Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy

Overview

Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for the Sacramento region pro-actively links land use, air quality, and transportation needs. The MTP/SCS supports the Sacramento Region Blueprint, which implements smart growth principles, including housing choice, compact development, mixed-use development, natural resource conservation, use of existing assets, quality design and transportation choice. It also provides increased transportation options while reducing congestion, shortening commute times, and improving air quality. The MTP/SCS is key to the quality of life and economic health of our region.

SACOG is designated by the state and federal governments as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and is responsible for developing a regional transportation plan (MTP) in coordination with Sacramento, Yolo, Yuba, Sutter, El Dorado and Placer counties and the 22 cities within those counties (excluding the Tahoe Basin). The plan incorporates county-wide transportation planning developed by the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency and the El Dorado County Transportation Commission, under memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between those agencies and SACOG. The law further requires the long-range regional transportation plan (MTP) to cover at least a 20-year planning horizon, and be updated at least every four years.

In 2008, California passed the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, Senate Bill 375 (SB 375). This law requires MPOs to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) as part of the MTP, which identifies policies and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles to targets set by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). Having already validated the benefits to an integrated transportation and land use planning approach in the Blueprint and earlier MTPs, SACOG views the SCS not as a separate and distinct element of the plan, but rather as integral to the entire plan.

If a city, county, or public agency in the Sacramento region wants to use federal transportation funding for transportation projects or programs, those projects must be included in the MTP/SCS project list. The MTP/SCS includes transportation improvements and investments that will serve the Sacramento region’s projected land use pattern and population growth. All transportation projects that are regionally significant for potential air quality impacts must also be included in the MTP/SCS. SACOG works collaboratively with local government planning and public works departments, transit service providers, air quality management districts, state and federal transportation departments, stakeholder interests, and residents across the region to develop the MTP/SCS.