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Board Actions - February 2019

SANDAG Executive Director's Report

I am happy to report that the SANDAG Board of Directors unanimously approved an action plan to develop a big, bold transportation vision for the San Diego region that is efficient, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable. The action plan strives to transform transportation in our region by creating a system that considers cutting-edge technologies to get people where they need to go quickly and exceeds greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. I expect this vision to include a fast and safe transportation system with true alternatives that are as good as, if not better, than driving.

At its February 22 meeting, the SANDAG Board discussed legislative and procedural efforts to mitigate risks of extending completion of the Regional Plan, which was originally scheduled to be adopted in fall 2019 but will now take an additional two years to complete. We will continue to work with state and federal partners to maintain compliance and protect the vital funding that SANDAG has worked so hard to secure. While we work to develop this transformative vision, SANDAG will continue to work on projects and programs underway throughout the San Diego region.

The action plan approved by the Board builds on prior Regional Plan development efforts conducted in 2018. The new vision and the transportation network to make it a reality will be developed through an extensive public process in 2019, followed by approximately one year of technical modeling work, and about one year for environmental review. Public input over the past year created the foundation for this new vision and will continue to inform the SANDAG Board’s decision making. In the coming months, there will be many opportunities to provide input on the development of this visionary plan.

To learn more about the Regional Plan, visit SDForward.com.

Hasan Ikhrata, SANDAG Executive Director
(619) 699-1990,
hasan.ikhrata@sandag.org

 

February 22 Board Meeting

Regional Active Transportation Program Funding Recommendations
Directors adopted recommendations to approve $16 million in state and federal funding for active transportation projects in the San Diego region, including approximately $9.9 million for two SANDAG projects: the SANDAG University Bikeway project and SANDAG GO by BIKE San Diego: Education and Encouragement Start-Up Program.

SANDAG will submit these recommendations to the California Transportation Commission, which is expected to consider adoption of the region’s funding recommendations at their June 26-27, 2019, meeting.

For more information, visit sandag.org/ATPfunding.

Key Staff Contact: Jenny Russo, (619) 699-7314, jenny.russo@sandag.org

Appointment of Policy Advisory Committee Members and Designation of Transit Representatives to the Board of Directors
Chair Vaus made the following appointments for 2019 Policy Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs:

Executive Committee
Steve Vaus, Chair, Mayor, City of Poway
Catherine Blakespear, Vice Chair, Mayor, City of Encinitas

Audit Committee
Bill Baber, Chair, Councilmember, City of La Mesa
Bill Wells, Vice Chair, Mayor, City of El Cajon

Transportation Committee
Jim Desmond, Chair, Supervisor, County of San Diego
Bill Sandke, Vice Chair, Councilmember, City of Coronado

Regional Planning Committee
Mary Salas, Chair, Mayor, City of Chula Vista
Kristine Alessio, Vice Chair, Councilmember, City of La Mesa

Borders Committee
Serge Dedina, Chair, Mayor, City of Imperial Beach
Ronn Hall, Vice Chair, Councilmember, City of Santee

Public Safety Committee
John Minto, Chair, Mayor, City of Santee
Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Vice Chair, Mayor, City of National City

Key Staff Contact: Robyn Wapner, (619) 699-1994, robyn.wapner@sandag.org

FY 2018 Audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Staff reported that the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to SANDAG for its FY 18 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This was the eleventh consecutive year that SANDAG received this prestigious award. To be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized CAFR. This report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements.

For more information, visit sandag.org/FY18CAFR.

