News

Overview

News & Guest Blog Posts

Everyday, our region’s counties and cities are taking actions to make this to best place to work, live, and play. We will share our member city and county milestones here, along with our own regional news and blog posts.

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How JUMP Changed my Life
After a year, JUMP shows e-bikes are a “viable alternative to car trips”

JUMP bikes at the May is Bike Month launch event.May 23, 2019: Up until a year ago, Matthew Hargrove commuted to his downtown Sacramento job in his Ford F150 truck. It took him 25 minutes to travel from his West Sacramento home to work, including finding a parking spot and paying for it. Now “my commute on a JUMP Bike takes about 20 minutes and I don’t have to hassle with parking, get a little blood moving, and feel happy as I ride through my town.”  

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Sites of fatalities along Highway 70. Source: Caltrans

Safer Roads Don’t Have to be Bigger Roads
Quick safety fixes coming for SR 70 between Marysville and Oroville

May 23, 2019: Caltrans is undertaking six near-term safety projects along SR 70 between Marysville and Oroville, which has long had a reputation as a dangerous road. There have been 42 fatalities on the 27 miles between the two cities in the last decade, making it 3.8 times deadlier than the average California highway. 

Some local leaders and stakeholders have been pushing for the road to become a continuous four-lane facility between Marysville and Oroville but the project faces a funding gap. In the meantime, fatalities keep coming: there have been 20 since the start of 2017. 

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An almost empty parking lot at the Florin light rail station.

What’s Missing From Your Transit-Stop Parking Lot? Housing, Jobs, and Life
Expert panel delivers transit-oriented development recommendations 

May 21, 2019: Train stations and the communities that surround them are interdependent so when the land uses around a train stop change, it can spell trouble for commuter rail. 

That is what happened at Florin and Meadowview stations in South Sacramento, which were the final two stops on the line before SacRT’s light rail Blue Line was extended 4.3 miles south in 2015. That meant their large parking lots, which had been popular park-and-ride sites for light rail riders who lived south of the line, lost half of their passengers to the new southern-most stations of Cosumnes River College and Franklin.

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Go Time for Green Means Go
Strong support for innovative pilot program that would remove roadblocks to infill development

April 29, 2019: Sacramento’s Capitol Park is a hive of activity this month, as office workers and pollinators alike are drawn to beautiful spring blooms. But the buzz of activity in the park is eclipsed by the rush of work happening inside the Capitol building, where lawmakers are jockeying to get their priorities reflected in the state budget. 

A key priority for the Sacramento region is the $400 million that Senator Richard Pan and Assemblymember Ken Cooley have requested to fund the Sacramento region’s Green Means Go pilot program.   

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Family cycling

Get on Your Bike
May is Bike Month makes cycling fun

April 26, 2019: May is coming – and with it, the Sacramento region’s annual May is Bike Month campaign. Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and longer days to join your friends, neighbors, and co-workers in their commitment to bicycling to work, school, errands, or for recreation or training this May. This is the 15th year that people throughout the Sacramento region are working together to opt for their bike pedals over the gas pedal, get some fresh air and exercise, and take cars off the road for all kinds of trips. 

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A Walk Alhambra stenciled wayfinding sign on the sidewalk.

Fast, flexible funds: TDM mini-grants
Applications close June 30 for projects that encourage alternatives to driving

April 26, 2019: Does your organization need funding for a great idea that would help get people out of their cars? SACOG has grants available for small non-infrastructure programs, events, or projects to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips and miles by encouraging biking, walking, riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling, and teleworking as options for reducing car trips.

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An aerial view of Isleton alongside the Sacramento River.

Isleton Bounces Back From the Brink
“I haven’t seen this much activity on Main Street in 40 years.”

April 24, 2019: The final week of March was a good one for the tiny Delta city of Isleton and its 804 residents. On Tuesday it got a $500,000 grant from California’s Regional Water Quality Control Board enabling the city to begin planning a $5 million upgrade of its sewer system. Two days later, it closed the deal on a new bond measure replacing a disastrous 2012 bond that had been costing the city about $175,000 in interest annually. The new bond cuts that almost in half.

