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San Bernardino Associated Governments, known as SANBAG, is the council of governments and transportation planning agency for San Bernardino County. SANBAG is responsible for cooperative regional planning and furthering an efficient multi-modal transportation system countywide. SANBAG serves the 2.1 million residents of San Bernardino County.
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SANBAG to Study Opportunities for Improved Transit in Mountain Area 

The SANBAG Board of Directors has approved the Mountain Area Transportation Study scope of work and the release of Request for Proposals for consultant support to complete the Mountain Area Transportation Study.  Mountain subarea representatives requested that SANBAG lead a study to evaluate transportation system constraints and opportunities throughout the Mountain subarea. The Mountain subarea faces significant transportation challenges with existing and future traffic growth and access to and within the Mountain areas is important to ensure economic vitality of the entire Mountain subregion.  


A mountain-wide transportation study will assist in planning for and funding future transportation needs as the results from the study will be used as a basis for future funding allocation recommendations and evaluation of funding opportunities to implement much needed improvements. The study will be overseen by a project Technical Advisory Committee, consisting of representatives from the County and City of Big Bear Lake.  It is anticipated that the study would be completed within 10-12 months.


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Redlands Passenger Rail Project Advances with Approval of Environmental Document 


SANBAG received the Notice of Determination (NOD) of its Redlands Passenger Rail Project Final Environmental Impact Statement / Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) in a public hearing and Board meeting on March 4. The Board determined the report met all review processes required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Having also received the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Record of Decision on February 17, the project is now cleared for final design and construction.


"After years of studying alternatives to reduce San Bernardino County travel congestion, we have approval to move forward on a passenger rail solution that will connect residents and businesses with systems across the state," said SANBAG Board President L. Dennis Michael. "The project offers a reliable transportation alternative that also improves air quality and supports economic development."


Rail connectivity has been a long-standing commitment of Measure I.  Projected population growth and increased congestion, along with physical barriers like the Santa Ana River and Interstate 10 led SANBAG to look at alternative cost-effective travel options for communities along the Redlands Corridor. The Redlands Passenger Rail Study became a key project for the voters' consideration.


The EIS/EIR outlines SANBAG's detailed process of reviewing and eliminating alternatives based on environmental and social impacts. SANBAG studied significant potential effects like land use and planning, air emissions, noise levels, visual aesthetics, floodplains, and hydrology. Other transit alternatives, like light rail and bus rapid transit, were removed from consideration due to additional property acquisition requirements and longer travel times.


The Locally Preferred Alternative, as designated by the SANBAG Board, runs along the existing railroad right-of-way from E Street in San Bernardino east to the City of Redlands, roughly a nine-mile extension of passenger rail service ending at the University of Redlands.



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SANBAG Public Affairs Wants to Share Ideas on How to Connect

Community engagement, impact mitigation, and agency awareness are the driving elements to the SANBAG Legislative and Public Affairs effort.  The past year has provided ample opportunity for the Public Affairs team to share the message for the variety of quality of life enhancements that are resulting from projects and programs being developed and implemented by SANBAG.


From conception to completion, every project demands a quality communications plan that carefully considers the needs of the general public. Whether we are communicating the challenges of construction or highlighting the value of a program like HERO, the Public Affairs Program is tasked with ensuring that the Board's vision for the agency is reaching our stakeholders.


A major part of this program centers on the support for the delivery of our major projects. Public Affairs staff is a part of the Construction Management team, helping to communicate and mitigate the construction activities that affect neighboring communities, both residential and commercial.  


Over the past year, the statewide Focus on the Future conference, the Western Area State  Highway Transportation Officials annual conference, and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Subcommittee on Communications annual conference each requested SANBAG present on our communications strategy for mitigating a 55-hour closure of Interstate 215. The presentation focused on leveraging social media to influence traditional media opportunities. On a $20,000 budget for the campaign, the SANBAG Public Affairs program was able to generate 66 media impressions on Los Angeles television stations, reaching nearly five million viewers, and capturing more than $248,000 in advertisement value, more than a 1,000% return on the investment.


