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Overview

News and Media

Everyday, our region’s counties and cities are taking actions to make this the best place to work, live, and play. We will share our member city and county milestones here, along with our own regional news and blog posts.

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Building Better Cooperation for “Megapolitan America”
Megaregion Working Group tackles issues for more than 11 million people

September 29, 2020: This year has brought powerful reminders that many key issues that affect the greater Sacramento region are not confined to our borders. Viruses, wildfires and their smoke, and global recessions have no regard for lines on a map and require well-coordinated responses.  

Some of these same forces are also accelerating long-standing connections and growth trends that tie Northern California metropolitan areas together. So this was the right year to relaunch the Megaregion Working Group, which brings together board members and staff from three adjacent Metropolitan Planning Organizations: SACOG, San Joaquin Council of Governments, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Together, these MPOs serve more than 11 million residents of 16 contiguous counties, stretching from Santa Clara in the southwest to Placer in the northeast. 

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SACOG Board Approves Framework for 2020 Regional Funding Round
$193 million available for regional transportation projects

September 29, 2020: In a unanimous vote at its September meeting, the SACOG board approved the 2020 Regional Funding Round Policy Framework. The funding round has been an important source of transportation investment in the region over the past 15 years. It funds road, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects primarily within the four-county region — Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties. 

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Lime has taken over the  JUMP bike share business.

JUMP Bikes Return With a Lime Twist
Bike share relaunch provides a socially distanced, affordable option

September 22, 2020: Three weeks on from the relaunch of shared bikes in the Sacramento region, the reception has been welcoming. 

Lime, which recently took over Uber’s JUMP-branded bike share and scooter business, started operations on August 29 in Sacramento and West Sacramento and is working with the City of Davis to relaunch shared bikes there soon. Lime began with 200 bikes across the two cities and will ramp up to 600 bikes based on rider demand. 

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Telework’s Great Leap Forward: How an unexpected experiment could transform work and travel
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Can we keep some of the good parts of the Covid-19 shelter-in-place era without all bad parts? Telework offers that possibility: as workers and employers have had it thrust upon them, some have found it has worked better than expected. There is a path forward to having increased worker flexibility and lower greenhouse gas emissions without the economic pain of the lock-down. 

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Sutter Street in Folsom's Historic District on the first weekend  of a street closure trial in August.

Fresh Programs to Dine Outdoors
Lessons from cities in how to take commerce to the streets

August 21, 2020: When the restaurateurs of Folsom’s historic downtown district asked the City to close Sutter Street to allow more outdoor dining space, they were not expecting to be serving in 110-degree weather. But on August 17, the final night of the first trial weekend of the street closure, the mercury hit that mark at 6pm as California experienced the hottest two weeks in its history. 

It was a reminder that nothing about the hospitality business during a pandemic is easy, and especially not the supposedly simple solution of allowing restaurants, bars, and other retailers to expand onto public rights of way. Several cities around the Sacramento region have made efforts to allow businesses to expand outdoors and so we checked in with two cities at different stages of those initiatives to learn what is working.

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Less Traffic, More Telework, More Productivity
Big data shows how work changes might outlast the pandemic

July 29, 2020: The suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been immense. In the United States alone, more than 150,000 people have died from the disease, more than 4.2 million people have been infected, and by the end of June, more than 12 million people had lost their jobs since February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The changes wrought by the pandemic have also had unintentional benefits: cleaner air and, for those fortunate enough to still have jobs that can be done remotely, a chance to experience greater flexibility in where they work. 

Work travel was down by about 50 percent from pre-COVID levels across the four-county Greater Sacramento region in mid-April, and by about 40 percent in early July, according to smartphone data from Google. And as vehicle traffic declined statewide in the early months of the pandemic, studies conducted by the California Air Resources Board revealed a 20 percent reduction in ozone-forming pollutants and a 50 percent drop in fine particulate emissions. 

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Making a Rural City Affordable For All
Placerville adding 154 affordable housing units

July 29, 2020: It has been roughly two decades since the City of Placerville has seen any type of affordable housing developments come through. But as Community Development Director Pierre Rivas described it, there has been “an alignment of the stars,” and now two major projects are on the way — changing that decades-long slumber. The two approved projects are the Mallard Apartments located within The Ridge at Orchard Hill at Mallard Lane and McIntosh Drive and the Middletown Apartments located at Cold Springs Road and Middletown Road. 

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This unwelcoming  bus stop is not in Sacramento County.

