A recent post on Streetsblog, Brent Toderian: Don’t “Balance” Modes — Prioritize Walking, Biking, and Transit, is from a visit and keynote in Denver, but applies perfectly to Sacramento, and I encourage you to read and reflect. His main point is that those calling for balancing spending on all the modes really mean “lets just keep […]
Another myth promulgated by people who support roads over transit is that transit has to be subsidized while motor vehicles pay their way. “Transit, particularly rail transit, is very expensive to build, operate, and maintain. While driving is pretty much self-supporting through user fees, transit must be heavily subsidized by taxpayers.” Roads for motor vehicles are […]
There was a Twitter townhall today hosted by Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and House Transportation Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Shuster, organized around the Twitter hashtag #StuckInTraffic. I was expecting the worst, given that the hashtag presupposes that the main issue is congestion, but was pleasantly surprised. The questions they answered were softball questions, but the cars-first, highways-only […]
In response to the Viewpoint: Sacramento County Needs SouthEast Connector by Roberta MacGlashan and Steve Miklos in the Sacramento Bee on Tuesday: The southeast connector is a 1970s solution to modern transportation questions. It is based on the model of people living a long way from where they work, and commuting long distances, for example, […]
The lead article this week in the Sacramento News & Review is Sacramento’s report card. I can’t resist getting in on the fun.
The article covers bicycle transportation in the “On two wheels” paragraph, and does it pretty well, giving a C grade. I’d add that art bike racks can be fun if they are also functional. The dragon at Shoki Ramen House and the bottle openers at New Helvetia Brewing are good examples. I think bicycling really works pretty well in the central city and some of east Sacramento, with people getting along in sharing the road most of the time. The further out you go, though, the worse things are, with belligerent drivers traveling at high speeds. I’d give central city a B and the far suburbs an D-. Does this average to a C?
Another major happening this last week in Sacramento was the announcement of progress in bringing bike sharing to Sacramento. Chris Morfas presented to the SACOG Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee on progress in bike share. Fehr & Peers is writing a business plan for the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. The business plan will […]
Yesterday I attended the Transportation Choices Summit, sponsored by TransForm, at the Sacramento Library Tsakopoulos Galleria. The purpose of the summit was to bring together advocates and others in the areas of transportation, health, and housing. Speakers were Brian Kelly, Acting Secretary, CA Business, Transportation & Housing Agency, Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board, and James Corless, Director, Transportation for America. There were plenary panels on Building California’s Future, and Cap & Trade Auction Revenues to Support Sustainable Communities. Breakout sessions were held on a variety of issues.
This is the current list of Public Works transportation projects in the City of Sacramento. I know about a few of these projects, but many of them I don’t know anything about. It would be worth exploring all of them to see what the implications are for walkability and bikeability, but where would I find […]
I have long been thinking about a policy for construction of roads and highways, that would result in no more pavement. A post by Charles Marohn on Strong Towns blog titled “What is the federal role?” reminded me that I’d not posted on my idea. An excerpt from his post:
So if you forced me to have a federal transportation bill, then I would want it to do two things. First, I would want it to place a moratorium on the expansion, extension or construction of any new auto-oriented facilities. No new road miles anywhere. There is no need for this country to ever build another mile, another lane, another overpass or anything — we have far more than we can take care of now, most of it very unproductive. I would make this exception, however: any state that wants a new mile of highway has to remove two miles of existing. This would allow flexibility for states that wanted a strategic contraction, allowing them to allocate scarce resources to areas that would have the greatest benefit. In short, I would ensure the bill funded maintenance (which would make it politically irrelevant in the current context, but that is beside the point).”
I worked for several years in the Lake Tahoe basin, doing watershed education. The policy for hard coverage such as buildings and pavement, which produces runoff to the lake and a decline in water quality, is that there be no net increase in coverage over time. If a developer or homeowner wants to increase their coverage by expanding the areal extent of a building or parking lots, they must retire other buildings or pavement. The policy has been quite effective, and is primarily responsible the reversal in the steep decline of lake clarity. I realized that the policy would be a good one to apply everywhere. Pavement everywhere has the same effect, causing rain and snow to run off, carrying sediment and debris into waterways. Less pavement equals cleaner water. But there are so many more benefits of less pavement to the environment and to livability in towns and cities, that it makes no sense to continue paving, anywhere, anytime. Continue reading
An interesting SacBee editorial, SACOG sets high bar on transportation plan. SACOG is the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, responsible for overall planning and much of the distribution of transportation funds for the region. The plan funds transit, state highways and local roadways, and pedestrian/bicycle facilities. I’ve reviewed the Metropolitan Transportation Plan 2035 (MTP), and […]