News from the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments Vol. XVIII Issue II, December 2008 THE COORDINATOR 1150 Osos Street, Ste 202, SLO, CA 93401 www.slocog.org Tel 805-781-4219 Fax 805-781-5703 SLOCOG Board says thank you to Harry Ovitt and Jerry Lenthall At the December 17th Board meeting County Supervisor Harry Ovitt (District 1) and County Supervisor Jerry Lenthall (District 3) were honored with resolutions of appreciation for their years of service to the region. District 1 Supervisor Harry Ovitt was recognized for the twenty-ﬁve years he served on the SLOCOG Board, which is longer than anyone else, and for his many accomplishments during that time. During this period, he was a highly effective advocate for the improvement of the region’s transportation system, and for having helped secure a signiﬁcant amount of State funding for some of the regions most important improvements, including expansion of US 101 to six lanes over the Cuesta Grade, the widening of Highway 46 East to four lanes, providing intercity passenger rail service to Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles, and the realignment of Highway 41 East through Atascadero. District 3 Supervisor Jerry Lenthall was recognized his service to the region for the past four years. Among the accomplishments he was recognized for, was his support for the provision of carefully designed and ﬁscally responsible transportation plans and programs, public transit facilities to serve the needs of the people of southern San Luis Obispo County, and for having played a leadership role in support of efforts to maintain and improve passenger air service to the region. Harry Ovitt is being succeeded by Frank Mecham of Paso Robles who will begin representing the people of County Supervisorial District 1 on the SLOCOG Board at the January 7th meeting. Jerry Lenthall is being succeeded by Adam Hill, who will begin representing the people of County Supervisorial District 3 in January. Slowing Economy Lowers SLOCOG Board Approves $350k in SHA Expected Transportation for San Miguel 16th st Railroad Crossing Revenues by 10% In April 2008 SLOCOG board approved setting aside $350k in SHA funds for the On December 17th the SLOCOG Board highest ranking unfunded Safe Routes to School application in the region. This money accepted a 10% reduction in transportation will go to San Luis Obispo County for the 16th Street Pedestrian Railroad Crossing. revenues as a result of slowing retail sales For more information about this grant, contact Geiska Baker Velasquez at 788-2104 in the County. These funds provide a base level of transit services and local FY 08/09 Proposition 1B “Safety & Security” Funds Awarded! street and road maintenance & repair throughout the County. Until this year, the At their December meeting, the SLOCOG Board awarded $237,657 for two Prop 1B SLOCOG Board allocated about $11 million “Safety & Security” projects and approved the City of Morro Bay’s request to redirect in Transportation Development Act (“TDA”) $60,720 in Rural Transit Funds (RTF) to help fund transit operations. The following funds. Unfortunately monthly retail sales two projects were approved for Prop 1B “Safety & Security” funding: receipts now indicate a notable downturn in funding. 1. RTA Electronic Fare Collection System - $217,657 2. Atascadero Transit Ofﬁce/Vehicle Storage Yard Enhancements - $20,000 The SLOCOG Board requested that Regional Transit Authority and South Prop 1B “Safety and Security” County Area Transit board also consider This program is expected to provide $250K per year to the region over the next ten equitable reductions in “TDA” fund. The years for capital “safety and security” transit projects. Morro Bay RTF Project Modiﬁcation stage is now set for discussions on possible The City of Morro Bay requested $60,720 in FY 08/09 RTF funding approved for reductions in service levels at the same purchasing a replacement Dial-a-Ride (DAR) vehicle be redirected to fund operations time the SLOCOG Board will be convening for the remainder of the ﬁscal year. its annual Unmet Transit Needs hearing on Upcoming Transit Funding Programs February 4th. This meeting typically asks Staff is currently in the process of reviewing FY 08/09 Prop 1B “Transit” and FY the public “What new services do you want/ 09/10 RTF grant applications. Approximately $1.4M in Prop 1B “Transit” funding need?”, while the existing level of services and $537K in RTF is available for programming during the February SLOCOG Board are in jeopardy. Finally, the SLOCOG Board meeting. requested the formation of a transit funding sub-committee to evaluate options to For additional information, please contact Tim Gillham at 781-1520 or reorganize the provision of transit services. email@example.com -1- 2008 Transit Needs Assessment At the December meeting the SLOCOG Board approved the 2008 assessment of Unmet Needs Hearing the size and location of identiﬁable groups likely to be “transit-dependent”. This February 4th, 2009 precedes the Unmet Transit Needs and subsequent Transit Development Act (TDA) fund distribution. The 2008 report highlights deﬁciencies, reports on progress made The 2009 Unmet Transit and and gives a recap on transit ridership trends. Bikeway Needs Hearing will be during the next SLOCOG The areas in need of improvement were identiﬁed as follows: Board meeting: February 4th, 2009 at 8:30 in the 1. Need for better Intercommunity Travel Opportunities due to the lack of County Board of Supervisors convenient or reliable connections across systems. Chambers. 