As freeway toll lanes take hold in the Sacramento region, STA seeks to exert their influence in proposed JPA

At yesterday's multi-jurisdictional Sacramento Transporation Authority meeting, directors began exploring establishing toll lanes on certain freeways in the region and, of greater significance, governance of any regional tolling authority. 

As part of that process, the STA board members, which includes Elk Grove City Councilmember Darren Suen, heard a presentation to form a joint powers authority (JPA) exploring the proposal. The proposed JPA is tentatively called the Capitol Area Regional Tolling Authority (CARTA). 

Sacramento Area Council of Government's (SACOG) transportation planner Kathleen Hanley spoke to the board about creating a tolling authority. During her presentation, Ms. Hanley noted that an environmental report for an I-80 toll lane in Yolo County is available for public comments, and an environmental document for an I-5 toll lane in Sacramento County is being prepared. 

The Yolo County toll lanes project, called the Yolo 80 Corridor Improvement Project, is on the I-80 freeway between the Solano and Sacramento County lines and on the portion of U.S. 50, which starts in West Sacramento to the Sacramento County line. 

Construction of the Yolo County toll lanes, which has $97 million in identified funding with a total cost that could be as high as $465 million, is expected to start this fall. The configuration of the toll lanes and the fees charges in Yolo County has not been finalized. 

As reported by Hanley, during SACOG's December meeting, the board discussed the formation of a regional toll JPA as they expand across the region and who would be board members. SACOG proposes two representatives from Sacramento and Yolo counties and one CalTrans representative. 

After receiving public comment and questioning Hanley and STA executive director Kevin Bewsey, STA board members agreed they should appoint Sacramento County representatives to the CARTA board. The CARTA JPA will be discussed at the SACOG meeting on January 18. 

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Let me see if I got this right.

Cities generate the traffic that then funnels onto the overloaded freeways. The Developers have effectively received density bonuses and minimized their roadway expansion costs through the use of overriding considerations, or exceptions to the State environmental laws. Developer traffic impact fees have been insufficient to keep up with the true roadway needs. We are now being offered the opportunity to pay for toll lanes, while the Developers laugh all the way to the bank.

Thank you STA for your leadership. No thanks!

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