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.

Will local officials listen on 2020 transportation measure?

December 10, 2019
By David Mogavero (Former ECOS President)
Sacramento News and Review

What Transportation Measure?

In the next several weeks, our elected officials are writing a measure for the November 2020 ballot to levy a sales tax for transportation funding in Sacramento County.

How You Can Help!

Go to sacta.org/a_board.html, find the name of your elected representative who sits on the board and call, email, text or ask them for a meeting.

Tell them:

– You don’t want more roads, but want more transit and safer streets for bicycling and walking.

– You won’t be fooled by a measure that funds the road project down the street (that your neighbor told the pollsters they like) but sacrifices the quality of our county’s future

– You will only support a transportation measure that moves our community to a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable future.

-This is most critical for those who live outside of the city of Sacramento, including in Citrus Heights, Arden Arcade, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and North Highlands, etc.

– Please contact your representative now and voice your concerns. By February, it may be too late.

Read the full article here.

Photo Courtesy of Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA)

Sacramento leaders are facing a choice: Help or hurt the climate with transportation dollars

December 10, 2019
By Anne Stausboll
Special To The Sacramento Bee

Below is an excerpt from this insightful article on the new sales tax measure.

The sales tax measure will require approval by two-thirds of the voters. This is a steep climb and won’t be achieved by emphasizing enormous new highway projects that lead to more cost and harm to the environment. Support can only be achieved by investing in alternatives while providing for prudent maintenance of our existing roadways.

This isn’t about taking away people’s cars. It is about planning, common sense, and sustainable priorities.

Click here to read the full article.

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

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.

Jackson Township DEIR Comments

On October 31, 2019, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), Habitat 2020, 350 Sacramento, and Sierra Club provided comments on the Jackson Township Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Below are some excerpts from the letter, followed by a link to the letter in full.

Agricultural Resources

There is insufficient mitigation for farmland lost in the Jackson Township Specific Plan DEIR [Draft Environmental Impact Report]. By converting all this farmland to urban/suburban uses, the GHG emissions will increase due to the increased number of motor vehicle trips (more vehicle miles traveled). Moreover, loss of agricultural resources will reduce the potential for carbon sequestration in the soil by application of compost or regenerative agriculture methods, in addition to the natural processes of plant growth and soil microbial action from farming. There needs to be better mitigation measures to ensure carbon soil sequestration occurs at least as much as it would if the agricultural resources were preserved.

Biological Resources

Use of the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP) was offered as one of the options for dealing with California Endangered Species Act (CESA) and Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA) impacts, and it was clearly stated that the hardline preserves identified in the SSHCP conservation strategy would be provided. Since the SSHCP now has its permits and is in the implementation phase, we are assuming that the Jackson Township will be affected by and compliant with the SSHCP.

Climate Change

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on Chapter 9, “Climate Change”, of the County’s Jackson Township Specific Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Our greenhouse gas (GHG)-related comments are presented in the following seven sections. We first discuss the County’s past GHG-reduction commitments, because the DEIR:
I. does not accurately describe County climate planning;
II. uses inappropriate baseline data based on past planning;
III. applies inappropriate thresholds of significance; and
IV. is inconsistent with the County’s 2011 General Plan Update, associated Final Environmental Report (GP/FEIR), and Phase 1 CAP.
We also present,
V. other DEIR-related concerns.
We conclude:
VI. the DEIR is legally insufficient
VII. the County’s failure to provide promised mitigation is contrary to the General Plan.

Click here to read the letter in full
Attachment 1
Attachment 2
Attachment 3
Attachment 4
Attachment 5

SACOG land use forecast 2019-09 sept

MTP/SCS 2020 Update – Comments due Nov 7, 2019

Posted September 29, 2019

Do you live in the County of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo or Yuba?

Is there some way your daily commute could improve? Wish you could take public transit, walk or bicycle?

There is a plan, and your input is welcome.

The Draft 2020 Update of the Sacramento Region Metropolitan Transportation Plan / Sustainable Communities Strategy was recently issued by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) for a 45-day review period, ending November 7th, 2019.

The ECOS Transportation, Air Quality and Climate Change (TAQCC) Committee is planning to make comments.

The Draft MTP/SCS and the accompanying Draft Environmental Impact Report are available on the SACOG website.

The last comments submitted by ECOS on the plan can be read by clicking here.