Blog

Forward Motion, January 2020

Mobility 21 to Host Sacramento Legislative Reception

Please join the Mobility 21 Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members in honoring California’s transportation leaders at a reception in Sacramento.

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Citizen Hotel
926 J Street, Sacramento

Sponsor the Event
$1,000: Includes complimentary attendance for three and logo on promotional materials and signage at the event
$500 (open to registered small businesses and nonprofits only): Includes complimentary attendance for one and logo on promotional materials and signage at the event

Contact Kristin Slocum to sponsor the event.

Registration
$65 Private Sector
$35 Public Sector/Nonprofit
Elected Officials and Elected Staff complimentary

 


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
John Hakel
Executive Director
Southern California Partnership for Jobs

John Hakel is the Executive Director at Southern California Partnership for Jobs, comprised of 2750 constructions firms who employ more than 90,000 union workers in the 12 counties of Southern California. Their mission is to engage elected officials and educate the public on the need for continued infrastructure funding, creating thousands of career construction jobs in our communities.

He is a member of the Southern California Associations of Governments; Inland Empire Economic Partnership; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce; Orange County Business Council; Advisory Board Member of Mobility 21 and is currently serving on the Los Angeles Community College District Oversight Committee.

Since 2016, John has established personal working relationships with the California Transportation Commission, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and Riverside County Transportation Commission. He was among the top leaders in the local passage of Measure M in LA County, which created 485,000 jobs and decades of work for the construction industry. His involvement with the passage of SB1 Statewide transportation initiative created 5.2 Billion dollars of infrastructure improvements that will provide construction careers for our men and women throughout California for over the next 10 years.

Under John’s leadership, Southern California Partnership for Jobs has grown from a newly established organization to a name that elected officials and the top leaders in the infrastructure world have come to recognize and want to be involved with.


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Jim McCluskie
Vice President
Moffatt & Nichol

James (Jim) McCluskie is a transportation professional with more than 30 years of engineering management and project oversight experience. As Moffatt & Nichol’s Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Jim is a key driver in expanding Moffatt & Nichol’s transportation capabilities to keep pace with client visioning in the 21st century marketplace. He also serves as Project Executive for the $1.9 billion I-405 Improvement Project and as vice president for the project’s design team, Pacific Infrastructure 405 Designers, a joint venture comprising Moffatt & Nichol, H.W. Lochner, Inc. and Arup North America Ltd.

As an active member of the Southern California business community, Jim is the current Vice-Chairman of Economic Development for the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce 2019-2020 Officers & Leadership Cabinet.

Throughout his career, Jim has actively worked on major transportation projects through design-build, public-private partnerships (P3) and design-build-finance-operate procurement methods, bringing value through his strategic management skills in long-range planning and programming. With extensive experience in business development, operations management, and project execution, Jim utilizes a hands-on leadership approach and strategic thinking to guide the firm and its team.

Prior to joining Moffatt & Nichol, Jim was a Senior Vice President with PBS&J, and, as President of AMEC Infrastructure, he managed offices throughout North America.

Headquartered in Long Beach, California and operating out of 26 offices throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Rim, Moffatt & Nichol’s expansive practice supports the larger demands of the goods movement industry globally.


Get to Know Your Line Letters!

You have probably already noticed Metro’s transition to the A Line (Blue) and E Line (Expo), and the brand new signage on the A Line. The rest of its rail lines are now following suit.

The plan is for all Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transit stations to have updated permanent signage with line letter names within the next few years. During the transition, riders may see both color and letter symbols throughout the system.

The service colors in use will remain the same. Metro will also use a transitional naming system using both the letter and the color to refer to the line, as in the graphic to the right. For example: A Line (Blue). This transitional naming will eventually be phased out.

On digital platforms such as their website, digital kiosks and transit apps, you’ll start seeing changes within a few weeks. Printed material will be updated as the opportunity arises, and Metro will prioritize timetables and maps in order to keep riders informed.

The Crenshaw/LAX Line does not have a letter name at this time, staff is still working to finalize the operational plan.

The Metro Board of Directors approved an update to the naming convention in November 2018. The reasons for the update are:

  • Consistency: Consistency is the key to improving legibility, ease of use and trip information on the transit system. The previous line naming convention was not consistent.
  • Accessibility: Metro has received customer feedback that some of the colors on the map are difficult to distinguish (e.g., red/purple, blue/aqua), especially for riders who are color blind. Adding a second identifier to line names helps avoid this issue.
  • Future planning: Metro’s system is growing, which is great news, but it means that they’re running out of clearly distinguishable colors for the future line. Adding a letter as a second identifier for the line names will allow Metro to have a predictable and consistent naming system as they grow.


OCTA Selects New Chairman, Unveils 2020 Initiatives

The Orange County Transportation Authority has selected a new chairman for 2020, who along with the agency’s CEO, has set the initiatives for the year ahead.

