February 1, 2017: Omni-Means and GHD Have Joined Forces

Omni-Means, Ltd, an award-winning, engineering consulting firm focused on the transportation market, merged with GHD on February 1, 2017.

With more than 8,500 people around the globe, GHD is one of the world’s leading professional services companies operating in the markets of water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation. 

With Omni-Means offices in Napa, Redding, Roseville, San Luis Obispo, Visalia, and Walnut Creek, California, GHD enhances their capacity to meet client and market demands for transportation services across the western United States.

Full Media Release:

September 1, 2016: Same Company. Same Faces. New President.

On September 1, 2016 Omni-Means started an exciting new chapter in our Company's story when we celebrated and congratulated Mr. Douglas Ries, PE, as he took over as President of Omni-Means.

Doug has been an integral part of Omni-Means since 1994. He started working for us as a Project Engineer and quickly rose through the ranks to Principal, a title which he has held for the past 16 years. Doug also currently serves as the Branch Manager for our Roseville office. Omni-Means is thrilled to welcome this new change and we look forward to working with Doug in this new capacity.

Doug took over the presidency from Mr. H. Ross Ainsworth, PE, whom held the title since 1984. Under Ross' leadership Omni-Means has become an exceptional Company with offices across California filled with remarkable staff who, together, have delivered dozens of Award Winning projects that speak to our hard work and dedication, fostered by Mr. Ainsworth's oversight, direction, and mentorship. We are honored to have had the pleasure of being led by such a remarkable man and brilliant Engineer.

While Ross is stepping down as president, he is not retiring. Ross will continue in his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and leading the charge on business development.

Marty's our "Marathon Man"

Seasoned marathoner, Marty Inouye (a Principal located in our Roseville office) began training on a bicycle last year culminating in riding in the RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver Party). Marty enjoyed riding the 208 miles from Seattle, Washington to Vancouver, British Columbia with 16 family members, including his son and daughter-in-law. Marty is pictured on the right with (from right to left) his daughter, his brother-in-law (celebrating his 60th birthday on the ride!), and his son. Marty is now back training for marathons with his sights on running the Phoenix Marathon next month. Marty's involvement with marathons started as far back as 1984, when he and Omni-Means volunteered to help lay out the traffic control plan for the California International Marathon (CIM). Since then, Marty has run the full CIM over a dozen times and participated on many CIM relay teams when not running the full marathon. When not riding or running for fun, Marty uses his experience with running, hiking and riding to create and update Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans for Cities and Counties across California. Visit our Transportation page for more information about our work on Master Plans.

Omni-Means is in the Winery Business!

Omni-Means has been in the winery business for the past 20 years performing winery development studies for over 50 wineries throughout the Napa Valley. These studies were conducted primarily in Napa County where a majority of the wineries are located. Studies are primarily related to the entitlement process, potential traffic impacts for new wineries, and/or use modifications for an existing winery.

As recently as five years ago, a focused winery traffic analysis would typically evaluate just the project's trip generation and site circulation (including driveway operations) sufficient for environmental evaluation or a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). However, there is now a growing belief among Napa Valley residents and stakeholders that winery development, in particular, is generating increasing amounts of traffic due to proposed operations and marketing events. With only two parallel routes serving the Valley (State Route 29 and Silverado Trail), traffic flows can become quite congested during the weekday commute periods (AM and PM) as well as during the weekend mid-day periods when wine tours and tasting activities increase. As a result of these circumstances, Napa County staff is now requiring full comprehensive traffic evaluations for all winery development proposals that include existing, near-term, and cumulative traffic operations using the Napa County General Plan Update. In addition, the County requires all existing wineries to establish traffic levels that include "permitted levels" (currently allowed use-permit levels), "existing levels" (traffic being generated today), and "proposed levels" (proposed use permit modifications).

Identifying these traffic levels allows the County to determine if existing wineries may be generating more traffic than allowed under current permitted use levels. However, the County acknowledges that many existing wineries may be generating slightly more traffic than permitted due to increased economic activity and dated use-permits. Many winery applicants just want to bring their wineries into compliance with current activity levels related to visitation, employment, production, and marketing events. Analyzing the impacts of these associated project components based on County requirements help to make up a full, comprehensive traffic analysis for a project.

