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.


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.

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. 

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.  


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. 

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.  


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.

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. 

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. 

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.  

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. 

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. 


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.”  

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. 

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.