News

Overview

News & Guest Blog Posts

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.

News

Sacramento region’s 20-year transportation plan approved
Region’s Housing Needs Allocation also approved

November 26, 2019: Last week SACOG received federal approval for its 2020 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS).  

The November 20 letter from the Federal Highway Administration is the final step in a four-year process of updating the 20-year MTP/SCS. Two days earlier the SACOG board had unanimously adopted the plan and certified the associated Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). 

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The forthcoming Aggie Square development will be key to boosting the life sciences cluster in the Sacramento region.

Prosperity Strategy Snapshot Reveals a Region Rising
A suite of strategies to boost Sacramento’s regional economy

November 26, 2019: Boosting our region’s most promising tradeable clusters is the best path forward to accelerate our economy, according to the forthcoming Prosperity Strategy.

Tradeable clusters are groups of related industries that bring new wealth into the region, pay above average wages, and have a higher multiplier effect in the broader economy. The three most promising clusters in our region are life sciences, food and agriculture, and future mobility.

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The Future of Transportation panel

The Power of Coalitions and Visionary Thinking
Lessons from the Regional Futures Forum

November 18, 2019: The Regional Futures Forum is over for another year but the lessons from the day-long conference about the future of transportation live on. 

The second annual RFF was a bigger event than last year’s inaugural Forum, with more than 300 people showing up at the Center at 2300 on October 30. The audience was mostly elected officials, senior city and county staff from all around the Sacramento region, and staff and guests from partners and sponsors.  

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Nathan Morales, left, and Bethany Morales practice their bike riding skills in the safety of a temporary bike lane on Old Auburn Rd. In Citrus Heights.

Pilot Projects Give Communities a Preview of Changes
Testing safety strategies in Citrus Heights and Sacramento

October 29, 2019: Two recent road demonstration tests showed the value of doing a pilot project before making big changes to a road. 

In Citrus Heights major thoroughfare Old Auburn Road is getting a Complete Streets makeover. The community got a nine-day preview that was launched with a Community Safety Fair on October 19. People could ride in a temporary bike lane created for the pilot as well as attend a pedestrian safety class, and some family fun activities drew a steady stream of visitors. 

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Making over a window at VIP Pets in Marysville.

Window Makeovers Aim to Jumpstart Downtown Marysville
The first step to a vibrant downtown? Being able to see in the windows.

October 29, 2019: If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then what are shop windows? According to retail design guru Michele Reeves, they could reveal a shop’s soul.  

“Your job with windows is to show who you are and what you sell in one second,” said Reeves as she stood outside a shop window in Marysville. 

“Your best ad should be your windows” she said, but the benefits of making storefronts look better go further than just the retailer. Making storefronts more attractive and well-lit is the “cheapest, easiest, and fastest way to make downtown look better,” said Reeves, adding that it also improves safety at night. 

Embracing the civic improvement potential of better shop windows, the City of Marysville, with the help of a community design grant from SACOG, enlisted Reeves’ help for a pilot project called Downtown Turnaround. 

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NEV Vehicle

When Innovation Happens in the Slow Lane
Keep Calm and Drive a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle in Lincoln

October 28, 2019: When you think about innovative mobility you might think autonomous vehicles, electric scooters, or maybe something more futuristic like flying cars. But innovative mobility doesn’t have to involve a high-tech device, it just needs to bring a new solution to an existing transportation challenge. That’s what City of Lincoln is doing with Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs).

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An Accessory Dwelling Unit in a Sacramento back yard.

Big Boost for Small Solutions to Housing Crisis
Governor Newsom signs three bills that make it easier to build ADUs

October 10, 2019: As we pointed out in June, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to boost housing. 

The small secondary units on residential lots, also known as granny flats, carriage houses, in-law units, or backyard cabins, provide more affordable housing in existing communities without changing the existing fabric of residential neighborhoods. They can meet the needs of low- to moderate-income families without the need for public subsidy.  

