Highway 50 drivers, your daily commute is in for a big change. Light rail users, you too

By Tony Bizjak

April 30, 2018

The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Regional Transit, for its part, will upgrade its light rail service along that corridor in several ways.

Beginning in June, SacRT will expand night-time service to Folsom until midnight. Currently, Folsom service stops at about 7 p.m. making the rail system unusable for late-hour workers and people going to the downtown arena or other evening events.The agency plans to follow that by adding 15-minute service to and from Folsom instead of the current 30-minute arrivals.

The most notable transit change, though, will be the introduction as early as 2020 of limited-stop express trains during morning and afternoon commute hours on the Gold Line, potentially cutting 10 or more minutes off the trip between Folsom and downtown.

That service is not likely to begin until 2020 or 2021, SacRT officials said.

The plan came together last week when local environmentalists and Caltrans resolved a years-long dispute over the state’s efforts to expand Highway 50, an environmental representative said on Friday.

Initially, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and the city of Sacramento opposed adding carpool lanes on Highway 50 in downtown, contending it was a narrow, car-focused and ultimately unsatisfactory solution to east county congestion.

The Sacramento City Council in 2002 voted nearly unanimously against funding to even study the idea. Several council members at the time said HOV lanes – which become regular all-user lanes during non-commute hours – would just encourage more suburban sprawl and more traffic.

More recently, city officials have looked more favorably on the plan, and have cooperated with Caltrans to use some related project money to make improvements to city streets near Highway 50 in the downtown area.

That includes money to turn 14 blocks of Broadway, near the Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters, into a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly street, and build a new block-long street just east of 28th Street between X Street and Broadway, allowing drivers to use X Street instead of Broadway to access the Highway 99 southbound on-ramp..

For its part, ECOS twice sued Caltrans to stop Highway 50 carpool lane plans. The most recent of those lawsuits became the fulcrum for last week’s negotiated deal.

Click here to read the full article.

Share this

Environmental Groups Claims LAFCO Executive Director Misled, Gave False Information in Elk Grove Expansion Approval

April 1, 2018

Elk Grove News.Net

In a rebuke of the February 7, 2018 decision to initiate a developer-driven expansion of Elk Grove, a rehearing of those plans will be held at the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) will be held on Wednesday, April 7. That hearing will be held at the requests from environmentalist groups who claim that among numerous other infractions, Sacramento LAFCO executive director Donald J. Lockhart misled and withheld information from the body’s commissioners.

In a 10-page letter (posted below) dated March 9, 2018 from the petitioner attorney Donald Mooney, the eight areas are cited where the decision by the seven-person commission was made without a complete presentation of facts. The petitioners seeking the new hearing include the Sierra Club, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020, and Friends of Swainson’s Hawk.

In that February meeting, the Sacramento LAFCO commissioners voted 4-3 in favor of an application by home builders who were seeking to place about 1,200-acres in the city of Elk Grove’s sphere of influence. Putting the land into Elk Grove’s sphere of influence paves the way for the city to annex the property into city limits, thereby allowing the developers a quicker path to new housing developments.

Read the article here.

Share this

Reconsideration of LAFCo Decision on Elk Grove expansion

UPDATE: On April 4, 2018, LAFCo cancelled this hearing for reconsideration due to protests of the killing of Stephon Clark in the downtown area. The item will likely be back on their agenda on May 2, 2018.  

Thank you to everyone who has communicated with LAFCo about the importance of this decision and the need to rethink the 4-3 vote.  
 
Thank you also to those who have sent donations to help pay the cost of our attorney.

ECOS and Sierra Club have asked and been granted a hearing on whether there should be reconsideration of the Feb 7, 2018 LAFCo decision to approve adding 1,156 acres of farmland to the Sphere of Influence for Elk Grove (first step in urbanization). The hearing will be April 4, 2018, 5:30 pm at 700 H Street. As we get closer, we will ask you to write again to LAFCo to oppose this conversion of farmland.

We have asked for reconsideration based on:
1. Lack of evidence to support a Statement adopted by the Commissioners to “override” the 22 significant and unavoidable impacts of the decision.
2. Misleading statements at the hearing on water availability, farmland mitigation, benefits of the decision to the JPA Connector, and the extent to which impacts can be mitigated .

This was a very close decision with Councilmember Angelique Ashby of City of Sacramento, Metro Fire Board member Gay Jones, and Public LAFCo Member Jack Harrison voting against the SOI, and Supervisors Sue Peters and Sue Frost, CM Pat Hume of Elk Grove and Carmichael Water District Board Member Ron Greenwood voting to approve. We hope to reverse this decision.

We would like the commissioners to receive comments with time to read them before the hearing at 5:30pm on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

Click here to view the hearing agenda.

Click here for links to the most recent relevant documents, on the Friend’s of Swainson’s Hawk website.

Click here to learn more about the background of this issue.

Share this