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WTS LA Hosts Senate Bill 1 Panel Discussion

Sunday, November 19, 2017

by By Monica Ramirez-Ibarra, UCI MSTE/MURP 2018

 

On October 5th, the Los Angeles chapter of WTS hosted a luncheon panel at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown LA, focused on Senate Bill 1 (SB-1).  SB-1, also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, is a legislative package of $54 billion signed into law on April 28, 2017, for maintenance and rehabilitation of California’s transportation infrastructure, focusing on safety, congestion, transit, and the improvement of freight mobility throughout the state.  FAST Executive Director, Hilary Norton, facilitated a discussion among four public sector stakeholders:, Fran Inman from The California Transportation Commission, Carrie Bowen from Caltrans, John Walker from LA County Department of Public Works, and Patricia Chen from LA Metro. The panel discussed improvement strategies and projects that will be accelerated as a result of SB-1 funding. I was among six graduate students in planning and engineering from USC and UCI that were generously sponsored to attend by Jacobs. 

From left to right: attendees Lauren Deaderick, USC Price MPP & MPL 2019; Carrie Brown, Director of Caltrans District 7; Rui Zhang, USC Price MPL 2018;

and Upasana Paul, USC Price MPL 2019

 

The speakers provided different perspectives on the Bill.  California Department of Transportation District 7 Director, Carrie Bowen, detailed Caltrans’ priorities for the expected $5 billion annual SB-1 revenue. With an emphasis on fixing first, Caltrans’s 10-year plan aims to repair or replace 17,000 miles of pavement, 55,000 culverts and drains, 7,000 signals and sensors, and 500 bridges in California. Additionally, it will increase the striping width on state highways from 4 to 6 inches to enhance visibility.

The event concluded with a Q&A section, in which attendees such as Mike Schneider, Senior Vice President  of HDR, showed a particular interest for the implementation of strategies to support public-private partnerships (PPP) under Caltrans’s 10-year plan and other SB-1 funded projects.

 

About the Author: Monica Ramirez-Ibarra

Monica Ramirez-Ibarra is a second-year dual-degree MS Transportation Systems Engineering/Master of Urban and Regional Planning student at the University of California, Irvine, interested in transportation planning and environmental justice. She can be reached at [email protected]