2. Need for more consistent Operations in view of varying service spans and An online request form service days for Dial-a-Rides and time-of-day gaps between local and is also available on the regional ﬁxed routes. SLOCOG home page at 3. Need for Simpler, more Uniform Fare Options and Consistent Information. www.slocog.org. 4. New Region Wide Transit Map (soon to be available from Regional Rideshare). Requests can also be 5. Better Service Awareness and Understanding or more uniform information submitted in writing to: needed for general marketing and public outreach cooperatively with Regional Rideshare. Attn: Tim Gillham 6. More Responsiveness to mono-lingual Hispanic customers with the lack of SLOCOG a uniﬁed approach among the various providers, each offering partial 1150 Osos Street, Suite 202 accommodation. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 In 2007/08, total ridership on all systems combined was up 9.3% from 2006/07, a rate nearly triple the average annual historical growth for the region. The main factor driving this recent trend was the growth in regional bus ridership at 17%. The full needs assessment update report is available at www.slocog.org or contact Eliane Guillot 805-781-5711 for a copy of the report. On December 17th, 2008, the SLOCOG Board endorsed the Community 2050 document by a vote of 10-1, with minor language revisions. The multi-year, multi-agency visioning effort was funded through a Caltrans planning grant. Community 2050 identiﬁes some of the key challenges our region faces over the next forty years: a population increase of 100,000 by 2050; deciding where to build the approximately 60,000 housing units needed to accommodate that increase; continued increases in vehicle-miles of travel and trafﬁc congestion, resource and ﬁnancial constraints, and new state mandates from AB 32 and SB 375. The document outlines goals, objectives and sustainable community strategies to address these challenges in the areas of land use and transportation, housing diversity and affordability, and agricultural and open space resources. The concepts contained in Community 2050 will become the basis for the development of the Sustainable Communities Strategy and land use scenarios in the upcoming Regional Transportation Plan Update. The Sustainable Communities Strategy, a new state requirement mandated by the recent enactment of SB 375, addresses the relationship between land use and transportation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a regional scale. Major changes to the document include: the expansion of smart growth strategies; an executive summary; map changes to reﬂect Spheres of Inﬂuence, and the inclusion of iPLACE3S land use modeling results of the extent of projected development for 2030 based on current development trends. The Community 2050 document will be made available on the project website, at www.community2050.org. A pamphlet summarizing the document will be developed for wide distribution. For more information contact Geoffrey Chiapella at 781-5190 -2- regionwide Grants Available fare improvement study Four programs have announced deadlines for application totaling nears completion more than $40 million available to programs in California including Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA), Environmental Enhancement In October 2008 the Board had and Mitigation (EEM) program and the State Safe Routes to School reviewed the ﬁndings and initial study (SRTS) program. Other grants available include the National recommendations by the Majic Consulting Scenic Byway Program (NSBP). Previous cycles in each of these programs have seen funding come to the San Luis Obispo County Group. In December 2008, the Regional Region. For more information regarding these announcements Transit Authority Board approved several please contact Geiska Baker Velasquez at (805) 788-2104. fare adjustments developed by RTA staff in coordination with SLOCOG; besides pricing Grant Opportunity Total Amount Application adjustments to most media (most of which Available Deadline stayed the same since 2000), the action will BTA $7.2M December 1, 2008 result in a simpler and more efﬁcient transit fare structure as of February 1, 2009. In NSBP $39M December 17, 2008 January 2009 the SLOCOG Board is due to approve regional policies consistent with EEMP $10M December 22, the RTA direction and supportive of the 2008 seven study recommendations given below: SR2S $24.2 February, 2009 1. Implement new Regional Day Pass