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Slowing Streets for Walking, Biking, and Dining
Slow Active Streets pilot project will showcase streets as public amenities

May 23, 2020: Traffic has plunged as much of the region operates under shelter in place guidelines. Data has shown traffic levels as low as 70 percent below usual limits but at the same time, many more people are walking and biking around their neighborhoods for exercise and relaxation. 

For Deb Banks, executive director of Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, the scenes of people walking and playing in the streets while giving each other a wide berth, has been as if “Mother Nature has given us a big demonstration project” of how people reclaim the public space value of streets. But at the same time, an unintended consequence of lower traffic levels has been that many of the remaining drivers have been speeding through residential neighborhoods. 

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A transit worker loads meals onto a bus.

Relief Funds and New Roles for Transit
Quick action and strong regional partnerships helped SACOG expedite $112 million to transit agencies

April 30, 2020: Transit agencies have been on the frontlines of the Covid-19 crisis and as we’ve reported, their budgets have been battered.

But they have also adapted quickly and in many cases, taken on new roles as food distributors, wellness checkers, Census workers, and even WiFi providers. ACC Transportation Services, Paratransit, El Dorado Transit, and YoloBus have been delivering meals and groceries, as well as making wellness check calls to seniors. Paratransit staff have been working with the City of Sacramento to call people to remind them to fill out their census and SacRT has been working with partners to equip 8-10 40 foot buses with WiFi capabilities and extenders to make them into mobile hotspots to support Governor Newsom’s telehealth, telework, and distance education guidance.

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Lean Budgets Loom for Local Governments
Most SACOG cities and counties have had no Federal relief. We asked local budget makers where they are seeing the revenue impacts of Covid-19.

April 28, 2020: Local governments are facing rising costs from dealing with Covid-19 at the same time as the pandemic-caused economic shut-down is slashing their revenues. 

A League of California Cities analysis released on April 23 that shows nine out of 10 cities project that these shortfalls will lead to service cuts or furloughs and layoffs. California cities are projecting a nearly $7 billion general revenue shortfall over the next two fiscal years, and the shortfall will grow by billions of dollars if COVID-19 stay-at-home orders extend into the summer months and beyond. 

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