Complete Streets Coalition at Work in Sacramento

Complete Streets accommodate the travel needs of -all- users, walkers of all ages and abilities,bicyclists, transit riders and drivers of automobiles.
Complete Streets accommodate the travel needs of -all- users, walkers of all ages and abilities,bicyclists, transit riders and drivers of automobiles.

One of WALKSacramento’s most important projects is convening the Complete Streets Coalition of Sacramento.  What is the Coalition?   The Sacramento area’s most active advocates gather each month in support of active transportation, including WALKSacramento, the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA), and the Environmental Council of Sacramento.  Breathe California of Sacramento -Emigrant Trails  hosts the Coalition’s monthly meeting in its local offices and  has been a past partner. Coordinating good active transportation advocacy requires public agency input on technical issues and opportunities.  Sacramento Regional Transit and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments are  Coalition partners, providing critical facts and information on local plans, policies and projects.

So what’s up with the Coalition these days? This month, the Coalition is putting in time with the Sacramento City Council.  On Tuesday, July 23, the City Council is scheduled to review:

  • Improvement Plan for the J and Carlson intersection.   SABA has led the charge to work with the City and neighborhood advocates on a plan to address the serious deficiencies in the J Street and Carlson area that have led to fatalities  to travelers in car and on bike.  The proposal before the City is, generally, a two phase process.  The first phase provides some lower level improvements out of the City’s transportation budget.  The second phase is a little more costly, and calls on the City to seek grant funding to complete.  Coalition advocates, including WALKSacramento, will be on hand that evening to speak in support.
  • American River Crossings. The Council will review a report on the potential crossings from South Natomas to the River District (the north end of downtown).  Councilmember Steve Cohn, who represents both sides of the river, has asked for advocates’ input.  Coalition partners WALKSacramento, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates and the Environmental Council will meet with Councilmember Cohn to discuss the importance of providing adequate facilities for bicycle and pedestrian travel to transit and any accompanying road over the crossing.
  • The City is also beginning a General Plan Update.  Advocates will inform themselves by reviewing proposed changes and talking with City staff before then, and strategizing for council workshops and other deliberations.

The Complete Streets Coalition served an important role in the last City General Plan update.  WALKSacramento and Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates won commitments to Complete Streets, reduced road speeds and a more flexible Level of Service policy (allowing more “congestion”) to accommodate walkers and bicyclists on City roads.  The Complete Streets Coalition looks to follow up on that work.

The Coalition’s biggest success came in 2011, during the last update of the region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan and first Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). The Coalition pushed successfully for the proposed SCS scenario that was the most active transportation- and transit-oriented.   Also, in support of the SCS, the Coalition supported SACOG’s adoption of discretionary funding guidelines that prioritize projects improving access to schools and near transit.

So what else is on the Coalition’s roadmap right now?

  • Improving funding for regional transit
  • City/County Bicycle Master Plan update
  • Improving other areas with problems like J and Carlson
  • Bringing even more advocates together.

Want  more information?

909 12th Street, First Floor Conference Room

Contact Terry Preston, Complete Streets Coordinator, WALKSacramento, at tpreston@walksacramento

What is a Complete Street? Go here to learn more!!