CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation update 1/17/2014


AB 1193 (Ting) – Request for Comment
As amended January 6, 2014

AB 1193, by Assembly Member Phil Ting, would require Caltrans, in cooperation with local agencies, to develop standards for Class IV bikeways. Specifically, the author wants to develop a statewide standard for “cycle tracks” or “protected bike lanes” by June 30, 2015. The bill defines the new Class IV facilities as bikeways which “provide a right-of-way designated exclusively for bicycle travel within a roadway and which are protected from other vehicle traffic with devices, including, but not limited to, grade separation, flexible posts, inflexible physical barriers, or parked cars.”

The bill was passed by the Assembly Committee on Transportation on January 14. Counties are encouraged to review the bill and provide feedback on the local impacts of this measure.

Public Works Administration

SB 785 (Wolk) – Support 
As amended January 14, 2014

SB 785, by Senator Lois Wolk, would recast existing design-build statutes for purposes of eliminating inconsistencies and consolidating present statutory authority, as well as eliminate the sunset date on existing design-build authority and lower, from $2.5 million to $1 million, the value of projects local agencies can construct using design-build. 

The design-build method is an approach to delivering public works projects which counties find beneficial. Under design-build, the owner contracts with a single entity to both design and construct a project at a fixed price. The owner prepares documents that describe the concept of the project and the desired outcome for the project. In addition to price, proposals are generally evaluated on criteria such as best-value, qualifications and design quality. By using design-build, projects can be completed faster, as construction can commence during the design phase. Contractors are provided with more flexibility over project design, materials and construction methods. This promotes project design and construction innovation, which can ultimately result in higher quality, as well as cost savings. Further, time-consuming and costly disputes between designer and contractor are reduced, because both parties are affiliated with the same entity.

Approximately nine counties have used the design-build method for project delivery for a variety of projects ranging from parking facilities to parks and recreation projects to fire stations. Counties, and taxpayers in general, benefit from the use of design-build authority due to cost savings produced by this method of project delivery. Furthermore, given the continued difficult economic times across the State, local agencies need maximum flexibility to delivery projects based on their expertise in choosing the right delivery method.

SB 785 is on the Senate Floor awaiting a vote.

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