Key Staff Contacts:

Andre Douzdjian, (619) 699-6931, andre.douzdjian@sandag.org
Leeanne Wallace, (619) 699-0728, leanne.wallace@sandag.org

Quarterly Finance Report and Update on Financial Markets – Through December 2018
Staff provided a quarterly briefing of the latest developments in the financial markets, economy, sales tax revenues, and strategies being explored and implemented to minimize possible impacts to the TransNet Program. Highlights of the report included:

  • SANDAG held $960.6 million in several investment accounts as of December 31, 2018
  • The San Diego economy is near full employment, with the local economy adding close to 37,000 jobs in the past year, bringing unemployment to a very low 3.2 percent in November 2018, down from 3.5 percent in November 2017
  • TransNet revenues have increased 3.1 percent over the last four quarters (Q2 2018 – Q2 2017)Strong gains were seen in the construction (5.3% annual growth) and retail (3%) categories, while all other sectors saw at least 2.4 percent growth

Key Staff Contacts:

André Douzdjian, (619) 699-6931, andre.douzdjian@sandag.org
Ray Major, (619) 699-1930, ray.major@sandag.org
Lisa Kondrat-Dauphin, (619) 699-1942, lisa.kondrat-dauphin@sandag.org

Quarterly Progress Report on Major Transportation Projects – Through December 2018
Staff provided a quarterly update on the status of major SANDAG and Caltrans projects and programs funded by the TransNet one-half cent local sales tax and other local, state, and federal revenue sources. As of December 2018, 11 projects were in the environmental phase, 28 projects were in the design phase, and 16 projects were in construction, with three projects scheduled to be open to traffic/users by the end of FY 2019. Highlights include:

  • A groundbreaking ceremony was held in November 2018 to begin construction of I-5 carpool lanes from Manchester Avenue to Palomar Airport Road. This project is expected to be open to traffic by late 2021.
  • An opening ceremony was held for South Bay Rapid in January 2019. South Bay Rapid runs along a 26-mile route from the Otay Mesa Transit Center through eastern Chula Vista to Downtown San Diego.
  • Design of the I-5/Genesee Auxiliary Lane Project is complete and the construction contract is expected to be advertised by March 2019, with an anticipated open to traffic date in summer 2021.
  • Design of the SR 905/125/11 Southbound Connectors project is complete and the project was advertised in January 2019. The construction portion of this project will be done under the SR 11 and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project which is expected to begin in spring 2019.
  • iCommute continues to see success by providing approximately 691 vanpools with more than 5,200 participants. Participants in the SANDAG Regional Vanpool Program reduced more than 33.4 million vehicle miles, more than 1.6 million gallons of gasoline, and more than 31.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions this quarter.

During the next quarter (January – March), three projects are expected to complete the environmental phase, and three projects are expected to complete their design phase.

Key Staff Contact: Michelle Smith, (619) 595-5608, michelle.smith@sandag.org

Update on 2019 Annual Board Retreat
The Annual SANDAG Board Retreat will be held March 6-8, 2019, at Barona Resort.

To view the retreat agenda, visit sandag.org/board.

Key Staff Contact: David Hicks, (619) 699-6939, david.hicks@sandag.org

TransNet Program Update
Directors received an update on the financial capacity of the TransNet Major Corridors Program. As of January 2019, 35 percent of the TransNet Major Corridors projects have been completed, 28 percent of the projects are in progress, and 37 percent of the projects have not yet been started.

Approximately $21.4 billion in funding is reasonably expected to be available to finish TransNet Major Corridors projects through 2048. Cost estimates for all remaining Major Corridors projects were updated in 2018 as part of the development of the Regional Plan. These updated estimates show that the cost to complete all remaining projects is about $26.7 billion, plus another $4.5 billion for debt service, for a total need of $31.2 billion.

SANDAG estimates that approximately $9.8 billion from new or expanded sources will be needed to complete all remaining TransNet Major Corridors projects by 2048. This means that for every TransNet dollar, SANDAG would need to bring in about $4.20 in match funding, which is unlikely to happen given the agency’s history of bringing in $3 in matching funds for every $1 in TransNet funds. While changing circumstances over time could have an effect on this scenario, this deficit likely means that some projects will need to be removed from the program or built after the 2048 timeframe of the TransNet sales tax.

As part of the Regional Plan development process, the Board of Directors will have the opportunity to consider which TransNet projects will be included for delivery before 2048. Based on this determination, analysis will be completed to provide updated information on the capacity available to complete the remainder of the TransNet Program.

