Sac CAAP: non-motorized and MCCC

The City of Sacramento’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP), preliminary draft, sets targets for active transportation and transit. The Mayors’ Climate Change Commission (MCCC) Achieving Carbon Zero in Sacramento and West Sacramento by 2045, set different targets.

MCCC 2020MCCC 2045CAAP 2030CAAP 2045
Active Transportation30%40%6%12%
Transit & Shared30%50%11%11%
MCCC page 26, CAAP page 66

The CAAP states (page 100) “This level of active transportation mode share by 2030 is consistent with outcomes of comparable case studies and peer-reviewed literature and anticipated level of investment through 2030, all of which are necessary factors to consider for quantifying evidence-based reductions for a qualified GHG reduction plan.” and (page 102) “Planning for at least an 11 percent transit mode share by 2030 is an evidence-based goal that the City considers achievable given current understanding of transit behaviors in Sacramento and comparable case studies, given that sufficient funding can be obtained to implement the necessary infrastructure.”

The justification for the mild targets is in the CAAP Appendix C – Community Measures GHG Emissions Quantification, page 20 for Active Transportation (TR-1) and page for Transit (TR-2). The document active transportation section cites work commute trips, which misses the point that all trips are an opportunity for GHG reduction, and that only about 15% of all trips now are work-related (pre-pandemic). It also states that we can’t be compared to European cities (nor does it even use up-to-date data from Europe), but implies that Sacramento won’t be taking the actions to significantly increase mode share, so therefore uses a much lower number. No actual research is cited. For transit, the document states that we could achieve a 21% mode share based on peer city Oakland, but then inexplicably sets the target of 11%.

Why is the city setting such low goals? Reading between the lines, it is because they don’t intend to spend the funds necessary to reach these goals, and they know they can’t fund this all with competitive grants. This is not climate leadership, in my opinion. The city should be doing everything it possibly can to shift trips aways from motor vehicles to active transportation and transit.

Some elements of the MCCC were included in the CAAP, some were not. I’ve found it valuable to compare the two. If you have the time, please do that yourself. The MCCC is a much stronger document.