to replace Regional Transit Transfer and Economic Stimulus Plan Update provide unlimited trips on all ﬁxed route Since September, 2008 House and Senate Democrats have been working on buses; stimulus packages to jump-start the American economy. Two bills were introduced: 2. Re-design Regional Monthly Pass to HR 7110, which included $30 billion for “infrastructure” and S 3689 included reduce its vulnerability to fraud; $13.6 billion. H.R. 7110 was approved by the House but failed passage in the 3. Eliminate Universal Coupons and Senate in September, and S. 3689 failed passage in the Senate. replace them with the new Regional The incoming (111th) Congress (which returns on the sixth of January) has been asked by President-elect Obama to prepare a comprehensive economic stimulus Day Pass and/or other fare media to bill (now being referred to as a “recovery bill”) by January 20th so he can sign it lower administrative costs; into law after he is inaugurated. The proposal has been described as a massive 4. Establish Uniform Discount Policies public works program with a total cost (including transportation and other (seniors, children and disability components) of $700 billion or more. It has been described by President-Elect eligibility rules) among systems to treat Obama as the largest infrastructure program in roads and bridges and other passengers the same; traditional infrastructure since the building of the federal highway system in the 1950s. 5. Provide Consistent Information across On December 8th, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman systems, including a “one stop shop”; Jim Oberstar said that his panel would move early in 2009 on a $45 billion 6. Pursue Uniform Farebox Technology, infrastructure bill packed with highway, transit and water projects, the package a regional capital investment to will be part of a broader stimulus bill that Democratic leaders intend to move in handle more ﬂexible fare media and to the opening days of the 111th Congress. More than half of Oberstar’s stimulus integrate fare collection systems; and package will go toward transportation: $18.2B for roads and bridges, $6.5B for transit, and $2B for rail. The bill will also include $9B for water projects; $5B 7. Expand fare media purchase options for the Army Corps of Engineers; $2.5B for federal building efﬁciency; $2B for (greater availability at outlets, on the rail; $1B for aviation; $420M for the Coast Guard; and $275M for Brownﬁeld web, by phone or by mail). cleanups. Recently, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress would Related to the ﬁrst 3 actions, the ﬁxed-route pass an economic recovery bill worth at least $600 billion containing major providers are now formalizing an agreement elements proposed by President-elect Obama by his inauguration on January 20th. SLOCOG staff will continue to monitor progress on this important with the RTA on revenue-sharing. The legislation and will present changes and updates at the January Board meeting. common thread is to improve and For more information contact Ronald De Carli at 781-4251 or Mike Harmon at modernize fare collection, while dropping 781-5724. the old “regional transfer pass” policy. The Study Executive Summary is posted at Thank you to All Jurisdictions www.slocog.org. The full study report will be available in January 2009 on the web Thank you all City and County staff jumped into action and quickly helped site by contacting Eliane Guillot at eguillot@ compile an inventory of ready-to-go projects for the Federal Economic slocog.org or 805-781-5711. Recovery List. Projects total more than $368 Million in the region! -3- Commuter Corner Rideshare Week Green Awards Program The San Luis Obispo County Green Awards is a program that identiﬁes six businesses, organizations or individuals as the leaders in environmental stewardship in San Luis Obispo County. As an active member of the San Luis Obispo County Green Awards Program, Rideshare helped select six winners out of 50 submitted nominations for the 2008 awards ceremony. On Thursday, November 13th the winners were announced and awarded at a San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The 2008 San Luis Obispo County Green Awards Winners are: Growing Grounds Farm, Habitat of Humanity for San Luis Obispo County, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, Meathead Movers, Poor Richard’s Press and Wolff Vineyards. Rideshare will Rideshare Week, October 20-24, encouraged individuals continue to work with the committee to grow and strengthen the to bus, bike, carpool, vanpool or walk to work instead of program. driving alone. This annual Rideshare event used pledge forms as a way to track involvement and award incentives. During the campaign, 779 pledges were received, effectively reducing 18,299 drive alone vehicle miles and an estimated $2,378 in oil consumption. Rideshare would like to thank all of the individuals who supported our goal by pledging to leave their car behind, or share the ride. As Rideshare, Air Pollution Control