Chapter 1: Planning Process

Legal Authority and Purpose of the Plan

Section 65080 et seq. of the Government Code requires the preparation of Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs) and the update of those plans at least every four years. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) encourages all areas to follow the federally mandated comprehensive planning process in order to develop uniform plans statewide.

The purpose of a Regional Transportation Plan is to:

  • Provide a clear vision of the regional transportation goals, policies, objectives and strategies – this vision must be realistic and within fiscal constraints;
  • Provide an assessment of the current modes of transportation and the potential of new travel options within the region;
  • Project/estimate the future needs for travel and goods movement;
  • Identify and document specific actions necessary to address the region’s mobility and accessibility needs;
  • Identify guidance and document public policy decisions by local, regional, state and federal officials regarding transportation expenditures and financing;
  • Identify needed transportation improvements, in sufficient detail, to serve as a foundation for the Development of the Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP), and the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP);
  • Facilitation of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA)/404 integration process decisions;
  • Identification of project purposes and need;
  • Employ performance measures that demonstrate the effectiveness of the transportation improvement projects in meeting the intended goals of MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act);
  • Promote consistency between the California Transportation Plan, the regional transportation plan, and other transportation plans developed by cities, counties, districts, private organizations, tribal governments, and state and federal agencies responding to statewide and interregional transportation issues and needs;
  • Provide a forum for: 1) participation and cooperation; and 2) to facilitate partnerships that reconcile transportation issues that transcend regional boundaries; and
  • Involve the public, federal, state and local agencies, as well as local elected officials, early in the transportation planning process so as to include them in discussions and decisions on the social, economic, air quality, and environmental issues related to transportation.


Coordination with Applicable Plans and Programs

State planning law and MAP-21 require extensive coordination with applicable local, state and federal plans and programs during the development of the RTP. Development of the 2015 Mono County RTP has been coordinated with the following plans and programs:


Local Plans and Programs

Alpine County Regional Transportation Plan

Benton Paiute Reservation Transportation Plan

Bridgeport Indian Colony Transportation Plan

Comprehensive Land Use Management Plans (CLUPs) for Mammoth Yosemite Airport, Lee Vining Airport and Bryant Field Airport

Eastern Sierra Transit Authority Short-Range Transit Plan

Inyo County Regional Transportation Plan

June Lake Loop Trail Plan/Map

Main Street Revitalization Plan for US 395 through Bridgeport

Mono County Bus Stop Master Plan

Mono County Capital Improvement Program

Mono County General Plan and Area Plans, including historic multi-modal plans

Mono County Ozone Attainment Plan

Mono County Pavement Management System Program

Mono County Resource Efficiency Plan

Mono County Trails Plan, including June Lake Trails Plan, Mono-Yosemite Trails Plan, and Eastern Sierra Regional Trail Concept (draft)

Town of Mammoth Lakes Fixed-Route Transit Plan

Town of Mammoth Lakes General Bikeway Plan

Town of Mammoth Lakes General Plan

Town of Mammoth Lakes Main Street Implementation Plan (draft)

Town of Mammoth Lakes Draft Mobility Element

Town of Mammoth Lakes Pedestrian Master Plan

Town of Mammoth Lakes Trail System Master Plan

Town of Mammoth Lakes Transit Plan

Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code. Chapter 8.30. Particulate Emissions Regulations.

Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Wayfinding Master Plan

Town of Mammoth Lake Pavement Management System, Street Saver Program


Regional Plans and Programs

Eastern Sierra Corridor Enhancement Plan

Eastern Sierra Transit Authority programs

Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District – Regulation XII, Conformity to State Implementation Plans of Transportation Plans, Programs, and Projects

Inyo-Mono Counties Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan Update

Mono County Collaborative Planning Team – Guiding Principles

Mono County Regional Blueprint Project (Draft)

Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP)

Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) Short-Range Transit Plan


State Plans and Programs

2010 Smart Mobility Plan

California Aviation System Plan (CASP)

California Transportation Plan 2030

Caltrans District 9 system planning documents

Complete Streets Implementation Action Plan 2.0

Context-Sensitive Solutions Directives and Guidelines, including Main Street Design

Interregional Roads System Plan (IRRS)

Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP)

Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan (ITSP)

Smart Mobility Framework 2010

State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP)

State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

Sierra Nevada Region ITS Strategic Deployment Plan

US 395 Origination and Destination Study, Year 2011.


