Executive Director’s Monthly Report, April 2022


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SCAG’s 57th Annual Regional Conference & General Assembly is just around the corner on May 5–6. Register today for access to high-quality presentations and panels, featuring engaging speakers and thought leaders, and unbeatable networking opportunities filled with collaborative, solution-oriented discussions on fostering change and addressing challenges in our communities. The event will also feature the presentation of the 2022 SCAG Sustainability Awards, the region’s highest honors for projects that promote and improve mobility, livability, prosperity, and sustainability in Southern California. The event is free for elected officials and city managers in the region. Don’t wait to make your plans – the special conference rate of $169 per night at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa ends on April 12. For more information about the event, including COVID-19 protocols, visit scag.ca.gov/ga2022.


South Bay Cities Council of Governments General Assembly

SCAG proudly sponsored the 22nd Annual South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG) General Assembly, which was held March 24 in Carson. The event featured panels on “Building a Community of Innovation” and “A Glimpse into the Future: Aerospace and Defense,” plus TEDx-style talks on how to reduce our carbon footprint. Attendees heard from speakers on how cities can leverage a new multi-dimensional world to create a business-friendly environment, well-trained workforce, and a sustainable, livable community, as well as private sector perspectives on fulfilling a “smart, livable, robust, and vibrant” vision for the South Bay subregion. Congratulations to SBCCOG Executive Director Jack Bacharach and SCAG Regional Councilmember and Chair of SBCCOG Mayor Drew Boyles for such an excellent event.

COMTO Southern California Celebrates Women in Transportation

SCAG sponsored this year’s Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Southern California Chapter’s reception celebrating women in transportation, which was held March 26 in Los Angeles. COMTO is the leading national advocate for employment diversity, inclusion, and contracting opportunities in the transportation industry. Congratulations to Schenaé Rourk, President of Redwood Resources, Marion Colston, Senior Director at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), and Carrie Bowen, Principal Advisor at HDR, for their incredible contributions.


REAP 1.0 Program Highlights

With program implementation well underway for the Regional Early Action Planning Grants (REAP) 2019 program, SCAG has seen some notable successes in the recent months, with almost 60 projects having kicked off by March 2022. These projects include housing element technical assistance, accessory dwelling unit (ADU) analysis, model ordinance templates, affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) analysis, surplus land inventories, housing-supportive infrastructure inventories, and outreach and education across various projects.

The Call for Collaboration, which funds community-based organizations’ (CBO) local planning and housing initiatives by promoting community-driven, equitable growth strategies, has kicked off all projects and has thus far increased involvement of CBOs and advocacy groups in housing element development.

The Sustainable Communities Program’s (SCP) Housing and Sustainable Development call for projects included 12 project “bundles” for 24 jurisdictions, with eight projects kicked off and four additional projects in the procurement process.

This month, SCAG released a request for proposals to seek grant writing technical assistance to support our member jurisdictions applying for affordable housing funding.

REAP 2.0 Program Development Outreach Update

The Regional Early Action Planning Grants of 2021 (REAP 2.0) Draft Program Guidelines were released on March 24, 2022. Comments on the draft are due by April 15, 2022. While the program guidelines are still being finalized, SCAG hosted one-on-one meetings with subregional councils of government (COG) to identify partnership opportunities for REAP 2.0 stakeholder outreach and program development. SCAG staff will summarize feedback received and share back with the COGs at the April Subregional Directors meeting, along with recommended next steps. SCAG staff also convened the County Transportation Commission (CTC) Partnership Working Group meeting on March 31, 2022, initiating the first in a series of meetings intended to identify partnership initiatives for REAP 2.0.

SCAG will host two virtual information sessions on April 25 and April 27 to share a REAP 2.0 program overview and the program development timeline. During the information sessions SCAG staff will present the draft framework that SCAG has developed to guide its program development activities. The public comment period will open April 25, 2022 and be open until 3:00 p.m. on May 25, 2022. All comments should be sent to james@scag.ca.gov.

In the coming months SCAG will host virtual focus groups and listening sessions, by sector and geographic area, to seek feedback on core objectives driving the development of the housing supportive infrastructure program and prioritization of projects.


