where are the curb extensions?

There has been a tremendous amount of infill building, much of it housing, in midtown Sacramento and even downtown. This is a wonderful thing. As part of the construction projects, sidewalks and curbs are often torn up and replaced. In some instances, the replacement is done the right way, with wider sidewalks, directional curb ramps (two to a corner, not diagonal), and curb extensions. But in at least half the replacements, but curb extensions are missing.

15th Street at K Street, missing curb extension, Sacramento

The photo above shows the new sidewalks and curb ramps at the southeast corner of the SAFE Convention Center, at 15th Street and K Street. That much is good, and a big improvement over what was there before.

However, the curb extension on 15th Street is missing. The purpose of curb extension is to slow traffic speeds, to shorten the crossing distance, and to increase visibility between drivers and walkers. But it is missing here. Once the convention center really opens, this will be a very busy crossing for pedestrians, and is already receiving increased use from the performing arts center.

What gives, Sacramento? Every reconstructed corner should have curb extensions. Yes, they must be designed appropriately so they only block the parking lane and not a bike lane, but in this case, there is no bike lane.

Author: Dan Allison

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

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