Federal Plans and Programs

Bureau of Land Management, Bishop Resource Area, Resource Management Plan

Bureau of Land Management North of Bishop Resource Area OHV Plan

Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP)

Inyo National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and update-related documents

Toiyabe National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan


Public Participation

LTC Citizen Advisory Committees

Public participation during the transportation planning process is provided through committee meetings, public workshops, and outreach programs. The county Regional Planning Advisory Committees (RPACs) serve as citizen advisory committees to the LTC to identify issues and opportunities related to transportation and circulation in their community areas and to develop policies based on the identified needs. The purpose of the citizen advisory committees is to ensure that Mono County develops a transportation plan responsive to the changing needs and desires of its citizens, as well as to the users of the system. There are planning advisory committees in Antelope Valley, Bridgeport Valley, Mono Basin, June Lake, Mammoth Vicinity/Upper Owens, Long Valley, Wheeler Crest, and Tri-Valley. Outreach was conducted during the summer and fall of 2013 to active RPACs throughout the county.

In addition to regularly scheduled citizen advisory committee meetings, the LTC holds public information meetings and workshops to address specific transportation issues, projects, and planning processes. These meetings have addressed Main Street planning efforts with the Local Government Commission, Dan Burden and Caltrans’ participation in the Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant (Summer 2012); workshops with the planning commission; pedestrian safety on US 395 in Lee Vining and the US 395 widening process in the Mono Basin; livable communities in Crowley Lake, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Lee Vining, and Bridgeport; four-laning of US 395 in the Antelope Valley; as well as other transportation issues.

The LTC has also partnered with Caltrans District 9 to develop new methods of outreach for local residents. Caltrans has drafted a Public Participation Plan and similar policies have been included in this RTP. Outreach efforts focus on providing local residents with easier access to information concerning transportation projects in the region in order to increase community participation in the planning process. These efforts have included websites established by both Caltrans and the LTC, in addition to the public information meetings discussed above.

Town of Mammoth Lakes Advisory Committees

The Town of Mammoth Lakes used a Transit Technical Advisory Committee to assist in developing its Transit Plan. The committee included representatives from Town staff, the Local Transportation Commission, the USFS, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, Planning and Economic Development Commission (two transit workshops per year), and the Mammoth Lakes Lodging Association. The Town is also using an extensive public review process during the ongoing update of its General Plan, including the Circulation Element and associated Main Street planning.

Collaborative Planning Team

The Collaborative Planning Team is a multi-agency planning team that coordinates planning efforts in Mono County for a variety of needs (e.g., jobs, transit, recreation, wildlife mitigation and enhancement, etc.). It includes representatives from the following organizations:

Mono County (Board of Supervisors and Community Development Department, which includes Building, Planning, Code Compliance)

Benton Paiute Reservation

Bridgeport Indian Colony

Bureau of Land Management, Bishop office

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), District 9

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Mammoth Lakes, Town of

National Park Service (Devils Postpile and Yosemite)

Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

USFS/Inyo National Forest

USFS/Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

The team meets quarterly to discuss a wide variety of ongoing and proposed projects.


Tribal Consultation

Mono County has several Native American communities located in Antelope Valley, Bridgeport, Lee Vining, and Benton. The two federally recognized tribes, the Bridgeport Colony and the Benton Paiute Reservation, have small tribal housing areas and residential roadways. Input concerning their transportation system needs was provided through the Tribal Transportation Needs Assessments completed for the Bridgeport Indian Colony and the Benton Paiute Reservation (Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, 2009). Outreach is conducted periodically to the Bridgeport Indian Colony and Benton Paiute Reservation. In addition, the Benton and Bridgeport communities are members of the Collaborative Planning Team (see above) and participate in planning discussions on an ongoing basis at the local RPACs. Regional Planning Advisory Committees (see above) in the Antelope Valley and the Mono Basin provide a regular forum for input from Native American residents in those areas from Tribes not formally recognized. Ongoing outreach programs to all of the county’s Native American communities provide additional input concerning tribal concerns; e.g., the County is currently working with the Bridgeport Indian Colony to coordinate economic development and related transportation issues for the tribe’s expansion plans, including a conceptual plan for a multi-agency visitor center.

