2023 Federal Metropolitan Transportation Plan
The draft 2023 update to the regional Metropolitan Transportation Plan is available for public review and comment. Comments should be submitted to Clint Holtzen at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 13, 2023. SACOG will also host a public hearing at the Transportation Committee Meeting on Thursday October 5, 2023 starting at 10:00 a.m.
In November of 2022, the SACOG Board of Directors authorized SACOG staff to pursue state legislation to extend the Blueprint (SACOG’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS)) schedule, which would move the plan adoption date from Spring 2024 to Fall 2025. Since then, Assembly member Aguiar-Curry introduced a bill (AB 350) that will provide SACOG with the legislative authorization needed to keep the current SCS in compliance with state law for an additional two years. If successful, this legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2024. In the meantime, SACOG continues to work toward updating the region’s long-range vision and plan for 2050. To follow progress on this plan update, please visit https://www.sacog.org/2025-blueprint-mtpscs.
As work moves forward on the major update of the regional plan, SACOG is still required to maintain a federally compliant Metropolitan Transportation Plan. To ensure consistency with federal requirements, SACOG will need to adopt this plan by November 2023 (four years after the adoption of the 2020 MTP/SCS). The 2023 Federal MTP will look to largely carry forward the projects, programs, and policies included in the 2020 MTP/SCS, while development of the 2025 Blueprint continues. The 2020 Federal MTP will maintain the regional growth forecast of the 2020 plan but will add four additional years of growth to 2044. The purpose of adding four additional years to the plan is to confirm the transportation plan’s validity and consistency with current and forecasted transportation and land use conditions and trends and to extend the forecast period to at least a 20-year planning horizon.
The Federal MTP will largely maintain costs and revenue assumptions but will provide additional evidence and explanation to support the inclusion of two future sales taxes (one in Placer County and one in Sacramento County). Both counties are continuing to work toward putting sales tax measures before voters in future ballot measures. SACOG will not include any new sales tax assumptions within the years covered by the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP), but intends to provide sufficient information to support the reasonableness of these new revenue sources for planning purposes in later years of the Federal MTP.
The 2023 Federal MTP will also include the Air Quality Conformity Determination demonstrating the plan’s conformity with the State Implementation Plans for air quality, in accordance with the Transportation Conformity Requirements in 40 C.F.R. 51 and 93, as required by the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.
Scope of the Transportation Investment Changes for the 2023 Federal MTP
SACOG released a call for project review of programmed investments, investments included in the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP), in April 2023 for consideration in the Federal MTP update. SACOG received roughly 22 proposed changes and is currently reviewing them for consistency with the plan policies, financial assumptions, and air quality conformity. In general, the changes are minor with some modification to scope, schedule, or budget to facilitate progress on projects during the 18-month period between November 2023 and December 2025 (the adoption date for the major update of the regional MTP/SCS).
For projects that are non-exempt from federal air quality conformity, SACOG will be limited in advancing completion years (delaying completion years is generally fine) or entertaining significant revisions to scope as part of this update. Because AB 350 is enabling the extension of SACOG’s Sustainable Communities Strategy, project changes that advance or modify projects in a way that is inconsistent with the current MTP/SCS would undermine the intent of the extended schedule and changes to those projects would not be eligible for many state and SACOG’s regional funding programs. However, projects included in the federal MTP update will continue to be eligible to compete for state, federal, and regional funding programs as well as to program new sources of funding while work on the 2025 plan continues.
SACOG will be adopting the 2025 Blueprint no later than December 2025 which will supersede the 2023 Federal MTP in its entirety, therefore, project updates that were proposed as part of the nomination process for the 2025 Blueprint or that are not critical for immediate action will need to wait to be considered as part of the major plan update in 2025. The adoption of the 2025 Blueprint will restart the four-year clock by which updates to both the federal and state components of the plan are required to comply.
As mentioned above, in addition to reviewing sponsor requested modifications, SACOG must conduct a review of the financial constraint of the 2023 Federal MTP Update. This review is integral to meeting federal regulations and in consideration of two sales tax measures in Sacramento and Placer counties that are assumed in the 2020 MTP/SCS, but have not yet been implemented. SACOG is working with the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency and the Sacramento Transportation Authority to revisit assumptions about these sales tax measures and future intentions for putting the measures before voters.
Public Involvement on the 2023 Federal MTP
SACOG welcomes public involvement in the 2023 Federal MTP. SACOG’s approach to including opportunity for public involvement is based on the guidance outlined in SACOG’s adopted Public Participation Plan. Federal law provides some flexibility in designing public participation processes based on the scope of the relevant project, or plan in this case. Because the 2023 Federal MTP update is targeting changes primarily to projects programmed in the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program, SACOG is following the documented public involvement process for formal amendments of the agency’s Transportation Improvement Program including scheduled open houses to receive public input, public hearings at the SACOG Transportation Committee and/or Board of Directors, and at least a 45 day public comment period in advance of anticipated board adoption of the 2023 Federal MTP.
It’s worth noting that the policies, strategies, and investments in the current MTP/SCS were developed through an extensive public outreach effort described in Appendix G. Additionally, SACOG is underway with significant public outreach and engagement campaign for the 2025 Blueprint. In part, the more focused public involvement process for the 2023 federal plan update is designed to focus on the very limited scope of that update as well as to avoid confusion between these two concurrent efforts.
2023 Federal MTP Update Schedule
April -May: Sponsor agency review of programmed projects
April-June: SACOG Review of MTP Financial Element and coordination with PCTPA and STA on sales tax assumptions.
May-June: SACOG staff review of proposed modifications to programmed projects.
June-August: SACOG Air Quality Conformity Analysis
September-October: 2023 Federal MTP Update Public Comment Period and Public Hearing
November 9, 2023: Anticipated SACOG adoption of the 2023 Federal MTP and submission to Caltrans