Evening Hours on Light Rail Gold Line Extended!

June 14, 2018

A win for the Sacramento region! 

While light rail trains on the Gold Line previously stopped running before 7:00 pm, they will now run until 11:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday!

How did this come to be?

Ten years ago, ECOS brought a lawsuit against Caltrans when it proposed adding lanes to Highway 50 to create High Occupancy Vehicle (“HOV”) lanes. Since these lanes are only restricted to High Occupancy Vehicles during certain hours, adding new lanes for this purpose is essentially just a widening of the freeway.

Freeway-widening induces urban sprawl, increases Vehicle Miles Traveled, increase greenhouse gas emissions and does not reduce traffic congestion after all.

That lawsuit was settled in 2008 when Caltrans agreed to pay $7.5 million to SacRT for improved light rail service between Folsom and Sacramento, along the Highway 50 corridor.

In 2017, Caltrans again proposed to create HOV lanes by adding more lanes to Highway 50 without adequately dealing with induced demand for sprawl development and additional miles traveled. Again, ECOS sued.

ECOS met with SacRT to determine what funding from settlement of this lawsuit would help public transit the most along this section of Highway 50, and it was determined that expanding light rail service past 7:00pm would be best, so Caltrans settled by agreeing to provide funding for that purpose.

At ECOS, reducing vehicle trips is an essential part of our work, and new service like this goes a long way toward helping us reach our goals. This project will open up car-free options to many people, as trips that were only possible in a vehicle are now possible via public transit. We are proud to be a part of this effort.

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Give Caltrans input on their latest freeway-widening plans

Give Caltrans input on their latest freeway-widening plans!

Caltrans ready to expand Yolo Causeway, seeks public’s input

Project would extend carpool lane from Solano County to Sacramento County

Remember: Several studies have shown that freeway expansion leads to increased vehicle miles traveled (VMT) (“induced demand”) and encourages sprawl, thereby exacerbating the region’s traffic and air quality woes, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. (excerpt from ECOS Press Release on our lawsuit filed against Caltrans re Highway 50, based on the same premise).

Bottom line? Adding lanes is expensive and doesn’t alleviate congestion after all.

Please attend one of Caltrans’ workshops as they seek public input abpout widening the I-80 freeway:

  • Thursday, June 14, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the West Sacramento Civic Center Galleria at 1110 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento
  • Thursday, June 21, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Sacramento City Hall at 915 I St. in Sacramento

News coverage

Caltrans shares plans to fix Yolo Causeway bottleneck
By Brian Hickey, KCRA
Updated: 9:03 AM PDT Jun 6, 2018
http://www.kcra.com/article/caltrans-shares-plans-to-fix-yolo-causeway-bottleneck/21096174

Caltrans seeks public input for expanding Yolo Causeway
By Max Resnick, KCRA
Updated: 6:14 PM PDT Jun 6, 2018
http://www.kcra.com/article/caltrans-seeks-public-input-for-expanding-yolo-causeway/21102465

Residents sound off about proposed changes to Yolo Causeway
By Brandi Cummings, KCRA
Updated: 11:36 PM PDT Jun 6, 2018
http://www.kcra.com/article/residents-sound-off-about-proposed-changes-to-yolo-causeway/21147806

Caltrans ready to expand Yolo Causeway, seeks public’s input*
By Max Resnik and Brandi Cummings, KCRA
Updated: 11:45 PM PDT Jun 6, 2018
http://www.kcra.com/article/caltrans-ready-to-expand-yolo-causeway-seeks-publics-input/21101820

*ECOS is mentioned in the fourth (and most recent) article

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Save Our Groundwater!

June 6, 2018

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) filed a comment in March of 2017 on the Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority’s (SCGA) petition to be deemed an acceptable “alternative plan” under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The purpose of our June 6, 2018 letter is to reiterate our opposition to that petition and to urge the Department of Water Resources (DWR) again to find that SCGA is not in compliance with SGMA.

Some highlights:

  • groundwater levels continue to fall in the portions of the basin that most affect the important ecological resources of the lower Cosumnes watershed
  • SCGA continues to make little effort to encourage or facilitate public engagement in its ongoing deliberations
  • SCGA does no targeted outreach, apparently maintains no list of interested parties, and has a web site that is of very limited usefulness
  • SCGA needs to recognize that public engagement is a key component of SGMA compliance
  • SCGA is currently reassessing its rate structure and could adjust its rates to account for costs of both plan preparation and projects/programs to which they have committed and to date ignored

Click here to see the letter in full (PDF).

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