Disabled Population

Input from persons with disabilities was provided through the unmet transit needs hearing process and through consultation with social services providers serving the disabled population in the county [e.g., Social Services Transportation Advisory Council). In concert with the Inyo LTC, the Mono LTC recently updated the Inyo-Mono Counties Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan through ESTA.

Planning Analysis

As required by State planning law, the planning analysis for the 2015 Update of the Mono County RTP addresses the following, where applicable:

  • Local general plans, specific plans and master plans;
  • Previous regional plans;
  • State plans, specifically for statewide issues, priorities and emerging programs;
  • Airport Land Use Plans or Comprehensive Land Use Plans;
  • Land use and community issues including livability and sustainability;
  • Environmental impacts (e.g., wetlands, cultural resources, energy consumption, sensitive species) and potential mitigation measures;
  • Economic development;
  • Air-quality assessments, conformity to the SIP, in federal nonattainment and maintenance areas;
  • California Clean Air Act transportation performance measures, in state nonattainment and maintenance areas;
  • Local Air Quality Plans;
  • Congestion Management Programs;
  • Transportation Demand Management Strategies;
  • Federal legislation (e.g., MAP-21) and federal programs;
  • State legislation such as SB 45 (Chapter 62 Statutes 1977) and CEQA regulations;
  • Specialized transportation needs;
  • Regional aviation system plans, airport master plans;
  • Public/private partnerships and/or outsourcing opportunities;
  • Expenditure priorities established by state legislation;
  • Regional/Statewide system (ITS) system architecture standards;
  • Caltrans Systems Planning products such as: Transportation Concept Reports/Route Concept Plans, Corridor Studies;
  • Caltrans District System Management Plan;
  • The California Transportation Investment Strategy;
  • Caltrans Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan;
  • Unmet transit needs;
  • Bikeway plans;
  • Regional system performance outcomes and related criteria such as:
  • Safety and Security
  • Mobility and Accessibility
  • Reliability
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Economic well-being
  • Environmental quality
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Sustainability
  • Equity
  • Analytical requirements of the former MIS process; and
  • Other sources and issues as appropriate (e.g., TDM options such as ridesharing, carpooling, park-and-ride lots, travel substitution strategies, etc.).

Documents Incorporated by Reference

The following documents are incorporated by reference into the Mono County RTP. They provide additional information and policy direction concerning transportation issues in Mono County:

Eastern Sierra Transit Authority

Inyo-Mono Counties Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan Update. April 4, 2014.

Short-Range Transit Plan. 2009.


Mono County

Airport Master Plans for Lee Vining Airport and Bryant Field. 2012.

Comprehensive Land Use Plans for Bryant Field and Lee Vining Airports. 2006.

Main Street Revitalization Plan for US 395 Through Bridgeport. 2013.

Mono County Bicycle Transportation Plan. Draft, 2014.

Mono County General Plan and General Plan Update. 1993, 2003.

Mono County Regional Blueprint Project. Draft, 2015.

Mono County Resource Efficiency Plan. August 1, 2014.

Tribal Transportation Needs Assessment: Bridgeport Indian Colony, Paiute Tribe. 2009.

Tribal Transportation Needs Assessment: Benton Paiute Indian Reservation. 2009.

Town of Mammoth Lakes

Air Quality Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request. 2014.

Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP). 1990.

Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). 2001.

Mammoth Lakes Fixed-Route Transit Plan. 2005.

Mammoth Lakes General Bikeway Plan. 2014.

Mammoth Lakes General Plan. 2007.

Mammoth Lakes General Plan EIR. 2007.

Mammoth Lakes Pedestrian Master Plan. 2014.

Mammoth Lakes Trail System Master Plan. 2011.

Mammoth Lakes Transit Plan. 2000.

Municipal Code. Chapter 8.30. Particulate Emissions Regulations. 2013.

Municipal Wayfinding Master Plan. 2012.

Mammoth Lakes Pavement Management System, 2000.

Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS)

Short-Range Transit Plan. 2011.


RTP Maintenance

The Mono County LTC intends to maintain a current and up-to-date RTP. The Commission, the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and communities will continue to review and refine the information and directives in the RTP on an annual basis. Comments received during the 2015 review of the RTP that require further public and community consideration will be addressed during plan maintenance in accordance with state requirements. At a minimum, this plan shall be updated every four years as allowed by SB 375 (four-year vs. five-year cycle). Additional review of the RTP will take place every couple years as part of the Regional Transportation Improvement Program development and implementation.