Officials in the cities of Contra Costa County, California are moving ahead with their the Smart City Program despite the voters not having approved Measure X last October. Measure X was to have provided $65 million to be divided between cities within the county for innovative transportation systems and connected communities.
“Obviously a lot of people were disappointed when Measure X did not pass, but having said that, we are not giving up,” said Public Works Director and City Engineer Kevin Rohani.
The Smart City Program identifies two primary areas for investment: mobility and information technology. As a commuter town, the city of Oakley cites mobility and traffic congestion as a number one priority. It is investigating first mile/last mile solutions, shared autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation system as some of the potential solutions.
The loss of funding means the city will have to be more creative in looking for avenues of financing. The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and a private consultant are researching federal and state smart city grants. Another strategy will be to actively pursue public-private partnerships. The City of Oakley has recently partnered with Phillips Lighting to install smart light poles which will save money on energy because the poles use low-energy LED bulbs and the poles themselves will provide wireless broadband coverage for residents.
“This is just one example of the type of partnerships that are available. We will be open to working with anybody who has an idea of how they want to embrace the smart city technology,” said City Council Member Kevin Romick.