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Fresno COG Policy Board

Thursday, October 29, 2020
5:30 PM

COG Ash Conference Room
2035 Tulare St., Suite 201, Fresno, CA

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodations
The Fresno COG offices and restrooms are ADA accessible. Representatives or individuals with disabilities should contact Fresno COG at (559) 233-4148, at least 3 days in advance, to request auxiliary aids and/or translation services necessary to participate in the public meeting / public hearing. If Fresno COG is unable to accommodate an auxiliary aid or translation request for a public hearing, after receiving proper notice, the hearing will be continued on a specified date when accommodations are available.



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Fresno County Rural Transit Agency Meeting Package - Meeting will follow Policy Board Meeting




About Consent Items:

All items on the consent agenda are considered to be routine and non-controversial by COG staff and will be approved by one motion if no member of the Committee or public wishes to comment or ask questions.  If comment or discussion is desired by anyone, the item will be removed from the consent agenda and will be considered in the listed sequence with an opportunity for any member of the public to address the Committee concerning the item before action is taken.

Executive Minutes of September 24, 2020 [APPROVE]
Urban and Rural Consolidated Transportation Services Agency (CTSA) Operations Program & Budget, Fiscal year 2020-21 (Todd Sobrado) [APPROVE]

Summary:  The Consolidated Transportation Services Agencies’ (CTSA) 2020-21 Operations Program and Budget (OPB) for the Fresno urban and rural service areas is available at The document is designed to provide an overview of how and in what manner the CTSA will be providing service for the remainder of the fiscal year. The OPB’s 45-day review process began on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.  The Social Services Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC) approved the document on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

Action:  Staff, the SSTAC and the TTC/PAC recommend the Fresno COG Board approve Resolution 2020-20 for the rural CTSA, and Resolution 2020-22 for the urban CTSA, adopting the urban and rural Consolidated Transportation Service Agencies’ Operations Program and Budget.

Fresno County Rural Transit Agency\Fresno County EOC Rural Consolidated Transportation Service Agency Transportation Development Act Claim (Les Beshears) [APPROVE]

Approve Resolution 2020-17 adopting Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA)/Fresno County Equal Opportunity Commission's (FCEOC) rural Consolidated Transportation Services Agency (CTSA) 2020-21 Transportation Development Act claims totaling $576,069.

Fresno County EOC Urban Consolidated Transportation Service Agency Transportation Development Act Claims (Les Beshears) [APPROVE]

Approve Resolution 2020-18 adopting FCEOC's (urban CTSA) 2020-21 Transportation Development Act claims totaling $1,124,408.

Redesignation of the Fresno Urban and Rural CTSA’s for FY 2021-22 (Todd Sobrado) [INFORMATION]

Summary: Fresno COG, the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (FEOC), the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA), and the City of Fresno Fresno Area Express (FAX) established the urban and rural Consolidated Transportation Services Agencies (CTSA) in 1983. FAX is co-designated with FEOC to form the urban CTSA, while FCRTA is co-designated with FEOC to form the rural CTSA.  For FY 2021-22, FCRTA and FAX are recommending that each agency be solely designated without FEOC for each of their respective CTSAs.

Staff will return in November with additional information and a resolution to redesignate FAX and FCRTA as sole CTSA providers in their respective service areas.

Action: Information.  The Board may provide further direction at its discretion.

2021 Cycle 5 Active Transportation Program Update (Jennifer Soliz) [INFORMATION]

Summary: The Statewide ATP cycle 5 call for projects was open from March 25, 2020 – September 15, 2020. A log of received applications can be found on the Caltrans website. Project awards will be announced in February and adopted at the CTC meeting in March 2021. The Fresno region submitted 13 ATP infrastructure applications totaling $19,961,000.

