The City of Sacramento’s Central City Mobility Project is underway, and projected to finish by next May. The map below shows the major components of the project: new parking protected separated bikeways on 19th Street and 21st Street between W Street and I Street, extended parking protected separated bikeways on P Street and Q Street from 15th Street to 21st Street, a separated bikeway (not parking protected?) on I Street from 21st Street to 12th Street, and conversion of 5th Street from a one-way street to two-way from Broadway to I Street (the two-block section from L Street to J Street is already two-way). The project also includes upgrades of corner ramps to ADA compliance along 21St, 19th, P, Q and I streets. I notice that ramp upgrades are also occurring at some locations other than these streets, whether under this project or a separate initiative, I’m not sure.
As far as it goes, this project looks to be great. The city is making an effort to create a grid of higher quality bicycle facilities in the central city, of a mile spacing, or less. But a bicycle network is only as good as it’s weakest spot, and this project leaves several weak spots in the grid. The map below highlights some of these, shown in cyan color:
- P Street and Q Street parking protected separated bikeways should be extended west to 5th Street, which would include a reduction of lanes on those streets. Stopping the bikeways at 9th and 10th Street reduces access to Sacramento Valley Station, as well as many other destinations in this area, including using the Tower Bridge to access West Sacramento.
- 9th Street parking protected separated bikeways should be extended from Q Street south to Broadway, to provide access to the higher quality bikeway along Broadway, and points south of Broadway.
- I Street separated bikeway should be extended from 12th Street west to 5th Street, created a complete bikeway from 21st Street to Sacramento Valley Station.
- J Street parking protected separated bikeway should be extended east from 5th Street to 19th Street, to proved a complete bikeway from 5th Street to 28th Street.
- A separated bikeway should be constructed on 28th Street to provide a high quality bike route parallel to the unsafe 29th Street one-way southbound traffic sewer and 30th Street one-way northbound traffic sewer.
- Regular bike lanes, at a minimum, should be installed on 13th Street between P Street and Capitol Park. 13th Street is one of the most heavily bicycled north-south routes in the entire central city, but this two block gap makes that trip less safe.
It is also possible that the P Street and Q Street bikeways should be extended east at least to 28th Street, or beyond, but I haven’t looked closely at that yet.
The project page does not mention speed limits. This is typical for city projects. The city believes that speed limits should never be lowered, except in school zones, so it is no surprise that speed limits on these sections of bikeway was not mentioned. The speed map below (pdf) shows posted speed limits on central city streets. Keep in mind that every street has a higher design speed, so except in congested conditions, actual speeds almost always exceed, or greatly exceed, the posted speed limit. Speed limits should be reduced to 25 mph or less on the separated bikeway streets. This means:
- 19th Street: reduce speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, from H Street to Broadway
- P Street: reduce speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, from 21st Street to 10th Street
- Q Street: reduce speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, from 10th Street to 21st Street
- 9th Street: reduce speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, from N Street to Broadway
- 10th Street: reduce speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, from Broadway to N Street
- 5th Street: reduce speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, from Broadway to H Street
- 21st Street is already OK, posted 25 mph
- of course the additions recommend above should receive the same treatment
Actually, all streets in the central city should have posted speed limits of no more than 25 mph, and if the street is residential or mixed use, then 20 mph. There is no place in a central city for speed limits above 25 mph. The desires of suburban drivers to speed through the central city along traffic sewers are never more important than the desires of central city residents for safety and livability. Over time these streets can be reallocated (dieted) so that design speed matches posted speed, but in the meanwhile, lower posted speed limits are entirely in order.
Note that this map is only available in a static pdf version; speed limit data has not been posted on the city’s Open Data site. The map shows in cyan the streets which are posted 25 mph, but which one might assume would be faster based on the appearance of the street design. All other streets not colored are assumed to be 25 mph.
2 thoughts on “more Central City Mobility Project”
Regarding connecting the P/Q bike facilities west, maybe it would be better to improve R street from the existing riverfront access to Roosevelt Park, and tie in to the P/Q route there. This is already a more comfortable route since it avoids the tricky large blocks and busier car traffic around the freeway ramps.
Totally agree regarding 28th street, it should also connect up to the bike trail at Sutter’s Landing park.
You live inside the freeways, but crossing the W/X and 29/30 corridors are huge bike gaps. It looks like these may be addressed on the south side, but there needs to be a better route towards the south-east, and probably a couple out to east sac (maybe at E, L, and T? The latter connecting to Broadway via Alhambra and Elmhurst/Med Center via uh, T? I don’t know, that’s a tricky area.
I agree that R Street, and the bridge to the riverfront, is a good low-stress route, and I use it often. But the underlying assumption of the Central City Mobility Project is that many riders want high quality (separated) bikeways, but that only works if they form a usable grid. Hence, extending P and Q. I agree that there need to be connections across the safety barriers of the freeway undercrossings to east and south areas, but I constrained my comments to the central city. I think that the route to MedCenter area via T St and Stockton, with the Stockton improvements, will be good, but that is probably years away. Thanks for commenting.