BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 378


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          Date of Hearing:  January 11, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION


                                 Jim Frazier, Chair


          AB 378  
          (Mullin) - As Amended January 4, 2016


          SUBJECT:  State Highway 101 corridor


          SUMMARY:  Directs the California Department of Transportation  
          (Caltrans), in coordination with others, to develop an  
          integrated corridor management team to address traffic  
          congestion in the State Route (SR) 101 corridor located within  
          the County of San Mateo.  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Makes legislative findings and declarations regarding the  
            economic importance of the 
            SR 101 corridor between San Jose and San Francisco, the  
            inadequacy of the transportation capacity within the corridor,  
            and the need for "swift and decisive" action by transportation  
            agencies to relieve commuter congestion within the corridor.





          2)Further finds and declares that the SR 101 corridor can  
            operate more effectively with a coordinated response from  
            transportation agencies within the corridor to integrate  
            carpool or express lane development and operations, adaptive  
            ramp metering technology and operations, and ridesharing.  








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          3)Directs Caltrans to create an integrated corridor management  
            team, along with the City/County Association of Governments of  
            San Mateo County and the San Mateo County Transportation  
            Authority if these two agencies choose to participate, to  
            consider transportation projects to address congestion relief  
            in the SR 101 corridor, including connecting SRs 82, 92, and  
            380 within the County of San Mateo.



          EXISTING LAW:





          1)Vests Caltrans with the responsibility to design, construct,  
            operate, and maintain the state highway system.



          2)Prohibits the state budget from including specific  
            appropriations for specific transportation projects, and  
            provides that the Legislature should not enact legislation  
            containing specific individual transportation projects.



          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  AB 378 is intended to focus transportation resources  
          to address congestion on the SR 101 corridor and connecting  
          corridors in San Mateo County.  According to the author, the SR  
          101 corridor "is the most economically productive region in  
          California, connecting the rapidly growing economies of San  








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          Mateo County, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley."  Furthermore,  
          the author states, "The growth in this region has generated  
          significant tax receipts for the State budget, but is strained  
          by an increasingly large number of commuters flooding the area's  
          highways, roads, and transit systems."


          Congestion in the region is, in fact, increasing.  According to  
          a just-release report by the Metropolitan Transportation  
          Commission (MTC) from its Vital Signs performance-monitoring  
          initiative, freeway congestion around the Bay Area is increasing  
          faster than either population or employment.  MTC reports that,  
          since 2000, per-commuter congestion delay has risen by 23% while  
          the region's population has grown by 10%.  


          SR 101 in San Mateo County may be congested; however, elsewhere  
          in the region traffic congestion is much worst.  According to  
          MTC's Vital Signs, 40% of the all Bay Area freeway congestion is  
          on the region's top ten congested corridors.  SR 101 in San  
          Mateo County is not among the top ten most congested corridors.   



          Still, the author believes the SR 101 corridor in San Mateo  
          merits unique consideration given the economic prosperity the  
          corridor brings to the state.  AB 378 directs Caltrans to  
          establish an integrated corridor management team, in  
          coordination with the City/County Association of Governments of  
          San Mateo County and the San Mateo County Transportation  
          Authority, if those agencies choose to participate.  The team  
          would be expected to consider transportation projects on SR 101  
          and also on connecting routes SRs 82, 92, and 380, all located  
          within San Mateo County. 


          The integrated corridor management approach is an emerging,  
          collaborative approach to managing transportation corridors.   
          Integrated corridor management looks comprehensively at an  








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          entire transportation network - including freeways, arterial  
          streets, transit, parking, travel demand, agency collaboration,  
          and more - and considers all opportunities to move people and  
          goods in the most efficient and safest way possible.  Rather  
          than focusing on improving only specific elements such as  
          freeways or transit, an integrated corridor management approach  
          considers the corridor as a total system to be managed as an  
          integrated and cohesive whole; it seeks to address the  
          corridor's overall transportation needs rather than the needs of  
          particular elements or agencies alone.


