State departments of transportation across the country currently find themselves at a cross-roads where traditional sources of infrastructure funding may not generate sufficient revenues for addressing aging transportation infrastructure. States generally rely on “user fee” revenues generated from fuel taxes, vehicle sales taxes and registration fees to support transportation infrastructure spending. The user fee funding model has come under scrutiny in light of recent trends, such as urbanization, electric vehicles, micro mobility and ride-sharing services. In ...
Los Angeles County aims to integrate infrastructure planning with social and environmental needs in its recently released draft of the updated L.A. River Master Plan.
The plan is the first to cover the entire L.A. River and proposes a 51-mile connected open space to manage floodwaters while improving natural ecosystems and public wellbeing. Calculations based on information from the US Census Bureau indicate that 25% of Californians live within a 30-minute drive of the LA River and over one million people live within one mile.
The plan represents a combined effort by L.A. County ...
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns and economic disruptions have severely affected the usual revenue sources that local governments have used to fund public improvements and transportation services – e.g., distributions of state and federal gas tax revenue, local sales taxes and property taxes. Local governments might consider creating parking benefit districts (“PBDs”), which can provide modest amounts of revenue. PBDs, along with other creative ways to raise revenue, can help fill in funding gaps for local improvements and services.
A PBD is a geographic ...
In light of the major cybersecurity breach of the SolarWinds Orion software by malicious actors, the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) recently issued a series of advisories providing guidance for water providers across the country on how to respond and react to this unprecedented cyberattack.
As highlighted in the WaterISAC advisory issued on December 16, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that all water and wastewater utilities review the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA's) Emergency Directive ...
On November 3rd, Austin voters approved a property tax increase to help fund the $7.1 billion Project Connect mass transit project. The initial investment, which is a portion of the “Project Connect System Plan,” includes 27 miles of rail service, 31 stations and a transit tunnel. Specific elements of the plan include:
- Blue Line: An approximately 15-mile light rail line running from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), connecting through the downtown station and running north to Lamar Boulevard at Highway 183
- Orange Line: A 21-mile light rail line running from North ...
Governor Newsom recently signed into law Senate Bill 288 (the “Sustainable Transportation COVID-19 Recovery Act”), which will temporarily add new exemptions to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) statute. The purpose of SB 288 is to fast track transit and sustainable transportation projects, provide a boost to public transit agencies affected by COVID-19, aid economic recovery by producing jobs, and reduce driving and GHG emissions.
These statutory exemptions may help expedite environmental review of transportation projects that are specifically ...
On August 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 2731, which is intended to support the potential redevelopment of the 70-acre Navy Old Town Campus in downtown San Diego. The site would include a LEED Gold certified transit hub, a public transit connection to the San Diego International Airport and adjacent transit-oriented development, including up to 10,000 new residential units. The bill was authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. It authorizes the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to acquire a ...
Universities have utilized public-private partnerships (P3s) in recent years to facilitate various types of campus construction projects, including campus housing, specialized facilities, utility systems and even overall campus expansions. Utilizing P3s for campus improvements has allowed universities to deliver important projects and leverage private industry expertise while shifting capital cost investments to the private sector.
Despite the growing trend of using P3s to deliver projects, the COVID-19 pandemic may impact universities’ interest in utilizing P3 ...
Pursuant to Senate Bill 743 (passed in 2013), the metric for analyzing transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) officially changed over on July 1, 2020 from level of service to vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Now, VMT is the standard for such analyses in nearly all CEQA documents, requiring agencies to implement sweeping changes in their approach to analyzing transportation impacts from major infrastructure and development projects. The following video excerpt from a recent Nossaman webinar on this topic provides a brief overview of these new CEQA guidelines relating to VMT.
For further details on this topic ...
On September 3, 2020, San Luis Obispo Regional Transportation Authority (SLO RTA) closed the first TIFIA loan under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (Department’s) Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Rural Project Initiative (RPI). The SLO RTA manages several local and express fixed-route transit lines, as well as several paratransit and dial-a-ride services throughout San Luis Obispo County located in the Central Coast region of California. The SLO RTA’s current administration, operations, and bus maintenance facility has ...
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