District 2 Planning & Local Assistance
Planning for the Future of Transportation in Northeastern California
The office of Community and Regional Planning has two main functions: Intergovernmental Review/California Environmental Quality Act (IGR/CEQA) and regional planning liaison duties. The IGR/CEQA responsibilities are essential to the Department's stewardship of the State transportation system. The IGR/CEQA Program is responsible for helping to maintain the safety and operational integrity of the State highway system by ensuring that transportation impacts resulting from land use development are either eliminated or reduced to a level of insignificance. Early consultation with local lead agencies during the review of proposed development activity results in less costly and often more environmentally sensitive traffic impact mitigation measures.
The Regional Planning staff provides assistance to the Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPA) located in each of the seven counties in District 2. This staff assists each RTPA with development of their annual Overall Work Plans, Regional Transportation Plans, Regional Transportation Improvement Programs and with programming of state and federal funds for transportation improvements important to all agencies in their respective jurisdictions. Public transportation (transit) activities include oversight and support for local agencies applying for State and Federal grant funds.
The office of Local Assistance provides assistance to the 18 cities and 7 counties in Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity Counties. The Office works in partnership with the Departments of Public Works and Transportation from each agency to assist in the delivery of their Federal and State funded transportation projects, from project implementation to project completion.
The office of System Planning conducts long-range transportation planning to identify future highway improvements in cooperation with its planning partners.
The office of System Planning performs these functions:
- Forecasts future traffic volumes
- Manages complex traffic count & flow studies
- Evaluates highway and freeway Level of Service (LOS)
- Recommends strategies and improvements for the State Highway System
- Produces: Transportation Concept & Other Reports
Additionally, the Office of System Planning coordinates with:
- Headquarters Transportation Programs
- And participates in the following programs;
- SHOPP funding program for Caltrans initiates projects that meet certain guidelines in accordance with Government Code Section 14526.5, Streets and Highways Code Section 164.6. These projects must be approved by the California Transportation Commission, CTC, a separate governmental body from Caltrans.
- SHOPP is a four-year program of projects with the current fiscal year cycles of 2000-01 to 2003-04. SHOPP projects address traffic safety, roadway rehabilitation, roadside rehabilitation, and operations related to the State Highway System.
The office of Advance Planning/STIP/Local Development prepares scoping documents for State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects, and works with local agencies and consultants on the design and oversight for complex locally funded state highway projects. The district’s Native American Liaison duties are located in this office. The programming document for STIP projects (capacity increasing state highway projects) and local development projects is a Project Study Report (PSR) which spells out scope, schedule, and an estimate of the costs of a project.
The STIP is a four-year capital improvement program of projects funded from the State Highway Account and other resources on and off the State Highway System. Projects are programmed and allocated funds by the nine member California Transportation Commission (CTC). STIP is a biennial document adopted in even numbered years. The STIP funds are divided into two broad funds; the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP) - Counties and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) receiving 75% of the STIP funds and the remainder goes to the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP) - Caltrans.
The District ’s Native American Liaison responsibilities recognize the unique sovereign status of Federally recognized Tribes and the cultural values of all Native American communities in California and is committed to strengthening the Government-to-Government relationship with the Tribes. There are currently 9 Federally recognized Tribal Governments in the seven District 2 counties. These Tribal Governments hold inherent powers of limited sovereignty and are charged with the same responsibilities as any other governmental authority: Planning the use of their resources to meet their social, economic, cultural, and political needs.
The Advance Planning/SHOPP office prepares scoping documents, designs small projects (less than $270,000), manages District 2's Value Analysis Program* and the District 2 Noise Program. Transportation projects for the State start with scoping documents; reports that document agreement on scope (what is to be done), schedule, and estimate costs of a project. The principle scoping documents are Project Scope Summary Report (PSSR) for rehabilitation projects for the State Highway Operations and Protection Program (SHOPP).
Candidate highway improvement projects or processes are given a "second look" by a multidisciplinary team using a systematic approach. This approach is used to improve the value of the project by reducing costs and/or improving performance or quality. The multidisciplinary team can be staffed from members of the public and other governmental agencies, in addition to qualified Caltrans personnel.