Why the CMA Was Created?
Passed by California voters in 1990, Proposition 111 added nine cents per
gallon to the state fuel tax to fund local, regional and state transportation
projects and services. It also required urban counties to designate a
congestion management agency, whose primary responsibility is to coordinate
transportation planning, funding and other activities in a congestion
The Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (CMA) was created in 1991 by a
joint-powers agreement between Alameda County and all its cities. The CMA's
goals, duties and composition make it easier for local governments to tackle
the increasingly complex problem of traffic congestion.
CMA Goals Lead to Transportation Improvements
The CMA is Alameda County's transportation information and funding conduit. By
properly channeling information, expertise and scarce transportation dollars,
the CMA makes sure that tax dollars are spent wisely to improve transportation
countywide. The CMA's goals include:
strengthening local jurisdictions ability to compete for
giving Alameda County a stronger voice in state and regional
coordinating planning and development that crosses jurisdictional
generating and supporting legislation to coordinate local and
regional policies on transportation investment.
Representation from Broad Spectrum
The CMA Board includes representatives from Alameda County, its cities, AC
Transit and BART. Technical expertise is provided by the staff-level Alameda
County Technical Advisory Committee with representatives from each of these
organizations, plus Livermore-Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), Union
City Transit, the Alameda County Transportation Authority (ACTA), the
Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Caltrans, the Port of Oakland and
the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).
CMA Builds Framework for Success
The CMA helps local governments meet the requirements of federal, state and
local transportation laws by providing technical assistance. The CMA also
coordinates with county and regional transportation organizations. Over the
past six years, the CMA has built a framework to plan and obtain funding for
Alameda County transportation services and projects.
Planning for Tomorrowís Transportation Needs
The CMA develops and periodically updates the Alameda Countywide Transportation
Plan. This long-range policy document includes future population and employment
patterns. It guides transportation funding and service decisions over the next
20 years, addressing freeways, buses, rail, ferries and other options like
telecommuting, bicycling and pedestrian facilities.
Transportation projects competing for state or federal funds must be consistent
with this plan, as well as with the long-range plan of MTC, the Bay Area
transportation planning agency.
The Congestion Management Program (CMP) is a short-range document mandated by
Proposition 111. It ensures that gas-tax funds produce the greatest benefit by
coordinating planning, funding and other activities that affect the
Updated every two years, the CMP deals with day-to-day problems caused by
congestion. This means setting level-of-service standards for our roadways,
analyzing the impact of land development on transportation, exploring ways to
manage travel demand and developing a 7-year capital improvement program.
The CMP provides the short-term response to congestion, yet reflects the goals
and policies of the long-range plan. Projects competing for state funds must be
included in the CMP.
Helping Corridors Flow More Smoothly
The CMA conducts studies to assess traffic problems and explore solutions along
specific corridors. For example, the San Pablo Corridor Study, completed in
April 1997, was a joint project with the cities of Oakland, Emeryville,
Berkeley and Albany and AC Transit, Caltrans and MTC. The end product was a
coordinated program of desired improvements in this busy corridor.
Other studies include the Interstate 880 Corridor Study and a traffic
operations study for I-680, the latter a collaborative effort with the CMAs in
Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties under the lead of the Alameda CMA.
Alameda County's Transportation Broker
The CMA decides which transportation projects are the best investments for
In the most recent 7-year funding period, the CMA secured a total of $500
million ó about $70 million annually - in state and federal funds. This annual
amount is roughly equal to the yearly revenue of the local sales-tax program ó
referred to as the Measure B program and administered by ACTA.
Part of the CMA's job is to make the most of local, state and federal dollars
by leveraging funds against one another. For example, the CMA secured
approximately $95 million in state and federal dollars -including a $78 million
advance of state money - to support Measure Bís I-880 project.
The CMA also made sure that ACTA's projects were included in the stateís
allocation plans, allowing the projects to proceed on schedule.
Both the state and federal governments provide discretionary funding for
capital projects. The CMA, in cooperation with MTC, determines how it should be
used in Alameda County. Since 1991, these funds have included $50 million for
local street projects, as well as funds for rehabilitating BART vehicles and
building the Port of Oakland's Joint Intermodal Terminal, carpool lanes on
I-880 and I-80, and the BART Warm Springs Extension.
The CMA decides which Alameda County projects should be considered for the
state transportation funding program. In 1998, as much as $100 million may be
available for new transportation projects in the county.
The CMA also distributes 40 percent of the money raised from a $4 air-quality
surcharge on vehicle registration fees. This "Transportation Fund for Clean
Air" generates $1.6 million annually for Alameda County transportation projects
that improve air quality.
Making Projects Happen
At the request of local jurisdictions, the CMA has taken the lead on projects
traversing more than one municipality, including signal interconnect projects
on Hesperian Boul evard and San Pablo Avenue. The CMA was able to get state
construction grants totaling approximately $4 million for these projects.
The CMA also is preparing engineering studies to determine how the I-238
connector between I-580 and I-880 should be improved. Federal funds for this
study were obtained through a partnership with ACTA. The CMA also obtained a
state grant to build interim improvements on eastbound I-238.
The CMA, the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission and the Santa Clara Valley
Transportation Authority have joined forces for a three-year demonstration
commuter rail service. The service will run from Stockton through Tracy, the
Livermore Valley and Fremont to Santa Clara County, providing relief to
commuters in the heavily congested I-680 corridor.
An Advocate and a Catalyst
Another charge of the CMA is leading advocacy efforts for the countyís
transportation projects. For example, the state Legislature has been
considering a bill that would eliminate the State Local Partnership Program
used by ACTA for Measure B projects and by local government. The CMA
successfully lobbied for a special provision that would provide funds to offset
Locally, the CMA cosponsored, with the Alameda County Economic Development
Alliance for Business and ACTA, a transportation task force representing the
business community. The task force developed a program of potential
transportation improvements, and now many members are helping to develop the
expenditure plan for the next generation of Measure B.