-emission technologies.  California is looking towards the future and working to improve system efficiency.

Sustainable Freight was also the topic of July’s Women in Transportation Sacramento (WTS) lunch, focusing on the changing landscape of the freight industry and how to match continually shifting demand with sustainability goals.  Dr. Miguel Jaller, Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of California Davis, recently authored two white papers discussing efficiency strategies ranging from port operations to last-mile distribution.  Some of those strategies were incorporated into the Governor’s Action Plan.

For more information about the Sustainable Freight Action Plan and the pilot projects: http://www.casustainablefreight.org/

Cap-and-Trade dollars continue to fund pivotal transportation projects across the state

This week, Caltrans announced 125 local projects had received $34.5 million in funding from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program. These projects continue California’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the sustainability of public transportation systems around the state.

The Low Carbon Transit Operations Program is one of several state programs which are funded through auction proceeds from the California Air Resources Board’s Cap-and-Trade Program into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Funding from this program goes toward direct investments in transit projects that reduce GHG emissions and benefit disadvantaged communities throughout California.

These projects are part of the California Climate Investments, which provide a variety of additional benefits to California communities. Some of the local projects that will benefit from these funding disbursements include:

  • Expanded Service on the 9R: $3,764,725 to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to expand transit service on Route 9R San Bruno Rapid Line, increasing mobility and encouraging a greater use of transit.
  • New Gold Line Foothill Extension Operations: $5,977,936 to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to add service to six new stations that extend light rail transit service in the San Gabriel Valley.
  • Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2B: $683,459 to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority to extend the Metro Gold Line light rail service from Azusa in Los Angeles County to the Montclair Transcenter in San Bernardino County. The project would improve mobility and access within the corridor by providing fast, convenient and reliable transit service.
  • Modesto Downtown Transit Center: $255,849 to the City of Modesto to improve the Downtown Transit Center to increase the safety and comfort of Modesto Area Express public transit customers.
  • Watsonville Zero Emission Replacement Bus: $243,290 to Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District to purchase one zero-emission, battery-electric public transit bus and related charging infrastructure to replace one diesel-fueled bus. This project will benefit the disadvantaged communities within Watsonville by reducing environmental impacts associated with public transit buses operating in the community.

A complete list of the 125 projects can be found here. Eighty-six of the projects are targeted specifically to benefit disadvantaged communities. Of the $34.5 million in funding allocated, $29.6 million will benefit disadvantaged communities.

In addition to the LCTOP, CalSTA administers cap-and-trade funding through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). The TIRCP funds transformative capital improvements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase transit ridership, integrate rail services and improve safety.

TIRCP grantees took to Twitter this month to show how cap-and-trade funds have helped improve and increase service across the state. You can find more information on TIRCP and past grant recipients here:  http://www.dot.ca.gov/drmt/sptircp.html

 

Both the LCTOP and TIRCP programs are funded through the Cap and Trade Program’s auction proceeds and its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The Cap-and-Trade Program is one of many programs developed under AB 32 to fight climate change. It is designed to reduce greenhouse gases from the largest sources of emission in California, and to drive innovation and steer the State toward a clean energy economy.

For more information on the Cap-and-Trade Program visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/capandtrade.htm

For more information on the State’s program to spend auction proceeds from the Cap-and-Trade Program visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/auctionproceed

 

Another active Bike Month pedals to a close

CalSTA celebrated another successful bike month with the adoption of the first statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan, Toward an Active California. The plan lays out lays out policies and actions to support active modes of transportation in order to achieve Caltrans’ ambitious goals to double walking and triple bicycling trips by 2020, and reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities by ten percent each year.

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The Bike and Ped Plan made its debut at the Capitol Bike Fest

Released just weeks after the Road Repair and Accountability Act provided an additional $1 billion for Active Transportation Project grants, the plan aims to fulfill the six goals outlined in the California Transportation Plan 2040, and introduces 15 strategies and 60 actions that are specific to active transportation. At the core of the plan are four objectives: safety, mobility, preservation, and social equity. bike ped plan For more details about the plan, please visit www.cabikepedplan.org.

In addition to the plan, Caltrans districts across the state participated in local Bike to Work week activities and discussed active transportation planning in their region.

Caltrans District 4 was out in Oakland to talk about bicycle-focused infrastructure.
Caltrans District 6 participated in National Bike to Work Day
CHP and Caltrans District 11 staff participated in a Bike to Work ride in Old Town San Diego
Caltrans District 12 staff participated in a Bike to Work ride in Santa Ana

Chipper even got in on the fun during Bike to Work Week!

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Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty also went on his annual Director’s bike ride where staff from the state, county, and cities toured bike infrastructure in the Sacramento region and discussed more bicycle-focused transportation planning.

The Director also participated in a multimodal field trip with Streetsblog CA to talk about the new bike and pedestrian plan, taking the Capitol Corridor from Sacramento to Emeryville and then riding across the Bay Bridge. For more on their adventure: http://cal.streetsblog.org/2017/05/26/a-multimodal-field-trip-in-honor-of-cas-new-bike-and-pedestrian-plan/

California continues to advance its goals for a more active transportation landscape across the state.

DMV continues to increase access to self-service terminals outside of DMV offices

This month, DMV unveiled 10 new self-service terminals in retail locations across Southern California, including one on UC Irvine’s campus. These terminals allow customers to instantly renew their vehicle registration without stepping foot into a DMV field office and are located in Albertsons and Vons grocery stores.

