Executive Director’s Monthly Report, June 2022


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President Harnik Shares Region’s Housing and Transportation Priorities

SCAG President Jan Harnik had the pleasure of hosting a recent meeting with Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) to discuss our region’s housing and transportation budget priorities, such as the Regional Council’s support for an augmentation to the Infill Infrastructure Grant program and using budget surplus dollars to fully fund the Active Transportation Program. Chair Gonzalez shared information on a number of her priorities as well, such as SB 1104, which would establish the Office of Freight within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to serve as the coordinating entity to steer the growth, competitiveness and sustainability for freight and ports across the state. This meeting is part of a series of outreach meetings to support SCAG’s housing and infrastructure budget priorities. President Harnik was joined by Immediate Past President Clint Lorimore, Second Vice President Art Brown, Legislative/Communications and Membership Committee Vice Chair Jose Solache, and Regional Councilmembers Cindy Allen, Ali Saleh, and Ray Hamada.

REAP 2.0 Draft Program Framework Outreach

Through April and May, SCAG’s Regional Early Action Planning Grants of 2021 (REAP 2.0) Draft Program Framework was widely shared with the public through email blasts, newsletters, and two virtual information sessions (April 25 and April 27), as well as on the SCAG website. The public comment period was open from April 19, 2022 to May 19, 2022. Six public comment letters were received during the comment period from the City of Los Angeles, Coachella Valley Association of Governments, and the Gateway Cities, South Bay Cities, San Gabriel Valley, and Ventura Councils of Governments. Based on the comments received, SCAG has generated a summary of themes and hosted an information session to share feedback. SCAG will present the final Program Framework to the Executive/Administration Committee in June and seek adoption by the Regional Council in July.

Regional Data Platform/Local Data Exchange Update

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 platform includes publicly available resources and tools, which can be accessible to both the public and local jurisdictions. Cities and Counties in the SCAG region can also take advantage of complementary GIS licenses. To date, more than 130 jurisdictions have received these licenses to support their local planning activities.

SCAG introduced the Local Data Exchange (LDX) process to serve as an extensive data exchange process with local jurisdictions to support Connect SoCal 2024 development. SCAG will engage in the LDX process to gather the most updated information available from local jurisdictions covering land use and growth to help understand how the region is developing and the extent to which we are meeting our climate goals. Over the course of 2022, SCAG’s Local Information Services Team (LIST) plans to meet one-on-one (for 90 minutes) with all 197 local jurisdictions to discuss maps in their local context, provide background on the development of Connect SoCal 2024, and provide training on available tools in RDP to local jurisdictions. Detailed information about the LDX process can be found in a letter that was sent via email to all Planning Directors in the region on May 23. For Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino County jurisdictions, these meetings will be initiated by the subregional councils of government. For Imperial, Los Angeles, and Ventura County jurisdictions, please select a meeting time at your earliest convenience. Please reach out to LIST at list@scag.ca.gov for any questions.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Six-Month Anniversary

Over the past six months, federal agencies have been working to implement the bipartisan infrastructure law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). To date, the Biden administration has announced the availability of approximately $110 billion in federal formula and competitive grant funding, which can be viewed on an interactive map by state or project category. Over the next few months, there will be several funding opportunities for local governments and transportation agencies across new and existing programs. The White House re-released a comprehensive guidebook to help navigate through this information and a Technical Assistance Guide that provides a list of over 65 technical assistance resources and programs across the federal government. Below is a current list of open Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) issued for transportation and broadband-related competitive programs:




JOINT: Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program and Low or No Emission Grant Program

May 31, 2022

Federal Transit Administration

Port Security Grant Program

June 13, 2022

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Transit Security Grant Program

June 13, 2022

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Intercity Bus Security Grant Program

June 13, 2022

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Airport Improvement Program

June 30, 2022

Federal Aviation Administration

Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program

July 18, 2022

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning

July 25, 2022

Federal Transit Administration

Clean School Bus Program

August 19, 2022

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Safe Streets and Roads for All Discretionary Grant Program

September 15, 2022

Office of the Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation

Go Human Update

SCAG’s Partner-Supported Projects Receive Awards from the American Planning Association – Los Angeles Section