District (APCD) and SLO a result, we were able to create cleaner air, reduce road Transit launched an online bus trip planner over Thanksgiving congestion and reduce our county’s reliance on foreign oil. weekend. Google Transit allows users to enter their starting In addition to the successful support, Rideshare received and ending location online and receive walking, transit and 70 pledges from individuals who had never used an driving directions. Individuals can now plan their bus trips in alternative to driving alone before the event. the City of San Luis Obispo by going to www.google.com/transit or visiting www.rideshare.org and clicking on the Trip Planning To market the event, Rideshare used several forms of media including newspaper advertising, radio, television, link. Once starting and ending points are entered, users are community calendars, newsletters, emails and press shown an interactive map that indicates the nearest stop, route releases. Rideshare also hosted events for Rideshare information and timeline. Week including a booth at SLO Farmers Market, transit outreach, breakfast on the Bicycle Boulevard, a Vanpool As the lead for the project, Rideshare will be helping users with Decorating Contest and pedestrian outreach. Thank you to questions and maintain the system data moving forward. the wonderful sponsors who helped us spread the Peace, Love, Rideshare during Rideshare Week including Air SLO Transit was the ﬁrst transit operator in the county to Pollution Control District, New Times, SLO Transit, Ride- volunteer time and data for the online trip planner. Rideshare On, Sycamore Mineral Springs, Tolosa Press, Central Coast Outdoors, Regional Transit Authority, Enterprise is in the process of getting the other ﬁxed route operators Vanpool, Cal Poly, Big Sky Café, Black Horse Coffee, onboard to create a comprehensive online transit tool for the Trader Joes, Boo Boo Records and It’s a Grind Coffee. entire county. Without county wide involvement, Google Transit cannot reach its full potential and usability. TripLink and Rideshare Websites Rideshare would like to congratulate the County of San Luis Obispo for your commitment to not driving alone. Rideshare would also like to thank you for measuring your commute success in Rideshare’s online tool, TripLink. TripLink at rideshare.org is the county’s only tool that effectively measures the reduction in vehicle miles, carbon emissions and vehicle trips as a result of using bike, walk, carpool, vanpool, bus and telecommute. Rideshare will continue to encourage individuals to record their trip reduction efforts in TripLink so that we, as a county, can celebrate our accomplishments and encourage others to participate in creating cleaner air, reducing road congestion and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. Listed below is data from TripLink, rideshare.org and our toll free number 541-CARS. Rideshare uses this information to analyze awareness of Rideshare programs and services. By comparing this data to factors such as gas prices, Rideshare campaigns and program outreach, Rideshare can better determine its effect on the community of San Luis Obispo. • Number of users in TripLink from 1/1/08-10/31/08: 2,667 • Number of visits to the rideshare.org homepage during 10/08: 4,797 • Number of calls to 541-CARS during 9/08-10/08: 1,076 -4- 2008 State Legislative Notes Bus On Shoulder Concept Explored SLOCOG staff explored how to increase capacity on Highway 101 during peak hour congestion. Bus Only AB 1252 (Cabalerro) State Park Development - rovides an additional Shoulders are one way to increase capacity on highways. $100 million Regional Planning, Housing and Inﬁll grants, and $50 SLOCOG board approved pursuing funding for a grant million Transit Oriented Development grants to cities, counties and to explore this and other Bus Rapid Transit concepts in regional agencies. the region. AB 1358 (Leno) Circulation Elements “Complete Streets” - Beginning in 2011, circulation elements must plan for a multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of streets, roads and highways deﬁned to include motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, seniors, movers of commercial goods, and users of public transportation. AB 2045 (De La Torre) Urban Forestry and Global Warming Solutions - Authorizes the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to implement a program in urban forestry using $20 million provided in Proposition 84 (2006) and use welfare-to-work participants, members of the California Conservation Corps or, and inmates and wards assigned to conservation camps to implement the program. SB 375 (Steinberg) Transportation planning & Sustainable Communities Strategy - Requires the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to adopt guidelines for travel models, and requires Regional Transportation Plans (RTP) to include a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) that Regional Transportation Plan meets reductions in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 