Smarter Plans for a Better Prepared Region
How Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants will aid Greater Sacramento

June 20, 2020: Better plans lead to better outcomes and the plans that will emerge from the latest round of Caltrans sustainable planning grants will improve the region’s emergency preparedness, access to buses, trail networks, and street safety. 

These are just some of the needs addressed by the 10 successful projects in the Sacramento region that were awarded more than $2.5 million in planning grants by Caltrans in the latest round of the Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant Program, out of a statewide total of 77 grants totaling approximately $21.5 million.

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Sutter Commuter Bikeway

Yuba City Plans a New Trail to Connect Communities
City receives a grant to begin study and prep work for a new trail

June 29, 2020: Yuba City is making moves to keep its residents walking and pedaling. This month the city received a planning grant from Caltrans to create a feasibility study for an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad. The stretch of rail is about 2.8 miles long and 80 feet across and would essentially extend the existing Sutter Bike Path all through Yuba City and right up to the Feather River across from Marysville.

This study will result in walking audits, community engagement efforts, a benefit-cost analysis for possible alternatives, early design plans, and recommendations for how to fund the construction. All of this is needed before the city breaks ground on the trail that is already in Yuba City’s Bicycle Master Plan and the region’s Sustainable Communities Strategy for 2035.

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Completing “Main Street” in West Sacramento
Road rehab project helps transform former US Route

June 29, 2020: West Sacramento is taking the last step in transforming West Capitol Avenue into a functional “main street” for the city. Until the mid 1950’s West Capitol Avenue was US Route 40, which served as the only connection between the Bay Area and Sacramento. As an interstate highway the roadway was built to keep traffic moving at high speed while the development adjacent to the highway largely served the highway travelers, such as auto service and lodging.

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Sacramento Region Is Ready for Recovery
Wide range of agencies identify more than $11 billion in near-term infrastructure needs across six counties

June 23, 2020: Today SACOG released a list of more than $11 billion in near-term infrastructure projects that could be funded by stimulus spending from the Federal government. “Ready for Recovery: A Call for Short-Term Strategic Investments in Infrastructure in the Greater Sacramento Region” collates key projects from 50 different agencies across the six-county greater Sacramento region. The projects represent an illustrative list of ready-to-go investments grouped in categories representing key strategic goals to advance economic recovery, prosperity and resilience. While not comprehensive, the list represents examples of the types and magnitude of investments the Sacramento region is prepared to make if Congress moves forward with an infrastructure-focused stimulus package. 

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Ready for Recovery:
A Call for Short-Term Strategic Investments in Infrastructure in the Greater Sacramento Region

Ready for Recovery Project List

At the same time as Congress has proposed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure investment bill to stimulate recovery in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, cities and counties within the six-county Sacramento region have been collaborating to identify a broad range of projects that could be quickly implemented.  As the attached table shows, a consortium of more than 50 public and private sector organizations throughout the greater Sacramento region identified projects and programs totaling more than $11 billion across a diverse set of infrastructure categories. While not comprehensive, this list of projects represents examples of the types and magnitude of investments the Sacramento region is prepared to make if Congress moves forward with an infrastructure-focused stimulus package.

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Greenback Lane is the commercial corridor through Orangevale.

Lessons for Main Street More Urgent Than Ever Due to Covid-19
Rural Main Streets program brings timely expertise and technical assistance to 11 rural and suburban districts

May 29, 2020: The commercial corridor of Greenback Lane though Orangevale has needed a lot of help for a long time. As Brad Squires, the chair of the Orangevale Chamber of Commerce said, “most rental space is vacant, there’s a lot of tattoo, massage parlor, and auto repair and the businesses there are not very community oriented, in terms of restaurants and cafes or places where people gather.” 

In that sense, Greenback Lane was an ideal candidate for SACOG’s Rural Main Streets program, which brings experts in retail, housing, and streetscaping to help communities work out how to revive their commercial corridors, be that a long suburban auto-oriented retail boulevard like Greenback, a small-town downtown like Marysville, or a shrinking retail destination like the Galt Marketplace. 

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Strategic Framework for Region’s Inclusive Economic Recovery and Growth Released
The path forward is based around making key sector job opportunities accessible to all

May 28, 2020: A newly launched strategic framework for the recovery and growth of the Sacramento regional economy lays out a pathway that prioritizes our core economic initiatives resulting in a more aligned, prosperous and resilient Sacramento Region. 

“Our Path Forward: The Prosperity Strategy” is the result of two years of work by the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, SACOG, and Valley Vision. It reflects the follow-up work to the Brookings Institution report in 2018 that painted an economic picture of a region that was not growing compared to other mid-market regions and presented many indicators that those most in need were falling behind.