Blog

Forward Motion, November 2015

Mobility 21 to Co-host Holiday Reception Honoring
California Transportation Commission

Please join the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Inland Action, Mobility 21, Monday Morning Group, RCTC and SANBAG on Wednesday, Dec. 9 for a holiday reception honoring the California Transportation Commission (CTC).

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The Atrium at the Riverside County Administrative Center

Registration
$25 Private Sector
$10 Public Sector, Nonprofits, Students, Elected Officials

Sponsorship
$500: Includes logo on event marketing and one complimentary ticket
$250 (small businesses and nonprofits only): Includes company name on event marketing and one complimentary ticket


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Fran Inman 
Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Majestic Realty Co.

Fran Inman directs government relations and community affairs activities for Majestic Realty Co., one of the nation’s largest privately held real estate development companies. With a real estate portfolio totaling approximately 70 million square feet of commercial properties, Majestic Realty has offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Bethlehem, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas.

Fran is past chair of the board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. Fran also serves on the board of governors for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and as the vice chair for the California Business Properties Association (CBPA). Fran is also a founding board member of FuturePorts and a member of Inland Action and is on the Advisory Board of Mobility 21. She is also a long-time member of the Coalition of America’s Gateway Trade Corridors and Southern California Council of Governments (SCAG) recently honored Fran as 2013 Business Leader of the Year.

Fran is recognized as a leader in the push to improve the nation’s failing transportation infrastructure. With Majestic properties playing a critical role in the supply chain, Fran is an outspoken advocate for transportation infrastructure funding in Los Angeles and beyond. Widely recognized for her leadership and ability to develop solutions and build consensus, Fran possesses a unique portfolio of skills that combine a profound understanding of the balance required to build sustainable communities. Fran was recently re-appointed by Governor Brown to the California Transportation Commission where she has served since 2010. In 2013, Fran was also appointed to the National Freight Advisory Committee and co-chairs the sub-committee on project delivery and operations.

Also recognized as a leader in the philanthropic community, Fran is the founding president of the Majestic Realty Foundation. Established in 2002, the Majestic Realty Foundation provides grants and other support to various charitable community partners that work the areas of youth, family, education, health, and violence prevention in the communities where Majestic Realty Co. does business.

Equally passionate about her role in the nonprofit sector, Fran focuses her leadership efforts to help expand capacity and build coalitions with the organizations that serve at-risk and under-served neighborhoods. Fran further demonstrates her commitment to active community engagement through her service as board member of THINK Together, a nationally-recognized non-profit providing extended learning programs that serve more than 100,000 at-risk and low-income students daily across California.

Fran serves on the board of directors for Three Square, the regional food bank in Las Vegas, Nevada, the board of trustees for the University of Redlands, the Charitable Division Advisory Board for the QueensCare Health & Faith Partnership as well as the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Advisory Board.

A graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Fran holds both a BA and a MBA in finance. In 2010, Fran was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Woodbury University. She and her husband Ron have three adult children – Chris (and Emily) Fran (Denver, CO); Kelly (and Todd) Rohs (Ft. Collins, CO) and Melinda Fran (Wheaton, IL) – and the delight of her life, granddaughters Katherine, Caroline, and Claire Fran (Denver, CO).


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Dina Rochford
Principal, Leighton

Dina Rochford was born and raised in Orange County and has been an active participant in Orange County politics for over 25 years. She is a well-known leader in the engineering community and has focused her career primarily in transportation. In her current position as a Principal for Leighton, Dina’s success is built upon her local knowledge and the relationships she has developed throughout her career. In addition to her role at Leighton, she is very active in her professional community. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Governors for the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)—California; is a board member for the Orange County Chapter of ACEC; is an Advisory Board Member of Mobility 21; and is an active member is all Southern California chapters of WTS. Dina is often asked to speak as an expert in her field and participates in mentoring programs to help upcoming professionals in the industry.