and 2035 as provided by the Air Resources Board by September 30, 2010. Further SLOCOG Staff continue to develop the next RTP requires that the ARB update these targets every ﬁve years until update. Mobility 2030 will be a 20 year plan for 2050. Provides a process for stakeholder input into development of the regional greenhouse gas reduction targets and requires the ARB transportation growth and development in the region. to adopt reduction targets for each region by September 30, 2010. (For This plan will consider SB 375 and pursue ways to complete assessment of the bill see SLOCOG Agenda October 2008, reduce greenhouse gas emissions though good land item B-2. use and transportation planning. For more information about the RTP update contact SLOCOG staff will be working with local jurisdictions to implement these Rich Murphy at 781-5754. bills in 2009. For more information contact Mike Harmon at 781-5724 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Recent Ribbon Cuttings Local Street & Roads Maintenance Needs and Capital Projects Continue to Grow! 1. Grover Beach celebrated completion of the new South $293M is needed to bring out streets up to standard. County Transportation Center, Phase 1 on November 14, 2008. In general, from 2006 to 2008 the overall condition of all streets and roads in the region has declined slightly, as follows: 2. Route 1/Harmony Valley Rd intersection channelization project completed in November. • Total miles rated “bad” increased by 9 miles (8.6%) from 105 to 114 miles. • Total miles rated “poor” increased by 108 miles (8%) from 135 to 263 mi. 3. Route 1/ Morro Bay Blvd Roundabout in Morro Bay • Total miles rated “fair” declined by 43 miles (9%) from 479 to 436 miles. nearly complete. • Total miles rated “good or /best” declined by 105 miles (10.5%) from 1,000 4. Highway 101 Southbound Auxilliary Lane in Shell Beach to 895 miles. completed. This project was originally programmed in 1998. Improvement Costs - The estimated cost of all road maintenance, 5. Highway 101, Del Campo Road Southbound rehabilitation or reconstruction needed to bring the average Pavement decelleration lane completed. Condition Index (PCI) roads in the County and each of the seven cities up to the locally adopted standard during the next ten years is about $293 million, an overall increase of about $84 million from $209 million estimated in 2006. Arroyo Grande will celebrate the relinquishment of Branch Street from the State During the past two few years most local agencies have provided more of California to the City of Arroyo Grande on funding than previously. The County of San Luis Obispo and the Cities Sunday January 4th, 2009. The event starts at of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo noon with the Dedication and Ribbon Cutting at provided signiﬁcantly more local funds. 1 pm. For more information contact Michael Harmon at 781-5724 or send an Congratulations Arroyo Grande! email to email@example.com. -5- Down the Road.... The next scheduled meeting of the SLOCOG Board will be held in the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors’ Chambers Wednesday, January 7, 2009. The Board meetings are broadcast live and replayed on Channel 21 (Charter Communications Cable TV). Individuals wishing accessibility accommodations at this meeting, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), may request such accommodations to aid hearing, visual, or mobility impairment by contacting SLOCOG ofﬁces at 781-4219. Please note that 48 hours advance notice will be necessary to honor your request. President – John Shoals (Grover Beach) Vice President – Bruce Gibson (District 2 Supervisor) All SLOCOG board meetings agendas and staff reports are available online at www.slocog.org. If you would prefer Arroyo Grande – Tony Ferrara, Mayor to receive the newsletter in email format, contact Aida Atascadero – Tom O’Malley, Council member Nicklin at 781-4292. Morro Bay – Janice Peters, Mayor SLOCOG Board Meetings for 2009 will be: Paso Robles – Fred Strong, Council member Pismo Beach – Mary Ann Reiss, Mayor • January 7 San Luis Obispo – Dave Romero, Mayor • February 4 Ex-Ofﬁcio, Richard Krumholz –Director, Caltrans District 5 • April 8 District 1 Supervisor – Harry Ovitt • June 3 District 3 Supervisor – Jerry Lenthall • August 5 District 4 Supervisor – Katcho Achadjian • October 7 District 5 Supervisor - James Patterson • December 2 Executive Director – Ronald De Carli SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS 1150 Osos Street, Suite 202 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 www.slocog.org The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) is an area wide planning and programming agency for issues of area wide concern. SLOCOG is also the federal-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the state-designated Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA), the Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (SAFE), and the Census Data Afﬁliate (CDA) for the San Luis Obispo region.