One of the greatest challenges for winery development is their impact to cumulative traffic conditions. Typically, most minor street intersections along SR-29 and Silverado Trail are stop controlled. With cumulative traffic, intersection operations are typically LOS E-F, meaning a lot of delay is experienced by drivers, and there are very few circulation improvements that one can recommend to improve operations that are consistent with County or Caltrans guidelines (traffic signals are not encouraged by either agency). We are currently working with Napa County staff to identify mitigation measures such as Travel Demand Modeling, possible limitations of marketing events, "fair share" contributions, potential traffic impact fees, etc., to help avoid significant impacts to the street network and Valley as a whole.

On a lighter note, many of the wineries Omni-Means has evaluated provide full tours and tastings typically between 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Overall vehicle traffic is typically lighter during the weekdays and flows best during the late Fall, Winter, or Spring periods (Summer and early Fall crush/harvest seasons are highest traffic flow). Our recommendation would be take a look at the list of wineries below and call the specific winery you want to visit to make an appointment for tasting and/or tours. Except for very large wineries, most all of Napa wineries prefer guests to contact them and make an appointment. This allows wineries to monitor their visitation levels and regulate the flow of traffic/guests consistent with permitted use levels.

A good tip we received from one winery owner is to plan your trip in advance. Most visitors to the Valley take in two-three wineries per day depending on their itinerary. This allows time for tours, tasting, or lunch, and provides more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery at each winery. You may also want to check if the winery provides a free shuttle or hire car to avoid driving altogether. Many of the hotels/resorts in the Valley provide these services as well. If you are driving to/from the wineries, another good tip is plan your trip from north to south (or south to north) and stop at each winery sequentially. In this way, you would be making more right-turns (in/out) of each winery and can avoid longer delays trying to turn left onto SR-29 or Silverado Trail during times of peak traffic flow.

The Visalia Office Delivers Projects!

Omni Means' Visalia office, in partnership with Caltrans and the City of Visalia has delivered the S.R. 63 and Lincoln Oval Street Improvement Project to construction. The project includes bicycle and pedestrian improvements, addition of bike lanes, intersection bulb-outs and two Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB's). Omni Means is providing construction support on the project.

The Farmersville Roundabouts project includes the installation of two roundabouts at the S.R. 198 EB Ramp termini and Farmersville Blvd./Noble Avenue. Construction bids will be open June 10, 2015. Omni Means will provide construction support on this project as well. The project was completed in partnership with the City of Farmersville and Caltrans.

Omni Means also provided construction and inspection support on the recently completed Armona SR2S project for Kings County, which included the installation of in-pavement crosswalk lighting, enhanced crossings, and intersection bulb-outs at four locations. Omni Means continues to deliver projects that enhance safety for all users!

Sierra Gateway Apartments, Rocklin, CA

After a lengthy Design Review process that was challenged by community groups opposed to the development of an entitled Planned Development (PD-20) apartment project at a very visible corner in Rocklin, CA, the project was unanimously approved at the end of May 2015 by the City Council after 5-hours of public hearing. As a part of the design team for this 10-acre, 195-unit project, Omni-Means provided site engineering, traffic impact analysis, base survey, and landscape architecture design services. Omni-Means also coordinated environmental studies by sub-consultants, including an Arborist oak tree survey, biological wetland survey, acoustic survey, and a Green House Gas Air Quality Impact Study.

Community opposition centered around the perceived incompatibility of uses between the high density residential aspect of the entitled land use and the existing medium density single family land use to the south. As a part of the response the opponents concerns, the project was revised to reduced the mass and height of the apartment buildings abutting the single family neighborhood. As a part of this effort, Omni-Means prepared numerous 3D computer generated illustrative graphics to demonstrate the revised site design and the reduced visual impact to the existing neighborhood. The illustrative images helped elected officials understand the before and after impacts of the design leading to the conclusion by the Council that the developer had done a good job at mitigating the perceived visual impact while maintaining the minimum density required by the previously approved zoning.