Garden Grove Mayor Steven R. Jones was unanimously selected among his peers as the chairman of the OCTA Board of Directors, which guides transportation-improvement projects and public transit for all of Orange County.

Jones served as the OCTA board’s vice chairman for the last year. He replaces outgoing Chairman Tim Shaw, also a City Councilman from La Habra, who remains on the board representing Orange County’s Fourth District.

“OCTA’s mission to keep Orange County moving is vital to the quality of life here in our county and it’s a true honor to be chosen by my colleagues to help deliver a balanced and sustainable transportation system,” Jones said. “We are underway on several major transportation improvements, including on I-405 and, in my backyard, I’m excited to see progress on building the OC Streetcar. I’m eager to work with my colleagues and with the public to ensure these important projects efficiently move forward.”

Jones was selected as chairman at the Jan. 13 meeting. Later in the month, Jones and OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson unveiled the strategic initiatives for 2020. They include:

  • Comprehensive mobility solutions
  • Resiliency, sustainability and innovation
  • Organizational excellence
  • Fiscal accountability
  • Regional leadership and public transparency

In the year ahead, OCTA will continue work on several important transportation projects, including the $1.9 billion I-405 Improvement Project. That project is widening the freeway, adding a regular lane in each direction and a second lane in each direction at the center of the freeway to form the 405 Express Lanes, between Costa Mesa and the border with Los Angeles County.

Construction also continues on the OC Streetcar, the county’s first electric streetcar that will run just over 4 miles between the Santa Ana train station and Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove. The OC Streetcar is on track to begin testing and operations in mid-2022.

Chairman Jones has several years of experience on the OCTA board and as a leader in Orange County. He began serving on the Garden Grove City Council in 2007, and in 2016 was elected mayor. He has been on the OCTA board representing the county’s First District since 2013.

He has held various leadership roles, including this last year serving on OCTA’s Transit and Finance & Administration committees.

In his other service to the community, Jones is a past president and current board member of the Garden Grove Community Foundation, where he has served since 2007. He is also a founding board member of the Association of California Cities and is on the board of the Orange County Sanitation District.

Jones was born in Garden Grove and is a lifelong resident. He graduated in 1986 from Rancho Alamitos High School before continuing his education abroad at Kings College, Cambridge University, England in 1988. He then returned to the states and earned a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California, graduating with honors, with a dual emphasis in finance and real estate.

In his professional life, Jones is president of Olympia Capital Corporation, which he founded in 2001, specializing in real estate investment and development.

Jones and his wife, Manivone, are the proud parents of sons Jaden and Ashton.

Selected by the board to serve as vice chair was Andrew Do, also Orange County’s First District Supervisor.

The OCTA board is composed of 18 members including the five county supervisors, two members from city councils in each of the five supervisorial districts, two public members and the Caltrans District Director serves in a non-voting ex-officio capacity.


Motorists face daily traffic congestion on Interstate 15 in Temecula. Visit trafficreliefplan.org to provide feedback on RCTC’s draft plan.

Please Comment on Draft Traffic Relief Plan for Riverside County

Your voice, your plan. Residents have an opportunity to help chart a course for Riverside County’s transportation future by providing feedback on a draft Traffic Relief Plan. The plan includes a local strategy to reduce traffic bottlenecks, improve safety, and create a stronger, more sustainable economy for our communities.

Please visit TrafficReliefPlan.org to view the plan and take a short survey to voice your comments. The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) is collecting feedback through June 10.

In addition to relieving traffic, the plan promotes economic investment in the fast-growing – and often slow-moving – 7,300 square-mile county. Incentives are provided for local governments to develop infrastructure that will secure new permanent living-wage jobs in Riverside County and cut commute times.

“Too often, our residents are traveling to other counties for employment. Through incentives and a stronger transportation network, we can bring more jobs closer to home for Riverside County residents,” said RCTC Chair and Wildomar City Council Member Ben J. Benoit.

Locally-driven strategies are included in the plan to address diverse transportation needs in the Coachella Valley, the Palo Verde Valley (Blythe area) and western Riverside County.

In June, RCTC Commissioners representing every city and the full Board of Supervisors will analyze the feedback and other data to decide whether to place a half-cent per dollar sales tax measure on the November 2020 ballot for voter consideration to fund the Traffic Relief Plan.

Visit TrafficReliefPlan.org for more information and to provide feedback.


Construction Slated for Imperial Avenue
Interchange Project in Imperial County

On Jan. 13, 2020, the Imperial County Transportation Commission (ICTC) in partnership with Caltrans and the City of El Centro announced plans to begin construction on the Interstate 8 (I-8) Imperial Avenue Interchange Project in the City of El Centro late spring/early summer. The City of El Centro will also begin construction to extend Imperial Avenue south of the interchange to McCabe Road.

