ECOS Settles Lawsuit v. Caltrans

Caltrans’ Capital City Bridge Project

State Route 51 Bridge Deck Replacement Project, https://ceqanet.opr.ca.gov/2020100388/6

Good news! On July 18, 2022, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and Caltrans settled the lawsuit over Caltrans’ plan to widen the Capital City Freeway bridge over the American River. Caltrans agreed to do these as part of the project:

• Include a bike-ped facility as part of the bridge widening, with access to both river levees.
• Provide enhanced bat habitat in the vicinity of the bridge.
• Mitigate loss of salmonid habitat, such as adding shade trees along the river.

And, in the design and environmental review of the subsequent and larger Cap City Corridor project from Midtown Sacramento to El Camino Avenue, Caltrans agreed to address induced demand, and assess the structural capacity of the bridge to accommodate potential future light rail trains.

Here’s the background:

Caltrans issued a “notice of preparation” five years ago for an environmental impact report (EIR) for plans to widen from three to five lanes each way the Capital City Freeway (SR 51) over the American River from Midtown Sacramento to El Camino Avenue (3.4 miles). Caltrans never produced the EIR. Instead, last year, it released a “mitigated negative declaration” for widening the east side of the CapCity bridge as part of a “deck replacement” project.

From the start, the plans for widening caused us concern for the increased traffic this would induce, along with the related increases in air pollution and greenhouse gases. When we realized Caltrans intended to proceed with the east side widening with no true environmental analysis, ECOS sued. Attorney Don Mooney of Davis, CA represented ECOS in the suit. ECOS thanks those who contributed to fund the lawsuit.

Lessons Learned From LA’S 2016 Measure M

Featuring Mike Manville, Associate Professor UCLA Urban Planning

ECOS MTG/Board on July 26, 2022 at 6 pm
LINK: ECOS ZOOM 6656164155 or call 1 669 900 6833, ID: 665 616 4155

Co-hosts:

Mike McKeever, former CEO of SACOG
Susan Herre AIA AICP, president of ECOS

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM LA’S EXPERIENCE? Whether the transportation tax measure now under discussion in Sacramento passes or not, this discussion on LA’s Measure M will give us some good perspective.

We will hear from Prof. Manville on the lead up to Measure M, Los Angeles County’s 2016 transportation tax ballot initiative, its goal to transform the way people move around the LA region, why it passed, and what’s happened since. Please join us!

For reference, see Prof. Manville’s two papers — for ENO Center for Transportation and for UC Institute of Transportation Studies.

ECOS Letter to City of Sacramento re Youth and Climate

On July 19, 2022, ECOS submitted a letter to the City of Sacramento regarding Agenda Item 26, the Sacramento Children and Youth Health and Safety Act.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. In the Council’s deliberations on a possible Sacramento Children’s Fund for children and youth, ECOS urges you to consider directly linking youth mental health and climate change in the proposed uses and goals of the Children’s Fund. Within this framework, it would be reasonable to use funding for parks and walks and bikeways to school, in service of a healthy environment, in addition to the social service and career counseling uses noted in the staff report.

Click here to view the letter in PDF.