Transportation News for October/November 2015

  • by BPC Staff
  • on November 5, 2015

MTC eNews: Richmond Bridge Bike-Ped Path/Commuter Lane, EV Test Drives

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IN THIS ISSUE | Vital Signs Looks at Environment | Funding Solutions | Richmond Bridge Access Improvements | Clipper® Card for Teens | Map of Region’s Future |Americans With Disabilities Act Anniversary | Experience Electric Test Drives | New Exhibits | On the Calendar
Article 1
Vital Signs’ latest data release helps residents visualize the region’s vulnerability to sea level rise.
Launched in August 2015, the fourth and final phase of MTC’s Vital Signs interactive website is titled “Environment” and focuses on the region’s air quality, vulnerability to sea level rise and road safety. The data indicate the region’s ozone and particulate matter levels are much lower than they were 10 years ago despite population growth. Looking toward the future, the data also offer insights on the potential impacts of global climate change, revealing that a one-foot increase in sea level – modest by most estimates – would potentially affect 220,000 residents in the region. The website features an interactive map that allows viewers to adjust the sea level rise to see which low-lying areas will likely be affected. With this information readily available, policy makers can set priorities for development and adapt facilities for sea level rise. Previously released phases of the Vital Signs website dealt with “Transportation,” “Land and People” and “Economy.” Read More
Article 2
Governor Brown appeared at a news conference at the Port of Oakland in August to urge bipartisan support for road repair funding. Photo by John Perry, Port of Oakland.
With statewide transportation funds dwindling and roads in every Bay Area county and up and down the state badly in need of repairs, pressure has been cooking at both the local and state levels for long-term funding solutions. Governor Brown’s call for a special legislative session focusing on transportation this summer finally opened the door for discussion on the topic. MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger testified before lawmakers at two events, a roundtable in Walnut Creek and the State Assembly Select Committee on Improving Bay Area Transportation informational hearing at MTC’s Auditorium. State Senator Jim Beall (San Jose) introduced a bill that would increase the gas tax and annual vehicle registration fees, among other measures. Subsequently, Governor Brown unveiled his own proposal for solving the state’s transportation funding shortfalls. While the Legislature has officially adjourned for the season, a joint Senate-Assembly committee has been formed to carry these ideas forward, and has been holding hearings. Read More
Article 3
Plans call for installing a movable barrier along the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to create a bike/ped path Photo by John Huseby, Caltrans.
The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvement Project is moving forward after MTC in September 2015 acted to incorporate it into the region’s existing long-range Plan Bay Area. For drivers, the project will reduce congestion by converting the existing shoulder lane on the lower deck to an afternoon peak-period eastbound lane between Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (Marin County) and Marine Street (Contra Costa County). New for bicyclists and pedestrians is the construction of a protected bi-directional path on the upper deck. The project will also replace the existing bicycle access to Point Molate (on the Richmond side) that would have been lost with the new eastbound afternoon peak-period lane, and eliminate the shared motor vehicle/bicycle use of the existing shoulder. The bike/ped path on the bridge will connect – for the first time ever – the Bay Trail between Contra Costa and Marin counties, and is scheduled to open in late 2017. Estimated to cost $70 million, the bridge improvements will be funded by MTC’s Bay Area Toll Authority. Read More
Article 4
Clipper® is a passport for teens’ trips to/from school and weekend adventures. Photo by Noah Berger.
For teens in middle school or high school this fall, there’s an essential tool besides a backpack, pen and pencil carrier, and notebooks: a Youth Clipper® card. Not only can the all-in-one transit fare card get students discount fares to and from school in the service area of 13 participating public transit agencies, but also it can be their passport to weekend fun. Offered free of charge, the youth version of the Clipper®card entitles riders age 5 and above to receive discounts on monthly passes, tickets and cash value fares where available (the upper age limit for discounts varies by transit operator). In San Francisco, low- and moderate-income youth can sign up forfree access to Muni with Clipper®. Kids or their parents can apply for a Youth Clipper® card via mail, email or fax. To get a card immediately, they can apply in person at a Clipper® Customer Service Center or participating transit partner location. Read More
