Win-Win Transportation Solutions with Todd Litman

WALKSacramento cordially invites you to hear one of the best minds and voices in sustainableplanning today, Todd Litman, founder and leader of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute: (http://www.vtpi.org/). As our region moves forward on implementing the Sustainable Communities Strategy, we need to identify proven “win-win” solutions to the challenges facing us. Please come and hear a fresh, practical yet still visionary perspective.

There are two events on Wednesday, June 13:

  • Noon-1:30 p.m. at SACOG. This event is focused on the transportation and planning professional community, but all are welcome. Go here: http://toddlitman.eventbrite.com/ to register.
  • 6 – 7:30 p.m. at REI. This event is for the community at large and focuses on action for the individual. Register for the evening event at: http://tinyurl.com/ToddLitman

News summary 2012-06-04

Three Strikes Bill Would Terminate Licenses of Serial Dangerous Drivers (Streetsblog 2012-05-30)

Congress raises a middle finger to young bicyclists (Grist 2012-05-24)

Sacramento bike parking experiment will continue for 3 weeks (SacBee 2012-05-30)

Bike Friendly? (Sac News & Review 2012-05-31)

Drive throughs drive up profits for more companies (USA today 2012-05-21; included here because it references Citrus Heights, and drive throughs are incompatible with the city’s greenhouse gas reduction goals)

Woman arrested for DUI after multiple Sacramento collisions (SacBee 2012-06-01)

Yet another criminal

I was assaulted by a vehicle driver today on J Street. Assault includes intent to harm with a deadly weapon, which is a motor vehicle, and does not require actual battery. Having learned my lesson from the last incident, I got the license number and vehicle description right. I did not get enough of a driver ID to press charges, but it will at least go on their record.

The details:
3VFM067 CA
White Toyota 4-runner, not new
White male young
J St eastbound at 10th St
Occurred about 6:25pm, 2012-05-29

A white Toyota 4-runner driven by a young white male attempted to intimidate me off the roadway by using his vehicle as a weapon. The driver gunned their engine at me for a block, and then passed within 3 inches, I felt the mirror touch my arm. I was traveling in the rightmost lane at about 20 mph. There is no bike lane in this area, and the lane is not wide enough to share. The other two eastbound travel lanes were open, at a time of light traffic, so the driver could have easily passed but chose to intimidate me. I caught up to the person and asked why he would use his vehicle to kill another person, and he flipped me off. Another vehicle immediately following did the same thing, passing too closely, so I suspect the two drivers were traveling together.

Incident 12-146316
Responding officer R. Cabrera, Sacramento Police Department

News summary 2012-05-21

The Streetsblog family of blogs (NYC, LA, SF, and Capitol Hill) has Daily News posts, and for the NYC, The Weekly Carnage. I find these useful for picking up interesting information I’d otherwise miss. Though I probably only average one click per list, it is still useful. Maybe this would be useful for Sacramento. Please let me know if it is useful, and please pass along articles that you think I might miss. The only news sources that I regularly follow are the Sacramento Bee and The Sacramento News & Review, but even there I sometimes miss things.

Bicycle advocates chalk up successes of Bike Month (2012-05-17 SacBee)

Dutchman completes an emotional win (2012-05-21 SacBee)

Pedestrian hit while crossing Arden Arcade street dies of injuries (2012-05-17 SacBee)

Viewpoints: Not just about highways (2012-05-20 SacBee)

Registration Opens for Annual ‘Rex Ride’ (2012-05-18 SacBee)

City might relax business parking requirements (2012-05-18 Sacramento Business Journal)

Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen Preparing Fourth Annual Scavenger Hunt (2012-05-15 Sacramento Press)

Minivan hits girl on bike in Antelope area (2012-05-14 News 10)

Bike Score

Bike Score for Minneapolis, with “heat map”

The next stage from the folks at Walk Score, Bike Score, is now available, for a select 10 cities. There aren’t any big surprises, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Madison are at the top.

Sacramento is not on the list of 10. If you’d like to see it there, you can go to the Bike Score page and tweet a vote for it. Please do!

Walk Score also recently released Transit Score, where Sacramento is listed, as 22 out of the 25 largest cities with accessible transit data, at a score of 32. Both the Bike Score and Transit Score are created at a city-wide level, unlike the address-specific Walk Score. So these rankings are just first steps, but nevertheless interesting and useful.

You may have seen articles in the media recently about the high correlation between walkability and housing prices, with walkable communities in high demand and unworkable suburbs in the doldrums. This is good news for all of us. Walk Score was in fact designed as a tool for helping people find real estate and apartments in places that fit their desired lifestyle. As the correlation between walkable, bikeable, transit-dense communities and livability becomes more clear, resources (societal and personal) will be shifted away from the suburbs to urban areas.

Bike to School Day

Mariemont Elementary, full bike racks on Bike to School Day

Today, May 9, is the first official Bike to School Day (BTSD).

Mariemont ES in San Juan USD had 78 bicyclists, all wearing helmets.

I’ll be posting more local information as it becomes available, but here are some national posts to get started.

League of American Bicyclists blog: Happy Bike to School Day

Fastlane blog (US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood): First-ever National Bike to School Day gets kids on two wheels–safely

May Is Bike Month

The month has started, and I’m logging my miles at May Is Bike Month, which is for the greater Sacramento region. I’ll be out of town for 10 days this month, so my mileage will be lower than usual, first a trip to Arizona without my bike, and then a backpack trip without my bike, and maybe even a second backpack trip. Oh well.

I’m logging my miles under San Juan Unified School District, my employer, though there are several other connections I have. May is Bike Month also has a Facebook presence, which seems pretty active already.

Arena thoughts

Power Balance Pavilion (red) vs. The Railyards (green)

The SacBee headlined Saturday, “Arena Deal Dead.” I never really cared that much about the idea of a new arena for the Kings. I’m not a big sports fan, and of all the sports, I think that professional basketball is the most boring of them all (not so for college ball). Whether the Kings play in Sacramento or not is a matter of indifference. Mayor Johnson has said that he wants to see a sports and entertainment venue in the rail yards regardless of whether the Kings are there, or in Sacramento at all, but without the anchor tenant and in these economic times, new construction seems unlikely.

However, there are a lot of transportation implications related to the arena that I’d like to comment on. The Power Balance Pavilion (formerly ARCO Arena), located in North Natomas (part of the City of Sacramento, but north of the river and north of I-80) is in a terrible location. Why was it built out here, in the middle of agricultural fields, which have since been converted to bland suburbs? Because the land was cheap, and really for no other reason. Though there is sort of freeway access, it is a long way out from the urban and suburban areas where attendees come from. It is even worse for transit, with only one line serving the area. On weekdays, you can get close on RT route 11, on weekends, nothing even comes close. I once rode my bike to the place and got there well ahead of the bus. Once arriving, you are faced with a sea of ugly parking, with no way to tell where you’ll be directed to park relative to where you want to go. After the event there is a long lasting traffic jam as everyone tries to find their way back out of the parking lot and waits long periods at the signals. I can’t think of a more unpleasant way to start and end some experience at the place. And if you ride, be assured there are no bike racks.

If the RT light rail green line is extended to the airport, there would be a station close to the pavilion. However, this project is so far off into the future that RT has not even projected a service date. So for all intents and purposes, the pavilion must be considered a car-only venue.

Continue reading “Arena thoughts”