don’t forget the little things

The City of Sacramento is going to consider some big, transformative projects Tuesday evening. That’s great. But let’s not forget all the small things they could be doing, but aren’t:

  • Mark crosswalks at every intersection. Except in purely residential neighborhoods, these should be zebra design.
  • Daylight intersections by removing parking from within 15 feet of every crosswalk, at least on the near side (far side is a lesser safety benefit)
  • Re-program traffic signals to create leading pedestrian intervals, everywhere.
  • Remove or properly label every pedestrian push button. Don’t make walkers play the guessing game. Except at very low use intersections, pedestrian signals should be on auto-recall.
  • Remove pedestrian prohibitions which serve traffic flow rather than safety of walkers. This is the majority of them.
  • Install traffic diverters (modal filters) on about one-quarter of all streets, at no less than 1/8 mile intervals. This discourages through-traffic on most streets, and discourages longer driving trips, while being permeable to bicyclists and walkers.
  • Charge for all street parking, everywhere, even in residential neighborhoods.
  • Reduce speed limits to 20 mph, citywide and all at once, on every street that is not an arterial or collector street.
  • Ensure that every construction project that reconstructs sidewalks also installs curb extensions (bulb-outs) where there is a parking lane present. This is not uniformly happening.
  • Create interim curb extensions with paint and flexible posts.
  • Take on responsibility for maintaining sidewalks, since they are an integral part of the transportation network.
  • Buy every employee of Public Works and Community Development a copy of Walkable City Rules (Jeff Speck), and hold sessions to develop a new city mission that prioritizes walkers (and bicyclists and transit riders) over private vehicles.

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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