Highway Tolling in the Sacramento Region 4/4/2024

JOIN US! ECOS CLIMATE COMMITTEE
Thursday, April 4, 2024 6:00 PM start
(re-scheduled from March 21)

Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6656164155
To phone in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 665 616 4155

Highway Tolling in the Sacramento Region

6:00 PM: Welcome and Introductions

6:10 PM: Kathleen Hanley (Principal Transportation Planner, SACOG) will discuss the Capital Area Regional Tolling Authority (CARTA) that was recently approved by SACOG’s board. SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments) decided that this JPA (Joint Powers Agreement) for managed lanes on our highways was necessary to provide better travel options. This will first be applied to Interstate 80, between Sacramento and Davis.

6:40 PM: Open discussion: We will discuss the status of Caltrans’ plans to add lanes to this freeway, and concerns expressed by CARB (California Air Resources Board), as well as environmental groups, including ECOS. Note that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) was to have decided whether the State should provide funds for this project recently, but delayed a decision to its May 16 meeting. Note that CTC and CARB boards will have a joint meeting on April 11.

7:00 PM: Updates and Announcements

  1. Status of SACOG’s Blueprint 2025
  2. Status of application for federal Climate Pollution Reduction Grant, submitted by SMAQMD (Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District)) on behalf of 7 area counties
  3. ECOS contract with SacRT for Educational Outreach and Communication Support Services, and community meetings at Stockton Blvd and Del Paso Blvd (jointly with SMART, Sac Metro Advocates for Rail & Transit)
  4. Status of application for Governor’s Office of Planning and Research’s Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program Grant Opportunity
  5. Update on Sacramento County’s Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force
  6. Sacramento City meeting April 9, Truxel Bridge plans
  7. Others?
  8. Ralph’s birthday is today 😊

Click here for the agenda in PDF.

2023 Annual Highlights

December 21, 2023

Dear ECOS Community,

ECOS and our members and partners accomplished a lot this year and our advocacy mattered.

This year we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of ECOS at our Environmentalist Awards on Dec. 1st at the State Railroad Museum. We send heartfelt thanks to our sponsors; we could not do our work without you. We also thank our ECOS team that made it happen. See photos and more information on the last page of our Annual Highlights report.

Throughout our history, ECOS has addressed environmental challenges in our region, and contributed to several successful planning actions, three of which remain a focus of ECOS today – the Sacramento Area Council of Governments Blueprint, the Sacramento County Urban Services Boundary, and the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan. Read about them in the report.

For more perspective on the period 1970 to today, see our video, ECOS Past & Present – Key Events, and History of ECOS.

Download ECOS’ 2023 Annual Highlights

Much work lies ahead. Please join our ranks, donate, or become a member here.

Best wishes for the new year.

Susan Herre

President of the Board of Directors

Sacramento supervisors are addicted to sprawl. It could cost our region dearly | Opinion

By Tom Philp | December 7, 2023 | The Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento region could lose about $1 billion in state transportation funds in the coming years if it fails to develop a housing/transportation plan that reduces sprawl and increases housing within communities. Yet Sacramento County does not seem to care as it reflexively pushes for more sprawl.

Click here to read the article: https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/article281716338.html#storylink=cpy

AB 1052 Sacramento Regional Transit District’s Ballot Authority (Support)

On May 30, 2023, ECOS submitted a letter of support for AB 1052, Sacramento Regional Transit District’s Ballot Authority.

Below is the text of our letter.

On behalf of the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), we thank you for authoring AB 1052 and express our support for the bill as it moves through the legislative process.

Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) continues to face reduced ridership and higher costs originally driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those negative impacts continue today, along with the lasting societal changes the pandemic caused. 

We strongly believe that a robust, efficient, and cost-effective SacRT transit system benefits all people within its service area, but some projects provide more benefits to a subset of the residents living within that service area. However, if SacRT wants to place a measure on the ballot to increase a sales or use tax, or property tax, that measure must cover its entire service area.

In the wake of these changes and the ongoing financial uncertainty, AB 1052 would give SacRT the authority to ask a subset of its service area to support paying for projects that would more directly benefit that area. Many much-needed community and SacRT projects are more localized, impacting and delivering the most benefits to a geographically specific region as opposed to the entire widespread, 440-square mile SacRT service area.

We know that efficient public transit provides tremendous regional benefits. SacRT services reduce traffic, improve air quality, boost regional economic growth, create jobs, and connect neighborhoods. It also offers residents a cost-effective way to get to and from school, work, medical appointments, and essential services. In addition, it provides mobility equity, by providing greater access to opportunities and services so all members of our community can connect, thrive, and prosper. 

ECOS was founded in 1971 as a visionary and action-oriented coalition for our region.

Today the organizational and individual members of ECOS work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, promote smart growth land use and transportation principles, promote equity in housing, promote sustainable regional water supply for all users, public health and opportunities, and promote regional habitat conservation.

We are pleased to offer our support for AB 1052 and I thank you again for carrying the bill.

Click here to read the letter in PDF.

Local Water Issues: Sustainability of the North American Groundwater Subbasin 5/24

The ECOS Water Committee invites you to join us on May 24 from 6:00 until 7:00pm to take part in a presentation/discussion of the sustainability of the North American groundwater subbasin. This subbasin is the source of groundwater providing a significant amount of the water used by the urban areas north of the American River. Jim Peifer Executive Director of the Sacramento Groundwater Authority (SGA), the agency that coordinates and manages a major portion of the subbasin, will be presenting the latest condition of the subbasin as reflected in the annual subbasin sustainability report recently submitted to the state. He will also describe efforts to protect Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems, shallow wells, and improve the subbasin’s monitoring and modeling programs. All of these actions are important given the plan by the Regional Water Authority to operate a water bank in the area overseen by SGA. Bring your questions and be prepared for a thoughtful presentation and discussion.

For more information on areas of interest regarding the North American Subbasin please see the Water Committee’s letter of invitation to SGA.

Click here to view the agenda for the May 24 meeting of the ECOS Water Committee.