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2019 Excellence Award Honorees

The Honorees of 2019 Transportation Excellence Awards are :

Individual Award:

Andrea Renny

Andrea Renny is the City of Monterey’s City Traffic Engineer and was the Project Manager for the North Fremont Pedestrian and Bicycle Access and Safety Project. This $9.4 million project which included Measure X funds was the major infrastructure improvement along North Fremont Street in over 50 years.

Completed in October 2019, the project installed the State of California’s first signalized median bicycle lanes. It also  included long overdue stormwater, lighting, signal and ADA improvements.  Andrea is also being nominated for her work as  the Project Manager for the Citywide Traffic Signal Adaptive System Project on Lighthouse Avenue.  

The Adaptive Traffic Control Systems is technology for improving traffic conditions by better synchronizing and controlling traffic signals. As a result of this system, the City experiences reduced congestion and travel time along Lighthouse Avenue and Del Monte Avenue. Other benefits include increases in quality of life, enhanced economics, safety and fewer air pollutants from idling vehicles.

Andrea’s leadership and management skills led to successful outcomes for both of these high-profile projects. Both were met with community challenges, and through it all, Andrea was able to organize large community involvement every step of the way.  The end result was her ability to provide solutions that balanced the needs of the community and access for people of all abilities.  In particular, she is noted for securing support from the North Fremont Business District stakeholders and turning doubters into community champions to support the project.

Group Award:

Gonzales Public Works Department Staff

The Fifth Street Bridge is the main freeway interchange in Gonzales and is congested during the morning commute from residents driving to work and school children walking to the Gonzales Middle School and Gonzales High School. The City of Gonzales Public Works staff members are nominated for their efforts directing traffic and pedestrians at the Fifth Street Bridge during the morning commute hour.

Their efforts started as a pilot program during the 2018/2019 school year. Each morning four staff members and one supervisor are on-hand to move the traffic queues through both on/off ramps while juggling the pedestrian movements. As a result, motorists have learned to be more intentional approaching the on/off ramps as they look for the public works staff to move the vehicles as a queue.

Staff arrives at the bridge at 7:00 a.m. each morning to set-up the traffic signs and other traffic control devices. They direct traffic from 7:15 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. when school starts. They then remove the traffic control measures and stores them for the next day. As a result of their work, the delay for morning commutes has decreased significantly. What used to take more than 20 minutes to cross the bridge, now takes less than 5 minutes.

The program  has increased the safety of the school children who are more mindful using  the crosswalks at the on/off ramp; and an unintended consequence are the personal connections public works staff is making with the children they see  each day

May contain: road, human, person, intersection, asphalt, tarmac, pedestrian, and freeway

 Program Award:

My Town Pop-up Museum

The MY Town Pop-up Musuem, a neighborhood playscape with characteristics found in healthy, vibrant communities provided a unique educational opportunity for children ages 0-7 years old and their families.  More importantly, it was designed as a way to give children and adults a way to learn about street safety through fun and play. Because Salinas  currently has a much higher rate than the national average of child pedestrian traffic fatalities, this learning is critical, and the first exhibit was held in Salinas.  

The main exhibit space had streets with crosswalks, street signs and signals. Children were able to hop on bikes or wear strap-on cars and travel through a miniature town learning what makes a safe streetscape. At the town library, children were able to enjoy 140 books, experience story time, and role-play as librarians checking out and re-shelving books, interacting with customers and creating story-based theater. My Town also featured a small make-believe produce stand and grocery store, an interactive weaving wall, a fun Maker Space where children could create and take-home projects made from a variety of materials, and a Construction Zone with Imagination Playground blocks and Building materials. An outdoor play area celebrated Monterey County with spaces that bring the ocean, mountains, and fields to life.  

The admission-free My Town Pop-up Children’s Museum is designed to travel and My Museum with its collaborative partners are working to identify host sites to bring the experience to more children and families in South County.

Project Awards:

Congress Avenue Rehabilitation Project

The City of Pacific Grove has nominated their  Congress Avenue Rehabilitation Project for a Transportation Excellence Award. This $1.1 million project focused on improving road infrastructure and constructing formal pedestrian facilities on Congress Avenue from Sunset to David Avenue.

This section of Congress Avenue serves as one of the City’s main arterials and provides access to: Pacific Grove High School and Forest Grove Elementary School , two entry and exit gates to the adjacent Pebble Beach jurisdiction, and the City’s beloved Lynn “Rip” Van Winkle Open Space Park.

The Congress Avenue Rehabilitation Project scope of work included:  road reconstruction, asphalt concrete overlay, ADA ramps, a concrete pedestrian pathway, a sidewalk, curb and gutter, and various stormwater infrastructure improvements.

Prior to this project, pedestrians traveling on this section of Congress Avenue would walk on an informal pedestrian pathway comprised of decomposed granite and natural debris. Now the newly constructed pathway creates a seamless pedestrian network for young children and families that allows for increased accessibility and facilitates improved pedestrian visibility and safety.

May contain: clothing, apparel, person, human, pants, vehicle, automobile, car, transportation, footwear, shoe, denim, and jeans

MST Mobility Services Center

On average, over 7,300  people a month benefit from a service provided by the MST Mobility Services Center.  Through tax dollars collected through Measure Q to protect transportation programs that serve veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities, and to identify new programs that meet the mobility needs of these communities, MST secured funding to develop  the MST Mobility Services Center.

After 8 months of construction, the doors to the innovative,  hands-on travel training center opened in February 2019.  The center provides a one-stop facility to host all of  MST’s Mobility programs and services.  

These include:

·        MST RIDES ADA Paratransit Program

·        Taxi Voucher Program

·        MST Navigator Volunteer Program

·        MST TRIP’s Program

·        Travel Training Program

The center’s design includes an indoor training room for individuals to learn how to safely and independently travel using the MST bus system. The room features a simulated street environment with  two mock-up buses where individuals can experience  the boarding process, a working traffic signal light with a crosswalk that includes an ADA complaint safety truncated dome surface, a variety of street surfaces to test individual mobility, two bus benches, and a bus stop flag pole.

In addition, the training room incorporates a system map display that features MST’s RealTime bus arrival information that riders can access through the use of the Transit app, by text, or by phone. Use of the uniquely designed training room also allows MST to work closely with a variety of community groups like, the Blind and Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, the Monterey County Office of Education, and the Alliance on Aging to provide sensitivity training to its employees and promote bus travel safety to the community.  

May contain: person, human, chair, furniture, clothing, and apparel

River Road & Arroyo Seco Road Pavement Rehabilitation Projects

The River Road and Arroyo Seco Road Pavement Rehabilitation projects reconstructed approximately 5 miles of roadway along the Monterey County Wine Corridor that stretches from the City of Greenfield into the City of Salinas.

River Road and Arroyo Seco are mainly two-lane rural road with minimal shoulders surrounded by agricultural lands. Sections of both of these are classified as a “major

collector” connecting travelers to Highway 68 and Highway 101.  River Road is used by 1,500 agricultural traffic/tourists/commuter every day; while Arroyo Seco Road between Paraiso Springs Road and Highway 101 is traveled by approximately 3,600 vehicles a day.

Just as they had in a previous project on River Road, the County utilized a pavement reconstruction technique that involved recycling the existing pavement for both projects. By utilizing this process, they were able to reduce  the emission of greenhouse gases, cost associated with  the export/import  trucking to the jobsite, and the damage to the nearby road network due to the amount of trucking to the jobsite.

The $6 million for both projects included $4.5 million from Measure X and SB 1 funds.