Regional leaders from Southern California highlight collaboration to improve transportation
ANAHEIM, Calif. — National infrastructure experts joined forces today at the Mobility 21 Summit to seek strategies to develop regionally connected transportation solutions, reduce time spent in traffic and increase options for Southern California’s traveling public.
More than 1,000 transportation, business and elected leaders convened at the Disneyland Hotel for the 13th annual Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit. The annual conference, which is the largest one-day transportation event in the state, focuses on bringing together leaders from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to address the challenges and opportunities facing Southern California’s transportation infrastructure.
“The strength of Mobility 21 is in the organization’s regional coordination between all seven counties in Southern California,” said Paul Granillo, President & CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and Chairman of Mobility 21. “Our collaboration with public and private sectors focuses on making the region a better place by improving all modes of transportation.”
By working together as a unified front in Sacramento, the Mobility 21 region has helped secure critical transportation milestones, including:
- Unlimited design-build authority for highway projects – an innovative contracting method that can save time and money on complex construction jobs;
- Repayment of state transportation funds that were borrowed during bad budget years; and
- Expansion of express lanes in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside counties.
During his welcome remarks at the Summit, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti highlighted major transportation improvements underway, but stressed the need to continue investing in transportation.
“Traffic doesn’t care about borders, so we need to work together as a region to expand our transportation options and help people get around more easily,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “That’s why we’re undergoing one of the biggest transportation projects in the country and leveraging those investments to access new funding opportunities and continue building for the future.”
During the Summit, conference attendees learned about concepts being proposed to overcome Southern California’s transportation challenges, including: harnessing the power of new technology; alternative project delivery; mileage-based user fees; tolling and enhanced transit systems. Leaders also called on legislators to implement reforms and innovations to make much-needed improvements to Southern California’s transportation infrastructure.
“Whether it’s focusing on a fix-it-first approach to protect and preserve the assets we have, making dramatic investments in diverse modes, such as in high speed rail and pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure, or encouraging frank professional assessments of our own operations, we’re trying to split from business as usual. Business as usual will not suffice as we balance our limited transportation dollars and our prodigious needs,” said Brian Kelly, Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency. “Today’s transportation challenges require innovation, reform and strong partnerships to get the job done for Californians. We’re making changes—like Caltrans’ new mission, vision and goals—necessary to modernize our transportation system.”
Mobility 21 presented awards to several transportation leaders for their efforts to keep the region moving:
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Hon. Henry A. Waxman, Representative, U.S. House of Representatives (in absentia)
- Public Sector Leader of the Year: Hon. Dianne Feinstein, Senator, U.S Senate (in absentia)
- Public Sector Leader of the Year: Hon. Tom Daly, Assemblymember, California State Assembly
- Private Sector Leader of the Year: Hon. Richard Katz, Principal, Richard Katz Consulting, Inc.
- Outstanding Service Award: Marnie O’Brien Primmer, Director of Strategic Business Development, Transpo Group
For more information about the conference, visit the event website: http://mobility21.com/2014summit/conference-schedule
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