Professional Experience

  • Leighton Group, Inc., 1996-present. Dina maintains and develops business for Leighton. In this work, she tracks regional transportation, public works, commercial and industrial projects. She works as liaison between the firm’s technical project managers, clients, and agencies. Based in Irvine, Dina has responsibility for the firm’s business development throughout Southern California, in Orange, Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Kern and Imperial Counties.
  • Chair, Public Works Commission, City of Huntington Beach, 1997-2004. Appointed by Mayor Pam Julien and the City Council, Dina served in an advisory capacity to the City Council of Huntington Beach on all matters regarding the City’s transportation and water/waste water infrastructure.
  • Aide to Irvine’s Mayor Christina Shea, 1994-2000. Working closely with Mayor Shea, Dina was an advisor on regional issues. She helped negotiate land and entitlement deals with The Irvine Company and other local developers. She was involved with the El Toro Reuse Planning Authority (the ETRPA, comprised of representatives of the cities of Irvine, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita). Dina also assisted in the development of a plan for an alternate site for Musick Jail, and worked on regional transportation issues. Serving as a liaison to Irvine residents, Dina worked closely with South Orange County elected officials and the OC Board of Supervisors.
  • Senior Staff Assistant to Congressman Chris Cox of Newport Beach 1988-1996. Staff Assistant in charge of all tax and military issues including the closure of both MCAS Tustin and El Toro. Regularly attended meetings of the ETRPA and El Toro Citizens Advisory Commission. Acted as local liaison to elected officials and constituents when Congressman Cox was in Washington, DC. Dina spoke on behalf of the Congressman and wrote correspondence for him. In the course of supporting Congressman Cox, Dina developed close relationships with numerous constituencies. Congressman Cox represented: Irvine, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and Orange.

Education

  • B.A., Political Science, University of California, Irvine

A Gold Line train heads over the eastbound 210 toward Arcadia Station. Photo Credit: Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority

Metro Announces Opening Date for
Foothill Gold Line

On Oct. 22, Phillip A. Washington, CEO for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), announced that the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Project, the very first rail line funded and built thanks to the 2008 Measure R countywide sales tax, will officially open to the public on Saturday, March 5, 2016.

The $1 billion project will extend the Metro Gold Line from its current terminus at Sierra Madre Villa Station approximately 12 miles east to Azusa, with new station stops at Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte/City of Hope, Irwindale, Azusa Downtown and APU/Citrus College. The line is anticipated to carry 13,600 riders on a daily basis, with trains operating every 12 minutes during peak hours.

“The opening of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension will bring Metro Rail to new San Gabriel Valley communities, and provide a relief valve for the increasingly congested 210 freeway,” said LA County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Its opening is a significant milestone: Metro is delivering on its promise to lead a transit revolution. Work is well underway to add four additional rail lines and a total of 32 new miles of service to L.A. County’s rail system in the coming years.”

The rail extension was built by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, an independent transportation planning and construction agency. The line took five years to build, with major construction completed in September 2015.

“Our testing and training process before we open any rail line is a big part of making safety Metro’s number one priority,” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO. “But once the Gold Line Extension opens to the public in March it will be yet another example of our regional investment in transforming transportation across this region.”

Metro has now accepted delivery of the rail line extension, and will require the next several months to complete rigorous pre-revenue service to ensure the line is safe and ready for operation. This precursor work is critically important for the successful launch of the rail line. Metro is testing the line, training operators, supervisors and maintenance personnel, and will conduct extensive community outreach to help keep pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists safe around passing trains.

For example, Metro will test its fleet of brand new Kinkisharyo train cars as part of its pre-revenue service operations. The brand new P3010 train cars will seat 68 passengers and are highly advanced stainless steel vehicles specifically designed to support Metro’s complex system expansion needs. Metro has already begun operating several Kinkisharyo test trains on the alignment, and will accelerate train testing in preparation for the opening. New rail cars must be tested and run through a “burn-in” process, with each car needing to run on the tracks for 1,500 miles.

In addition to the trains themselves, Metro also will test 23 miles of new train track. Tracks traverse 24 bridges and 14 at-grade street crossings. Metro must also test power and substation components in a simulated revenue service environment. Integrated testing will ensure that all systems, from power, communications, signals, and grade crossings are all operating successfully.

What’s more, on July 24 of this year, Metro accepted the new $265 million 24-acre operations facility in Monrovia that will house up to 84 light rail vehicles. Nearly 200 employees are scheduled to work at this single facility that will operate on a 24/7 basis.