SCAG celebrates the following awarded projects, recognized by the American Planning Association – Los Angeles Section (APA-LA), that were supported by SCAG resources, including:  

  • Equity Lenses: Targeting Equitable Community Investment Across Southern California: Academic Category, Award of Excellence – SCAG student fellow Jayne Vidheecharoen, from UCLA, developed a multilayered mapping and scorecard tool to guide equitable investment in the SCAG region. Learn more about her project here.  
  • Biking While Black: Communications Initiative Category, Award of Excellence – Using Go Human Mini-Grant funding, mobility justice strategist Yolanda Davis Overstreet filmed and released “Biking While Black,” a short documentary centering the daily experiences that Black lives encounter while bicycling. Watch the film here.  
  • Safe Routes to School Los Angeles: Neighborhood Planning Category, Award of Excellence – Safe Routes to School Los Angeles, a Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Los Angeles Unified partnership, secured funding to construct Safe Routes to School Plans, including efforts for the SRTS Westlake/Pico Union Neighborhoods Project, to utilize a robust concept-to-construction model, inclusive of community-centered planning and pop-up safety demonstrations, with support from Go Human. 

Congratulations to all the award winners!

Go Human Mini-Grants 

SCAG has selected 26 projects to receive funding through the Go Human Mini-Grants program. SCAG will distribute over $350,000 to community-based organizations and non-profits to lead projects that address traffic safety in each of SCAG’s six counties. Recipients will implement pedestrian safety campaigns, create murals to encourage safe driving, provide bicycle education, and install temporary safety infrastructure to educate communities on potential improvements, among other creative project types. Projects will be implemented between June and August. During the call for applications, which closed in April, SCAG received 37 applications requesting nearly $500,000. Awardees will be announced in June.

Go Human Demonstrations Across the Region 

SCAG’s Go Human campaign supported partners across the region with temporary safety demonstration projects that utilized the Kit of Parts lending library of resources. On May 11, the Westmorland Union School District and Imperial County Office of Education showcased a temporary artistic crosswalk as part of their Walk and Bike to School event. More than 120 students, parents, and staff participated in the event in the City of Westmorland. On May 21, the City of Azusa held a demonstration project, alongside the CommUNITY Festival, showcasing a creative crosswalk, parklet, and curb extensions. Feedback was also collected from more than 50 community members. 

SCAG’s Go Human Campaign Partners with the Active Transportation Resource Center 

SCAG’s Go Human campaign has partnered with the Active Transportation Resource Center (ATRC) to implement a Statewide Kit of Parts Pilot Program. The Kit of Parts is a lending library of pop-up materials to temporarily demonstrate potential and planned street design treatments and safety infrastructure to create safer and more inviting public spaces. The Statewide Pilot Program will provide three selected agencies with an opportunity to plan and implement a one-day to one-week active transportation temporary demonstration project, with the goal of accomplishing a piece of the community engagement piece to a future Active Transportation Program (ATP) application or other grant opportunities. Applications for agency involvement opened on May 24 and can be found here.

Toolbox Tuesday Training on Housing Preservation Efforts

On May 24, SCAG hosted a Toolbox Tuesday training and was joined by The California Housing Partnership, Enterprise Community Partners, Fideicomiso Comunitario Tierra Libre, and the California Community Land Trust Network to discuss housing preservation efforts. Speakers showcased the policies and technical assistance efforts underway as well as existing, new, and proposed resources for acquisition and preservation of unsubsidized properties. SCAG staff also shared data and mapping tools in the Regional Data Platform, which can be used to support these collaborative efforts. SCAG’s Toolbox Tuesday technical webinars provide a range of practical skills and knowledge for local planners, including training in the use of tools and education in practical approaches to timely planning issues. Materials from the training session, as well as for past trainings, are available on the Toolbox Tuesday Online Training Materials webpage. Register here for the next Toolbox Tuesday training on “Census and American Community Survey Data Using the R Statistical Programming Language,” scheduled for June 7, 2022. Please reach out to LIST at list@scag.ca.gov for any questions.

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