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Transportation Funding

Recommendations for Gas-Tax-Funded Programs Announced

California Transportation Commission will consider adoption of staff recommendations for Solutions for Congested Corridors, Trade Corridors Enhancement, and Local Partnership programs at their June meeting.

Proposed Class I Proposed pathway along San Leandro Street in Oakland as part of the East Bay Greenway, recommended for $39 from the Solutions for Congested Corridors program

California Transportation Commission staff have released their recommendations for the third funding cycle for programs established by Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The recommendations include $1.7 billion for investments in three programs: Solutions for Congested Corridors, Trade Corridors Enhancement, and Local Partnership programs.

Notably this is the first time that the CTC's recently formed Interagency Equity Advisory Committee participated in the evaluation of projects. This is also the first program cycle to incorporate the principles of the state’s Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI).

Solutions for Congested Corridors

The Solutions for Congested Corridors recommendations will fund ten projects for a little over $500 million (from a list of 24 requests for more than $1.5 billion). This program is supposed to "achieve a balanced set of transportation, environmental, and community access improvements to reduce congestion throughout the state." The extensive process that went into formulating the program and its guidelines was aimed at making sure it was not a source of highway widening funds but to "provide more transportation choices while preserving the character of local communities and creating opportunities for neighborhood enhancement."

The grants are also supposed to award comprehensive planning and partnership between local, regional, and state agencies. State highway "improvements" are eligible, but the funds cannot be used to build general purpose lanes or capacity-increasing projects except for "high-occupancy vehicle lanes, managed lanes, and other non-general-purpose lane improvements for safety and/or operational improvements for all modes of travel."

In Southern California, the recommendations include $32 million for the I-405 Corridor Community bus service improvement program, including bus boarding islands along Venice Blvd and electric buses for the North San Fernando Valley.
These are part of L.A. Metro's I-405 Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan.

Also recommended:

Trade Corridor Enhancement Program

The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program recommendations include a little over $1 million for 26 projects. This program is supposed to fund a wide range of infrastructure improvements along heavily used freight corridors in the state, including to solve "throughput, velocity, and reliability" as well as "congestion reduction."

The staff recommendations include port upgrades, managed lanes on I-10 and on I-5 in Sacramento, hydrogen fueling stations, and others.

Local Partnership Program

Staff recommended funding eleven projects, for $142 million, under the Local Partnership Program competitive portion. This program was set up to provide funding to local jurisdictions that tax themselves to pay for local transportation system improvements. These funds can be used for roadway improvements, active transportation projects, and transit and rail projects. Sixty percent of these funds are distributed by formula - so a set amount per jurisdiction - and forty percent go through a statewide competition.

A few of the projects recommended:

The staff recommendations will be taken up for approval by California Transportation Commissioners at their meeting on June 28 and 29.

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