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.

The future looks bright

The future looks bright
A new group of Youth Leadership Academy students graduate

With a new group of intelligent and passionate Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) graduates, the Sacramento region has a lot to look forward to. YLA students have shown yet again how smart and talented they are, and how much they have to offer. Through the program, students learned about the principles and history of transportation and land use planning, local government processes, and community advocacy.


El Dorado Trail Wins ASCE Outstanding Bikeways and Trails Project Award

The El Dorado Trail is a cornerstone to the budding trail network in the Sacramento region. The trail covers more than 35 miles, from the Camino community, west to the El Dorado-Sacramento county border at the City of Folsom. A notable addition in 2018 that connected the City of Placerville over Weber Creek Canyon to the Missouri Flat interchange brought recognition in 2020 from the American Society of Civil Engineers, who aptly deemed it an Outstanding Bikeways and Trails Project.


Sacramento Region Grows While State Loses Population Overall
Pandemic-fueled migration from coastal areas drives inland housing demand

Across the country, COVID-19 has impacted where people are choosing to live. Major coastal cities are seeing population declines while regions like Sacramento are experiencing population increases, according to recently released California Department of Finance 2021 population and housing estimates. While California lost 182,000 residents last year, bringing the state’s population to 39.467 million, the Sacramento region continued to grow. The region netted 12,750 new residents (a 0.5 percent increase), bringing the six-county population total to 2.56 million.


Updated Placer County Housing Element First in Region to Integrate MTP/SCS Growth Forecast
New housing element full of practical, sustainable, “Placer-ized” solutions

May 26, 2021: Even before the pandemic, southwest Placer County was on everyone’s list of places they wanted to live. That high demand continues as the Sacramento region grows while the state overall has shrunk. For their part, Placer County is taking the demand seriously and met the challenge head on with a suite of forward thinking policies and programs in their recently adopted housing element that covers the unincorporated county.


What Would a $2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Mean for the Sacramento Region?
Biden administration has made it clear it wants to advance economic growth, racial equity, and climate change preparedness

April 28, 2021: As Congress prepares to draft a $2 trillion infrastructure bill, regions are naturally asking, “What’s in it for us?” But let’s start with an even more fundamental question: just how much even is $2 trillion? A trillion is a thousand billions or a million millions. In economic terms, $2 trillion is about the market valuation of Apple.


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.


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.


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.

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. 


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.

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?  

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. 

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.


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.