UC ITS Innovative Mobility Roundtable
March 8, 2019
MTC staff welcomed a delegation of transportation stakeholders hosted by the University of Californian Institute of Transportation Studies – Berkeley; in partnership with the California Air Resources Board and California Transportation Commission. The round table addressed the rise in new transportation technologies, service and innovations, with a particular focus on automated vehicles. Participants included members of academia, environmental justice interests, state and local government and the private sector. With the staff’s work on Horizon and other efforts looking to the future, participation in such forums is a helpful opportunity to share ideas and learn what the industry is considering in this rapidly shifting arena.
MTC/ABAG Legislative visit to Washington DC
March 11-13, 2019
Commissioners Amy Worth, Nick Josefowitz and ABAG Executive Board member Julie Pierce led our annual visit to the Capitol. In person meetings were made to several of the Bay Area delegation in the House and Senate, and conversations were had with transportation industry group representatives. The key theme was preparation for FAST Act Reauthorization, as well as continued deliberations on a possible Infrastructure funding package. On Tuesday, MTC and SCAG hosted a reception for California representatives, their staffs, and our transportation agency partners, with a much appreciated keynote from House T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio. The last day included my participation as part of panel before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, of House T&I, where I testified on the importance of Metropolitan Planning Organizations in the planning and investment of our critical multimodal transport systems. Many thanks to Rebecca Long, Randy Rentschler and our DC lobbyist Tom Bulger for a successful visit once again!
Cities Association of Santa Clara County
March 14, 2019
As reported at the Joint MTC and ABAG legislative committee on March 8th, there has been concentrated and continuing outreach with local government following the release of the CASA compact proposals, and subsequent major activity on housing legislation in the State Capitol. On March 8th, Brad Paul and I were invited to meet with the Cities Association of Santa Clara County, hosted by the City of Sunnyvale. We followed a presentation and discussion led by State Senator Jerry Hill, who covered a number of topics including the flurry of housing related proposals. I had a good, productive conversation among the mayors and other representatives present — one that I hope continues with partners across the region as we collectively tackle the issues (and opportunities) of transportation and housing.
Governor Releases Details on Housing Funding & Conditioning of Transportation Funds
Governor Newsom recently released a draft budget trailer bill to implement the $750 million housing incentive funding proposed in his budget. Of this total, $250 million would be distributed by a formula based on population for local and regional housing planning, with very broad eligibility criteria for expenditures. Of that amount, the region would receive $46 million, with $23 million allocated directly to individual cities and counties and $23 million to ABAG, which could be used to fund any combination of regional housing planning and additional local planning efforts. Another $500 million would be available for a new Production and Process Improvement Reward Program that would be distributed to regions based on their share of annual housing targets that HCD would develop. The Bay Area’s share of Reward Program funds would come directly to ABAG for disbursement to reward progress local jurisdictions make on meeting housing goals, based on a methodology ABAG would develop. The trailer bill also would require ABAG to develop a new regional action plan related to short term housing targets and long term housing goals. Finally the bill would authorize, but not require, withholding of local street and road funds from any jurisdiction that does not have a compliant housing element and has not zoned or entitled for its annual housing goals, pursuant to its most recent Regional Housing Needs Allocation.
April will be very busy in Sacramento as policy committees take up hundreds of bills introduced in each house before the April 26th deadline for fiscal bills to be heard in a policy committee. Non-fiscal bills have until May 3rd to be heard in policy committee. To stay active in 2019, fiscal bills must then be approved by the appropriations committee and sent to the Assembly or Senate floor by May 17. On the federal side, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is already beginning to solicit ideas for the reauthorization of the nation’s current surface transportation authorization bill, the FAST Act, which expires on October 1, 2020.