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“We are always looking for options to provide our customers with alternative and convenient ways to conduct their DMV business,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto.
“By placing DMV Now Self-Service Terminals in retail locations, we provide customers with another time-saving option.”

The popular self-service terminal is designed for customers who need their vehicle registration card and license plate tag immediately.  To conduct a transaction, customers will need their vehicle registration renewal notice or their most recent vehicle registration card.  The touch screen machine offers instructions in English and Spanish and accepts credit card and checks.

The kiosk can also be used by customers who have decided to park their vehicle and want to file for planned non-operation status.

The first external location Self-Service Terminal was installed at the University of California, Irvine on April 10.  Two additional terminals were installed in Albertsons locations in Lancaster and Palmdale last month.

DMV Now Self-Service Terminals are also available during regular business hours at 60 DMV field offices. To find a terminal near you: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/fo/fo_sst.

Online services are also available 24/7 at www.dmv.ca.gov.

Caltrans plans for a more sustainable transportation future

Last month, Caltrans awarded $9.2 million in sustainable transportation planning grants to programs across the state.

These grants include plans and studies for complete streets, connectivity, multimodal transportation, transit hubs and station areas, corridors, active transportation and community engagement outreach throughout the state.

“Sustainability is important at every stage of a project, from planning to construction. These grants help Caltrans achieve its mission of providing a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system and ensure all Californians have more livable and economically vibrant communities,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

Approximately $1.5 million was awarded for Strategic Partnership grants which encourage regional agencies to partner with Caltrans to identify and address statewide/interregional transportation deficiencies in the state highway system; strengthen government-to-government relationships; and ultimately result in programmed system improvements.

Grant recipients include cities, counties, transit agencies, tribal governments and metropolitan and regional transportation agencies throughout the state.

One of these grantees is the Murphy State Route 4 Complete Streets Corridor Plan in Calaveras County which would provide safe multi-modal travel options for residents and visitors. Another project is the Central Core Connectivity and Active Transportation Plan in the City of Brea which will gives residents and visitors more opportunities for walking, bicycling, and transit use.

These grants are for planning only. Planning is a crucial first step in creating projects that could ultimately lead to sustainable transportation improvements. For these grants, Caltrans received 132 applications totaling about $30 million in requests.

For a complete list of grant recipients, visit Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant Program page.

In addition to these grants, Caltrans partnered with the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley to host the 2017 California Transportation Planning Conference on May 2-5. The conference featured speakers from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, CalSTA, Caltrans, and regional and local stakeholders.

17_12521D-001The conference kicked off with a welcome session with Janette Sadik-Khan, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2007–2013 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In her keynote, she shared success stories in redesigning streets around people.

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Other topics discussed at the conference included exploring new transportation funding sources, transportation investments and economic development, transportation equity, rural transportation sustainability, adapting transportation to a changing climate, and demographic shifts shaping new mobility demands.

Participants were also able to tour a new county connection electric shuttle in Walnut Creek and also visit the Port of Oakland.

The Conference allowed participants, and the state, to exchange ideas and learn about emerging technologies, policy developments, and advancements in planning from experts at every level. Caltrans continues to prioritize a vision for a more sustainable transportation future.

Caltrans Memorial Honors 187 Fallen Highway Workers

Caltrans commemorated the passing of three more of its employees Thursday during its 27th Annual Workers Memorial at the State Capitol. There have been a total of 187 Caltrans employees who lost their lives on the job since 1921. Dignitaries, Caltrans employees, and family and friends paid special tribute to Jorge Lopez, Randy Whisenhunt and Annette Brooks, who all lost their lives since last year’s memorial.

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“We honor and recognize the tremendous loss that their loved ones and friends have suffered,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “The greatest honor we can give is to keep their memories alive to help prevent future tragedies.”

“Each day that work goes on, Caltrans workers risk the known hazards of repairing our roads with traffic operating just feet away,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly. “I want to thank the men and women of Caltrans for your efforts keeping Californians safe, and keeping our state moving.”

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, highway construction and maintenance work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. In 2013, there were 5,887 work zone collisions on California roadways resulting in 51 fatalities and 2,757 injuries, compared to 6,525 work zone collisions resulting in 43 fatalities and 3,243 injuries in 2014. Nationally drivers and passengers account for 85 percent of the people who are killed in highway work zones. These numbers don’t include the close calls highway workers experience every day.

Work zones are dynamic places that can change from minute to minute. The presence of large trucks, changing traffic patterns and reduced speed limits creates an environment where being alert can be the difference between life and death.

Motorists can dramatically improve safety in work zones by slowing down and reducing distractions like texting and talking on the phone, and complying with the Move Over law, which requires motorists to move over if it is safe to do so, or slow down when approaching vehicles displaying flashing amber warning lights.

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Caltrans has partnered with the California Transportation Foundation to develop funds to benefit the families of Caltrans workers killed on the job. The Fallen Workers Assistance and Memorial Fund helps with the initial needs a surviving family faces, and the children of fallen workers may apply for a Caltrans Fallen Workers Memorial Scholarship. For more information or to make donations, visit www.transportationfoundation.org.

As we honor the 187 Caltrans workers killed on the job since 1921. We also thank the 19,000 Caltrans workers who help make our streets and highways safer, each and every day. In the coming years, we will see a lot of activity on our highways. Work zone safety is in our hands; stay alert and help protect our workers so they can come home to their loved ones and families. For more information on Caltrans’ fallen workers: http://www.dot.ca.gov/paffairs/workersmemorial/