SacMoves Coalition Comments to Sacramento Transportation Authority

December 12, 2019

The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) is working to put together a new transportation measure for our region. This month, they’re drafting the Transportation Expenditure Plan scheduled for the November 2020 ballot. ECOS has been a part of the SacMoves Coalition, which joined with SMART to develop a framework for the STA. Below is an excerpt from the document:

Sacramento County should have an innovative, seamless and diversified transportation network that offers a wide range of accessible, affordable and efficient mobility choices coupled with supportive land uses. The County’s transportation system should strengthen and diversify our economy, improve our air quality, and reduce carbon emissions and vehicle miles traveled by minimizing single occupancy vehicle trips, expanding and improving public transit and shared mobility services and providing safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians. All community members, particularly from marginalized communities, should have access to sustainable and affordable mobility options that facilitate positive community outcomes for public health and safety, livability and economic vitality. In short, virtually all Sacramento County residents should have the option of living and working within walking distance or a transit stop from everything they need.

Click here to view entire document.

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Arco Arena Reuse Comments

On December 9th, ECOS/Habitat 2020 partnered with Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue to submit comments to the city regarding the Arco Arena Reuse Plan. Below is an excerpt from the letter:

The ideas presented in the PUD completely ignore that there is a fully functioning aquatic resource (the Sleep Train Arena pond) in the Plan area that is currently providing habitat and nesting opportunities for hundreds of waterfowl.  The PUD presents a completely people oriented urban landscape without any consideration for the local species that we share the region with.  This paradigm ignores the appeal that such an aquatic resource would have for the new residents of the project area.  It also demonstrates a lack of creativity because it is not even considered for use as part of the drainage basins that the Plan area will need to include.  The grassy-sloped drainage basin depicted in the PUD, with anticipated residents recreating there, presents a vastly inferior option to a biologically dynamic pond supporting a large healthy nesting population of herons, egrets, cormorants, and other local avian species.

If this pond is eliminated, the over 1,000 herons and egrets that nest from April to August each year would very likely move to the surrounding neighborhoods to roost and nest, creating issues for residents and businesses. This would also result in hundreds of injured baby birds each year that would greatly strain local wildlife rescues, which are doing the work that our local shelters would otherwise be dealing with. The pond would provide the area with a nature viewing experience that would serve as a recreational and educational opportunity. It would allow residents access to nearby nature, which has been shown by research to have mental health benefits.

Here is the PDF link to the full comments.

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Metropolitan Transportation Plan Update

On November 7, 2019, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) submitted comments on the recently proposed update to our region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). These comments were submitted via one letter solely from ECOS, and a joint letter from both ECOS and 350 Sacramento. Below is an excerpt from our comments, followed by links to PDFs of both letters.

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) has put forth a sophisticated Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS), a regional plan that the region’s jurisdictions should follow. While this regional plan is not a strong as we feel it could be, the 2020 MTP/SCS is a viable strategy for the region to meet its regional greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets mandated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) per Senate Bill 375 (2008).

The plan represents a reasonable compromise between what the region could accomplish if the political will existed, and the reality of much more expansive car-oriented, low-density growth that is actually being actively pursued by some of the region’s jurisdictions on the ground. ECOS would prefer a greater percentage of transportation investment to non-auto modes, and a much more compact land use footprint than proposed. The Sacramento region is not meeting its mandated GHG reduction targets because local jurisdictions are not complying with the strategy that SACOG has laid out for them, and the State must do more to ensure compliance of local authorities to our Sustainable Community Strategies, as well as to ensure the State’s own investments are aligned with its climate laws.

Click here to read the comment letter by ECOS on the MTP/SCS.

Click here to read the comment letter by ECOS and 350 Sacramento on the Climate Change section of the MTP/SCS, which was submitted separately.

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