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COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES FISCAL YEAR 2011 FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS REQUESTS

On an annual basis, Congress approves a spending bill for the Department of Transportation, commonly known as the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act. Members of Congress solicit requests from local agencies for priority projects worthy of congressional support. At the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s (Commission) February 10, 2010 meeting, the following projects were approved for staff to seek federal funding support:

  • Perris Valley Line (PVL)
    Perris Valley LineExtends existing Metrolink commuter rail service 24 miles further into Riverside County, creating better access to popular commuter rail transportation destinations. Once completed, the PVL will provide a 40-minute commute from the South Perris station to downtown Riverside in comparison with the 80-minute trip projected for rush hour traffic in 2030.
  • Alameda Corridor East Grade Separations
    Riverside County is impacted by both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways’ transcontinental mainlines that are part of a strategic trade corridor — Alameda Corridor East — linking California and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the rest of the country. Despite the recent downturn in the economy, the amount of goods that reach their final destination across the country via Southern California’s goods movement network is expected to triple by 2030. Currently, there are 58 at-grade rail-roadway crossings in Riverside County contributing to traffic congestion, lost productivity, safety, and air quality impacts.
  • SR-91 Corridor Improvement Project
    SR-91Focuses on increasing capacity for an existing eight-mile stretch of SR-91 from the Riverside County Line to just east of the I-15 in the city of Corona and the I-15 between Ontario Avenue and SR-91. This segment of SR-91 is one of the most congested routes in Southern California, with a current average daily traffic count of 280,000 vehicles.
  • I-215 Bi-County Gap Closure Project
    An eight-plus mile project that will provide immediate traffic relief along I-215 from SR-60 to Orange Show Road in San Bernardino by closing the gap in the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. The project, estimated to be completed by 2014, will add one HOV lane in each direction through re-striping and minor pavement widening.
  • I-10 Corridor Interchanges in the Coachella Valley
    The I-10 corridor serves as the gateway to the Coachella Valley. Currently, five interchanges — Palm Drive, Bob Hope Drive/Ramon Road, Indian Avenue, Jefferson Street, and Date Palm Drive — will move from design stage to construction after many years of development by the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) and local cities. While progress is being made, more work remains to be done on additional interchanges that will further facilitate access to desert cities for people and goods. The Commission and CVAG will work on a joint request for I-10 corridor funds that emphasizes the importance of the I-10 to the economic development of the Coachella Valley.

    A groundbreaking ceremony and open house to celebrate the start of the five interchange projects on I-10 is scheduled for Friday, February 26, 2010. Additional details of the event can be downloaded at www.i10cvcprojects.com/groundbreaking/

DEMONSTRATION PROJECT FOR COACHELLA VALLEY PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE

Intercity rail service between Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley has been in the discussion stages for several years. Part of the discussion included the development of the Passenger Rail Feasibility Study, which was completed in 1999. Since that time, the state of California included the proposed route in its State Rail Plan. The result is that the basic feasibility of implementing the service has been approved as funds become available; however, given the state’s current financial situation, it is unlikely that the service would be funded in the near future. To facilitate this effort, the Commission approved a motion to seek federal funds for a demonstration project for Coachella Valley passenger rail service. The Commission and CVAG staff will begin working together along with congressional offices to develop a strategy to secure funding for such a project.

DEMONSTRATION PROJECT FOR COACHELLA VALLEY PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE

Intercity rail service between Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley has been in the discussion stages for several years. Part of the discussion included the development of the Passenger Rail Feasibility Study, which was completed in 1999. Since that time, the state of California included the proposed route in its State Rail Plan. The result is that the basic feasibility of implementing the service has been approved as funds become available; however, given the state’s current financial situation, it is unlikely that the service would be funded in the near future. To facilitate this effort, the Commission approved a motion to seek federal funds for a demonstration project for Coachella Valley passenger rail service. The Commission and CVAG staff will begin working together along with congressional offices to develop a strategy to secure funding for such a project.

UPCOMING MEETING

The Commission will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at 9:30 a.m. at the Riverside County Administrative Center, Board of Supervisors Meeting Room, 4080 Lemon Street, Riverside.

SPEAKER’S BUREAU

The Commission also maintains a speaker’s bureau that actively makes presentations throughout the county on transportation issues. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your service club or community organization, please contact Eliza Echevarria at (951) 787-7141 or eechevarria@rctc.org.

FOLLOW RCTC ON TWITTER

In an effort to enhance public outreach, RCTC has created a twitter account — an internet messaging site that allows anyone to post information on a real time basis. If you use Twitter, you can follow RCTC at twitter.com/RCTC.

Transportation in the News

Inland Counties Celebrate Amid Transportation Funding Uncertainty
(Press Enterprise, 2/10/2010)

Officials Focus on Federal Funding for Bridges, Trains, Carpool Lanes
(Press Enterprise, 2/9/2010)

2nd Measure A Off to Slow Start, but Recession Offers Chance to ‘Catch Up’
(North County Times, 2/6/2010)

‘511’ Addresses Information Void
(Inland News Today, 2/4/2010)

Groups Band Together To Bring Traffic Updates
(KESQ.com, 2/1/2010)

OC-RivCo Tunnel Feasible, but Pricey
(Press Enterprise, 2/1/2010)

Transportation Board Mulls Raising Debt Limit
(Desert Sun, 1/29/2010)

Riverside County Launches 511 Service
(Desert Sun, 1/29/2010)

REGION: Study Says Tunnel Feasible but Costly
(North County Times, 1/27/2010)

New 511 Service to Assist Commuters and Motorists
(Press Release, 1/27/2010)

Regional Transit Center Opens in Perris for Buses
(Press Enterprise, 1/18/2010)

Riverside County Transportation Commission
P.O. Box 12008 • Riverside, CA 92502-2208 • Phone: (951) 787-7141 • Fax: (951) 787-7920
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