The Sacramento International airport has added a new pedestrian walkway from the daily surface parking lot to both air terminals. This new path allows fliers to choose to make a five-minute walk rather than wait for a shuttle bus. The pedestrian walkway is a step in the right direction for the Sacramento airport. While many airports are built to move fliers as quickly as possible throughout the terminals, they neglect the practical benefits of walking. The new path acts in conjunction with the currently existing shuttle bus. Customers are still afforded the option of riding the shuttle, which may benefit fliers with heavy luggage or disabilities. However, with the option of the new pedestrian path from the parking lot to the terminals, fliers maximize time efficiency while realizing the health benefits of walking. For more information about the terminal, read this article by The Sacramento Bee.
If you’re a long-time WALKSacramento fan, you may remember that pedestrian access from the Economy Parking Lot existed until 2011, then it was blocked off. At that time Becky Starr, an avid pedestrian and one of WALKSacramento’s former board members, wrote to County officials with a complaint about the blocking of pedestrian access from the parking lot to the terminal. The official response to Becky was “The majority of passengers prefer not to walk that long distance and at the moment there is no safe walking route. However, we are considering a walking path for a future Capital Improvement budget.”
More recently, this past July, another inquiry was made about the lack of walking access to the terminals from the economy lot to county officials by Walt Seifert, who writes a transportation column for Inside Publications. He received this response from a County spokesperson: “The majority of our customers… prefer to take the shuttle. We have in the past considered putting in a pedestrian walkway but the cost would be in the millions and it would have to compete in priority with our other capital improvements, such as runway and taxiway repair.”
So when the Sacramento Bee published on Monday, September 1, an article stating that the airport had added a walking path from the daily parking lot (which is much closer) to the terminals, it seemed more likely that a walkway will eventually be built from the Economy Parking to the terminals. Let’s hope for some good long-term airport planning that includes the needs of pedestrians.