sidewalks across alleys

Note: Please see post on City of Sacramento Street Design Standards. It turns out that there are at least two different sets of design standards.

The City of Sacramento has Standard Specifications and Drawings that require certain designs for the public right-of-way. There were last revised April 2020, and are available on the Utilities: Development Standards page. It is not clear why these are part of Utilities rather than Public Works or Community Development, but they are. Though I haven’t done an element by element comparison, they seem to be a considerable improvement over the previous standards, which seem to be June 2009.

There are designs which are not being followed, and others that should be eliminated. Today, I’ll address sidewalks crossing alleys. Alleys are only common in the central city, but they do exist other places throughout the city.

The city design standard is below (pdf of entire page). The detail is hard to see, but the alleyway, sidewalk, and alley driveway are all concrete, none are asphalt. The T-11 Standard Alley Entrance Detail page says “Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) is the city standard pavement for alleys.”

SacCity Specification detail alley entrance

Of course there are many alleyways that are asphalt, and some that are unpaved gravel. I don’t know when the city standards changed to require pavement, or when to require concrete, but those are the current standards. That means that if an alley, or a sidewalk, or the alley driveway is changed, it must meet current standards. Below is a photo of Neighbors Alley at 17th Street, which was just redone within the last two months. It clearly does not meet city standards. Both the driveway and the sidewalk are asphalt, not concrete. Though I noticed this work being done, I failed to notice who was doing it. City? Private? Private utility? Not sure.

photo of Neighbors Alley at 17th Street
Neighbors Alley at 17th Street
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