Living in the Auburn area since 1991 and serving on the City Council since 2006, Auburn Mayor Bridget Powers has seen economic growth in the Placer County community.
In the past 30 years, Placer County has more than tripled its population and is adding jobs at a rate that has earned it a place among the nation’s leaders. To maintain this steady economic growth, Powers believes that maintaining a strong transportation network is critical.
“Time is one of the most important aspects to a business’s success. When goods and employees can’t travel effectively and in a timely manner, a business suffers,” says Powers. “We cannot expect to attract, expand, and in some cases retain businesses if we do not reduce backups on our roadways and create ways for people to bike and walk to work, shop and visit.”
There are many freeway and road projects in Placer County that need improvements, including the Interstate 80/SR 65 interchange, widening Highway 65 and adding a 5th lane on westbound Interstate 80 from Douglas Boulevard to Riverside Avenue.
“Here in Auburn, rehabilitating Highway 49 through road repaving, and installing sidewalks and bike lanes is vitally important,” says Powers. “A safe route through town is critical for our community and our visitors.”
To bring these projects to life, Placer County needs to secure a local source of funding such as a local sales tax dedicated to transportation projects. In Senate Bill 1, a scoring criterion for funding projects is whether the project has local matching funds. Twenty-six counties in California have already adopted measures similar to a local sales tax, which has allowed communities to bring in billions of dollars of federal and state transportation investment to reduce traffic congestion.
”PCTPA Board and staff will continue to look for any and all potential funding opportunities,” said Powers. “Hopefully as the local economy grows, our regional community will work with us to invest in a safe and efficient transportation network.”