BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






           SENATE TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING COMMITTEE       BILL NO: SB 993
          SENATOR ALAN LOWENTHAL, CHAIRMAN               AUTHOR:  huff
                                                         VERSION: 2/9/10
          Analysis by: Art Bauer                         FISCAL:  Yes
          Hearing date: March 23, 2010








          SUBJECT:

          State highway relinquishment

          DESCRIPTION:

          This bill authorizes the relinquishment of a segment of State  
          Route (SR) 66, locally know as Foothill Boulevard, to the City  
          of Claremont. 

          ANALYSIS:

          Existing law:

                 Identifies the California state highway system through a  
               description of segments of the state's regional and  
               interregional roads that are owned and operated by the  
               Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

                 Defines a "state highway" as any roadway that is  
               acquired, laid out, constructed, improved, or maintained as  
               a state highway according to legislative authorization.

                 Specifies that it is the intent of the Legislature for  
               the routes of the state highway system to connect the  
               communities and regions of the state and that they serve  
               the state's economy by connecting centers of commerce,  
               industry, agriculture, mineral wealth, and recreation.

                 Provides that any expansion or deletion of the state  
               highway system occurs through a statutory process requiring  
               the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to make  
               findings that it is in the best interest of the state to  




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               include or delete a specified portion of roadway from the  
               system.

           This bill  :  

             1.   Authorizes the CTC to relinquish to the City of  
               Claremont the segment of SR 66 located in the city, upon  
               terms and conditions the CTC finds to be in the best  
               interest of the state.  

             2.   Requires the City of Claremont to provide signage  
               indicating the continuation of SR 66 through the city.

             3.   Requires the City of Claremont to ensure that traffic  
               flows are maintained on the relinquished segment through  
               the use of traffic signal synchronization and other means. 

             4.   Provides that the relinquishment will become effective  
               immediately following the county recordation of the  
               relinquishment resolutions containing the CTC's approval of  
               the           specified terms and conditions.  

             5.   Specifies that following the effective date of  
               relinquishment, the relinquished segment will no longer be  
               a state highway and may not be considered for future  
               adoption as a state highway.  

          COMMENTS:

              1.   Purpose  . SR 66, known locally as Foothill Boulevard,  
               traverses the City of Claremont from its boundary on the  
               east with Fontana to its boundary on the west with Pomona.  
               The road is within the City of Claremont's redevelopment  
               area and relinquishment of SR 66 to the city will ensure  
               that it is redevelopment plans for SR 66 will incorporate  
               the city's desires for landscaping, street furniture, and  
               other design elements involving the road. 
             
                The City of Claremont has been in negotiations with the  
               Caltrans for nearly a decade, relating to the  
               relinquishment of SR 66. According to the author, Caltrans  
               and the City of Claremont now agree that relinquishment is  
               beneficial to both the state and the city. Caltrans concurs  
               with that conclusion.

               The relinquishment authorized by this bill is a  




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               continuation of the earlier relinquishments. For example,  
               SB 1366 (Negrete Mcloud), Chapter 717, Statutes of 2008  
               authorized the relinquishment to the City of Rialto a  
               segment of SR 66 in that city. Similarly, SB 857 (Soto)  
               Chapter 251, Statutes of 2002 authorized the CTC to  
               relinquish a segment of SR 66 to the City of Fontana.

             2.    Background  . Before the Interstate highway system, SR 66  
               was one of the country's main transcontinental highways. It  
               began in Chicago went on to St. Louis and then crossed the  
               Southwest, ending at the Santa Monica Pier. SR 66 first  
               entered the American consciousness when John Steinbeck,  
               writing in Grapes of Wrath, called it "The Mother Road, the  
               road of flight." Later, Nat King Cole recorded a song with  
               the memorable verse:  

                         If you ever plan to motor west
                         Travel my way, the highway that's the best.
                         Get your kicks on Route 66!

               A television series aired between 1960 and 1964 entitled  
               Route 66 that used the highway to established weekly  
               adventures experienced by two young sojourners driving a  
               Corvette. All the episodes were shot on location, but very  
               few actually along SR 66 in California or elsewhere. 

               One can only hope that the City of Claremont's  
               redevelopment plans will honor the iconic nature of SR 66.   


          POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the Committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,  
                     March 17, 2010)

               SUPPORT:  City of Claremont

               OPPOSED:  None received.