During these pre-revenue testing and training operations, the public is advised to “Stop, Look and Listen” as test trains begin moving regularly through San Gabriel Valley communities for the very first time. Motorists are encouraged to be alert and watch for the presence of trains. Drivers should keep clear of closed crossing gates and look both ways before crossing the tracks. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists should adhere to all posted “No Right Turn on Red” signs.

Metro has posted 24 safety ambassadors along the alignment from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to help people cross safely. Ambassadors are retired bus and rail operators who are fully trained in safety rules and regulations. They will assist pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists at crossings, answer safety questions, observe unsafe situations and report safety-related issues to the agency.


Sebastian celebrates his fifth birthday with a Toll Road-themed party.

Five-Year-Old Toll Road Fan Enjoys The Drive

The Toll Roads of Orange County recently launched a new creative campaign, “Enjoy the Drive,” that highlights the reasons people drive The Toll Roads – a stress-free drive on open roads and predictable commutes.

With more than 735,000 FasTrak® and ExpressAccount® customers, there is sure to be many more reasons to Enjoy The Drive. Anticipation of hearing the FasTrak transponder beep? Not seeing any red tail lights? Or how about counting down the numbered exits to your favorite destination?

Meet Sebastian – a just-turned-5-year old from Newport Beach who loves all things transportation – roads, bridges, signs, toll plazas and the 73 Toll Road.

As Sebastian’s fifth birthday approached, his mom, Briana Vartanian, asked him what theme he wanted and his answer came as no surprise – at least not to his family – The Toll Roads.

As mom puts it, Sebastian is fascinated with engineering and he fell in love with the 73 Toll Road when he started preschool last year at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano. As a FasTrak accountholder for 12 years, the 73 Toll Road was a no-brainer for their daily commute to and from school.

Driving the 73 Toll Road multiple times a day, five days a week, Sebastian grew to learn, familiarize and literally Enjoy The Drive on The Toll Roads. He’s studied the map, locations of ramps and toll plazas, and with his stop watch, tracks how long it takes to get to and from school and compares the data from day to day. And if you ask Sebastian which exit is his favorite; well number 12 of course, because that’s where he takes his golf lessons.

As the party planning began, TCA’s Communications department received one of its most unique calls to-date – party favors for a toll road themed birthday party. We were happy to participate and thrilled someone outside the office shares a passion for the roads as much as staff. We sent a handful of giveaways and favors and could hardly wait to see the party’s pictures.

Briana spent two months planning Sebastian’s transportation and highway themed birthday party creating custom cupcake toppers with The Toll Roads logo and center pieces highlighting each Toll Road in Orange County. She also hired a balloon artist to create a custom arch – or pseudo toll plaza – complete with The Toll Roads signs overhead. The icing on the cake, all of Sebastian’s friends painted their own version of the Interstate 5 highway sign because Sebastian was turning five, just like the I-5.

Sebastian’s enthusiasm for The Toll Roads gives us at The Transportation Corridor Agencies reason to smile. We realize our 51-miles of open road don’t just offer you nonstop driving, it provides you a choice to get home to your family faster, be the first to arrive to work on a Monday morning, and simply, Enjoy The Drive.

Sebastian sounds like every transportation agency’s dream customer, you can read more about his story featured in IBTTA’s Tolling Points publication and the Los Angeles Times.

Happy Birthday, Sebastian, and cheers to many more happy moments on The Toll Roads of Orange County!


Congress Reaches Deal on Transportation Bill

On Tuesday, Lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate announced they have reached an agreement on a compromise highway bill that would extend federal transportation funding for five years. The bill, known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST), is expected to be passed by Friday, Dec. 4 – the date transportation funding is set to expire. FAST calls for approximately $205 billion on highways and $48 billion on transit projects over the next five years. Click here to read more.

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Go Human Campaign
Launches in Southern California

Across Southern California, the nature of our streets and the types of travel on them is changing dramatically. Bicycling is growing in popularity and the expansion of transit and explosion of new mobility services, like Uber and Lyft, means more people are walking and biking to make connections. However, as more people bicycle and walk, safety for these modes becomes increasingly important. In the region in 2013, 26 percent and 5 percent of all traffic fatalities were pedestrians and bicyclists, respectively.

