Road worriers

For the first time ever, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments has proposed to spend more money on alternative and mass transportation than on roadways in Sacramento County. SACOG’s $42 billion Metropolitan Transportation Plan includes more funding for rapid-transit buses and neighborhood shuttles, as well as the introduction of streetcars and more emphasis on street grids and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods.

“[This plan] recommends more money for different kinds of transit than are in the area today,” said SACOG executive director Mike McKeever.

Dennis Rogers with the North State Building Industry Association said his organization supports alternative transportation, but cautioned that SACOG should remember the importance of expanding roads. “The vast majority of people that take transit take really big cars,” said Rogers. “They’re called buses.”

Local environmentalists aren’t crazy about the MTP, either. Kate MacGregor, with the Environmental Council of Sacramento, said the current plan still allocates too much money for roads. “It won’t do anything to help congestion,” MacGregor said. “It will only increase the number of cars on the road.”