The Reginal ATP cycle 5 call for projects is open. Applications are due to Fresno COG November 20, 2020. Regional guidelines and supplemental application information can be found at:

FAQs regarding regional submissions:

  • Eight hard copies must be submitted and include the Caltrans ATP project application, FCOG supplemental application and Board resolution
  • Hard copies must be postmarked or delivered by the application deadline
  • Digital signatures are acceptable on hard copy applications
  • Applications can be printed double-sided
  • Hard copies do not need to be bound

Regional ATP cycle 5 scoring committee members are needed to review and submit final scores for the submitted applications and provide funding recommendations. Those interested in participating on the Regional ATP scoring committee or for further information on eligible projects, application submittal or other questions related to the ATP program, please contact Jennifer Soliz at

Action: Information. The Board may provide additional direction at its discretion.

Availability of Director-Approved 2019 Federal Transportation Improvement Program Amendment No. 12, 2018 Regional Transportation Plan Amendment No. 3, and the Corresponding Air Quality Conformity Analysis (Braden Duran) [INFORMATION]

Summary: Last month, Fresno COG’s Policy Board granted delegated authority to the executive director to approve the draft FTIP Amendment No. 12, draft RTP Amendment No. 3, and the draft 2020 Conformity Analysis, and to submit the package to Caltrans/FHWA directly for state/federal approval. Staff requested this approach to speed up approval due to a delay in the conformity analysis, which put Fresno COG behind schedule of other SJV MPOs, which are also processing amendments. This action will affect this amendment only. All future formal amendments will be brought through the Board for approval.  

A public review and comment period began on September 3, 2020 and concluded on October 2, 2020. Any public comments received have been documented and staff have provided a response.

The final package is attached to this agenda item for your convenience.

Action: Information. This Board may provide further direction at its discretion.

Quarterly Update on the Fresno-Madera State Route 41 and Avenue 9 Sustainable Corridors Study (Braden Duran) [INFORMATION]

Summary: Fresno COG, in partnership with Madera County Transportation Commission (MCTC), is conducting a study to determine State Route 41's future transportation needs in the City of Fresno, as well as the southern segment in Madera County. In addition, the study will analyze future transportation needs along the Avenue 9 corridor in Madera County between SR 41 and SR 99.

The study will recommend sustainable improvements to address residents' transportation needs in both counties through multi-modal approaches. Issues to be addressed include: mobility, access, safety, and connectivity for all modes of travel, including: automobiles, transit, walking, and bicycling.

This project began in July 2020 and will conclude in June 2021.

Consultants IBI Group and a team of subconsultants have begun work. Key milestones achieved include: the first steering committee meeting, a stakeholder list, an existing conditions report, an existing plans review, a public engagement plan, the initial work of a bicounty model effort, and project-management related duties.

Key milestones for the next few months include: a planned improvements report, developing goals and objectives, and the first of three outreach stages. Fresno COG staff will provide quarterly updates for the duration of this project.

All study information and documents can be accessed from:

Please contact Braden Duran ( for any questions on this project.

Action: Information. The Board may provide further direction at its discretion.


Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy

2022 Regional Transportation Plan Policy Element Subcommittee (Meg Prince) [INFORMATION]

Summary: California Government Code Section 65080 requires each Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) to include a policy element that describes transportation issues and needs; identifies legislative, planning, and financial issues and requirements; as well as any areas of regional consensus.

As with the 2018 RTP, Fresno COG is convening a Policy Element Subcommittee to assist producing the policy element. In past RTP cycles, the policy element has been added to, or revised, based on the previous version. The 2022 Policy Element will be redeveloped based on updated guidance from the 2017 RTP Guidelines and 2019 SCS Evaluation Guidelines.

It’s anticipated that the Policy Element Subcommittee will meet several times between November 2020 and February 2021 to develop the draft Policy Element prior to bringing an outline to the RTP Roundtable, TTC, PAC, and Policy Board for review and comment in spring 2021.  

Those interested in participating in the Policy Element Subcommittee or who would like to be added to the email distribution list, please contact Meg Prince at

Action: Information and discussion. The Policy Board may provide additional direction at its discretion.

RTP Transportation Needs Survey Progress (Brenda Veenendaal) [INFORMATION]


Summary:  As previously reported, Fresno COG's 2020 Transportation Needs Survey opened on September 9 collected responses through October 22 after providing a one-week extension. The survey provides an opportunity for Fresno County’s residents to submit transportation project needs/suggestions via an online portal. Those projects could, in turn, become part of the next RTP update if our member agencies choose to submit them as part of the RTP call for projects, to be released November 1, 2020. 

