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In This Issue

July 29, 2021


“This is a conversation that doesn't have easy answers”

Ben Crowther of Congress for New Urbanism, on repairing the social and economic fabric of neighborhoods torn apart by highways.
Bloomberg CityLab

SACOG envisions connected future with new Director of Transportation

Kristina Svensk, AICP to start August 16

SACOG is proud to announce Kristina Svensk, AICP as our new Director of Transportation. Svensk joins SACOG with 17 years of experience in strategic transportation planning and execution in San Diego and across northern California. The nature of how we get around is changing, and she brings extensive experience in building long-range transportation plans, collaboration, and partnerships that will influence SACOG’s transportation funding role, and how services and programs are delivered across the region.

As the region continues to grow, transportation is the connecting point for how people decide where they live, work, and play. Svensk recognizes that the region is diverse, and each community has their own priorities and preferences when it comes to how they get around. To create a transportation system that works, it requires teamwork. She believes, “it’s more than a single project or a single community. It’s going to be important for us to work together and have a shared outlook for the region. In my opinion, SACOG is at the center of this. There is an opportunity for us to be innovative in how we bring partners together and meet their diverse needs.” READ MORE

State Bets Big on Infrastructure in Final Budget Deal

“Green Means Go” wins funding; Sacramento region needs to be ready to compete for billions more in new spending for transportation, housing, broadband, and climate resilience

After a series of legislative stops and starts and the passage of a temporary placeholder budget in mid-June, Governor Newsom and the legislature finally reached a deal late last month on a massive $262.2 billion budget that includes historic one-time expenditures on infrastructure, housing, broadband, climate resilience, and much more. As reported in last month’s Current, the Sacramento region’s “Green Means Go” program won dedicated funding as part of a new $600 million statewide program to help metropolitan regions meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets. The six-county SACOG region can expect as much as $33 million in funding for “Green Means Go,” with a chance to compete for more.

Many of the other funding commitments, however, won’t provide as much certainty for the region and will require local agencies to both shape new program guidelines at the state level and get a head start on applications if the region is to benefit from the billions in new funds. While many of the programmatic funding commitments in the final state budget still require so-called “trailer bills” to provide the details of the spending programs, there are considerable opportunities in the new budget in many areas that directly or indirectly impact transportation. READ MORE

Take Me Home, Country Road

Placer County Piloting "pop up" pedestrian improvements

To singer John Denver, who wrote the lyrics to the 1970s famous song “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” rural roads were the means to send him to the place I belong.” He was reminiscing about West Virginia, but he could have easily been singing about Meadow Vista, an unincorporated rural community between Auburn and Colfax in Placer County.  

Meadow Vista’s most traveled country route is Placer Hills Road, the main spine for all transportation within the community. The road carries a lot of vehicles but also serves as the bikeway and walkway for residents who want to travel to the local businesses, schools, the public swimming pool, and other places to congregate. To get people where they want to go, there needed to be a safer way for walkers and bicyclists to travel along this rural corridor.

Piloting a solution, temporary pedestrian and streetscape improvements were installed along Placer Hills Road on Saturday, June 26. READ MORE

Elk Grove Historic District Invests in Placemaking

Plaza and streetscape improvements welcome visitors


International urban planner Jan Gehl once said, “Cultures and climates differ all over the world, but people are the same. They will gather in public, if you give them a good place to do it.” And the City of Elk Grove is doing its darndest to create a good place for its residents and visitors to gather. The City is making two major investments in its Old Town area. 

First, the City just completed the construction of Railroad Street and Grove Street, and finished improvements to its Old Town Plaza. The plaza will be fertile grounds for public gatherings, farmers markets, entertainment, and other community social activities. Located along Elk Grove Boulevard east of Highway 99 and adjacent to the railroad tracks, this city focal point has a new covered outdoor pavilion with giant ceiling fans to keep a breeze moving on hot summer nights. The five-acre parcel, once owned by the railroad, was purchased by the City specifically to create a vibrant gathering space, something the site had informally been serving as for years but without the public infrastructure. READ MORE

It's Game Time in Rancho Cordova

City launches RCity app to encourage local shopping through gamification

While downtowns across the country are looking different these days, here in the Sacramento region, cities are finding new ways to help businesses adapt and thrive. 

The City of Rancho Cordova along with the Rancho Cordova Area Chamber of Commerce and software developer Colu have partnered to create RCity, a dual-purpose application to support local businesses that have been hurt during the pandemic. The always-pioneering Rancho Cordova is the second city in the United States to launch this app. 

“With technology and public-private partnerships, we are investing in our community in unique ways. We are supporting our local businesses and reigniting the spark between businesses and residents, and we can’t wait to see how this app can build our local economy and enhance our community,” says Rancho Cordova Councilmember David Sander. READ MORE

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