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Board Actions - March 2019

SANDAG Executive Director’s Report

A lot has happened since the February SANDAG Board meeting. On March 11 and 12, I was joined by Caltrans District 11 Director Cory Binns for very productive meetings in Mexico about the State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project. We met with officials of Mexico’s new federal administration to introduce ourselves, provide an update on these projects, and learn about the progress they are making on these significant binational efforts. My sincerest thanks to our Consul General of Mexico in San Diego for assisting us with this important trip.

Another noteworthy item is the release of Governor Newsom’s proposed budget, which includes $750 million in one-time funding for planning and incentives to support housing development across California. The State Legislature will be considering the Governor’s proposal over the next couple of months. If the proposal is approved along with the budget, the region could start receiving funds by the end of the year.

At our March 6-8 SANDAG Board of Directors retreat, SANDAG began a strategic planning process to take a look at and, where needed, redefine the purpose and responsibilities of the organization. The current mission statement is more than 15 years old and describes what we do, but not why or how we do it. Once developed, the strategic plan will become our roadmap for the future and key to our long-term success. It’s important that everyone have a say in this process as we develop a mission, vision, and values for SANDAG.

Hasan Ikhrata, SANDAG Executive Director
(619) 699-1990,

March 22 Board Meeting

2020 Census Complete Count Outreach
Directors approved Resolution No. 2019-14, electing to enter into an agreement with, and accept $1.6 million from, the California Complete Count Office to coordinate Census 2020 outreach services in the San Diego region to encourage a complete count of all the state’s residents.

SANDAG will convene stakeholders to develop a strategic plan for educating, motivating, and activating the community to participate in the 2020 Census. Implementation of the plan will culminate with a final report to the State of California in September 2020.

Key Staff Contact: Darlanne Hoctor Mulmat, (619) 699-7326,

Cycle 10 Specialized Transportation Grant Program Funding Recommendations
Directors approved $7.2 million in Specialized Transportation Grant Program funding awards to support regional projects that will improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Agreements for funded projects will occur in summer and fall 2019, with projects anticipated for completion in one to two years.

SANDAG received applications from 16 agencies requesting more than $6.4 million in Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 funds to support 62 projects – 32 of which are accessible vehicles. Based on project rankings, 42 projects were chosen for full funding and four projects for partial funding.

SANDAG received TransNet Senior Mini-Grant applications from 16 agencies requesting nearly $5 million to support 21 projects. Based on project rankings, ten projects were selected for full funding and one project for partial funding.

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contact: Jack Christensen, (619) 595-1442,

First TransNet Ten-Year Review: Status of Implementation Plan
Staff provided an update on the implementation of the first TransNet Ten-Year Review, which was conducted by an independent performance auditor and approved by the SANDAG Board in January 2018.

The look-ahead portion of the Ten-Year Review is anticipated for completion along with the adoption of the Regional Plan in November 2021. It includes 20 action items for implementation. Six of the action items have been completed and 14 are underway.

TransNet Program performance since program inception in 2005 was evaluated as part of the TransNet Ten-Year Review Look-Back, which:

  • Recommends that SANDAG continuously monitor TransNet projects remaining to be completed to ensure these are the best mix for achieving congestion relief and other goals of the TransNet Program
  • Calls for investment in technology solutions to better manage the region’s transportation network
  • Suggests revisiting the Local Street and Road Program definitions to better address current local jurisdiction needs
  • Places an emphasis on establishing performance metrics and suggests SANDAG enhance or expand its existing performance reporting practices

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contact: Ariana zur Nieden, (619) 699-6961,

FY 2018 TransNet Triennial Performance Audit: Implementation of Recommendations Status
Staff provided an update on the FY 2018 TransNet Triennial Performance Audit, which includes 26 recommendations to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the TransNet Program to the taxpayers of the San Diego region. Each recommendation is categorized into one of four rankings (critical, high, medium, and low priority) based on the impact to the TransNet Program, SANDAG responsibilities, and critical path activities. Staff will continue working to implement audit recommendations and will return to the Board to provide progress updates and request additional direction on implementation of specific audit recommendations as necessary.

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contact: Ariana zur Nieden, (619) 699-6961,  

2019 Bike Month and Bike to Work Day
Directors adopted Resolution No. 2019-15 in support of May as Bike Month 2019, and to encourage member agencies to adopt similar proclamations to encourage individuals and organizations to GO by BIKE.

