Walkable Sacramento #6: freeway ramps

Freeway on-ramps and off-ramps are designed solely for the benefit of motor vehicle drivers, with the objective being to allow drivers the maximum possible speed, both entering and exiting freeways. Drivers, whenever possible, accelerate to freeways speeds before even reaching the on-ramp, and often do not decelerate for one or two blocks after leaving the freeway. These are pedestrian killers, and they must be modified. Motor vehicles should either be required to make a 90 degree turn, or stop, before entering and exiting ramps. The ramps allow for the acceleration and deceleration necessary, that does not need to happen on the streets.

You might think that this will require approval from Caltrans, but Caltrans has washed their hands of the freeways over-crossings and under-crossings, except where the intersecting road is also a state highway. These fixes may be quite expensive, as is true of most projects that correct for previous mis-design, but they need to take place.


  • All freeway on-ramps and off-ramps will be redesigned to require a complete stop and/or right-angle turn entering or exiting freeways. Pedestrian facilities will be redesigned so that pedestrians receive priority and full safety protection at all on-ramps and off-ramps. Complete within ten years.
  • At completion of the redesign, all pedestrian crossing prohibition at on-ramps and off-ramps, and the intersections associated with the ramps, will be removed. 
I-80 Business off-ramp at N Street; no crossing

Author: Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.