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.

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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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Placerville Pedaling Forward
New bike lanes with pedestrian and roadway improvements create better access to resources

April 28, 2020: New bike lane alert! The City of Placerville is well on its way to becoming more bike and pedestrian friendly with the Upper Broadway Bike Lanes and Pedestrian Connection Project (UBBL) that will construct a brand-new bike lane along with sidewalks and a transit stop. The UBBL project will construct a 1.2-mile long bike lane along Broadway from Schnell School Road to Point View Road and will also include amenities for people on foot, including a shoulder, sidewalks, and safety railing.  

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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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Webinar: COVID-19 Impacts to Public Transit: What the Sacramento Region Needs to Know

Webinar: COVID-19 Impacts to Public Transit: What the Sacramento Region Needs to Know

Recorded Thursday, April 9 

Join local public transit experts to learn how COVID-19 has impacted public transit ridership, operations, and funding and how the region is responding to the current crises.

Speakers:   
Amanda Blackwood, CEO, Metro Chamber
Mike Dour, Roseville Transit, Chair of the Transit Coordinating Committee 
Henry Li, General Manager, SacRT
Tiffani Fink, General Manager, Paratransit, Inc.
Moderator: Lucas Frerichs, Davis City Council Member & SACOG Board Chair

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The I80 over the Yolo Basin.

Battling Bottlenecks on I80
Caltrans plans congestion-busting measures between Dixon and Sacramento

March 31, 2020: No matter where you come from in the Greater Sacramento region, you know that sinking feeling as you approach the sea of brake lights on the causeway over the Yolo Bypass. As transportation reporter Tony Bizjak joked in the Sacramento Bee, “it’s become a major pain in the bumper.” 

The key reason the freeway between West Sacramento and Davis is so often jammed is high demand: more people want to drive that route than it can smoothly accommodate. The best solution is to give all those travelers more options to get where they want to go. This includes giving people better transit options, better bike and walking options, and making more efficient use of the space on the freeway. 

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When Face-to-Face Is at a Distance
How local governments are innovating as they adapt to Covid-19

March 31, 2020: In West Sacramento the mayor interviewed the school district superintendent on Zoom, using questions community members had posted on social media.  In Roseville, City staff posted signs at grocery stores that have the City’s Covid-19 website and phone number for people to get local information and FAQs. And in Placer County the staff are working collaboratively through Teams.

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Reston Town Center

Elk Grove Officials Look to the East for Employment Center Inspiration
What might Kammerer Road look like in 50 years?

March 26, 2020: When Elk Grove staff went to Washington they were looking for inspiration to help them imagine Elk Grove’s future.  

In 2014, the City of Elk Grove approved its Southeast Policy Area strategic plan, identifying land for a new employment center along the Kammerer Road corridor.  More recently and following the adoption last year of the City’s new General Plan, the City is revisiting the Southeast plan and adjoining areas on both the north and south sides of Kammerer Road, considering alternative land-use and design strategies.

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A rendering of some of the improvements on Arden Way.

How to Revitalize an Inner-Ring Suburb
Lessons from Arden-Arcade

February 27, 2020: When her local suburb of Arden-Arcade began to show some signs of aging, Sacramento County Supervisor Susan Peters took keen notice.   

She knew a strategy was needed to create interest within the community in revitalizing the prospects of the area, a highly diverse community that includes older commercial corridors, modest homes as well as multimillion dollar houses consisting of the first suburban ring outside Sacramento’s city core. 

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An aerial view of the site of the Mills Station District.

Rancho Cordova Attracts National Attention for Transit-Oriented Development
Mills Station District poised to become a dynamic city center

February 26, 2020: The City of Rancho Cordova is investing millions of dollars in developing a community hub on what its economic development manager Amanda Norton called “truly a catalyst site.” 

The City purchased the 9.8 acre site next to Folsom Lake College’s Rancho campus in 2018 and is in the process of reviewing proposals from the three short-listed development groups to transform the suburban commercial corridor site into the Mills Station District. The City expects to select a preferred developer this spring, said Norton. 

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Supporters of Green Means Go at the program’s public launch. From left: Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, SACOG Deputy Executive Director Kacey Lizon, SACOG Policy Manager Christina Lokke, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, State Senator Dr. Richard Pan, Councilmember Eric Guerra, Planning and Design Commissioner Kendra Reed, Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce CEO Pat Fong Kushida, SACOG Executive Director James Corless, and Stockton Boulevard Partnership Executive Director Frank Louie.

Green Means Go Campaign Launches With Strong Legislator Support
Stockton Blvd. event showcases need for infill development

February 13, 2020: SACOG launched its lobbying campaign for the Green Means Go program with a press conference and walking tour of Stockton Boulevard on Monday, February 3. The press conference featured State Senator Dr. Richard Pan, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and City of Sacramento Councilmember Eric Guerra.  

The strong support from the legislature followed on from the majority of the Sacramento region’s legislative delegation signing a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom in support of the Green Means Go proposed pilot program, which will lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the six-county Sacramento region by accelerating infill development, reducing vehicle trips, and electrifying remaining trips. 

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Riders on the new Airport Express service arrive at Sacramento International Airport.

Sacramento Regional Transit Takes Flight
New airport service and SmaRT Ride growth expand the region’s mobility options

January 30, 2020: The new year started with a flurry of activity for Sacramento Regional Transit  (SacRT). On January 6, in partnership with Yolobus, it launched its new Airport Express between downtown Sacramento and Sacramento International Airport and a week later it announced the expansion of its SmaRT Ride microtransit service. 

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SACOG ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD LEADERSHIP FOR 2020

January 16, 2020: The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) Board of Directors has elected City of Davis councilmember Lucas Frerichs as the 2020 board chair and Marysville mayor Ricky Samayoa as board vice chair.   

Chair Frerichs has served on the Davis City Council since 2012 and on the SACOG board since 2014. Frerichs is a leading regional voice for smart growth, multi-modal transportation, public safety, economic development, and environmental sustainability.