Several bills related to our transportation profession have been introduced for this year. Below is a quick summary.
AB 16 (Perea)– High Speed Rail Authority
This bill would require the High Speed Rail (HSR) authority to make every effort to purchase high-speed train rolling stock and related equipment that are manufactured in California, consistent with federal and state laws.
AB 294 (Portantino) Design Sequencing Contracts
This bill would allow no more than 5 design-sequencing contracts, where Caltrans prepares a design for phases and allows construction to commence before entire project is designed, to be effective until January 1, 2015. A similar bill (AB 1760 Blumenfield) that would have allowed 10 design sequencing contracts was vetoed last year.
AB 345 (Atkins) Vehicles: Traffic Control Devices - Consultation
This bill would require the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC) and Caltrans to consult with groups representing users of streets, roads, and highways, such as bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, motorists, commercial goods, pedestrians, public transit users, and seniors. This is a very interesting bill because until now CTCDC and Caltrans is only required to consult with local agencies before adopting rules and regulations prescribing uniform standards and specifications for official traffic control devices.
AB 353 (Cedillo) Freeway Construction
If Caltrans wants to close down a City street or a County highway due to construction of a freeway, they need to enter into an agreement with the agency having jurisdiction over the facility, except if the facility is under the jurisdiction of LA County Metro and i) an agreement with one or more counties and cities is not possible because an impasse has existed for 10 or more years after an initial route was adopted ii) Caltrans had prepared an EIR and established an outreach program. This bill would repeal these provisions establishing an exception for a freeway segment to be constructed without an agreement within the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
AB 441 State Planning (Monning) – Transportation Health Impact
Regional Transportation Plans such as general Plans may have one more component that needs to be included – health issues. This bill would require California Transportation Commission (CTC) to include health issues in the guidelines for the preparation of regional transportation plans. This bill would also require that the Governor’s office and Office of Planning and Research develop guidelines that contain advice on how local and regional agencies can incorporate health issues into local or regional general plans.
AB 464 (Olsen) Highway Route 59
State Highway Route 59 is from Route 152 northerly to Route 99 near Merced and from Route 99 near Merced to Snelling. This bill would provide that Route 59 also includes the segment of roadway from Route 132 to Route 108/120.
AB 650 (Blumenfield) Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Transportation
A Transit Task Force with $750,000 budget – This bill would establish the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Transportation for the 21st Century. This task force, comprised of 12 members jointly appointed by Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the Assembly by March 31, 2012, would need to prepare a written report that contains specified findings and recommendations relating to, among other things, the current state of California’s transit system, the estimated cost of creating the needed system over various terms, and potential sources of funding to sustain the transit system’s needs, and to submit the report by March 31, 2013, to the Governor, the Legislature, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the Senate Committee on Rules, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the transportation committees of the Legislature. The task force will be staffed by Institute of Transportation Studies of the University of California.
AB 892 (Carter) Transportation- Federal Pilot Program
This bill repeals the January 1, 2012 deadline that existed for the State of California’s consent to the jurisdiction of the federal courts with regard to the compliance, discharge, or enforcement of the responsibilities it assumed as a participant in the surface transportation project delivery pilot program by the United States Secretary of Transportation.
AB 1105 (Gordon) High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes
One or both of the HOT lane corridors proposed in Santa Clara County could extend into the adjacent county and the revenues could be shared between the two counties for eligible purposes – only if this bill passes. Otherwise, the 2 HOT lane corridors should be within Santa Clara County limits.
AB 1308 (Miller) Highway Users Tax Account
Currently, if the State Budget is not enacted, moneys in the Highway users Tax Account (primarily funded by state excise fuel taxes) cannot be appropriated for transportation improvement purposes. If the Budget has not been enacted by July 1, this bill would provide that all moneys in the Highway Users Tax Account in the Transportation Tax Fund are continuously appropriated and may be encumbered for certain purposes until the Budget is enacted. This would be great news because the State funding for transportation improvements projects would not be affected due to any State budget delays.
AJR 5 (Lowenthal) Transportation Revenues
This measure would request the President and the Congress of the United States to consider and enact legislation to conduct a study regarding the feasibility of the collection process for a transportation revenue source based on vehicle miles traveled, and not based on excise tax on gasoline or diesel, in order to facilitate the creation of a reliable and steady transportation funding mechanism for the maintenance and improvement of surface transportation infrastructure.
SB 468 Dept. of Transp. - Coastal Zone Expansion
Existing law provides that Caltrans has full possession and control of the state highway system and imposes various requirements for the development and implementation of transportation projects. This bill would impose additional requirements on Caltrans with respect to proposed capacity increasing state highway projects in the coastal zone. The requirements include local agency collaboration, extensive traffic analysis of the local street system and considering planned transportation improvements including transit in the area.
SB 692 Professional Engineers
This bill would convert the current title-protected engineering disciplines, such as traffic engineering, into practices that require a license. This bill would additionally prohibit the practice of agricultural, chemical, control system, fire protection, industrial, metallurgical, nuclear, petroleum, and traffic engineering without the appropriate license issued by the board in the particular discipline.
If you think that I am missing any critical bills related to our profession, please send me details of that bill so that I can include it in the next update. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
http://media.wix.com/ugd/aa35121b77457fa9c29cedb9faa8f1e4.ugd?dn=ITE SoCal March 2011 Newsletter.pdf