Caltrans: Get with the times

Yesterday, the Brown administration released an eagerly anticipated organizational assessment of Caltrans. Major news outlets had a field day with the report; the Sacramento Bee focused on the report’s attention to poor performance management and a culture of fear and risk aversion. Many news outlets noted the report’s omission of the major issue du jour, the ongoing debacle regarding construction delays, cost overruns, and poor quality control associated with the Bay Bridge.

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#tbt: Talking ’bout Targets

The big news at last week’s ARB meeting on SB 375 wasn’t about cap and trade funding, nor was it about the San Joaquin Valley’s lurching progress toward sustainability.

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Show us the money — and more

xnsXhjB64s4Uf87emwvIJC3QoMCKWtiY-qM7S35xXAp7vXgW8uJdVuZqNSIUKeGXpmH9BvoO-acBMqJ4_oZ1RzMJXOnwQBRh11lB4B8vpt3BZsjuGqKstHG2vA.pngIf you felt like you’d stepped into a scene from a Hollywood movie during last Thursday’s Fresno Council of Governments’ meeting, you could be forgiven. A lot of what transpired was reminiscent of the 1996 blockbuster Jerry Maguire: neogtiation, friendly amendments, debate, real talk about real issues, and pet slogans. During the meeting, at which the Fresno Council of Governments (FCOG) met to select its preferred alternative for its regional growth and housing plan, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin riffed on a quote from Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character, Rod Tidwell, saying, “That’s the difference between you and me. You think we’re fighting and I think we’re finally talking.” Mayor Swearengin went on to note, “At least we’re finally talking about the real issues of growth and transportation,” then offered to make a few recommendations “about how we can take advantage of the momentum we have today,” setting the stage for the discussion to come.

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Fresno SCS: Greater than the sum of its parts

downtown-fresno-skyline-mt.-300x165.jpgIt’s not every day that community advocates get to directly influence the SCS process, but Fresno advocates did just that when they developed a community-based alternative scenario and won a hard-fought vote to have this scenario introduced into the Fresno Council of Governments’ (COG) discussion of its 25-year plan for future housing and transportation needs. On Friday, Fresno COG analysis demonstrated what we already knew to be true: the community-based scenario performs better on key metrics than the other three scenarios for growth currently under consideration.

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CEQA Bill is Law – Let’s Get to Work

On Friday the Governor signed SB 743, a CEQA bill that blends home court politics (go Kings!) with game-changing reforms for the rest of California.  While some observers – including me – were exasperated with the process, the final product is an important step forward for sustainable communities in California.

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