This article was contributed by the Council of San Benito County Governments.
San Benito County's regional transportation planning agency sent out a recent update to the community on plans for the year.
As 2019 begins, the Council of San Benito County Governments (COG) expects to keep the community updated regarding transportation planning and progress, including Measure G updates. According to the release, the agency's commitment is to:
- Work with the State and Federal governments to ensure maximum investments in our region.
- Coordinate with local governments – San Benito County, the City of Hollister, and the City of San Juan Bautista – for implementation of their Pavement Management Plans and other projects outlined in the Investment Plan.
- Address the needs outlined in the detailed Measure G Investment Plan built with community input.
- Convene a Measure G Citizens Oversight Committee.
See COG's current Measure G updates below on projects in plan priority order:
- Route 25 4-Lane Expressway Project: COG is now in the process of working closely with the State and Federal government to ensure maximum investments in the Route 25 project. The first step is to conduct an environmental study and design, formulate timely benchmark goals, and prepare a timeline.
- Maintain local roads, repair potholes, and improve traffic: The Council of San Benito County Governments is now in the process of coordinating with the State and Federal Government to ensure maximum matching funds, and coordinating with local jurisdictions to implement their needs.
- Mobility and More – Improve transit options for seniors, youth and people with disabilities, Pedestrian and bicycle safety and traffic flow, Administration, and Future Planning & Contingency: COG is in the process of outlining next steps in this category that are aligned with the needs in the Regional Transportation Plan.
COG states that residents should expect to see retailers collecting the Measure G sales tax starting April 1, 2019. Then, by this fall, local road repair funds are expected to be granted to each jurisdiction per the Roads and Transportation Safety Investment Plan, so they can begin implementing the projects outlined in the plan.
COG has two guiding documents to support regional transportation needs for years to come, the release states. Both the Regional Transportation Plan and the Roads and Transportation Safety Investment Plan can be viewed on the agency's website at SanBenitoCOG.org. Both plans are important in guiding the steps needed to improve San Benito County's transportation system, the release states, while the Investment Plan is critical in helping the agency close the funding gap.
Last year, the Roads and Transportation Safety Investment Plan was unanimously approved by the County of San Benito, the City of Hollister, and the City of San Juan Bautista. As a result, it was placed on the November 2018 ballot as Measure G, where a majority of the community approved implementing the plan over the next 30 years. The support for Measure G allows the agency to make critical investments in our transportation needs, the release states.
Visit SanBenitoCOG.org to read both plans and for more updates. COG board meetings take place every third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. at 481 Fourth Street in Hollister, and are open to the public. Community participation is welcome. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in convening a group of community members to learn more, please contact COG Executive Director Mary Gilbert by phone at (831) 637-7665 ext. 207 or email at [email protected].