City Council approves prioritization for transportation projects in Sacramento

The Sacramento City Council on Nov. 16 approved the City’s Transportation Priorities Plan prioritization that will guide future transportation investments and funding opportunities for approved transportation projects around the city.

The Department of Public Works in 2021 began working on the first-of-its-kind priorities plan and engaged communities to hear about their transportation values and gather input on recommendations.

“The thing I’m most proud of is centering voices that typically don’t get involved in City government decision-making, focusing engagement in communities with historically low rates of inclusion and participation,” Transportation Planning Manager Jennifer Donlon Wyant said. “We led with asking and focusing on community values rather than staff developing recommendations and asking communities what they thought.”

The City of Sacramento has roughly $42 million annually budgeted for transportation projects. The current list surpasses $5 billion and would take 100 years to complete at current funding levels, according to officials.

“There are over 700 projects in the pipeline for the City of Sacramento, and I think this plan gives us a fair and equitable approach to which projects will have the highest impact,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

City Council in March adopted a set of criteria and process to prioritize the transportation investments based on community values. City staff explored how each project would improve air quality, climate, and health, provide an equitable investment, provide access to community destinations, improve traffic safety, and or help fix or maintain roads and corridors that see the most use.

This criteria also better aligns with most grants and other types of funding opportunities, which makes the prioritized projects more competitive for outside funding.

Projects that are considered high priority must meet most or all of the planning criteria. One of the top priority projects is improvements to Marysville Boulevard in District 2. This corridor was identified in the Vision Zero Top 5 Corridors Plan.

The current project calls for traffic calming, improved pedestrian crossings, and adding separated bikeways, and is also part of the application for the 2022 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Safe Streets for All grant.

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