Walkable Sacramento wrap-up

I hope that you found the series of posts on Walkable Sacramento useful. The posts received some comments, but not as many as I’d hoped. I’d ask you to go back to them and make comments. Though comments are few, I know that this blog is read by a number of transportation professionals and a few politicians, who could have a major impact in making Sacramento more walkable. Many of them don’t or can’t comment because of their job position, but they do read the posts and do read your comments, so your comments are valuable. The ideas and comments will also be considered as advocacy groups in the city and region develop their own, most likely milder, recommendations for policies and action to enhance walkability and safety for walkers.

I did not address bicyclist concerns and bikeability. That is not because it is not important to me. I bicycle a lot in the city, and do want to improve our streets for bicycling. Though the data is not in yet, I suspect that bike share has increased the rate of bicycling far above that for walking and other modes in the central city. However, the city has done better on providing bicycling facilities, and addressing specific areas of concern, for bicycling, relative to walking. I am also not unconcerned with the safety of people in motor vehicles, but there are plenty of people to advocate for that. As always, the greatest need for improvement in our transportation system is in the low-income neighborhoods which have been traditionally underinvested, and continue to be so.

So, get out there walking, and get out there advocating. Our streets will not get safer unless we all work to force the government to make them safer. The drivers will not help us, except for those more enlightened ones who remember that they walk also, and that the value of a place is determined by its walkability and not its driveability.

Walkable Sacramento #2: crosswalks

This is the second in a series of posts on a Walkable Sacramento, starting with crosswalk policies.

Crosswalks

  • All prohibited crossing locations will be evaluated within two years, and every instance that is not clearly justified will be removed. Locations were infrastructure change is required to accomplish safety will be prioritized for funding and resolved within five years.
  • No crosswalk will be removed without approval of the Active Transportation Commission and the city council.
  • All crosswalk locations with more than 200 crossings per day will have marked high visibility crosswalks, within five years.
  • All intersections with more than 2000 crossings per day will receive an exclusive pedestrian phase, within three years.
  • Marked and safe crosswalks will be provided on all roadways at no less than an 1/8 mile interval, within two years. Pending the installation of safety countermeasures, speed limits will be reduced. Modify ‘complete streets’ policies so that they address this interval of safe crossings, and do not construct ‘complete streets’ that fall short. 
  • All marked crosswalks will be daylighted in the upstream direction with red curb markings and removal of marked parking, within five years, with a goal of 20% per year. All unmarked crosswalks will be daylighted within ten years, with a goal of 10% per year. (Daylighting means to remove the parking space closest to the crosswalk, so that walkers may better see vehicles, and drivers better see pedestrians. Sometimes this daylighted area receives a painted or concrete curb extension.)
  • All crosswalks with at least 2000 crossings per day will receive curb extensions where parking lanes are present, within eight years. 
  • Raised crosswalks or raised intersections will be installed at any intersection where serious injury and fatality occurs after other measures have been taken.
  • Roadway crossing distances will be limited to no more than 60 feet. Where wider roadways exist, median refuge islands with pedestrian activation buttons will be installed to reduce distances to 40 feet or less, within five years. 
  • No roads will be constructed that are more than two lanes in each direction, and all roads with more than two lanes will be reallocated within ten years, with the purpose being to reduce crossing distance. Freeways and expressways with strictly limited access may have more lanes.