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					News from the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments                                                           Vol. XVIII Issue II, December 2008

1150 Osos Street, Ste 202, SLO, CA 93401                                           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

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.   

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.    
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 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
  A pamphlet summarizing the document will be developed for wide distribution.
  For more information contact Geoffrey Chiapella at 781-5190

         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,
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
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 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 or 805-781-5711.                                                      Recovery List.
                                                              Projects total more than $368 Million in the region!

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
                                                                or visiting 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 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, 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 homepage during 10/08: 4,797
•   Number of calls to 541-CARS during 9/08-10/08: 1,076

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
                                                                                                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
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

                        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 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

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.