September 6, 2018
When traffic-clogged highways are expanded, new drivers quickly materialize to fill them. What gives? Here’s how “induced demand” works.
September 10, 2018
The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) has submitted a letter in response to the renewal of Measure U in Sacramento. The content of the letter is below.
Dear Mayor and City Council:
The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) agrees with the concerns about the renewal of Measure U expressed in a recent letter from neighborhood groups and their supporters to the Sacramento City Council. We are also concerned that a permanent extension of the City’s local sales tax measure (Measure U) without significant changes in community engagement, budget process, and oversight will mean that City residents who will pay this tax will have no way to ensure that the funds collected are used for the greatest and most equitable community benefit.
ECOS generally supports the four proposals outlined in the letter submitted from the neighborhood groups:
We request that the City Council take formal action to adopt these requests before the November election. We look forward to working with you to institute these long-needed changes to the City’s planning and budget process.
To access the letter in PDF, click here.
June 14, 2018
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!
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.