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

Budget Brings New Money for Housing
Newsom’ first budget mixes the stick with carrots for housing production

July 25, 2019: The Sacramento region is set to receive over $14 million in new funding to plan for housing based on a budget deal reached by the governor and legislature.   

Governor Gavin Newsom signed his first state budget late last month, totaling over $214 billion in state spending. The legislature passed the budget by the June 15 constitutional deadline, however the governor held his signature back as he and the legislature continued to negotiate a number of unresolved issues, including a funding plan to address homelessness and housing.

News
The RUCS forestry management tour group.

“Manage the Land or it Will Manage you”
Combating wildfires with good forest management and policy

July 17, 2019: “Manage the land or it will manage you.” El Dorado County Supervisor Brian Veerkamp shared his grandfather’s wise words with the House Committee on Natural Resources in May 2019 while speaking on the importance of wildfire resilient communities.  

The last several years have brought California many devastating wildfires that have destroyed acres upon acres of land, people’s homes, and taken many lives. To an extent, there are certain factors that we can not control, such as climate conditions. But as Veerkamp shared, there are many things that we can take control of to reduce the chance of such catastrophic events, which include land and forest management, supported by policy. 

News
Youth Leadership participant Abby Fenton addresses the crowd at SACOG's reception for California Transportation Commissioners.

A Jolt of Youth Energy for the CTC
The California Transportation Commission gets a youthful welcome to the Sacramento region

June 27, 2019: When the California Transportation Commission rolled into Sacramento this week, SACOG greeted them with a youth quake.

The commission rotates its monthly meetings around California and SACOG executive director James Corless was asked to present the Welcome to the Region address that kicks off each meeting. He brought along Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) participant Kale Almeida, an incoming high school senior. The YLA is SACOG’s civic engagement program for emerging high school leaders. 

News
An aerial image of the Railyards site  in downtown Sacramento.

Jumpstart for Catalyst River District Projects
$34 million for housing, light rail stations, and clean transportation

June 26, 2019: Two projects in Sacramento’s downtown field of dreams got a big boost on Friday. 

When the California Strategic Growth Council board approved both of the Sacramento region projects that had applied for Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program funding, they pumped more than $34 million into the downtown Railyards/River District.  

News
A Gotcha share bike.

Bringing E-Bike Joy to the Burbs
Can the urban enthusiasm for bike share spread to the suburbs?

June 24, 2019: Getting around Elk Grove, Folsom, and Rancho Cordova is about to get a little more electric and a little more fun.  

The three cities, SACOG, and Gotcha, a bike share company, have come together to launch a pilot program that will bring electric bikes to the cities (and a few scooters in Elk Grove). This new pilot program is the first opportunity for the Sacramento region to test the concept of suburban bike share. The pilot will test the bikes in a suburban environment and shed light on how a system not primarily focused in an urban core could provide residents new mobility options.  

To date, bike share and scooter systems across the country have focused their efforts on city downtowns and urban cores, due to the density of human activity, including housing, jobs, and entertainment. As these mobility systems become more ingrained into everyday travel behavior for urban residents, residents in suburban areas should also have more travel options. 

News
Happy Days’ “The Fonz” lived in an Accessory Dwelling Unit over the Cunninghams’ garage in 1950s-era Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Green Light for Granny Flats
Sutter County makes it easier to build Accessory Dwelling Units

June 19, 2019: Whether it is called a granny flat, a carriage house, an in-law unit, a backyard cabin, or even a Fonzie flat, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) offer an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to boost housing. 

California effectively made ADUs legal throughout the state in 2017 but legal does not always mean easy. Local regulations such as mandating parking spaces, large set-backs, or lot coverage requirements can, intentionally or not, make it difficult for ADUs to be built or approved. 

News

How JUMP Changed my Life
After a year, JUMP shows e-bikes are a “viable alternative to car trips”

JUMP bikes at the May is Bike Month launch event.May 23, 2019: Up until a year ago, Matthew Hargrove commuted to his downtown Sacramento job in his Ford F150 truck. It took him 25 minutes to travel from his West Sacramento home to work, including finding a parking spot and paying for it. Now “my commute on a JUMP Bike takes about 20 minutes and I don’t have to hassle with parking, get a little blood moving, and feel happy as I ride through my town.”  

News
Sites of fatalities along Highway 70. Source: Caltrans

Safer Roads Don’t Have to be Bigger Roads
Quick safety fixes coming for SR 70 between Marysville and Oroville

May 23, 2019: Caltrans is undertaking six near-term safety projects along SR 70 between Marysville and Oroville, which has long had a reputation as a dangerous road. There have been 42 fatalities on the 27 miles between the two cities in the last decade, making it 3.8 times deadlier than the average California highway. 