With the help of California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, SCAG secured $480,000 in Community Project Funding for the Highways to Boulevard Regional Study. SCAG’s earmark was included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act (H.R. 2471), which Congress approved with a bipartisan vote and was signed by President Joe Biden on March 15, 2022. The study will identify and evaluate urban highways within the SCAG region that could be converted to city streets that better fit the context of their surroundings, particularly within environmental justice areas and disadvantaged communities. This study will offer a path for reconnecting communities by replacing aging highways with city streets. Many of the communities (where there is a disproportionate focus on personal vehicle infrastructure) that will benefit the most from this study have experienced higher than average transit ridership and lower than average vehicle ownership. Apart from the support provided by Senators Feinstein and Padilla, a number of elected officials, cities, and agencies provided support letters for the funding request, including: Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-El Monte), Congressman Jimmy Gomez (D- Los Angeles), Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (D-San Pedro), the California Department of Transportation, City of Los Angeles, City of Rialto, and Metro.


Call for Applications Released for Community Engagement Mini-Grants 

On March 28, with support from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), SCAG released its Call for Applications for the Go Human Community Engagement Mini-Grants Program to support creative, community-driven traffic safety and engagement projects. SCAG will award up to $15,000 to 25 selected projects. To access the application or to learn more about the upcoming information sessions and eligibility, please visit the Go Human webpage. Applications are due Friday, April 29.

Three Temporary Safety Demonstration Projects in March 

SCAG’s Go Human campaign hosted three demonstration projects to showcase temporary safety infrastructure improvements and collect community feedback. Demonstrations included: 

  • On Saturday, March 12, SCAG’s Go Human campaign joined the City of Cathedral City and local partners at the City’s Butterfly Festival in Panorama Park. The event engaged residents in the city’s ongoing Active Transportation Plan development and provided an opportunity to experience and provide feedback on future street safety improvements. The event attracted more than 150 people with participants sharing positive feedback on the temporary improvements, including a creative crosswalk and temporary bike lane. The demonstration was held alongside a co-branded advertising campaign, reaching residents in Cathedral City and seeking input on the ongoing Active Transportation Plan. The feedback from this event will help shape the plan and future safety improvements in the city. Please visit the webpage for this event for highlights.
  • On Saturday, March 19, the City of San Bernardino partnered with SCAG’s Go Human campaign to hold a demonstration project in downtown San Bernardino. The event was a part of the community engagement effort for the City’s General Plan update, “San Bernardino 2050: The Future is Ours,” and was held in conjunction with the San Bernardino Arts Fest. The event attracted over 100 community members, showcasing a creative crosswalk, separated bike lane, parklet, and curb extension. The demonstration provided an opportunity for residents to provide feedback and learn more about potential pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in the city.
  • On Friday, March 25, SCAG’s Go Human campaign partnered with the City of Pomona and Cal Poly Pomona to hold a demonstration project in collaboration with the annual Town & Gown Bike Ride. The demonstration activated a portion of the route with a temporary creative crosswalk and curb extensions, creating a safer and more enjoyable place to walk and bike. The city plans to incorporate community feedback into the launch of a Citywide Complete Streets Ordinance, a project in collaboration with SCAG. Please visit the webpage for this event for highlights.


The Regional Data Platform (RDP) is a revolutionary system for collaborative data sharing and planning designed to facilitate better planning at all levels – from cities and counties of all sizes up to the region as a whole. The RDP places data and technology in the hands of local jurisdictions to support more robust community planning, to provide resources to help solve many of our common challenges, and to align with Connect SoCal’s objectives. The platform includes publicly available resources and tools, which can be accessible to both the public and local jurisdictions.

Local Data Exchange

As a part of the launch, SCAG introduced the Local Data Exchange (LDX) to begin an extensive data exchange process with local jurisdictions to support Connect SoCal 2024 development. This bottom-up approach ensures that local jurisdictions are actively involved in the development of SCAG’s regional plans and that the data is accurate. In the LDX system, designated users can provide updates, edits, and share local data with SCAG through a secured file upload or a web editor. These tools are built using the latest technologies to allow two-way data exchange between SCAG and local jurisdictions to efficiently facilitate the LDX process. If you would like to get credentials and one-on-one technical assistance, please submit your request by visiting the RDP Regional Hub or contact us via the Local Information Services Team (LIST) email at list@scag.ca.gov.

Toolbox Tuesday Training

SCAG’s Toolbox Tuesday trainings provide a range of practical skills and knowledge for local planners, including training in the use of computer-based tools and education in practical approaches to timely planning issues. On March 15, SCAG and Esri provided a walkthrough of the RDP and the LDX process. The platform catalyzes spatial data and technology in the hands of local jurisdictions to enhance robust, transparent, and collaborative community planning. Materials from the training session, as well as for past trainings, are available on the Toolbox Tuesday Online Training Materials webpage.

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