In support of Bike Month 2019, the SANDAG iCommute Program awarded GO by BIKE Mini-Grants to local government agencies and community-based organizations, is providing bike education services for commuters and employers, and is coordinating the 29th Annual SANDAG Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contact: Jay Faught, (619) 619-7324,

SANDAG Criminal Justice Research and Clearinghouse Annual Update
Staff provided an update on SANDAG Criminal Justice Research and Clearinghouse activities. The mission of the clearinghouse is to provide timely, accurate, and objective information so that policymakers can make informed decisions about resource allocation to prevent, reduce, and control crime. Over time, the primary functions of the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division have evolved to include compiling crime and arrest data; serving as a resource for information about crime and justice for member agencies and provider agencies (justice and social services); conducting independent and objective assessments of specific programs geared to address crime and social issues through additional dedicated funding; and providing staff support to the SANDAG Public Safety Committee.

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contact: Cynthia Burke, Ph.D., (619) 699-1910, 

San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan Update
Staff provided an update on development of San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, which is the big-picture vision for how the region will live, work, and travel through 2050. This new vision for the future will consider cutting-edge technologies, social equity, sustainability, supporting land use and housing, and economic opportunities. It will be developed through an extensive public process in 2019, followed by approximately one year of technical modeling work and transportation network development, and about one year for environmental review. Current work includes organizing the functional teams, assessing external resource needs, developing a communications plan, working with our federal partner agencies on the Federal Regional Transportation Plan update, and setting up a vision lab. Staff also is working with State Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher on a spot bill that will keep the 2015 Regional Plan valid until the new plan is approved in November 2021.

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contact: Charles 'Muggs' Stoll, (619) 699-6945,

Update on Airport Connectivity Subcommittee
Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas gave an update on the recent activities of the Airport Connectivity Subcommittee. In January, the subcommittee examined what success would look like and how to coordinate timelines for major planning efforts, including the Airport’s Terminal 1 redevelopment, the Port’s Master Plan Update, and the SANDAG Regional Plan. In February, airport staff sharead how their design could accommodate, and not preclude, integrating a transit connection. At the SANDAG Board retreat on March 8, the subcommittee learned about the responses received from a technology “request for information” in which the subcommittee sought ideas for innovative transportation solutions. The discussion suggested both short- and long-term solutions to regional connectivity around the airport. Future meetings will look at potential land use and transportation connection concepts.

The Airport Connectivity Subcommittee was established in December 2018. It is studying ways to modernize and improve access to the San Diego International Airport, the region’s vital international hub for travelers and commerce. It is anticipated that by June 2019, the subcommittee will present a conceptual framework to the Board for consideration that details proposed access enhancements to the airport.

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contact: Coleen Clementson, (619) 699-1944,

Draft FY 2020 Program Budget 
Directors approved the draft FY 2020 SANDAG program budget and authorized its release to interested parties for review and comment. The draft budget includes $1.36 billion in local, state, and federal funding for SANDAG activities, including almost $935 million for capital project delivery. It also contains the agency’s Overall Work Program, which is proposed to increase by 21% over last year to support key investments needed to optimize the agency’s technological, data, and modeling resources; support the personnel needed to carry out the agency’s mission and priority projects; and fund the new independent performance auditor activities. The budget lays the groundwork for revamping SANDAG into an agency that can more effectively respond to the needs and priorities of the Board of Directors and region overall. Major initiatives include the Regional Plan update, airport connectivity, and the development of a strategic plan and organizational assessment.

SANDAG consistently seeks state and federal funding to supplement the budget; however, there are limited outside funding opportunities for personnel and planning efforts. In order to provide the agency with a sustainable source of funding necessary to support ongoing and future activities, the FY 2020 Program Budget includes a proposed doubling of member assessments.

On June 14, 2019, the Executive Committee is scheduled to review the proposed final FY 2020 budget and address any comments received from the funding and member agencies. Final Board adoption is scheduled for June 28, 2019.

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contact: Sandi Craig, (619) 699-6998,

State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Update
Staff provided an update on the State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project, which offers a historic opportunity to design, build, and finance border infrastructure that will serve as a model for the rest of the nation. It will feature a four-lane tolled road that will connect directly to a state-of-the-art U.S. Customs and Border Protection compound for processing both personal and commercial vehicles, a California Highway Patrol commercial vehicle enforcement facility, and a future Port of Entry. The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry is scheduled to begin construction in 2021.

For more information, visit

Key Staff Contacts:

Mario Orso, Caltrans Corridor Director, (619)-688-2561, 
Christina Casgar, (619) 699-1982,

Next SANDAG Board of Directors Meetings

The April 2019 SANDAG Board of Directors meetings will take place on Friday, April 12 and Friday, April 26.

For more information, visit

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or