Some local leaders and stakeholders have been pushing for the road to become a continuous four-lane facility between Marysville and Oroville but the project faces a funding gap. In the meantime, fatalities keep coming: there have been 20 since the start of 2017. 

News
An almost empty parking lot at the Florin light rail station.

What’s Missing From Your Transit-Stop Parking Lot? Housing, Jobs, and Life
Expert panel delivers transit-oriented development recommendations 

May 21, 2019: Train stations and the communities that surround them are interdependent so when the land uses around a train stop change, it can spell trouble for commuter rail. 

That is what happened at Florin and Meadowview stations in South Sacramento, which were the final two stops on the line before SacRT’s light rail Blue Line was extended 4.3 miles south in 2015. That meant their large parking lots, which had been popular park-and-ride sites for light rail riders who lived south of the line, lost half of their passengers to the new southern-most stations of Cosumnes River College and Franklin.

News

Go Time for Green Means Go
Strong support for innovative pilot program that would remove roadblocks to infill development

April 29, 2019: Sacramento’s Capitol Park is a hive of activity this month, as office workers and pollinators alike are drawn to beautiful spring blooms. But the buzz of activity in the park is eclipsed by the rush of work happening inside the Capitol building, where lawmakers are jockeying to get their priorities reflected in the state budget. 

A key priority for the Sacramento region is the $400 million that Senator Richard Pan and Assemblymember Ken Cooley have requested to fund the Sacramento region’s Green Means Go pilot program.   

News
Family cycling

Get on Your Bike
May is Bike Month makes cycling fun

April 26, 2019: May is coming – and with it, the Sacramento region’s annual May is Bike Month campaign. Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and longer days to join your friends, neighbors, and co-workers in their commitment to bicycling to work, school, errands, or for recreation or training this May. This is the 15th year that people throughout the Sacramento region are working together to opt for their bike pedals over the gas pedal, get some fresh air and exercise, and take cars off the road for all kinds of trips. 

News
A Walk Alhambra stenciled wayfinding sign on the sidewalk.

Fast, flexible funds: TDM mini-grants
Applications close June 30 for projects that encourage alternatives to driving

April 26, 2019: Does your organization need funding for a great idea that would help get people out of their cars? SACOG has grants available for small non-infrastructure programs, events, or projects to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips and miles by encouraging biking, walking, riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling, and teleworking as options for reducing car trips.

Post
An aerial view of Isleton alongside the Sacramento River.

Isleton Bounces Back From the Brink
“I haven’t seen this much activity on Main Street in 40 years.”

April 24, 2019: The final week of March was a good one for the tiny Delta city of Isleton and its 804 residents. On Tuesday it got a $500,000 grant from California’s Regional Water Quality Control Board enabling the city to begin planning a $5 million upgrade of its sewer system. Two days later, it closed the deal on a new bond measure replacing a disastrous 2012 bond that had been costing the city about $175,000 in interest annually. The new bond cuts that almost in half.

News
The Phantom Auto driverless test car on I Street in Sacramento.

That’s no Menace, That’s the Phantom
Phantom Auto’s remote driver technology aims to keep AVs safe

April 16, 2019: Curious passers-by in downtown Sacramento yesterday could be forgiven for wondering why TV crews were clustered around an ordinary looking black Lincoln sedan. Sure, Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg was in the passenger seat but the most innovative feature of the car was nowhere to be seen: it was a remote driver sitting in their office in Mountain View, 120 miles away. 

The Phantom Auto test drive was the end-cap to months of mapping and testing the 4G mobile network in Sacramento to make sure an autonomous vehicle could be safely driven by a remote operator. California law requires any company testing autonomous vehicles on public roads to have a human driver overseeing the “driverless” vehicle who can take over control when an AV encounters a scenario it can’t safely handle on its own, such as emergency road closures, construction detours and four-way stop intersections. 

News

Transforming Government One Pilot Project at a Time

April 11, 2019: SACOG’s innovation accelerator Civic Lab was today presented with an Outstanding Achievement in Innovation award by the Alliance for Innovation. The presentation was at the Alliance’s Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno.

News

Data Reveals Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise
Cars are getting smarter so why are they killing pedestrians at record rates?

March 25, 2019: Pedestrian deaths in the United States grew by 35 percent from 2009 to 2017, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, reversing a 30-year decline before that. And although the 2018 numbers are still preliminary, they show the U.S. is on track to report the highest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1990: 6,277.