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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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SACOG releases staff recommendation for 2021 Regional and Community Design programs
Funding recommended for transportation projects in four-county region

SACOG has released the staff recommendation for the 2021 cycle of the Regional and Community Design funding programs. Staff will present this recommendation at all upcoming SACOG board committees: Transportation Committee (10 a.m. on Thursday April 1st), Land Use and Natural Resources Committee (April 1 at 1:30 p.m.), and Policy and Innovation Committee (April 5 at 10 a.m.). The SACOG board will act on the 2021 funding round recommendation at its April 15th meeting.

See the below for the details on the 2021 four-county funding round staff recommendation.

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ACE Train Races Toward Sacramento Region
Rail expansion on track to connect the Northern California MegaRegion

March 31, 2021: The Sacramento region is on the verge of much better access to both the Bay Area and the Central Valley thanks to the expansions of key regional rail services. For a sense of the potential impact, consider that together Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor and San Joaquins services and Valley Rail’s ACE service carry about 4.4 million passengers a year.

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Innovative Mobility Charges Forward
Launch of California Mobility Center advances key plank of region’s Prosperity Strategy

March 31, 2021: The Sacramento region’s goal of becoming a ”global leader for entrepreneurs, firms, and workforce in future mobility” got an electric boost on March 11 with the opening of the California Mobility Center (CMC). The center’s goal is to accelerate the commercialization of innovative mobility technology. 

Developing a cluster of innovative mobility businesses is one of the six key planks of the region’s Prosperity Strategy. That may sound like a lofty goal given that many regions are chasing such companies. But California and the Sacramento region have some big competitive advantages, as the CMC’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Rawson explained. California is the largest market for electric vehicles in the Western Hemisphere; the “Big Seven” automakers and more than 40 percent of mobility start-ups have a presence in California; and the state has favorable policies and regulations. The Sacramento region is the plum location in the state because of its concentration of industry expertise (boosted by world-class research at UC Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies), access to policymakers and regulators, and its proximity to Silicon Valley, where costs have made hardware development prohibitively expensive. The region also has a diverse and growing workforce and a diversity of communities that serve as market models for the mobility industry.

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Streetscape improvements made on Taylor Road in Loomis in 2018.

Balancing Small-Town Identity with Growth
Loomis offers lessons in how to revive a commercial corridor

March 31, 2021: Despite the pandemic, Loomis’ downtown is thriving. Last April, a month into the Covid-19 lockdown, new bistro Reds’ opened in a space on Taylor Road that had been vacant for eight years and it is now a hot ticket. In the fall, a pair of 1988 grads from the local Del Oro High School opened an Ace Hardware in a former fitness studio that is now booming and bringing more foot traffic to Taylor Road. Loomis town manager Sean Rabé said that Ace’s corporate headquarters had predicted December revenue would be $45,000 but that actual revenue had been five times that at about $220,000. March is on track to beat even that number, Rabé said. 

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Bike Lanes? ✅ Sidewalks? ✅ Access to Transit? ✅
Auburn improves Nevada Street, aiding all types of travel

February 26, 2021: What is at the core of a safe and inviting community? It begins with how it’s built and its infrastructure. Sidewalks, bike lanes, and new asphalt may not be the most exciting development, but these details can make a place thrive by allowing residents to move more freely and acting as the catalyst for future growth and development.

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A rendering of one of Citrus heights' pre-approved Accessory Dwelling Units.

Helping Hand for More Compact Housing
Citrus Heights is giving away plans for pre-approved Additional Dwelling Units

February 26, 2021: Citrus Heights is one of the most land-locked cities in the SACOG region. The city of 83,000 residents is surrounded by other developed communities, including Roseville to the north, Orangevale, Fair Oaks, and Antelope. But just like the rest of the region, it is facing a housing crisis. How to expand when you can’t go out?  

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Woodland Corporate Center is home to AgStart and its new suite of wet labs.

Growing Food Entrepreneurs in the Sacramento Region
Woodland’s AgStart incubator scales up and helps to implement the Prosperity Strategy recipe

February 26, 2021: Woodland’s AgStart startup incubator is on the verge of having more wet labs than anywhere else in the Sacramento region. In April, the Raley’s Food Lab will join the Yocha Dehe Lab in the Lab@AgStart, making it the largest wet-lab incubator facility in the state of California with an agriculture and food focus. 

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Harvesting tomatoes in Yolo County.

Forging Farmland’s Future
The key to preserving agricultural land is to understand its value

February 26, 2021: The Sacramento region is home to some of the most productive farmland in the world. About 40 percent of the six-county SACOG region is farmland, and it supports approximately $2 billion worth of agriculture. From almonds to rice to peaches, the Sacramento region is the cradle of some of California’s most valuable crops. Yet the region also faces an extreme housing shortage. The SACOG region needs to build more than twice as much housing as it has averaged since 2009 to keep up with population growth, let alone make up for prior shortfalls in housing production. This leads to pressure to convert valuable farmland to housing. 

Of course, it is possible to both house more people and preserve the backbone of the regional economy: by implementing a more compact development pattern. Historically in the Sacramento region, 242 acres of farmland have been developed for every 1,000 new residents but SACOG’s long-range transportation and land-use plan for the region, the MTP/SCS, lays out a plan that would see just 18 acres of farmland developed for every 1,000 new residents.

