K Street pedestrian plaza between 11th and 12th

K Street pedestrian plaza between 11th and 12th

Today I walked the route of the proposed Sacramento Riverfront Streetcar. No, this is not part of the argument about whether pedestrians or streetcars are faster, going around the Internet recently, but I just wanted to see it all from a walking viewpoint, not on my bicycle. There is a map of the probable route on the website above, though oddly it leaves out some streets.

I picked up the route at L and 16th, just two blocks from my home, and headed west between Capitol Park and the brutalist Community Center Theater. The route turns north on 13th Street and apparently goes through the pedestrian plaza over to 12th where is would then use the SacRT light rail tracks (light rail would be routed to the north along H Street). The further west on K Street, the more depressing things are, with most buildings not only empty but abandoned. But, this is part of the reason for the streetcar, to support the economic redevelopment of this area. At 6th it heads north along the existing light rail tracks to H, and then west to Sacramento Valley Station (Amtrak).

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The condition and future of Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT), particularly the light rail system, has been much in the news recently:

Everyone these days seems to want a better transit system. The problem is that no one wants to pay for a better transit system. The business leaders who suddenly want a modern, appealing, well-maintained light rail are the same ones that have worked over the years to suppress efforts at increasing the tax base for operation of the system.

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The list of transit projects put out by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as part of President Obama’s proposed 2016 budget includes $75,000,000 in Small Starts funding for the Sacramento Downtown Riverfront Streetcar. The FTA Project Profile is available with some detail that may be of interest.

Jonah Freemark on The Transit Politic has detailed transit projects in Openings and Construction Starts Planned for 2015. For Sacramento, it will be the end of work on extension of the SacRT light rail Blue Line to Consumnes River College, and the start of planning for the Sacramento/West Sacramento streetcar. It is good that these projects […]

The City of Sacramento has announced free holiday parking (on the Downtown Sacramento Partnership website), stretching from Old Sacramento through midtown, to attract shoppers. This is done in order to attract people who might otherwise shop at suburban big box stores and malls that offer acres of free parking, as this free parking in the suburbs puts […]

The recent relocation of bus service from L Street to the Capitol Mall for demolition of the mall and later construction of the arena has resulting in an interesting change: the first dedicated bus lane (that I’m aware of) in the Sacramento region. There are some dedicated light rail lanes. True, the bus lane is […]

Thanks, Chris Daugherty, for linking to this CityLab article (What If the Best Way to End Drunk Driving Is to End Driving?) from Facebook. This is not a new article, but one worth thinking about. In midtown, there are always drunk drivers on Friday and Saturday nights, sometimes other times. While vehicles don’t carry a […]