Ventura County General Plan Update: Transportation and Infrastructure

By Sheryl Hamlin

The county has embarked on a multi-year, multi-million dollar update to its General Plan Update (GPU) for the unincorporated areas. The website for commenting and status is vc2040.org. Citizens can also sign up here for announcements.

Previous articles about this process were here:

There are six focus groups: Transportation and Infrastructure, Water, Climate Change, Agriculture, Economic Development and Open Space & Recreation. ON Tuesday, March 28th, the various Focus Groups met to review the draft documents in their respective areas.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Focus Group met with about two dozen in attendance, most of whom represented various county and city agencies. The document discussed was the 37 page Executive Summary for the 96 page Transportation and Mobility Draft. The Executive Summary was distributed to the group.

Jim Harnish, principal of mintierharnish, explained that 40 to 50 people contributed to the Draft Background Report, which is a snapshot in time of existing county conditions. Bob Lagomarsino of mintierharnish noted that without planning exercises and policy neutral, the document would be a baseline for policy development as they go forward, which is why review is essential.

Committee Discussion

  • How will long term freight movement out of Port Hueneme affect transit?
  • How will all the projects be funded?
  • Differentiating in report between items not in county, such as ‘Park and Ride’.
  • Intra-county transit patterns are missing from report
  • Levels of Service discrepancy pn page 16. This is because in some places level ‘E’ is acceptable. The mobility consultant, Jim Damkowitch, said that with the passage of SB743, CEQA will no longer identify impacts using Levels of Service, but rather “vehicle miles traveled”. This legislation passed and represents a major shift in transportation thinking: congestion is not the primary thrust. He also said that AB1600 changed how fees to development were to be charged, rather than LOS based but in traffic. Traffic stats can now be obtained from cell phone data, so is easier to obtain, he said. Steve de George spoke of the VCTC Travel Demand Model.
  • One member said that the report did not identify significant deficiences in infrastructure with respect to water. The group discussed Supervisor Bennet’s recent water forums which were reported here and here. There was also discussion about SGMA (Strategic Groundwater Management Act) and the General Plan, to which Jim Harnish said that Ventura County and Fox Canyon are leading the state in policies. Previous reports on SGMA can be read here.
  • A question was asked if there was a study to compare the cost of bicycle paths to benefits of other transportation spending in light of the $400 million high construction shortfall? Jim Harnish responded negatively, while Dave Fleisch said that the shortfall did not represent the capital budget. They rely on grant funding for bicycle.
  • Mr. Fleisch suggested that the connections from major roads and highways (126 and 101) to city streets such as Victoria, should be analyzed technically. Mr. Damkowitch said that could include ramp radii. He also noted that the chapter on freight signage was challenging because the FTA (Federal Transit Administration) Network is tricky. Truckers are generally told, he said, to take the “quickest route”, but not the FTA network route and the navigation systems don’t know FTA routing.
  • Electric cars will be considered in the Climate Change segment, as well as “Transit as a Service” (TOS), all of which, the participants agreed, is highly speculative, particularly the amount of market penetration the EV’s will have.

The comment period for the is still open. The form allows comments chapter by chapter.


What We Heard From the Public (4,725 Public Comments)

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One Response to Ventura County General Plan Update: Transportation and Infrastructure

  1. Sheryl April 4, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Sheryl Hamlin spoke saying that transportation should be considered an economic driver. Cross-county transit, inter-county transit connections and even good LAX connection could bring residents to the county who work elsewhere.

    Reply

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