Article 5
Viewers can click on the interactive Plan Bay Area map to call up project details and photos.
A new online tool allows you to see and explore the Bay Area’s 100 largest planned and recently completed transportation projects (in terms of cost) in a simple and easy-to-use map format. The map is designed to help visualize the major transportation investments outlined in the currently adopted Plan Bay Area, approved by MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments in July 2013. Housed on website, the interactive map allows you to turn on layers displaying road pricing, highway and transit projects – and to view the projects on top of a series of base map options. You can click on a project to see a description, along with more in-depth information about the project’s expected completion date and cost. Images are available for many projects. Read More
Article 6
The region is marking the 25th anniversary of the ADA with two exhibits and a video.
Photo by Noah Berger.
Riders with mobility impairments have the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to thank for all the accessibility features on public transit. Learn what improvements the region has benefited from as a result of the ADA in a new video by MTC newsman Mark Jones marking the ADA’s 25th anniversary. Meanwhile, the Ed Roberts Campus at the Ashby BART station in Berkeley is celebrating the ADA’s 25th anniversary by hosting “Patient No More,” an exhibit that revisits the region’s contributions to disability rights. UC Berkeley also is hosting an exhibit on the activism that led to the ADA.Read More
Article 7
The Experience Electric campaign is revving up this fall, offering Bay Area residents free EV test drives. Photo by Noah Berger.
Experience Electric is back for another round of fun-filled test-drive events! From October 2015 until May 2016, we will be offering electric vehicle test drives at locations around the Bay Area. Licensed drivers can test the vehicles free of charge in a festive setting with no sales pressure. The first opportunity is scheduled at the Treasure Island Flea market on Saturday, October 24, from 10 AM to 4 PM, and the next is at the San Francisco International Auto Show at the Moscone Center on Monday, November 23, and Tuesday, November 24, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Come feel the power of EVs first hand and learn more about EV adoption. The campaign’s goal is to accelerate EV adoption through purchases, leasing and car-sharing programs. The effort is sponsored by MTC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District with a consortium of electric vehicle organizations. Read More
Article 8
Titled “Criss Cross,” this water color is part of Beth Bourland’s “Colors of Chinatown” show at the MetroCenter.
If you’ve been to MTC’s offices at the MetroCenter, you know we’re located on the edge of Oakland’s Chinatown. Now we’re bringing the vibe of this lively community inside with a a new exhibit, “Colors of Chinatown,” featuring watercolors by Beth Bourland. The show is on display in the LunchStop Café and the adjacent lobby. Also new on our third-floor walls: “Beauty of the Bay,” a mixed-media show by the clients of the Artful Steps Program at Stepping Stones Growth Center in San Leandro. Read More
Public Forum: The State’s Role in Funding Road Repair and Maintenance
Thursday, October 22, 2015

4 PM – 6 PM
Caltrans Auditorium
111 Grand Avenue, Oakland
The public is invited to attend this free forum, sponsored by MTC and the California Transportation Commission (CTC). Representatives from MTC, the CTC and Caltrans along with Bay Area business organizations will discuss and invite feedback on how to stabilize and increase funding needed for the repair and maintenance of highways, roads and local streets, and related topics. Read More

Call for Projects: Pavement Management Technical Assistance Program
Applications due by 4 PM on Friday, October 30, 2015

MTC is soliciting applications for Round 17 of the Pavement Management Technical Assistance Program (P-TAP), which provides Bay Area jurisdictions with expertise in implementing and maintaining a pavement management program – primarily using MTC’s StreetSaver® software – and with engineering design for pavement rehabilitation projects. Some $1.4 million is available for Round 17, with grants in the $15,000 to $100,000 range. Over the last 16 rounds of P-TAP, MTC has provided $16 million to approximately 665 projects around the region. Read More

MTC: Metropolitan Transportation Commission