Some things the City of Sacramento could do today, and this week, to improve transportation and safety now and in the future:

  • Paint red curb offsets for all marked and unmarked crosswalks. These are upstream offsets, which have a strong safety value of increasing the visibility of drivers and walkers to each other. Downstream offsets, beyond the crosswalk, are much less important. Paint is cheap! Yes, maintenance of paint is more expensive, but this is important enough to make the investment.
  • Set all pedestrian signals to auto-recall, city-wide. Later we can have a discussion about whether to leave them this way, and how this interacts with the audible signals for limited vision people. I’m NOT saying disconnect the buttons, they would work if you pressed them, rather, that you no longer need to press them.
  • Convert the southbound light rail lane on 12th Street from a shared general purpose travel lane to a transit lane, from C Street to K Street. Having drivers interfere with light rail should never be OK. Consider doing the same for the portions of 7th Street and 8th Street where there is excess vehicle capacity.
  • Enforce, with a vengeance, speeding and failure to yield to pedestrian laws. Impound the cars and revoke the licenses of anyone who has more than one of these violations in a week. Our streets have been taken over by lawless joy-riders, and we need to take them back, for the safety of walkers, bicyclists, and other people in vehicles, and yes, people in adjacent buildings. Yes, these situations will end up in court, about whether the city has the power to do this, but in the meanwhile, we get these people off the street. This is an emergency, after all, and this seems a reasonable use of police emergency powers.
  • Close at least one street of at least a eighth mile length in every census tract. Since census tracts vary by population size, in a very rough way, this distributes the closed streets in the fairest manner. It provides people safe walking space in their neighborhoods, to ensure physical distancing.
  • Close the extra lanes on any street that has more than two lanes per direction, and re-allocate that space to either pedestrians or bicyclists, as demand seems to indicate.

There is construction going on right now on N Street adjacent to Capitol Park. The street has been narrowed from three lanes to one lane, and it is working just fine. The prudent driver, the one following speed limits, or at least in the range, now sets the speed of the roadway, and the egregious violators have to live with it. Which is, I think, why I’m not seeing problems on N Street right now, and am still seeing it on other wide roadways.

What else would you recommend, actions that could take place almost immediately and would not cost much?

About Dan Allison

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

Category

law enforcement, Vision Zero, walkability