On March 3, 2023, ECOS sent a letter of support for Assembly Bill 350, which would facilitate greater interregional collaboration by more closely aligning the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) sustainable communities strategy update with those of its regional partners, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG), both for SACOG’s current plan update and into the future.
October 18, 2022
ECOS’ Executive Committee has voted to oppose Measure A, the Sacramento County sales tax initiative on next month’s ballot. Here are some reasons to vote NO on Measure A:
Measure A is designed to circumvent the Sacramento BLUEPRINT, California’s climate targets, and federal transportation planning law. Its highway projects are not included in our region’s long-range plan, the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). They have not gone through any public process or analysis against accepted smart growth planning principles, goals, and laws. Why? Because these projects would not pass the test. So, the measure’s proponents have skirted the process, and spent over a million dollars for a “citizens’ initiative” to make us pay for projects that enable their sprawl developments.
Measure A is full of roadway capacity expansion projects and a new rural expressway. These projects will induce more car travel and sprawling housing development. This will pull resources from infill development, with its attendant economic revitalization, better transit access, affordable and energy efficient housing, and community enhancements.
Being anti-planning has another serious dollars and cents impact for our region. SACOG, our metropolitan planning organization, has shown that the measure’s projects would cause our region to exceed federal air quality standards and greenhouse gas targets, making us unable to receive State and federal transportation and housing funds.
Measure A will mean a dismal and economically disastrous step backward; a forty-year prospect of regional decline and a worsening climate. So, can we consider and pursue other options?
We admire cities in Europe because they have many layers of development, making the character of the streets inviting, alive, and culturally valuable. In Sacramento, we have just an initial layer of built form, and in many places the buildings are dilapidated and no longer work economically. We are ripe for another layer of development to fill in. Sacramento should take this moment in its history to flex forward, to turn away from the automobile as the primary means of getting around. This is what the climate challenge demands and what future generations will need.
Let’s work together to write an initiative for 2024 that puts local transportation funding where it needs to go: locate higher capacity transit where more people live and where bus ridership is high; create new accessible public plazas and parks, connected by boulevards and promenades; and provide housing for people of all income levels within walking distance to transit, food, and schools. And, let’s show the federal and State government that Sacramento can be a reliable partner for funding by uniting around a vision.
On Thursday, the SACOG Board meeting will feature an example of coalescing behind a vision with a workshop/case study of the Salt Lake City region, Envision Utah. October 20, Agenda Item 18: https://sacog.primegov.com/Portal/Meeting?meetingTemplateId=3358
Below is SACOG’s map of the Measure A proposed projects and their estimated effect on vehicle miles traveled (VMT.)
Please vote NO on Measure A.
Click here to read our full statement, including footnotes.
On Thursday, October 20, 2022, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) Board meeting featured Envision Utah, an example of coalescing behind a vision with a workshop/case study of the Salt Lake City region.
Click here to watch the video recording (item begins at 1 hour 12 minutes): https://sacog.primegov.com/Portal/Meeting?meetingTemplateId=3358
February 23, 2022
SACOG Honors Blueprint Legacy in the 2024 Long-Range Transportation Plan
How the Blueprint transformed transportation and land-use planning for good
The creation of the Sacramento Region Blueprint was a revolutionary undertaking and compelled a critical assessment of the relationship between transportation and land use in the region. The strategy, completed almost 20 years ago, set the precedent for how metropolitan planning organizations engage in regional design. SACOG has chosen to carry on the innovative strategy’s legacy through the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS).
ECOS was key to original Blueprint, as mentioned in this article.
Local environmental groups filed a lawsuit and demanded more from SACOG and its members.
Please join ECOS’ Climate Change Committee on Thursday, Feb. 10, 6 PM!
Clint Holtzen, SACOG Planning Manager, will inform us of plans for the 2024 Blueprint (MTP/SCS or Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy).
Background: On Thursday, Feb. 3, SACOG’s Transportation Committee adopted the Policy Framework for the 2024 Blueprint. The growth projections go out to 2050. See SACOG’s website for a process overview and background on the Blueprint: https://www.sacog.org/2024-blueprint-mtpscs.
We will also discuss:
- Sacramento County’s latest Climate Action Plan draft (expected release Feb. 8-9) and workshop expected March 8 (We’ll have 30 days to comment on the new CAP!)
- Sacramento County’s plans for a Climate Emergency Declaration’s Task Force; presentation Feb. 8:
- Sacramento City’s Transportation and Climate Workshop, and Update on Climate Implementation Work Plan, 5 PM, Feb. 8:
Call in to urge City Council to fund alternatives to cars: biking, walking, bus, rail, EVs …
- Air quality monitoring in environmental justice communities – current and future plans
- Sacramento Neighborhoods Activating on Air Quality (SNAAQ):
When we find out more about what we’re breathing, we may push for cleaner air!
We will also discuss tasks that you might want to volunteer for!
Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6656164155
To phone in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 665 616 4155
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.