As of June 2015, Omni-Means is now embarking on the next stage of the project that includes the preparation of improvement plans associated with civil design, off-site roadway and signal modifications, landscape architecture design, and easement preparation.

For more information about this project, please contact Scott Robertson at srobertson@omnimeans.com.

Omni-Means to Develop Napa Citywide Travel Demand Model

On May 19, 2015, the Napa City Council unanimously approved a contract with Omni-Means, Ltd. to create a new city-wide multi-modal transportation forecasting model. The new standalone City model will be calibrated to existing conditions, and validated against the regional Solano-Napa model, ensuring consistency with MTC/ABAG land use forecasts.

The standalone model will forecast vehicular traffic patterns for current and future year conditions and, using new technologies such as dynamic assignment, test multi-modal elasticities. This will allow the model to test alternative land-use and circulation scenarios to assess changes in VMT and shifts in transit, bicycle, and pedestrian demand.

Bike Omni-Means This May!

As transportation engineers, it's easy for us to get excited about a new bike trail or route, especially during May is Bike Month. We realize, though, that we aren't the only people who should get out there and enjoy the many different bicycle facilities and master plans that we've had a hand in planning, designing and/or providing construction support services. Take a look at the list below to find one of our bicycle projects near you. Then, get out there and ride the route!

When you're enjoying the outdoors using one of the many bike facilities that Omni-Means helped create, take a photo and share it with us on our Facebook page!

As ATP Is Heating Up, Omni-Means Is Stepping Up

Communities all across California are determined to get moving and keep moving and they are determined to get their fair share of the $360 million available to them with the Active Transportation Program adopted by the California Transportation Commission http://www.catc.ca.gov/programs/ATP.htm. The applications for Cycle 2 are due to Caltrans by June 1st and local agencies are hustling to put their best foot (project) forward. Across the 12 Caltrans Districts, Local Assistance engineers are conducting workshops with City and County staff in an effort to provide valuable ATP information and tips for telling a compelling story and completing successful ATP applications. Omni-Means has been actively participating in these workshops and the supporting "Developing Effective Active Transportation Projects and Programs" workshop.

Omni-Means is helping communities across the State identify great ATP candidate projects and demonstrate their commitment to public health and a better environment by developing projects that will get more adults and children biking and walking. If we can help you, please contact any of our offices at 888-535-5935.

You Can Count on Omni-Means

This past week of April 6th a team of Omni-Means' Roseville employees volunteered their time to the City of Roseville to assist the Alternative Transportation Division in obtaining bicycle and pedestrian counts in several key locations throughout the City. These counts will be used by the City for many reasons, one of which is to assist them in meeting the needs of the Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant requirements for existing and proposed projects. In addition to counting, we also assisted by conducting a survey of trail users to help the City identify where improvements to the trail systems could be made.

Omni-Means would like to thank volunteers Darren Zeillemaker, Kenneth Isenhower III, Larry Wing, Lindsey Van Parys, and Rosanna Southern for donating your time. We also look forward to using the trail systems these counts will help justify for grant funding.

El Dorado Trail Ribbon-Cutting

Saturday March 28th was the 3rd Annual Opening Day for Trails and the ribbon cutting ceremony for the City of Placerville's El Dorado Trails Project, Segment 1 Ray Lawyer Drive/Forni Road to Main Street.
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For more information about OMNI-MEANS projects, our company culture, and articles of interest to our clients, please check out our Award Winning ( National Zweig A/E Marketing Letter 2008 and 2009 Marketing Excellence Award for an External Newsletter) “OMNI Times” Newspaper.

National Zweig A/E Marketing Letter 2008 Marketing Excellence Award for Second place winner
National Zweig A/E Marketing Letter
2008 Marketing Excellence Award for Second place winner

If you would like to receive a copy of our News Paper (distributed bi-annually) please submit your request to sconstab@omnimeans.com

Omni-Means Times

Our Award Winning Newspaper

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