Using Plan Goals, Regionalism, and Readiness to Prioritize Projects


The Sacramento Region Parks and Trails Strategic Development Plan brought together cities, counties, partner agencies, and the public to identify the trail performance targets safety, networks for all ages and abilities, economic vitality, environmental justice, health, and recreation. Following the approval of the regional trail network, staff began developing a framework that will use these goals to identify how the region can work together to develop a strategic implementation approach for a connected trail system across all six counties. 

The prioritization framework builds on the trail performance targets by coupling goals with regional efforts that advance connections across our six counties. The prioritization framework emphasizes priority policy goals however, instead of requiring that projects achieve all trail network and all regionalism goals, the framework will elevate trail connections that demonstrate potential through different combinations of performance outcomes. Below is a summary of the prioritization approach that will move projects forward for the Regional Trail Network.  

Phase 1: Envisioned Benefits of the Project  

Throughout the planning process the trail network goals of safety, health, environmental justice, economic vitality, all ages and abilities, and recreation have been universally present. Another key factor that was constantly present was that a network of trails that connects communities across the six county Sacramento region would positively contribute towards the ability to meet those goals. The SACOG Board approved the framework that made it so that seventy percent of the prioritization weight is assigned to the proposed trail’s ability to further progress towards the plan’s performance metrics. The remaining thirty percent of prioritization looks at how trails could advance regional efforts outside of the plan-specific measures, based on board and partner input. 

The two categories within the prioritization framework allow for different combinations of goals to capture the full score. By “stacking” goals and progress towards the performance metrics, it decreases the expectation that a trail or connection must further every potential goal to be of value to the regional network.  

Phase 2: Identifying the Next Steps for Implementation  

The regional trail network relies heavily on existing locally planned trails, however, conceptual connections at different stages of development are critical to complete the network. These conceptual segments may provide significant community and regional benefits, but more planning is required to create potential connections. The readiness criteria will be used as a roadmap to identify where a potential trail is regarding its project development lifecycle and identify the next stages that are needed to move similar projects forward.