However, with highway construction comes traffic impacts including long-term interchange ramp closures and detours that will affect businesses and residential areas.

The two-year project will remove the existing bridge and eastbound on- and off-ramps, then reconstruct the structure and the on- and off-ramps in both directions. Construction will include a new entrance loop ramp from southbound Imperial Avenue to eastbound I-8 and create access to the City’s upcoming extension of southbound Imperial Avenue to south of I-8.

“Caltrans and our partners are working hard to update the existing interchange and create an enhanced community connection, and input from the community will help ensure improved traffic flow and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access along Imperial Avenue,” said Acting Caltrans District Director Gustavo Dallarda.

“The I-8 Imperial Avenue Interchange Project will connect the southside neighborhoods of El Centro to the north side of the city where most community services are located. We know that city traffic will be heavily impacted for some time, but ultimately the extension of Imperial Avenue will bring prosperity and benefits for generations to come. The overall result will be reduced traffic congestion at Imperial Avenue and 4th Street interchanges as well as improved traffic safety by updating the existing interchange,” said City of El Centro Mayor Efrain Silva.

“The Project has been a part of the Imperial County Long-Range Transportation Plan for over 20 years. Since 2014, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) has approved up to $42 million of ICTC’s requests to fund the environmental, design, right-of-way and construction with ICTC’s regional share of state funds,” said ICTC Chairman Robert Amparano, Mayor City of Imperial.”

Stage 1 work on the southern portion of I-8 will take eight to ten months to complete and will include closures on southbound Imperial Avenue to eastbound I-8 and eastbound I-8 to northbound Imperial Avenue. The I-8 westbound off-ramp to Imperial Avenue and westbound on-ramp from Imperial Avenue will remain open during Stage 1. Detours will be along State Route 86 (SR-86)/4th Street, Adams Avenue and Imperial Avenue.

Stage 2 work on the northern portion of I-8 is anticipated to take four to six months and will include fully closing I-8/Imperial Avenue on- and off- ramps one direction at a time long term.  Motorists will be detoured onto SR-86/4th Street to Adams Avenue at the north or southward to East Heber Road then north on State Route 111.

Nighttime full closures of the I-8/Imperial Avenue intersection will take place up to five times in the duration of the project to set up and take down falsework and tear down the old structure. Motorists will be detoured along Forrester Road, Evan Hewes Highway/Adams Avenue, and SR-86/4th Street.

The interchange project total cost is approximately $42 million funded through the State Regional Improvement Program and the Federal Highway Priority Projects Program.


TCA will fund the 241/91 Tolled Express Connector that will provide commuters the convenience and reliability of additional travel choices.

241/91 Express Lanes Connector Reaches Major Milestone

On Jan. 7, 2020, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), approved the 241/91 Tolled Express Lanes Connector’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement, officially completing the environmental phase of the project.

“Transportation planning is a shared responsibility in Orange County; completing the environmental phase of the 241/91 Express Lanes Connector shows that effective collaboration between Caltrans, the Transportation Corridor Agencies and other local agencies results in more mobility options for everyone who travels to and within Orange County,” said Christina Shea, Chairwoman of the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Board of Directors.

“Improving commutes, enhancing safety and reducing congestion on both State Routes (SR) 91 and 241 requires ongoing collaboration on a comprehensive program of projects,” said Orange County Third District Supervisor Don Wagner. “Collectively, our region’s transportation agencies are committed to delivering all planned projects within the SR-91 corridor in a way that provides the most benefit to the public as soon as possible, while also minimizing impacts for drivers and the community.”

As outlined in the Term Sheet Agreement last fall, TCA will fund the 241/91 Express Lanes Connector, Caltrans will construct the project, and the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) will operate the connector to integrate it into the 91 Express Lanes system.

“As the mayor of Orange and board member for both TCA and OCTA, I see and hear the frustration drivers face as they encounter the significant backup at the Windy Ridge Mainline Toll Point on the 241 Toll Road,” said Mark Murphy, F/ETCA Board Director. “Transportation planning and major infrastructure projects are always made better through public input and, in this case, proved to be critical in achieving this milestone to move forward with the 241/91 Express Lanes Connector.”

The 241/91 Express Lanes Connector project will construct a new direct, median-to-median tolled connector between SR-241 and the tolled lanes in the median of SR-91. The project will provide commuters the convenience and reliability of additional travel choices by allowing them to utilize either the available managed lanes on the 91 Express Lanes and 241 Toll Road or the general-purpose lanes, depending upon where they live and work. All this work is critical to provide congestion relief as employment, population and housing continue to grow in Southern California.

Working with Caltrans, OCTA and RCTC, TCA will now enter the design phase of the project.  Construction of the tolled connector is expected to begin in 2023.

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