Funded by a $2.3 million grant from the 2014 California Active Transportation Program, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and its partners launched Go Human, a campaign to promote traffic safety and encourage people to walk or bike. Go Human is a reminder to all that people on the road are not just objects that get in our way – they are human beings. In late September 2015, messaging encouraging drivers to slow down and look for pedestrians and cyclists was distributed across all six counties in both English and Spanish. Advertisements appeared on local transit buses, bus shelters, Facebook, Pandora and local radio stations throughout the region. The launch date coincided with the decline in daylight hours, a period when bicycle and pedestrian collisions peak during the year.

Go Human is a collaborative effort with County Transportation Commissions, county health departments and local cities and jurisdictions across the region. SCAG has worked with partners to expand the initial advertising purchases through partner newsletters, advertisements on websites, posters in local facilities and on social media. Partners like the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works donated advertising space at 100 bus shelters. SCAG is encouraging other cities and entities to join in the campaign and all the digital files are now available for co-branding. For more information on how to participate, please contact Julia Lippe-Klein at lippe-klein@scag.ca.gov. SCAG’s funding also includes the production of toolkits and trainings to promote active transportation and the implementation of open streets and temporary events starting in Spring 2016. For more information on the campaign, visit http://www.gohumansocal.org.


Click here to view full-size map.

Express Lanes confirmed as Locally Preferred Alternative for Interstate 10 in San Bernardino County

Interstate 10 is a critical transportation corridor through San Bernardino County used by residents, businesses and visitors. It also serves as a major trucking route moving containerized goods between Southern California and the rest of the country. Up to 263,000 vehicles and more than 20,000 trucks travel through this corridor each day.

After years of evaluating alternatives for the future of this important piece of the transportation puzzle in San Bernardino County, the SANBAG Board of Directors voted on Nov. 4 to reconfirm the addition of two Express Lanes as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the ongoing Environmental studies. This action held up a previously designated LPA by the Board back in July 2014. Key features of the Express Lanes alternative are:

  • Traffic Management
  • Added Capacity
  • Choice
  • Equity
  • Funding

An extensive public outreach effort was conducted in an attempt to inform as many members of the public as possible regarding the proposed improvements and to garner input on perceived challenges with the various alternatives. The public outreach effort included more than 130 community briefings, social media sharing, dedicated websites, and regular meetings with three Community Advisory Groups representing the West Valley, East Valley and High Desert communities.

Moving forward, the public is encouraged to continue to participate in the development of these improvements. Public hearings for review and comment on the Environmental reports will be scheduled for the early part of 2016. Details about the project and how to participate in these hearings can be found on the project website at www.1015projects.com.


Transportation Events in the Community

Dec. 2-4
Caltrans, SCAG, UCLA: California Transportation Planning Conference
More info | Register

Thursday, Dec. 3
WTS-OC: Annual Awards & Scholarships Gala
More info | Register

Thursday, Dec. 3
CMAA: Breakfast of Champions – METRO $36 Billion Highway Program Update
More info | Register

Tuesday, Dec. 8
SCAG: California Gold – Partnerships for Cap-And-Trade Success
More info | Register

Wednesday, Dec. 9
CTC Riverside Reception
More info | Register

Monday, Dec. 14
SDHDA, ASCE, WTS, APWA and ITE: Joint Holiday Lunch
More info | Register

Wednesday, Dec. 16
ACEC-OC: Preparing for El Nino Luncheon
More info | Register

Thursday, Dec. 17
COMTO: Seminar – Partnering and Building on Major Projects
More info | Register

Wednesday, Jan. 20
WTS-IE: 11th Annual Scholarship and Awards
More info | Register

Thursday, Jan. 28
IEEP: Annual Dinner 2016
More info | Register

Thursday, Feb. 4
CMAA: Owners’ Night
More info | Register

Thursday, Feb. 25
IEEP: 3rd Annual Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards Reception
More info | Register

Thursday, March 24
IEEP: State of the Region
More info | Register

Thursday, April 21
CMAA SoCal: Annual Awards Gala
More info

Thursday, April 28
IEEP and Drucker School: Logistics Summit
More info

Friday, May 20
ACEC Riverside-San Bernardino: Golf Tournament
More info

Friday, Oct. 21
2016 Mobility 21 Summit, Disneyland Hotel

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