The online survey is most easily accessed through Fresno COG’s RTP website on the RTP Survey page.  There are English, Spanish and Punjabi survey language options. Participants have been invited to drop a marker on a map of Fresno County to show where their suggested project is or would be located. Then participants were asked to describe the transportation need/suggestion, attach a photo of the area if available, and answer relevant demographic questions. 

Fresno COG staff encouraged its member agencies and community partners to share the survey opportunity with their contacts via email, social media or other communication methods commonly used to communicate information. Fresno COG has email invitations, social media posts and flyers in English and Spanish to use in the outreach. 

Staff also hosted a virtual meeting on October 7 on Zoom and aired live on Facebook. The information has been posted on the RTP Survey and Public Participation pages.

Fresno COG staff provided an update on the survey response progress during that meeting. More information on the survey may be obtained by contacting Brenda Veenendaal at

Action: Information and discussion. The Policy Board may provide additional direction at its discretion.

Fresno Futures Defined (Seth Scott) [APPROVE]

Summary: Fresno COG will implement futures planning in its 2022 RTP/SCS scenario analysis, which envisions extreme future conditions against which scenario strategies can be tested.  In July, the RTP Roundtable recommended three futures be explored in scenario analysis: extreme climate, high-tech innovation, and regulatory challenges. Since then, the SCS Technical Committee has, over the course of three meetings, developed language for each of these futures, including narrative descriptions and categorized lists of impacts.  The draft language the SCS Technical Subcommittee developed is attached for consideration.

Action: COG staff, the RTP Roundtable, TTC, and PAC recommend that the Policy Board approve the three futures (extreme climate, high-tech innovation, and regulatory challenges) as described in the narrative descriptions and lists of impacts.

Fresno COG Regional Transportation Safety Improvement Plan Consultant Selection (Trai Her-Cole/Santosh Bhattarai) [APPROVE]

During the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) process, traffic safety was a large concern for Fresno County residents. Providing a detailed regional traffic analysis of incident causes and locations would address that need. 

A safety plan would assist the region in achieving a safer transportation system for all motorized and non-motorized users in Fresno County by reducing fatalities and serious injuries. In addition, the plan would help set federal safety performance targets and support California's Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) in meeting the Strategic Highway Safety Plan's (SHSP) vision and goals.

The plan will identify potential countermeasures for urban and rural areas by mode and develop implementation strategies through a robust public outreach component to engage disadvantaged and hard- to-reach communities. 


Fresno COG released a request for proposals on August 19 for the Safety Improvement Plan and received seven proposals. A consultant selection committee comprising representatives from the County, cities of Fresno, Reedley, Mendota, and Fresno COG reviewed all proposals and conducted consultant interviews on September 24.

The consultant selection committee unanimously chose Kittelson as the preferred consultant. Kittelson is an industry leader, has extensive experience in developing similar plans throughout the state, and has implemented successful outreach programs in the region.

Action: The scoring committee, staff, and TTC/PAC request the Policy Board authorize the executive director to enter into an agreement with Kittelson to produce the Regional Transportation Safety Plan for an amount not to exceed $199,917.55.

Consideration of Request by the California High Speed Rail Authority to Repurpose $24.5 million in Measure C Funding from a Heavy Maintenance Facility to a High Speed Rail Campus (Tony Boren) [INORMATION/DISCUSSION]


SummaryLast month, Fresno Council of Governments (FCOG) along with the Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA) and the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) received correspondence (attached) from the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) requesting that the Fresno COG and FCTA Policy Boards consider “repurposing” the remaining $24.5 million in Measure C Alternative Transportation Program funding that had originally been designated for a heavy-maintenance facility (HMF) in Fresno County. The HMF funding was conditioned on Fresno County being formally selected by the CHSRA as the designated site for the HMF, prior to allocation of the funds by the FCTA.

