91 Project - Main Street And Other Closures
Motorists who use the Main Street onramp to head east on State Route 91 (SR-91) will soon have to choose another way to join the thousands of other commuters driving to Riverside and beyond. Starting January 20, 2015, the
“Main Street Squeeze” is coming to Main Street in Corona as construction continues on the 91 Project. Both northbound and southbound travel on Main Street will be reduced to two lanes in each direction between the westbound 91 ramps and Third Street. In addition, the eastbound onramp will be closed for approximately 15 months. For additional details, including a map of the road closures, please click here.
The SR-91 in Riverside County ranks among the nation’s worst commutes with stop-and-go traffic being the norm during morning and late-afternoon rush hours. The 91 Project started construction in early 2014; when completed in 2017, the project will add regular lanes, tolled express lanes, and auxiliary lanes to 8-miles of the 91 freeway between the 15/91 interchange and the Orange County line. Complete project details are available at http://www.sr91project.info/.
LOCAL REVENUE FUNDS INCREASING
As the first step in the annual budget process, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (Commission) released its revenue projections for Fiscal Year 2015/16. Revenue projections include Measure A, the 1/2 cent sales tax program for transportation; Local Transportation Fund (LTF), which consists of funding derived from a 1/4 cent of the state's sales tax; and Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fees (TUMF). TUMF revenues consist of fees charged to new developments to ensure they pay for transportation facilities needed to accommodate growth. For FY 2015/16, the Commission approved revenue projections as follows:
|MEASURE A $170||million|
When making projections, staff considers revenue trends, historical receipts, economic data, and forecast studies. Click here for a copy of the annual sales tax forecast of Measure A and LTF revenues prepared by Beacon Economics, LLC.
STATE CAP AND TRADE FUNDING
The Commission received a report on state policies regarding state Cap and Trade (CAT) funding and Disadvantaged Communities. The report was developed to encourage conversation and collaboration among local government leaders in Riverside County to develop strategies to secure additional funding for projects. AB 32 (Pavley) the landmark legislation that set statewide objectives for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, included authorization of a program that capped allowable carbon emissions by certain industries and created a market for carbon credits to be purchased above the cap. These credit purchases create a revenue stream to fund projects that mitigate carbon emissions. CAT is expected to generate as much as $15 billion in revenue over its lifetime. SB 535 (DeLeon) requires 25 percent of all CAT funds be spent in a manner that benefits disadvantaged communities and 10 percent of all CAT funds be spent on projects. This legislation necessitated the creation of a data driven tool to determine what a disadvantaged community is. The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) developed a tool known as CalEnvironScreen for the state to quantitatively and qualitatively measure cumulative environmental health impacts on specific communities and identifies those communities with the greatest disadvantage. Major portions of Riverside County are designated by CalEPA as disadvantaged. Review of the map, available here, will find much of the urban northwestern county and large areas of the eastern Coachella Valley are covered. As a result, there is reasonable cause for Riverside County to look at CAT as a viable funding source for sustainable communities projects.
A public workshop to discuss funds available under CAT programs will be held at the city of Riverside City Hall on January 30, 2015, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The workshop is being hosted by State Senator Richard Roth and Assemblyman Jose Medina, in partnership with the city of Riverside and UC Riverside.
A complete copy of the staff report and presentation on state Cap and Trade Funding is available here.