On March 18, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento sent the following message to the Sacramento Board Clerk regarding Sacramento County Measure A’s Draft Expenditure Plan (DEP) .
ECOS consists of 20 locally-based member organizations, as well as many individual members. Since 1971, we have promoted infill development and transit, as opposed to sprawl – to save habitat, reduce pollution, and more recently — to deal with climate change.
We are gratified that Mayor Steinberg and CARB have recognized that new highway projects must demonstrate that they would not exacerbate climate change, in order to be eligible for funding under Measure A+. We strongly support the funding that would be provided to the Air District. We are pleased that Measure A’s Draft Expenditure Plan (DEP) would provide a much greater percentage of funding for transit, compared to 2016’s ill-fated Measure B.
However, the DEP would not provide as great a percentage for transit as the current Measure A. Since current Measure A was approved by voters, the existential threat of climate change has become more obvious and serious. Also, the affordable housing crisis has become California’s biggest problem. Therefore, future county growth must be higher density, and transit-oriented. We can only accomplish this by providing more funding for transit and less money for new roads.
Fix Our Streets, Fund Our Public Transit, and Make Biking and Walking Safer For All
Why this matters
The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board is considering a ballot measure for November 2020 asking voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund countywide transportation projects and programs. If approved, the new local Measure A would generate an additional $8 billion in local transportation funds over 40 years – $200 million annually. The proposed sales tax measure will shape our transportation system for generations, and it should be spent so that Sacramento County residents have the option of living and working within walking distance of a transit stop from everything they need.
The SacMoves and SMART coalitions are a growing group of business, labor, transportation, environment, public transit and community leaders. We have presented a forward-looking plan to STA that supports this vision by prioritizing expanding rail and transit service, fixing our existing neighborhood roads, while making them safer and connected for bicycles and pedestrians. This will relieve congestion while addressing our air quality, traffic congestion, and creating economic opportunity that will guarantee Accountability, Transparency and Public Participation. Transportation is Sacramento County’s #1 contributor to climate pollution, primarily from the tailpipes of cars and trucks.
It’s important that you let STA board members know you support the SacMoves and SMART Coalitions, along with the Environmental Council of Sacramento and the Sierra Club, in immediately tackling congestion and air quality by investing first in major improvements and expansion of transit, and fixing our local surface streets. Under our plan, transit expansion can eliminate 4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas each year from going into our atmosphere. And, to ensure that local streets and roads provide more types of transportation choices for local trips and getting to transit, 10% of funding should be clearly dedicated for bike, pedestrian and complete streets projects, making local streets safer. Focusing on these two priorities alone will move Sacramento County in the right direction.
Tell your local representatives
Click here for a convenient way to write to your Sacramento County Board Supervisors as well as the Mayors and City Councilmembers of the cities of Sacramento, Galt, Folsom Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and Isleton.
Attend a meeting, testify
We need everyone to attend the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) meeting on February 26, 2020. The STA Board will be making final consideration on the spending ratios of the Measure. The time is now to tell the board that we want them to Fix our Existing Streets! Fund our Public Transit! Making Biking and Walking safe for all! Safe Routes Everywhere for Everyone!
Special Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board Meeting – Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm at 700 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Special Meeting – The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board is considering a ballot measure for November 2020 asking voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund countywide transportation projects and programs. Sierra Club, ECOS and our coalition of public stakeholders presented guiding principles to STA that will improve rail and transit, make existing neighborhoods safer and connected for bicycles and pedestrians. This will relieve congestion while addressing our air quality, traffic congestion, and creating economic opportunity that will guarantee Accountability, Transparency and Public Participation.
Come and participate at the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board Meetings every second Thursday of the month at 1:30 pm
Stakeholders must be at the table to deliberate the allocation of sales tax funds starting with submitting comments to all STA Board Members at every 2nd Thursday Meeting (In person or electronically). How they will spend our money is being developed over the following weeks with developers heavy influence on their interests and not our communities. Without your direct involvement, it will be very difficult to change a plan that does not reflect what Sacramento needs! If we can demonstrate organized Grassroots POWER NOW that can oppose a ballot measure, we will empower STA Board member allies to accomplish an expenditure plan that is consistent with our vision for a healthy future for our region with an innovative transportation system that serves all Sacramento County residents.
Please come and help us call our members to take action: We need everyone to Call, Email, Attend the next Special meeting. We need to demand a better cut for Public Transit and Complete streets. Safe routes everywhere for everyone!
This Special Meeting will take place to discuss the Measure! We need you to show-up, call, email and let your representatives know that funding Public Transit, Complete Streets reduce congestion and will improve the air and health of our Sacramento County.
In order to protect our health and climate, it’s critical we reduce congestion and improve air quality by investing first in fixing our existing roads and expanding mass transit. This measure gives us an opportunity to promote high-quality and stable jobs while keeping more money in our local neighborhoods for fixing our roads and making them safer for bicycles and pedestrians. Sacramento is growing and this is our opportunity to do so with innovative solutions.
We will be phone-banking our members and coalition members to submit comments and attend the The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board Special Meeting 2/26/20 at 1:30pm – STA considering a ballot measure for November 2020 asking voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund countywide transportation projects and programs. Sierra Club and our coalition of public stakeholders presented guiding principles to STA that will improve rail and transit, make existing neighborhoods safer and connected for bicycles and pedestrians. This will relieve congestion while addressing our air quality, traffic congestion, and creating economic opportunity that will guarantee Accountability, Transparency and Public Participation.
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.