          Caltrans has embarked on a pilot program to develop the  
          integrated corridor management approach to manage traffic  
          operations.  Its Connected Corridors Program represents a  
          significant departure from traditional transportation management  
          practice and promises to fundamentally change the way the state  
          manages its transportation corridors for years to come.  The  
          pilot is led by the Caltrans in partnership with Partners for  
          Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH) at the University of  
          California, Berkeley.  Caltrans started pilot deployments within  
          the Connected Corridor Program on Interstate 210 in the San  
          Gabriel Valley near Los Angeles and on Interstate 80 between the  
          Carquinez Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.  The  
          department expects to expand the Connected Corridors Program to  
          multiple corridors throughout California over the next ten  
          years.  (In addition to the two pilot corridors under Caltrans'  
          Connected Corridor Program, the San Diego Association of  
          Governments is piloting one of two integrated corridors chosen  
          as part of a national pilot program to study the effectiveness  
          of this traffic operations approach.)


          When it began the Connected Corridor Program, Caltrans  
          originally evaluated five corridors, including the SR 101  
          corridor in San Mateo County.  Corridors were evaluated based on  
          criteria such as levels of congestion, available alternative  
          routes and travel modes through the corridor, willing partners,  
          and available technology already in the corridor.  In the end,  








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          Interstate 210 and Interstate 80 were thought to offer the  
          greatest potential benefits of the corridors evaluated.








          Some of the benefits that the Connected Corridors Program  
          expects to realize include:


          1)Reduced congestion and improved mobility, travel-time  
            reliability, safety, and system efficiency.
                       
          2)Better use of existing capacities across all transportation  
            modes (car, bus, train, bicycle, pedestrian, etc.) to increase  
            the throughput of vehicles, people, and goods with minimal or  
            no new infrastructure.

          3)Improved availability and quality of data on travel conditions  
            in the corridor to better understand corridor behavior and  
            improve performance.

          4)Timely, accurate information for corridor users so they can  
            make informed choices about when, how, and by what route they  
            travel.

          By directing Caltrans to establish an integrated corridor  
          management team for SR 101 in San Mateo County, the author seeks  
          to expedite improved operations in the SR 101 corridor.


          AB 378 is supported by the Bay Area Council and Google.  Writing  
          in support of the bill, Google suggests that AB 378 is necessary  
          to address the "untenable" traffic congestion in the   SR 101  
          corridor.  Citing statistics from MTC's Vital Signs, Google  








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          notes that congestion has increased nearly 40% from 2010 levels,  
          averaging 2.7 minutes per commuter in 2014.  Google suggests AB  
          378 will "encourage and support the state-level initiative  
          needed to help ensure the Peninsula continues to remain a  
          dynamic driver of California's economy and a great place to  
          live."  


          Committee concerns:  The committee has the following concerns  
          with the bill:





          1)AB 378 is essentially a project bill, the likes of which are  
            prohibited under existing law.  The Legislature initiated this  
            prohibition to ensure decisions regarding the use of  
            transportation funds were made strategically, not politically,  
            within the context of thoughtful planning, engineering, and  
            prioritization.  AB 378 essentially directs Caltrans to spend  
            resources in San Mateo County, regardless the relative need,  
            feasibility, cost, or priority of that effort.  



          2)This bill is not necessary.  Caltrans could administratively  
            choose to develop an integrated corridor management team for  
            SR 101 in San Mateo County, just as it did for the two pilot  
            projects within the Connected Corridor Program.  However,  
            integrated corridor management teams involve considerable  
            staff and technology resources, among other things.  To  
            implement AB 378, the department would most likely have to  
            pull resources from other corridors, projects, or programs or  
            secure additional funds, as it did for the two pilot projects.  
              
          










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          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          Bay Area Council


          Google


          San Mateo County Transportation Authority




          




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Janet Dawson / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093














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