9th St blocked by construction

Thank you, Ali Doerr Westbrook, for flagging the latest violation of walker and bicyclist accommodation on a construction project in Sacramento.

The east side of 9th St between L St and the alley is blocked by a construction project. Both the sidewalk and bike lane are blocked. There is no advance signing at 9th and K for southbound walkers and bicyclists, as required by ADA. There is no signing on the construction fencing, as required by ADA. Construction fencing is not an acceptable detectable warning, as required by ADA. Note that this construction project, the conversion of Capitol Park Hotel into supportive housing, is a city project, so not only is the city responsible for a traffic plan that accommodates walkers and bicyclists, but field checking that the plan is being followed, and enforcing it when it is not.

9th St at K St, no advance warning of closure ahead for walkers or bicyclists

This blockage would in itself be bad, but it is made worse by the blockage of the sidewalk on the west side of 9th St, between K and the alley. This private project is also not properly signed and barricaded. Between these two projects, there is NO walker access on 9th St between K St and L St. None. None. None. Of course one could cross at the alley between one side and the other, but then the city conveniently has a walker-hostile code that crossing streets at alleys is illegal. Got the bases covered, Sacramento!

Though the most egregious, this incident is just the latest in a series of offences in the central city. I have posted on some of these here (tag: construction zone), and on Twitter. I’ve also reported a large number of them to the city’s 311 app. Of these 311 reports, about half are closed without anything being done. Making the same report multiple times increases the likelihood, but doesn’t guarantee it.

The worst of the violations are on city projects. The renewal of Memorial Auditorium had issues. Though now finished, it resulted in the permanent closure of the sidewalk on the south side of I Street. The next worse offense is the ongoing city project called 3C, the convention center and community auditorium construction project. Though some of the issues have been resolved here, several remain, particularly on the 15th St side. And this Capitol Park Hotel project is also a city project. There have been other city project problems, but I don’t have time today to go back through my records and photos to identify all of them.

In response to the concerns from myself and many others, the city had said that it would come up with a construction accommodation policy. After a year, nothing has happened. The city, at least the part of the city responsible for construction zone traffic plans, just does not care. Walkers and bicyclists are routinely ignored or actively discriminated against, in favor of motor vehicle drivers. The city is in violation of its ADA consent decree in allowing these issues to occur and to continue.

Author: Dan Allison

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

12 thoughts on “9th St blocked by construction”

  1. Downtown’s City Council D-4 has new staff. Mebbe these latest egregious City projects you’ve detailed are worth contacting the newbies in Councilmember Valenzuela’s office?

      1. Yay! And thanks for your focused, objective participation in Our civic processes, sir!

  2. A blocked street for construction projects???? That’s what you’re bitching about. I ride a bike and U can easily GO AROUND! You just manuever the handle bars to the left or right and as long as you stay on the bike a oeddle your little feet it will be ok… Lord Have Mercy. Get a life. 1 am in the morning??? REALLY??? You stirred up 3 comments including mine. Woah dude step back. You’re gonna start a Riot😂. I bet you dress up ALL Tour de France before you ride AS IF you have multiple sponsors who care when and where you ride! Lol

    1. I don’t normally approve obnoxious comments, but it brings up several points. First, sidewalk access is completely blocked, both sides of the street, and that is primarily why I posted. This is not just a bicycling issue. Second, the bike facility blocked is a protected bikeway, intended to allow people who are not comfortable riding in traffic to get around. I am a vehicular bicyclist, and ride wherever I want, but my concern is for people who don’t feel comfortable with that, and have just as much right to the roadway as motor vehicles. I have never been seen and will never be seen in spandex, I ride in normal everyday clothes. I am in no way opposed to construction projects, but the traffic plans for projects either don’t consider or are not enforced, resulting in bias and real safety hazard for walkers and bicyclists. I’m impressed with your ability to include so much nonsense in so short a reply.

  3. So, if advance signing were to be provided, walkers and cyclists would still need to go AROUND the project, right? And you say construction fencing doesn’t tell a walker or rider they can’t get through? Wouldn’t the “traffic plan” be something along the lines of “there’s a construction project ahead, you’ll need to go AROUND the project?” I ride and walk in everyday clothes too and, so far, they have not prevented me from going AROUND projects. Two roads diverged in the city AROUND a construction project and I took the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference.

    1. I would suggest you go look at the location, 9th St between K St and L St. Think of yourself, for a moment, in a wheelchair. Keep in mind that the city has an ordinance prohibiting crossing streets at alleyways, of course widely ignored, but are you really saying that having to cross a busy street midblock in order to continue along a sidewalk is OK?

  4. The city has responded to me today (Friday, January 22, 2021): Speaking to steps moving forward, the Contractor is preparing a revised TCP based upon direction received from Staff which will include a 12’ shared use path for bikes and peds. Staff anticipates receiving the submittal early next week with implementation shortly thereafter.

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