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The Phantom Auto driverless test car on I Street in Sacramento.

That’s no Menace, That’s the Phantom
Phantom Auto’s remote driver technology aims to keep AVs safe

April 16, 2019: Curious passers-by in downtown Sacramento yesterday could be forgiven for wondering why TV crews were clustered around an ordinary looking black Lincoln sedan. Sure, Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg was in the passenger seat but the most innovative feature of the car was nowhere to be seen: it was a remote driver sitting in their office in Mountain View, 120 miles away. 

The Phantom Auto test drive was the end-cap to months of mapping and testing the 4G mobile network in Sacramento to make sure an autonomous vehicle could be safely driven by a remote operator. California law requires any company testing autonomous vehicles on public roads to have a human driver overseeing the “driverless” vehicle who can take over control when an AV encounters a scenario it can’t safely handle on its own, such as emergency road closures, construction detours and four-way stop intersections. 

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Transforming Government One Pilot Project at a Time

April 11, 2019: SACOG’s innovation accelerator Civic Lab was today presented with an Outstanding Achievement in Innovation award by the Alliance for Innovation. The presentation was at the Alliance’s Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno.

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Data Reveals Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise
Cars are getting smarter so why are they killing pedestrians at record rates?

March 25, 2019: Pedestrian deaths in the United States grew by 35 percent from 2009 to 2017, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, reversing a 30-year decline before that. And although the 2018 numbers are still preliminary, they show the U.S. is on track to report the highest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1990: 6,277. 

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One Year Check-up for Sacramento’s Economy Shows Mixed Symptoms
New Brookings Metro Monitor data mixes healthy job growth with falling productivity

March 21, 2019: Sacramento had job growth of 1.9 percent in 2017, placing it 30th out of the 100 largest U.S. cities. That is according to the Brookings Institution’s 2019 Metro Monitor that was released today, which compares data on growth, prosperity, inclusion, and inclusion by race.  

However, comparisons with the biggest cities in the U.S. are not especially revealing — it is more illuminating to compare the Sacramento/Roseville/Arden-Arcade metro with the cluster of cities that Brookings identifies as its peers, the American Middleweights. That list of 16 cities includes Riverside, Phoenix, Kansas City, San Antonio, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Tampa.

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The popularity of  the BDX apartment building in Rancho Cordova's Capital Village development showed the need for more housing near job sites.

Looking to Office Parking Lots to Boost Housing
Rancho Cordova investigates a great example of innovative policy by using SB2 planning grants

March 19, 2019: Rancho Cordova could allow multifamily housing to be built on underused office parking lots under a policy proposal being developed by its planners.  

The policy would allow multifamily development within the city’s office parks, and could lead to multifamily projects being built on vacant parcels or underused parking lots, the city’s planning manager Darcy Goulart told the Sacramento Business Journal.   

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Olli shuttle at Sac State

Olli autonomous shuttle launch puts region on the map as a Mobility Test-bed
Sacramento State pilot project region incubated as part of Civic Lab program

February 27, 2019: Last week’s official launch of the Olli autonomous electric shuttle at Sacramento State was another step toward the driverless car future. But given that it was one of the handful of places around the world to host a pilot of the 3D-printed shuttles, it also helped put the Sacramento region on the map as a test-bed of new mobility technology.

That was one of the aims of SACOG’s Civic Lab project, the mobility technology incubator that helped the Sacramento State team have a “shovel-ready” pilot project pitch to win the Olli Fleet Challenge.

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Affordable housing units now open in downtown Roseville
The city to continue momentum with an additional 145 units soon

The City of Roseville has 58 brand new family housing apartments – and they’re all affordable. Earlier this month, Roseville, the largest city in Placer County, held a grand opening for the first affordable housing complex in downtown. The new Lohse Apartments were built by Mercy Housing, one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations, which works to build healthy communities for all people.