When the City of Reedley needed to update their Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, they did not have the staffing to do the work in-house. They would have to hire a consultant. It was a small job. But it still required the city to go through the process.
Fortunately, Fresno COG’s Circuit Planner Program offered a cheaper and more efficient alternative. Since 2013, Fresno COG has offered this service for small transportation and smart-growth projects. A circuit engineer was added in 2015. The Program also supports the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy and assists with other roadblocks in delivering projects.
A Welcome Addition
The program is not intended to replace contracting. Rather, it focuses on smaller projects or obstacles–freeing up agency staff for day-to-day duties or larger projects.For Reedley, the circuit planner developed a work plan to update baseline conditions, including new bicycle and pedestrian counts, a safety analysis, and an updated planned bicycle and pedestrian network. The final plan was presented for adoption.
“Fresno COG’s circuit planning program has been a welcome addition to the planning toolkit within our community, allowing us to address a collection of planning needs despite staffing and funding limitations,” said Reedley’s Community Development Director Rob Terry. “Having the extra brainpower was a huge benefit for us on this project, and we are already moving forward on additional projects supported through the circuit planning program, with even more to come in the future.”
How it Works
The Circuit Planner and Circuit Engineer programs have historically been separate consultant contracts each with an annual budget of $50,000. In 2019, Fresno COG combined the programs under one contract with an annual budget of $100,000. Fresno COG funds the program fully with local funds (although it originally started with Prop 84 funds).
Fresno COG releases a call for projects each program cycle to which the small cities respond with project suggestions. COG staff scores the projects against selected criteria, such as consistency with RTP/SCS goals and objectives, near-term benefits, and city preference. The circuit planner and engineer typically each work on approximately three projects at a time and move down the list of scored projects throughout the program cycle. Cities may submit projects for consideration at any time throughout the program cycle as needs arise.
Past projects include intersection and corridor studies, bicycle and pedestrian plans, grant writing assistance, traffic and bike/ped counts, coordination with other entities such as Caltrans and LAFCo, and various land use studies.
OTHER PAST PROJECTS
- City of Reedley Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan
- Operations Analysis for Intersection in the City of Sanger
- Cost Estimate for City of Huron Drainage Master Plan
- Manning Avenue Pavement Recommendation for City of Reedley
- Coordination with LAFCo on Annexation for City of Kingsburg
- SR-99 and Dinuba Interchange Study
- Traffic Counts for Cities of San Joquin, Huran, and Kingsburg
- FCOG’s RFP to contract for the Circuit Planning & Engineer Positions (2019)