Was Elk Grove Mayor Singh-Allen, city council able to secure rail crossing improvement money on their recent Washington D.C. junket?

This Union Pacific train stopped for 20 minutes on the early evening of Thanksgiving Eve, 2022, on Sheldon Road. | 


As reported this morning, a new grant program from the U.S. Department of Transportation provided $570 million in 32 states, including California, for rail crossing improvements.

The $570 million is the first phase of the $3 billion five-year Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program. Among several cities receiving grants is Houston, which received $37 million for four underpasses and the elimination of seven railroad crossings on the city's heavily industrialized east side.

Likewise, Pelahm, Ala. (population 24,000) will receive $41.7 million to build an overcrossing to alleviate a frequently blocked crossing that cuts off half of the city from timely emergency responses. 

Seven California cities, counties, and multi-jurisdictional entities were included in the initial grant. Riverside will receive $15 million towards the construction of a four-lane underpass (see below). 

Meanwhile, as we have heard during the April 26 city council meeting and numerous social media postings, Elk Grove Mayor Singh-Allen and three of her councilmen traveled to Washington, D.C. The trip was supposedly to lobby the federal government to send money to the region and Elk Grove.

In between posing for selfies and enjoying free alcoholic drinks and meals, did Madame Mayor press Rep. Doris Matsui or other federal officials for some of this grant funding? After all, much of Elk Grove's population lives on the other side of the Union Pacific tracks and are at risk for slowed emergency responses.

Living on the other side of the tracks with the frequent train traffic, much less trains stopping and blocking several high-traffic roads, emergency services for this portion of our community are imperiled. Elk Grove needs to build at least three underpasses to address this.

It does not appear Elk Grove applied for the grant. If the city did and was not approved, it demonstrates what little influence Mayor Singh-Allen has with Rep. Matsui and other federal officials. It also highlights the meaninglessness of the taxpayer-funded Cap-to-Cap junket.  

Too bad our Elk Grove elected officials were too busy posing for selfies, noshing on free gourmet food, swilling unlimited complimentary cocktails, and not pushing to be included in this grant. 

For all the talk of Measure E money improving emergency responses, until underpasses on at least three high-traffic corridors in Elk Grove are built, response times will not improve. Tough luck in medical emergencies for those living on the wrong side of the tracks. 

But hey, as Councilmember Sergio Robles said, he had fun while in Washington, D.C., and what could be more important? 




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4 comments

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Improving emergency response time was a big selling point for passing Measure E. Unless those fire trucks grow wings, I'm not sure how the City will improve emergency response times with the traffic congestion and train crossings? 

Every few years the City hires a so-called traffic expert who claims they will dial in the signals to provide more efficient traffic flow, and that my friends is how the City will brag that they are fulfilling their Measure E promise to reduce response time. 

Voodoo science and voter apathy helps carry our Mayor and City Council. And if the little people start to catch on, well they will do what all other politicians do---point the finger of blame on someone else and pose for their next selfie!

Kearney Zzyzwicz said...

Boy, never thought I would be envious of a small town in Alabama, but someone there did their job to help city infrastructure and its residents, meanwhile, we have a council member getting DUI and a city being sued by the state! Oh yea, and selfies!

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Come-on EGN! If Mayor BSA secured any funding, she would be parading the big check all over social media. Translation: The city of Elk Grove didn't get one damn dime. You can bet the only thing some of the council members got was a hangover!

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

It is worth remembering federal and state grants come with strings attached. If Elk Grove applied for and received these grants, to utilize them, they would have to match a portion for a project.

Elk Grove has no interest in fixing the railroad crossing by constructing underpasses because it will take money away from Ms. Singh-Allen's zoo and Mr. Robles' brewery subsidies. As Mr. Spease so accurately stated recently, that sort of infrastructure project has nothing in it for them.

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