At the center of the transportation planning process is the Regional Transportation Plan. The RTP is a long-term (20-year) general plan for the region’s transportation network, and encompasses projects for all types of travel, including aviation and freight movement. The plan assesses environmental impacts of proposed projects, and establishes air quality conformity as required by federal regulations. The document also discusses inter-modal and multi-modal transportation activities.
The Federal Transportation Improvement Program is a plan for the incremental implementation of the long-range Regional Transportation Plan. The FTIP presents to federal funding agencies manageable components for the funding of long-term plans.
Kern COG maintains and runs a regional travel demand forecast model or transportation model for the Kern County region. The model is used to forecast the demand for future transportation infrastructure by predicting future travel patterns based on a variety of factors including locally approved general plan land use entitlements, input from local planning departments on socio-economic growth areas, and state and federal data sources. Some of the forecast input variables include populations, households, employment, school enrollment, income, traffic counts, speeds, intersection configuration, existing and planned transportation networks.
The Regional Transportation Improvement Program is the formal presentation to the state of projects that local agencies wish to implement within the next four years. Once projects are approved in the Regional Transportation Plan, they are incorporated into the RTIP for ultimate inclusion into the Federal Transportation Improvement Program.
Kern COG works in cooperation with various state agencies and other planning organizations throughout the San Joaquin Valley to ensure a coordinated approach to transportation planning. Kern COG is a member of several regional collaboratives that work together to address regional issues.
San Joaquin Valley Transportation Planning Agencies
Eight federally designated Metropolitan Planning Associations, including Kern COG, and two Rural Transportation Planning Agencies coordinate efforts to address transportation and air quality issues that impact the entire valley. In 1991, the San Joaquin Valley TPA Directors began meeting regularly to discuss and develop strategies to address state and federal air quality/transportation issues. The eight transportation planning agencies have entered into a joint memorandum of understanding for the purposes of coordinating transportation planning activities. A second MOU exists among the eight TPAs and the Air District for the purposes of coordinating transportation/air quality planning activities.
Eastern California Transportation Planning Partnership
The Eastern California Transportation Planning Partnership comprises representatives from Kern, Inyo, Mono and San Bernardino counties and Southern California Association of Governments. It is intended to address transportation corridors of mutual concern, such as State Routes 14, 58 and U.S. 395. Route improvements in eastern California will ensure that vital tourism, public transportation and freight movement interests among all regions are properly addressed over the next several decades. The partnership was created by a memorandum of understanding in July, 2002.
For information on the role of various agencies, visit the links below:
Kern COG coordinates regional air quality planning efforts for on-road mobile source emissions in the Kern Region. Kern is divided into three air basins/planning areas. The San Joaquin Valley, the Mojave Desert and the Indian Wells Valley Planning Area of the Mojave Desert.
San Joaquin Valley Air Basin
The San Joaquin Valley portion of Kern has failed to attain the federal standards for Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM).
- Ozone – To control ozone emissions Kern COG and its member agencies identified all reasonably available control measures (RACM) in accordance with the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act.
- Particulate Matter – To control PM emissions Kern COG and its member agencies identified all best available control measures (BACM) in accordance with the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act.
Kern COG coordinates with the eight San Joaquin Valley counties in air quality planning efforts. For the latest status on the San Joaquin Valley, go to: www.valleyair.org.
Eastern Kern County Air Basin
The mountain and desert portions of Kern have failed to attain some of the federal standards for PM. For the latest status on Eastern Kern, go to: www.kernair.org.
Kern COG also functions as the Kern Motorist Aid Authority (KMAA), which operates roadside call boxes for drivers who require assistance after a vehicle breakdown or other non-emergency situation. KMAA was founded in 1990 to implement a call box system on designated state highways throughout Kern County. The availability of call boxes on rural roads provides aid to motorists traveling in and through the area.
In addition to assuming responsibility for the design, installation and maintenance of the call box system in Kern County, the KMAA works with the appropriate local and state agencies to implement and maintain the system. The KMAA is a member of the California Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (CalSAFE) organization.
Transportation Corridors may be multi-regional or multi jurisdictional. Roads and highways do not stop at a jurisdictional boundary. By identifying an approved location for a future transportation corridor, many community and environmental impacts can be avoided.
Regional coordination of transportation planning allows local and state agencies to work cooperatively in addressing both the inter-regional and inter-jurisdictional transportation need. Identifying and approving corridor locations prior to the development of housing and businesses permits local agencies to incorporate the approved road or highway corridor into local master plans and allows protection of the corridor at the time of development. Information on corridor plans can be found with our documents.
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) describes the application of electronic, computer and communication technology to vehicles and roadways to increase safety, reduce congestion, enhance mobility, minimize environmental impact, increase energy efficiency and promote economic productivity for a healthier economy. More information is available here.