Feds. Coming to Town to Talk SCAG, Regional Planning

Four years have passed since the last time the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration conducted a certification review and evaluation of the region’s transportation planning process carried out by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and its partners, and that means it’s time for the process to begin again.

Don't let these guys dominate our regional planning discussions.

Don’t let these guys dominate our regional planning discussions.

A fairly full explanation of this process and its significance was prepared by me the last time this little exercise was undertaken. The process includes a public listening session which will be held February 5, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at SCAG’s offices, 818 West 7th Street, 12th Floor. Video conferencing will be available at SCAG’s Regional Offices for adjacent counties

The listening session is in Downtown Los Angeles across from the 7th/Metro station for the Blue/Expo and Red/Purple lines. Comments can also be submitted in writing or via e-mail. Details are posted on the SCAG website.

In 2009′s session the main attendees at the hearing were disgruntled residents of Sierra Madre who attended at the urging on an online blog known as the Tattler. Here is a recent example of its continual inveighing against SCAG.

While, I am no SCAG apologist, it doesn’t seem the Tattler is concerned about urban planning.

From the start I was vocal about the idiotic SCAGLEV proposal it promoted for far too long (I faint at the thought of the sums wasted on studies before this DOA idea at last quietly expired a few years ago — S*I*G*H). I spent two Regional Transportation Plan cycles on what then was known as the Plans & Programs Technical Advisory Committee which has since morphed into something called the Technical Working Group.

They never disinvited me from the Committee, I just somehow wasn’t included in the e-mail list for the meetings when it was reformed upon the next Plan cycle commencing. In fact most of us Committee members (including academics, non-profits) who were not staff from various agencies EXCEPT AAA were left out at that juncture.

Maybe we asked too many pointed questions?

Like the time with a straight face they presented a proposal for electrifying all the rail lines in the region to reduce pollution and under my prodding admitted they hadn’t even talked to the freight railroads yet to see if they were agreeable to it.

Frankly two cycles of this sort of stuff was enough for me and I didn’t make a fuss over being quietly excluded. You can imagine why I had deja-vu when I recently learned of the squinty way adding a bicycle and pedestrian expert to Metro’s Technical Advisory Committee was handled. Ay Yi Yi!