In 2010, Fresno COG and the FCTA Policy Boards approved Amendment No. 1 to the 2006 Measure C Expenditure Plan to allocate $25 million in Measure C Alternative Transportation Program funds to the CHSRA for various expenses associated with the HMF at the site identified by the Fresno Works regional advocacy group (see attached map).  For CHSRA to access the funds, Fresno County had to be formally selected as the site for the new CHSR HMF prior to the funds becoming available. Subsequently, in 2017 both the Fresno COG/FCTA Policy Boards approved Measure C Amendment No. 3 to authorize $500,000 of the $25 million to obtain purchase options for the properties necessary for the Fresno Works HMF site. Unfortunately, due to a variety of circumstances, the CHSRA Board was unable to make a decision on the location of the HMF within the two years specified, and those property options expired.

CHSRA's request to repurpose the funds from the HMF to a HSR campus, will require a new Measure C Plan amendment, considering the HSR campus involves different land uses and facilities from the HSR HMF facilities approved in Measure C Amendment No. 1. The newly proposed HSR campus will include an operations control center, training center and maintenance-of-way station, but will not include a HMF as originally envisioned.  CHSRA staff have made it clear that an HMF will not be needed for many years and therefore will not be sited at this time. They do not anticipate requiring an HMF until the rolling stock has been in service for years and is ready for comprehensive maintenance. The proposed maintenance-of-way facility will suffice until an HMF is required. Train sets will be assembled at the proposed HSR Campus facility.

As both Fresno COG/FCTA Policy Boards' support for the original HMF funding was centered to a great degree on the regional economic benefits that would be generated by the HMF, there has been considerable discussion with the Fresno County EDC Executive Director (Lee Ann Eager) about the number and type of jobs that would be associated with the facilities identified in the new HSR campus proposal. To answer this question, Ms. Eager is developing projections for jobs and the likely overall economic impact that would result from the HSR campus facility and will present those findings to both the Fresno COG/FCTA Policy Boards.  Tentatively, based on an early assessment, it does appear the number of jobs and diversity of jobs that would be created are substantial.  Going further, the initial assessment shows that these are jobs that would be available within the next few years.

Due to the lengthy history and details associated with the Fresno regions’ pursuit of the CHSR HMF, this agenda item is being presented as “discussion only” this month. The Fresno COG Policy Board discussion will be followed by the FCTA having a similar agenda item at its next meeting.  In the event that after discussing repurposing the HMF funds, both the Fresno COG/FCTA Boards wish to move forward with formally repurposing the Measure C funds, Fresno COG will schedule an action item for the new  Measure C plan amendment that will be required to shift the funding from the HMF to a CHSR campus.  The Fresno COG Board meeting would then be followed by an FCTA Board action hearing on the proposed amendment.  Formal approval of a Measure C Plan Amendment requires the support of both the Fresno COG/FCTA Policy Boards.  

Several TTC members expressed the importance of a “negotiation” of some type with the HSRA to make the Measure C funding available. One suggestion was that the $24.5 million be made available for the new HSR campus only if Fresno is identified as the future location of the HMF. Another suggestion was that the Measure C funding should be made available on a “phased” basis. For example, once a particular project development milestone is achieved in the HSR campus project, a certain percentage of the overall $24.5 million would be allocated to the HSR. Once the second project milestone is met, an additional amount of funding would be allocated, etc. The only PAC comment received was from Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba who was supportive of allocating the entire $24.5 million to the HSR campus per the HSRA request.

Action:  Information/discussion. Further direction may be provided at the Board's discretion.

Caltrans Report (Caltrans) [INFORMATION]


About Consent Items:

All items on the consent agenda are considered to be routine and non-controversial by COG staff and will be approved by one motion if no member of the Committee or public wishes to comment or ask questions.  If comment or discussion is desired by anyone, the item will be removed from the consent agenda and will be considered in the listed sequence with an opportunity for any member of the public to address the Committee concerning the item before action is taken.



Items from Staff

Request for Proposals for 2022 RTP/SCS Environmental Impact Report (Meg Prince) [INFORMATION]

Items from Members


Public Presentations

This portion of the meeting is reserved for persons wishing to address the Committee on items within its jurisdiction but not on this agenda.  Note:  Prior to action by the Committee on any item on this agenda, the public may comment on that item.  Unscheduled comments may be limited to three minutes.