Given that about three-fourths of the SACOG region’s homes are single family houses, ADUs could provide a viable avenue to increase the naturally affordable housing stock in the region.

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Overhead view of I-5

Paving the Way for Better Commutes
Biggest freeway project in the region since 1975 will bring faster travel times and smoother rides to I-5

September 30, 2019: Look out, I-5 is getting some major work done, all to improve commutes and make carpooling a lot easier.  

The SAC 5 Corridor Enhancement Project, which began in July, is the biggest freeway construction/expansion project in the region since 1975. The work will occur one mile south of Elk Grove Boulevard to the American River viaduct and will include 67 miles of new and rehabilitated lanes and 23 miles of carpool lanes, or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.  

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Planning Begins For Sunrise Mall’s New Future
City of Citrus Heights steps in to lead a reimagination of dated mall

September 30, 2019: After 13 years of falling sales at Sunrise Mall the City of Citrus Heights has begun a “visioning process” to reimagine the future of what was once the region’s dominant mall. 

Since 1996, sales at the mall have declined by 50 percent and about a quarter of its retail space is vacant. The 25 acre mall building is surrounded by another 75 acres of vastly underused parking. 

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A $56 Million Investment in Regional Transportation
2019 Regional Funding Round grants awarded

August 15, 2019: Twenty-four transportation projects across the Sacramento region received nearly $56.2 million in funding from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) today. The $56 million in awards helps bring multiple regional-serving projects closer to being fully funded, brings existing infrastructure into a state of good repair, and supports new planning and project development efforts.

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Victoria Robertson, the first Clean Cars 4 All participant.

Clearing the Air and Boosting Opportunity
Clean Cars 4 All program offers up to $9,500 to replace dirty clunkers with electric vehicles

August 27, 2019: A program that replaces polluting older cars with electric vehicles will increase economic opportunity as it helps clean up our air. 

Clean Cars 4 All had its media launch on August 7 and will be fully operational in 2020. The program, being run by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SacAQMD) using cap and trade funds through California Climate Investments, is aimed at low-income participants who own a car that is at least 15 years old. 

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An autonomous Olli shuttle at the White Rock Corporate Campus in Rancho Cordova.

Rancho Cordova Ups its Innovation Game
Autonomous shuttle pilot an example of suburban city’s envelope-pushing moves

August 27, 2019: The Olli autonomous shuttle that circles the parking lot at White Rock Corporate Campus moves at a stately pace but it is a symbol of a city that is trying to move fast. 

“In Rancho Cordova, we like being first … and this is the first city in the country to test a business use for Olli,” said Vice Mayor David Sander before he hopped on the Olli for the shuttle’s first lap around the large office park.  

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New Davis Third Street creates gateway between town and gown
Attractive streetscape supports retail access and growth

August 26, 2019: The City of Davis boasts both the nation’s highest percentage of commuters by bike (20 percent) and the first bike lane in the country (1967) and now it has a monument to that two-wheeled legacy. 

The Davis Needle is a 25-foot-tall obelisk created with reclaimed bicycle parts and customizable LED lighting that was installed in the middle of the intersection of Third and University streets, the centrepiece of the freshly redesigned street. 

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Vehicle weight does not equal safety. When Ford removed 700 pounds from its F-150 trucks, their safety rating went up.

EPA’s SAFE Rule Could Paralyze Transportation Projects
Almost $11 billion worth of projects in SACOG region are at risk

July 24, 2019: The EPA’s proposed rule to freeze federal fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles at 2020 levels will be a disaster for air quality.  

The world of transportation planning and delivery could be thrown into chaos as soon as the rule to replace the existing CAFE standards is finalized, which would also neuter California’s longstanding ability to have tougher fuel efficiency standards and undo its zero-emission vehicle programs. The California Association of Councils of Governments (CALCOG) estimates that just under 2,000 projects throughout the state, totaling over $130 billion, may face project delivery delays or loss of funding, casualties of a rule change that not only impacts air quality, but also has rippling effects into other sectors.