For more information, visit sandag.org/TransNet

Key Staff Contact: José A. Nuncio, (619) 699-1908, jose.nuncio@sandag.org

San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan – Proposed Action Plan
Directors unanimously approved an action plan and new timeline for San Diego Forward: The 2019-2050 Regional Plan and directed staff to work on mitigating risks associated with delaying its approval until late 2021.

The action plan approved by the Board builds on prior Regional Plan development efforts conducted in 2018. The new vision and the transportation network to make it a reality will be developed through an extensive public process in 2019, followed by approximately one year of technical modeling work, and about one year for environmental review. Public input over the past year created the foundation for this new vision and will continue to inform the SANDAG Board’s decision making.

For more information, visit SDForward.com.

Key Staff Contact: Charles 'Muggs' Stoll, (619) 699-6945, muggs.stoll@sandag.org

Proposed 2019 Legislative Program
Directors approved the SANDAG 2019 Legislative Program, which guides how the agency pursues, responds to, and monitors legislative and policy activities at the state and federal levels. These 2019 legislative and policy priorities include funding, the Regional Plan, airport connectivity, technology, housing/affordable housing, climate and energy, and public safety.

For more information, visit sandag.org/legislativeprogram

Key Staff Contact: Robyn Wapner, (619) 699-1994, robyn.wapner@sandag.org

TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program: Annual Status Report and Implementation Actions
Staff presented an annual update on key achievements of the $850 million TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program (EMP), with a focus on work completed in FY 2018. The TransNet EMP provides funding to mitigate habitat impacts from regional and local transportation projects and provides funding for regional land management and biological monitoring.

As of January 2019, the TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program has helped acquire 8,780 acres of valuable open space and provided 117 grants to local organizations and jurisdictions for land management efforts. Key program achievements in FY 18 include:

  • Habitat Conservation – In June 2018, SANDAG completed the acquisition of 111 acres of undeveloped land for preservation in Carmel Valley.
  • Scientific Research – Ongoing research on golden eagles is being used to understand how eagles are using the regional open space preserve system.
  • Environmental Stewardship – In 2018, a grant-funded project documented juvenile southwestern pond turtles (a state species of concern) at Sycuan Peak Ecological Reserve for the first time, due in part to the removal of invasive species, which feed on the juvenile turtles.
  • Regional Coordination – Established in 2008, the San Diego Management and Monitoring Program continues to coordinate science-based biological management and monitoring of lands in San Diego County, has collectively partnered with more than 115 organizations, and has been involved with more than 68 restoration projects covering 12,600 acres of land.

For more information, visit KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/EMP.

Key Staff Contacts:

Kim Smith, (619) 699-6949, kim.smith@sandag.org
Keith Greer, (619) 699-7390, keith.greer@sandag.org

 

February 8 Board Meeting

Second Reading of Proposed Amendments to the Regional Transit Comprehensive Fare Ordinance and TransNet Ordinance
Directors voted to amend the Comprehensive Fare Ordinance and TransNet Ordinance to accept proposed fare changes estimated to result in an annual passenger revenue increase of approximately $7.6 million. Fare increases were last made in 2009. The fare changes will be enacted no sooner than March 10, 2019, however an exact date has yet to be determined.

For more information, visit sandag.org/fares.

Key Staff Contact: Brian Lane, (619) 699-7331, brian.lane@sandag.org

Independent Performance Auditor
The Board approved Mary Khoshmashrab as the agency’s first Independent Performance Auditor. This new position will work directly with the Audit Committee to develop an annual work program, conduct reviews and present findings and recommendations, and support SANDAG in achieving effectiveness and efficiencies in our program areas. Khoshmashrab’s first day will be Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

For more information, visit sandag.org/auditor.

Key Staff Contact: Laura Cotë, (619) 699-6947, laura.cote@sandag.org

 

Next SANDAG Board of Directors Meetings

The March SANDAG Board of Directors meetings will take place March 6-8, 2019, at Barona Resort, and March 22, 2019, at SANDAG.

For more information, visit sandag.org/calendar.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.