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Climate & Transportation

Council Workshop 

On February 8, 2022 at 5pm City Council held a workshop on Climate & Transportation.

You can watch the Council Workshop HERE.

Below are some background documents.

In October 2021, City staff presented an update on the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) and 2021 Climate Implementation Work Plan. At that meeting, the City Council asked staff to return to Council in a workshop format to discuss the relationship between climate change and transportation as well as discuss considerations for expediting carbon neutrality.

This  workshop was in response Council’s request and included:

  • An overview of the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and transportation;
  • Guest speakers and outside experts on mobility and climate; and
  • Staff recommendations to advance goals through transformative projects and pursuit of critical funding.

Workshop agenda

Climate and Transportation Graphic Overview of Council Meeting Date of February 8, 2022 

Why is transportation important to addressing climate change?

Transportation is the greatest source of Sacramento’s GHGs.

The analysis conducted for the CAAP revealed that 56% of Sacramento’s GHG are derived from transportation sources, primarily by trips from vehicles fueled by gasoline.

Pie chart of Sacramento GHG sources, transportation is 56%

There are two ways to reduce GHGs from transportation:

1) Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
There are different strategies the City can use to reduce VMT. Land uses that support infill development which have shorter trips, and by ensuring that new development has convenient access to transit and active transportation routes to common destinations. In addition, transportation improvements that increase and connect active transportation infrastructure, and supporting more convenient and accessible transit are critical.

2) Replace remaining miles traveled with electric vehicles (EV).
The City has already been a leader in this area, selected as the first green city by Electrify America, launching pilot programs for curbside charging in on street parking spaces, winning numerous green fleet awards, supporting EV car share programs, and continuing to implement programs to install charging infrastructure and remove barriers to EV use in under-resourced communities.

Reducing VMT supports other important City transportation goals.

The City has many goals to support our communities through transportation and some include:

A) Safety
Reducing VMT can increase transportation safety; Sacramento continues to rank as one of the worst cities for transportation safety as reported by the State’s Office of Traffic Safety.

B) Equity
Reducing VMT can also help the City progress its equity goals by making transportation more affordable.

According to AAA and the Federal government, the average cost of owning a car costs families over $800 a month per car (including car payments, insurance, fuel, maintenance, and repair). The median household income in Sacramento is $62,000. For median and low-income Sacramentans, the costs of car ownership can be over 20% per car of a family’s income.

Additionally, it is important to remember that a significant portion of the City’s population cannot drive-- 34% of Sacramento residents are too young or too old to drive.

Big Ideas to Address Climate & Transportation

The City is doing a lot to support electric vehicles. At the workshop, City staff proposed 7 big idea projects to address climate change by reducing VMT, including:

Bikeway Super Highways – Complete the Network.
The City of Sacramento has a formidable foundation for an off-street low-stress bikeway and walking network; however there are gaps in the network. Those gaps make bicycling and walking to many destinations comfortable for only the most experienced. Closing gaps in existing shared-use paths and completing those underway will link a complete network and can help increase active transportation mode share and reduce GHGs, as well as supporting other improvements throughout the region. These paths listed below are all part of the City’s Bicycle Master Plan and are also part of SACOG’s Draft Regional Trail Network.

1. Jackrabbit Trail from North Natomas to the American River Parkway
2. Niños Parkway from I-80 to the American River Parkway
3. Two River Trail from Sutter Regional Park to Hwy 160
4. Morrison Creek Trail from Power Inn Rd to Stockton Blvd with a connection to Will C. Wood Middle School
5. Sacramento River Parkway from Freeport Rd to 35th Avenue

Mode Shift and Congestion Relief in Region's Highest Employment Area - Complete the Bikeway Network within 4 miles of the Central City
The Central City is the region’s highest density employment area and entertainment district. Research indicates that trips less than 5 miles can reasonably be bikeable trips if low-stress complete bikeways exist. Facilitating active transportation trips within 4 miles of the highest density employment area in the City could increase active transportation and reduce VMT and GHGs.

6. Complete the existing bikeway network within 4 miles of the Central City by closing gaps in the network and calming traffic

Mode Shift to the Bus - Build Stockton Boulevard Bus Lane
In order to achieve the City’s climate goals, we need to significantly increase the number of trips on transit. In order to increase transit use, transit needs to be connected, convenient, and frequent. Travel times should be reliable and competitive with driving. One way to achieve these goals is to provide reliable fast bus service through dedicated bus lanes. The proposed project expands the bus lanes approved by the City Council on September 21, 2021, as part of the Stockton Boulevard Corridor Plan.

7. Bus-Bike lanes on Stockton Blvd


These ideas and projects were selected because they are:

  • Existing infrastructure and need smaller efforts to complete; or
  • In progress, in community vetted plans, and need funding to construct.

The Stockton Blvd bus lane is the exception and was included to elevate transit understanding it carries the City's highest ridership bus route through some of the most under-resourced communities in Sacramento. The idea came from community input through the Stockton Blvd Corridor Plan.

The City will be engaging communities about improving walking, bicycling and transit access this Spring 2022 in North Sacramento, Broadway-Fruitridge, and South Sacramento through our Active Streets effort.

Map of proposed Climate & Transportation Projects 

Funding our Climate Goals

The City will not be able to reach our Climate Action goals without identifying significant new additional transportation funding sources. Staff estimate it would cost the City at least $2.5 billion to build the infrastructure to support this mode shift. This cost does not include costs for Regional Transit to expand and operate its services.

One potential source of funding to achieve the City’s goals is the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes $274 billion for new transportation funding nationwide over the next five years, with about half of that for rail and transit. The majority of the City’s capital funding is secured through allocation of regional federal transportation funds that are managed by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) for the six county SACOG region. SACOG estimates that regional transportation funding through SACOG will increase by 12 to 20%. Based on the amount that SACOG normally awards to the City of Sacramento, this would provide another $1 to $3 million annually, nowhere near enough to fund necessary transportation investments to achieve the City’s climate goals. The majority of the IIJA funding will be available through new nationwide competitive grant programs.. The State also has a commitment to climate as part of its State funded grants, through its Climate Action Plan for Transportation Improvements (CAPTI).

Given the investments and direction the City has already made in promoting EV adoption, this workshop seeks City Council feedback on a number of concepts that are designed to increase active transportation and transit use.