Independent review calls Caltrans ‘out of date’ and cites ‘culture of fear’

By Charles Piller : sacbee – excerpt

An independent review of the California Department of Transportation, released Thursday, called for sweeping reforms of the department to improve mobility in the face of environmental challenges and a decline in the number of miles driven by Californians.

An independent review of the California Department of Transportation, released Thursday, called for sweeping reforms of the department to improve mobility in the face of environmental challenges and a decline in the number of miles driven by Californians.

Gov. Jerry Brown had ordered the $270,000 review – conducted by the State Smart Transportation Initiative at the University of Wisconsin, Madison – last May.

Joel Rogers, an author of the report, said in a news conference that his group found long-standing problems in Caltrans operations, including “a mission, vision and set of goals that are not well aligned” with current needs, such as legislation that mandates improved mobility while reducing traffic demand and greenhouse-gas emissions…

Brian Kelly, secretary of the California State Transportation Agency, which includes Caltrans, agreed that culture change would be key to getting better results from Caltrans, including a new emphasis on keeping highways in good repair.

“It’s not OK to have highways ranked 48th nationally in terms of pavement condition” yet still prioritize new construction, he said. “ ‘Fix it first’ makes sense,” given current resources, he said… (more)

RELATED:
Witnesses tell lawmakers Caltrans compromised quality in Bay Bridge construction
Senate report: Caltrans ignored shoddy work on Bay Bridge in China and U.S.
Independent Transportation Review

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