Boy, we now look back fondly on the cloudy and dreary June, don’t we. It has been hot hot hot, with numerous days well over 100°, at least here in the San Fernando Valley. It makes me thankful that I (a) have LADWP (for the new Net Metering doesn’t apply to municipal electric), (b) I have a goodly sized solar system. I’ve recovered from my MOHS surgery. I haven’t had time for any road trips, but there should be some during August. I’ve also started work on the next round of updates to the highway pages, and expect those to be done sometime in September.
I’m also really happy because I finally have a reasonable solution to syncing my iTunes library to my Android phone (and am finally away from iSyncr, my previous solution). The new solution involves Syncthing, which is open-source software that runs on a variety of platforms that allows you to syncrhonize or mirror directories. So I mirror my iTunes Music library to my phone. I then use GoneMad Media Player as my music player (as it works very well playing music stored locally on my phone, and has smart playlists). Lastly, I have a perl script I’ve written that can take a saved stats.xml file from GMMP, combine it with the data in the iTunes Library.XML, and generate a new stats.xml file to load back into GMMP. This gives me my metadata. The script also produces copies of the playlists as .m3u files, suitable to copy to the phone. The only thing this doesn’t do is move metadata back into iTunes, but you can’t have everything. Email me if you need more details.
The last episode of the first season of the podcast is now up. Season 2 will have 10 episodes on Route 1, and two on Route 2. I’ll start writing the episodes in the next month or so, and hopefully we’ll be back in late September or October. Visit our Spotify for Podcast episodes page, our main podcast site, or use your favorite podcasting app to catch up on our back episodes. We have a 6-part series on the history of the state highway system, and a 4-part series on highway numbering.
OK. You should be caught up now. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for July:
[Ħ Historical information | ＄ Paywalls, ＄＄ really obnoxious paywalls, and ∅ other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For ＄ paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor.]
California Highways: Route by Route Podcast
- CARxR 1.12: The Organizations of the State Highway System. We close season 1 of the podcast with an episode that focuses on the organizations involved with the State Highway System. In this episode, we discuss organizations you might have heard about, but don’t know about: The California Transportation Commission, the California Coastal Commission, Caltrans, the Regional Transportation Planning Agencies, and AASHTO. After this episode we’re taking a short break, but should be back in the fall when we’ll start exploring the California state highway system, route by route.
Back episodes are available at the Podcast’s forever home, as well as on its Spotify for Podcasters home. The Spotify (nee Anchor.FM) link also has links to the podcast’s page on most major podcasting services.
- Caltrans earmarks $2.3B for future state transportation projects (The Sun-Gazette Newspaper). The California Transportation Commission recently invested close to $2 billion into improving the state’s transportation infrastructure. Not only that, the commission also approved an additional $2.3 billion for future projects in Fresno and Tulare County areas, including ones in Kingsburg, Visalia and Parlier. The nearly $2 billion allocation announced on June 29 reflects over $571 million in funding from the 2021 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and over $257 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
- State grants extension for Highway 156 interchange project (KSBW 8). The Transportation Agency for Monterey County announced several extensions for the Highway 156/Castroville Boulevard project. The project, approved under Monterey County’s Measure X in 2016 by 67.7% of Monterey County voters, was initially delayed by PG&E utility relocation work. In May, TAMC announced that the project was not expected to meet all the criteria by the June 30 funding deadline. In their June meeting, the California Transportation Commission approved an environmental impact report for the project. A 12-month time extension was also approved to request the $20 million Trade Corridor Enhancement Program funding. The extension provides time for PG&E to complete the utility relocation work and for Caltrans to finish right-of-way certification.
- California Invests Nearly $2 Billion in Transportation Infrastructure, Approves Another $2.3 Billion for Future Projects (Caltrans). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) this week invested nearly $2 billion into improving the state’s transportation infrastructure while approving an additional $2.3 billion for future projects. The nearly $2 billion allocation reflects more than $571 million in funding from the 2021 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and more than $257 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The $2.3 billion is comprised of $1.75 billion representing the third funding cycle of programs established by SB 1 and $540 million in active transportation projects sponsored by local metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), charting the course for future allocations. The additional $1.7 billion for future investments cover three SB 1 competitive grant programs: $1.1 billion for the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP); $507.4 million for the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (SCCP); and $142.4 million for the Local Partnership Program (LPP). The programs included, for the first time, input from the new Interagency Equity Advisory Committee in the evaluation of projects. This funding round also marks the first cycle to incorporate all principles of the state’s Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure.
- State Awards $132.4 Million of Infrastructure Funding to Santa Barbara Highway 101 Project (Noozhawk). The California Transportation Commission has awarded $132.4 million to the Santa Barbara portion of the massive Highway 101 project. The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments and Caltrans received the funding last week, and it is the “second highest funded project in California to receive competitive Senate Bill 1 program funding,” according to SBCAG. The award comes from the 2021 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Senate Bill 1 grant programs, a $2 billion investment by the state.
- $132.4M Awarded to Santa Barbara Hwy 101 Multimodal Corridor Project (Edhat). The California Transportation Commission approved a $132.4 million award for the Santa Barbara U.S. 101 Multimodal Corridor Project on Wednesday in Suisun City, Solano County. The approval came as part of a $2 billion investment announced by the state from the 2021 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and competitive Senate Bill 1 (SB1) grant programs. The commission awarded Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) $132.4 million to complete construction of Highway 101 improvements and carpool lanes in Montecito and the City of Santa Barbara to the Hermosillo Road off-ramp, while also providing planned electric buses for Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District, coastal access improvements, zero emission vehicle charging and contactless card readers for the Coastal Express operated by the Ventura County Transportation Commission.
- County, city working on roundabout projects (Tehachapi News). Roundabouts — sometimes called traffic circles — are coming to Tehachapi. At least two projects are in the works — one in the Cummings Valley and the other at the intersection of Tucker and Highline roads in Tehachapi Valley. Jay Schlosser, development services director for the city of Tehachapi, introduced the proposed project at Tucker and Highline — at the southeastern corner of the city — to members of the City Council at a special meeting on June 29. The council, in partnership with Kern County, unanimously approved an application for funding for the project.