City of Monterrey Transportation Adaptation Plan
SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant: Initial Case Study
Challenge: Developing plans and strategies
The City of Monterey Transportation Adaptation Plan (“Plan”) will identify transportation infrastructure vulnerable to climate change and provide transportation improvements and adaptation strategies to preserve the transportation network. The City received $212,472.00 in SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant funds to complete the Plan, which will build upon the completed in 2016 (“2016 Report”). The project will benefit regional disadvantaged communities, local businesses, homes, and schools who rely on the affected transportation network. This network includes motorized as well as non-motorized connections, which provide a socially equitable alternative that connects employment and affordable housing. Deliverables will include conceptual designs and site-specific recommendations for transportation improvements, which will guide capital improvement plans and programs. The project will start in December 2018 and end in February 2021.
The City of Monterey serves over four million visitors each year and supports over 8,000 service jobs, making it the largest service industry center in Monterey County. Many of these employees travel from outside Monterey via car through the Lighthouse Tunnel or via bike on the adjacent Recreation Trail. In the event of extreme weather, the impact to both of these critical connections would be catastrophic. Flooding could significantly restrict emergency vehicle access and isolate areas of Monterey and adjacent cities from the rest of the peninsula. Ultimately, climate impacts to these critical transportation links could jeopardize the entire region's economic vitality and multi-modal connectivity.
Lead Agency and Partnerships
The Plan will require collaboration with regional entities including Monterey-Salinas Transit (regional public transit provider), Transportation Agency for Monterey County (regional transportation planning agency), and the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (metropolitan planning organization). Coordination is necessary to synchronize with regional planning efforts addressing climate impacts and adaptation, including the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy and Regional Transportation Plan. As part of the Local Coastal Program update in 2016, the City developed a robust public outreach program that included public workshops, Planning Commission and City Council study sessions and public hearings, and public site visits to specific areas of the City’s Coastal Zone. The Plan will require continued community engagement with stakeholders including Monterey County, cities of Pacific Grove and Seaside, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, property owners, business owners, infrastructure and public facility providers, educational institutions, and U.S. military representatives.
The project proposal is driven by State Assembly Bill 691; Safeguarding California Plan; CalAdapt; Adaptation Planning Guide; 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy; Regional Transportation Plan for Monterey County; and City of Monterey’s Sea Level Rise and Vulnerability Analyses, Existing Conditions and Issues Report (2016), (links below). These drivers propelled the City of Monterey to advance its climate change adaptation efforts on the transportation system, especially efforts that serve the communities most vulnerable to climate change impacts. The 2016 Report identified vulnerabilities, but did not provide tools, strategies or projects to address them. Thanks to SB1 funding, the City will complete a Transportation Adaptation Plan that will fill the knowledge gap by providing transportation improvements and adaptation strategies, which will guide capital improvement plans and programs to protect the transportation network.
The City conducted a robust public outreach program to develop the 2016 Report. The City will build off the Report’s community identified needs, and leverage collaborations previously established with diverse external stakeholders. Such stakeholders include Monterey County, the cities of Pacific Grove and Seaside, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, property owners, business owners, infrastructure and public facility providers, educational institutions, U.S. military representatives, and vulnerable communities. Vulnerable communities include low-income and/or disadvantaged communities with limited mobility and access options, such as commuters from affordable housing areas outside the City to service jobs in Monterey and people with second jobs. The engagement process will include two community workshops to develop transportation improvements and alternatives, decide on preferred alternatives, and solicit feedback to shape the final Plan. Outreach materials will include meeting notifications and mailings, project boards, maps, presentation, factsheets, comment cards, and brochures. Anticipated outcomes of this engagement process are to identify and prioritize critical transportation infrastructure that is necessary for these communities to reach jobs or recreational opportunities.
Climate Impact Area
The project will respond to the impacts of flooding and sea level rise by creating a full inventory and financial cost estimate of the affected transportation network. The final product will contain conceptual designs and site-specific recommendations, which will guide capital improvement plans and programs to protect and preserve these transportation resources and structures.
Several areas of vulnerability were identified in the 2016 Report and include two municipal wharves, local businesses, employment centers, schools and colleges, military facilities, archaeological sites, highly scenic areas, recreational sites, special neighborhoods which are significant visitor destination areas, and special marine and land habitat areas. Coastal flooding poses the largest vulnerability to public transportation, with Del Monte Avenue and Lighthouse Tunnel transit routes, and the Recreation Trail being the most vulnerable. The Recreation Trail provides the only and best option for non-motorized travel connecting low-income commuters to service jobs, visitors to multiple attractions (Downtown/Cannery Row/Aquarium), residents to businesses, and students to schools.
Historically, large storms have flooded Del Monte Avenue and the Recreation Trail, causing disruption to bus routes and bike trails. The Lighthouse Tunnel is currently dewatered by a pump on a regular basis. The pump capacity will need to be addressed in light of the increase in volume of water to be pumped. The 2016 Report also found that by the year 2100 coastal flooding will impact approximately 20% of parking spaces in the City. However, the report did not provide tools, strategies or projects to address these vulnerabilities.
The project will identify funding sources for implementation of adaptation strategies. The engagement process and a cost and benefit analysis will help prioritize these strategies, and a business as usual (emergency repairs) scenario will help put these in perspective. The transportation improvements will be prioritized based on vulnerability, risk, impact, time frame, and cost.
The City received $212,472.00 in SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant funds to complete the Plan. The City will provide a local match of $27,528.00, making the total project amount $240,000.00.
Research and Data
The project will use information identified in the Drivers section above.
Anticipated challenges include high financial cost estimates of the affected transportation network and recommended capital improvement projects. Federal funding grants for sea level rise will be identified as potential funding sources for future implementation of priority projects.
Deliverables will include conceptual designs and site-specific recommendations, which will guide capital improvement plans and programs. These transportation projects will be phased into future CIPs in the order that they are prioritized. The Plan will also include a monitoring and triggers threshold program to move projects up or down their priority ranking to maintain the appropriate level of vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian transportation infrastructure and service.
Links to relevant resources:
Please contact Fernanda Roveri, AICP, Associate Planner, at (831) 242-8788 or for further information.