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Placer Sentinel

$200 Million of Funding for Transportation Projects

Apr 29, 2021 12:00AM ● By SACOG Press Release

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Transportation projects across the Sacramento region received $198 million in funding from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) today. The 2021 funding round is the tenth in the 17-year history of the funding program, which has awarded more than $1.1 billion over that time. The SACOG board also acted to recommend nearly $12 million in funding in the regional Active Transportation Program.

The unanimous vote by the SACOG board meant 74 projects were approved to receive funding from two programs: the Regional Program and the Community Design Program. The flexible Regional Program funds cost-effective transportation projects that realize the performance benefits of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy and the Community Design Program provides funding to local governments to build placemaking projects in their communities. Funded projects help implement SACOG Blueprint principles such as a mix of land uses, preservation of natural resources, or housing and transportation options.  

“These projects have risen to the top through a rigorous, competitive process and I'm confident they will advance the transportation goals and aspirations for communities throughout the Sacramento region,” said SACOG board chair Bonnie Gore, a Placer County supervisor.  

Changes to this year’s funding round process meant that more weight was given to the priorities submitting agencies gave to their projects. The performance-based recommendations largely ended up reflecting what the submitting counties, cities, and agencies said were most important to them as well as meeting regional priorities that will help meet our regional goals. For example, in the Maintenance and Modernization program, staff recommend funding for 19 of the 20 top priority projects.

The Regional Program comprises two key categories, Maintenance and Modernization and Transformative, intended for larger projects. An example of a Transformative project is the $21.9 million awarded to SacRT to go toward the purchase of 16 new light rail vehicles. The new vehicles will have low-level boarding at every doorway, spacious seating design, and feature improved accessibility with wider aisles, built-in storage, and areas for bicycles.  

In the Maintenance and Modernization category, SACOG awarded $3.75 million to Yuba City’s Walton Avenue project. The City will install sidewalks on the west side of Walton Avenue, creating a complete sidewalk path, pave dirt shoulders for the addition of a buffered bike lane, upgrade traffic signals, upgrade battery backup systems to improve safety during power outages, and repair pavement for a 2.3-mile section of Walton Avenue. The project will promote safety of non-motorized users and pedestrians and encourage increased walking and bicycling among students, especially along a primary walking route to Andros Karperos Middle School and Lincoln Elementary, while providing urgently needed pavement maintenance.

A good example of the Community Design category is the $3 million awarded to Sacramento County for a “complete streets” project on Greenback Lane in Orangevale, from Walnut Avenue to Chestnut Avenue. The streetscape improvements include wide, separated sidewalks, continuous bike lanes, a bus turnout, converting an existing, two-way turn lane into a median with trees and landscaping, traffic signal improvements and signalization, and installing trees and monuments. The award builds on the momentum in the community stemming from the energy and outreach of community volunteers, including private investment coming into the area, and the possibilities of infill housing. 

In the Active Transportation Program, the top-scoring project is design work and right of way for the last mile of a five-mile continuous facility for cyclists and pedestrians along the Placerville Drive corridor, which was recommended for a $1.2 million award to the City of Placerville. When complete, the community will be able to cycle and walk the full length of Placerville, serving residents not just with a physical link to jobs, but with a social connection between neighborhoods that deepens the community’s cohesion and sense of place. 

SACOG conducts funding rounds to allocate funds to transportation projects based on available apportionments of regional Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, Regional Surface Transportation Program, State Transportation Improvement Program, Active Transportation Program, and SACOG managed funds. The funds get distributed through individual funding programs that together make up a funding round.

Project applications are solicited from public agencies and their partners located in the SACOG region. All funding programs except the regional Active Transportation Program are available only to projects located within Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. Jurisdictions in El Dorado and Placer counties apply through the El Dorado County Transportation Commission and the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, respectively. 

For more information, see the full list of Funding Round awards, the Active Transportation Program recommendations, and the project review summary, which describes each project in more narrative detail.  

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