Moving forward, the Public Affairs program will continue to evolve to meet the future needs of the public.  Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and an agency blog are being evaluated to provide more engagement opportunities with the public and expand our reach to a larger audience. We will also explore advanced marketing opportunities to increase awareness of the value of Measure I, help our transit and rail partners increase ridership, and develop more recognition for the Countywide Vision. 


We encourage readers of @SANBAGnews to share their ideas on how we can better serve you.  If you have thoughts on where we can improve, email them to info@sanbag.ca.gov.



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US 395 Widening Moves Closer with Right of Way Funding 


The California Department of Transportation, San Bernardino County, the San Bernardino Associated Governments, and the cities of Adelanto, Hesperia, and Victorville have long studied ways to improve travel on US-395.  Several years ago, the project was divided into nine segments to help better manage project delivery in hopes of expediting improvements in this area.  Phase I covers four of these segments and will widen US-395 to four lanes and add turn lanes between State Route 18 to Chamberlain Way in the City of Adelanto. 


On March 4th, the SANBAG Board of Directors took a major step toward advancing these long-awaited improvements to US-395 by approving a Right-of-Way Agreement with Caltrans and allocating $12 million for right-of-way acquisition for Phase I.  When complete, this project will improve operational efficiency and motorist safety on the highway. 




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Stay Informed on the I-10 and I-15 Corridor Projects


As part of SANBAG's continued effort to keep the public informed as the I-10 and I-15 Corridor projects are developed, the three Community Advisory Groups (CAGs) have meetings scheduled in the coming weeks to receive updates on the projects and to share community feedback. The locations and times for the meetings are below. For more information on the CAGs and other ways to stay informed on these projects, please visit: http://www.i10corridorproject.org/public-outreach/community-advisory-groups


High Desert CAG - Mar. 17, 2014

5:30 PM at Victorville City Hall

Rm. D, Victorville 


East Valley CAG - Mar. 18, 2014

6:00 PM at Gonzalez Community

Center, Colton  


West Valley CAG - Mar. 19, 2014

6:00 PM at Goldy S. Lewis Community Center

11200 Base Line Road, Rancho Cucamonga


Legislation Introduced


In order for SANBAG to proceed with project alternatives in these corridors that include an Express Lanes option, authority must be secured through legislation at the state level. AB 914 (Brown, D-San Bernardino) has been introduced to provide this authority. In addition, the State continues to explore ways to provide this authority statewide through other legislation. SANBAG will be engaged in both efforts to ensure that the Board of Directors has the flexibility it needs to make decisions related to these corridors down the road.




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Caltrans District 8 Director Retiring after 32 Years of Public Service    



Caltrans District 8 District Director, Basem Muallem, announced his retirement this week.  Mr. Muallem began his career in District 7 as an entry level Civil Engineer 32 years ago. Mr. Muallem became District 8 Director in June 2012 and has been responsible for over 7,200 lane miles of State Highways in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, a staff of 1,280 and an operating budget of $181 million.  He has overseen all facets of design, construction, operation and maintenance of the State Highway system in the greater Inland Empire region. 


Basem served as the liaison to the statewide Caltrans Director regarding local issues, achievements and opportunities. Mr. Muallem worked in partnership with SANBAG, RCTC and local resource agencies to provide a safe and reliable highway network for the traveling public. We wish him well on his future endeavors.





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San Bernardino County Mourns the Loss of Community Leader  



On February 16th the Inland Empire lost a great activist.  Mr. Larry Sharp was a fixture in San Bernardino County through his decades of service.  For 27 years, Mr. Sharp was President and CEO of Arrowhead Credit Union, and most recently served as vice president of advancement at Cal State San Bernardino from 2010 to 2012. Among his many roles, the Redlands resident served as the past chairman of Inland Action, President of the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member of the schools-business partnership the Alliance for Education.  


Specific to SANBAG, Mr. Sharp was instrumental in the passage of the extension of Measure I in 2004.  He also served on the Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee and the East Valley Community Advisory Group for the development of the Managed Lanes project on I-10 and I-15.  He will surely be missed.


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HERO by the numbers     




8,052 approved projects

6,589 completed projects


$117,180,987 - completed projects


41.2 million KWh saved

11,275 tons of GHGs reduced


HERO investments stimulate direct economic opportunity in San Bernardino County.




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