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Big Data In, Travel Insights Out
Big Data–powered machine learning reveals where people go and why

January 27, 2021: The SACOG travel-modeling team has a powerful new source of data that enables even more fine-tuned analysis of travel trends in the Sacramento region.

In a Big Data pilot project partnership with Caltrans and the California Air Resources Board, the team has access to the software-as-a-service platform Replica for 2021. Replica uses machine learning to turn many streams of inputs — raw data from GPS to cell phone apps to credit card purchases, and many more — into valuable insights useful for transportation modelers, planners, and policy-makers.

These insights are displayed in two different forms on the Replica platform: Nationwide Trends and Local Places. The Nationwide Trends is a weekly snapshot of activities across the United States such as numbers of daily trips, vehicle miles traveled, trip start times, trips to work and school, as well as spending across sectors such as gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and bars. Users can view the trends at the state, county, and census tract levels.

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New board chair Bonnie Gore and vice chair Rick Jennings

SACOG Swears in New Board Leadership
Placer County Supervisor Bonnie Gore new chair; City of Sacramento Councilmember Rick Jennings vice chair

January 21, 2021: The SACOG Board of Directors has elected Placer County Supervisor Bonnie Gore as the 2021 board chair and City of Sacramento Councilmember Rick Jennings as board vice chair. 

Chair Gore joined the SACOG board in 2019 and served as chair of the Policy and Innovation subcommittee in 2020. She has served on the Placer County Board of Supervisors since 2019. Prior to serving on the Board of Supervisors, she served on the Roseville City Council from 2012 to 2018, including time as vice mayor and mayor. Gore has more than two decades of local public policy and business experience. She is active in the Roseville business community, having managed government and community relations for a healthcare system in the Greater Sacramento area for 17 years. 

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A rendering of the planned mixed-use development at 15th and S in Sacramento, one of the projects that is using SACOG's Sustainable Communities Strategy as an environmental document under CEQA.

Sustainable Communities Strategy Approved by CARB
Approval crucial for $145 million in SB 1 grants and housing-boosting CEQA streamlining

November 29, 2020: When the California Air Resources Board certified SACOG’s Sustainable Communities Strategy recently, it was more than a formality. The painstaking review of the data modeling that underpins the 2020 MTP/SCS makes sure that its findings are valid and therefore can be used to support grant applications as well as for the environmental review streamlining provisions of SB 375.  

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The killing of George Floyd sparked a reckoning with racism across the United States.

Resolving to Do Better
Local governments throughout the Sacramento region are confronting the impacts of racism

November 29, 2020: The recent publicity surrounding the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors’ passing of a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis overshadowed the reality at the heart of the resolution. Ten years ago the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Social Determinants of Health Framework recognized that racial health disparities are a result of inequalities in education, employment, health care, housing, and law enforcement. Data shows that your ZIP code is a better predictor of health than your genetic code, and as urban planners, we know that where you live is often determined by your race. 

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An aerial view shows sidewalk and curb improvements on Woodland's West Main Street.

21st Century Makeover for a 19th Century Main Street
Woodland’s West Main Street gets safer for walkers and cyclists

November 29, 2020: Next year Woodland will celebrate 150 years since being incorporated and it all started on Main Street. Since then the thoroughfare has stretched both west and east, adding West and East Main Streets. Now West Main Street gets a lot of traffic “dumped” on it because of a lack of connectors between Highway 113 and Main Street from the south, said Tom Stallard, Woodland’s mayor pro tempore. The combination of heavy traffic and some missing sidewalks and no bike lanes had made the busy street unwelcoming for people not in cars. 

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Jacob Weiss tends to a crop. Now he is growing his Sacramento Valley Food Hub concept.

Farm to Food Hub to Fork
A new agribusiness entrepreneur found his roadmap in a SACOG report

November 29, 2020: Sacramento may hang its hat on being America’s Farm to Fork Capital but how much of the food we eat in the region is local? Of the almost 1.9 million tons of food consumed within the region, only 2 percent comes from local sources, according to a 2014 SACOG report on the feasibility of food hubs. 

One person well-positioned to boost that number is Jacob Weiss, whose plan to set up the Sacramento Valley Food Hub recently won him and his team $25,000 at Tufts University’s Friedman School’s Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship Competition, winning both first place and the audience prize for their pitch to launch the food hub. 

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Open Call for Projects in SACOG’s competitive transportation funding round
Over $180 million in funding available for transportation projects in four-county region

SACOG has released a call for projects in the core Regional and Community Design funding programs. Offering over $180 million in transportation funding between them, these two programs are the largest components of SACOG’s 2021 Regional Funding Round.

The flexible Regional Program funds cost-effective transportation projects that realize the performance benefits of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy. The SACOG board has adopted a program target of roughly $164 million for the 2021 Regional Program.

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A Taxing Time for Transportation Taxes
With the country in a recession, many plans for sales taxes to fund transportation projects have stalled

October 28, 2020: This was to have been the year for Measure A, Sacramento County’s half-cent sales tax to fund transportation. Over its 40-year life, the sales tax was projected to raise $8 billion for transportation projects in the county, including a good chunk for transit. Instead the Covid-19 pandemic dimmed its chances of success, the measure was pulled in July, and the title “Measure A” now refers to the strong mayor proposal on the ballot for City of Sacramento voters.