Category Archives: Infrastructure

Sacramento To Launch New Bike Lane Design

Sacramento is planning to implement a new street design to protect cyclists without affecting local drivers next year. Called “parking-protected bike lanes”, the approach is aimed at separating the two modes of transportation with the help of a parking lane.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

 

Infrastructure News

There is some news in the infrastructure industry in downtown Sacramento. If all plans go ahead, the historic Elks Tower on 11th and J streets might soon be home to a card room and entertainment venue.  The 24,000 square-foot area –– was under some controversy recently when two other card rooms in Sacramento appealed for owner Steve Ayers to be refused a permit. But that was denied when the city council voted in favor of it. In his statement, Sacramento Mayor said that the only negativity had come from competitors.  One of the reasons the issue arose was due to local law permitting only four cardrooms in the area and the recent closure of the Red Lion Inn Woodlake Hotel’s Casino Royal. This led to discussions on who would get the newly vacant license.

With this cardroom, there would be five card tables within a 2,000 square foot space on the building’s ground level in the first phase, due to open at the end of November 2017. Phase two – due for completion by the end of next year – is set to have a 17-table cardroom.

Moving on to more central infrastructure issues, in order to pay for improving California’s bridges and roads, gas and vehicle taxes will be increased. Over the next decade it is hoped that with these tax hikes, more than $52 billion will be raised. Should this go ahead, gasoline excise taxes will be increased by 12 cents per gallon, making it a 43 percent rise. According to Brown, if the state of California will not invest in fixing the roads, later on when there is no choice, the price will be eight times as high.

Perhaps if the card rooms are successful, taxes there could be put toward enhancing Californian infrastructure!

Future Goals for Sacramento City Council

Steve Hansen, Sacramento Councilmember for the Fourth Council District recently discussed some of his goals for enhancing the region. Traffic and safety are high up on the agenda, in particular with regards to Freeport and Riverside boulevards.  One goal is to fix these so that there are no fatalities at all.  As such he is encouraging the council to adopt Vision Zero – which is “a traffic safety philosophy that rejects the notion that traffic crashes are simply ‘accidents,’ but instead preventable incidents that can and must be systematically addressed.”

In this vein, Hansen is trying to establish a safe connection for cyclists traveling between William Land Park and the Sacramento River Parkway Trail, especially given that the current situation at  Sutterville is dangerous for bikes as well as pedestrians.”  So traffic measures are key for Hansen.

Moving on to business developments, Hansen mentioned the work that is being undertaken in collaboration with the Greater Broadway Partnership Property and Business Improvement District vis-à-vis business owners.  Further, he has worked alongside the Sacramento Steps Forward for the last few months in an effort to improve the situation.

So it is the hope of the people of Sacramento that Hansen’s measures to enhance business opportunities and improve traffic safety are undertaken.

Sacramento Weir Openings

Last month witnessed the opening of supplemental gates on the Sacramento Weir.  This was the action of the California Department of Water Resources and marked the first time in 10 years that these had been opened.  The move was undertaken following the manifestation of heavy storms throughout the region.

Historically, Californians have loved water. Opening this infrastructure (which is 100 years old) was quite the spectacle.  It required someone to use a long, hooked pole to manually unlatch all of the 48 wooden floodgates.

But, as interested as Sacramentans may have been, it seems sleep won through since state workers opened the weir while it was still dark, very early in the morning.  Still, those who wanted were able to catch a glimpse of the water thundering over the weir and into the Yolo Bypass, thereafter flooding the plain and protecting Sacramento city.

Weirs can be beneficial to cities such as Sacramento. They are extremely simple devices used to measure open channel flows and are inexpensive with an easy installation process.  Further, weir boxes can be helpful in cases where flow is above ground and water flow is piped.  In the case of Sacramento, the weir used flushes excess water into the Yolo Bypass floodplain from the Sacramento River system.  This ensures Sacramento and neighboring river towns are less likely to get swamped.

Development of South Land Park

sacramentoThere are developments happening in Sacramento’s South Land Park. According to one South Land Park Neighborhood Association board member, Brian Ebbert there is a “clear incentive” for grocers to fill the empty space that exists at 5820 S. Land Park Drive which has been vacant since March when the store that currently existed there closed for bankruptcy. The idea now is to have a “reputable” grocer take over the space.

There have been some controversies however, with the space as the existing grocers that are located nearby could feel threatened by the addition of the potential competition. Two current examples of these are Sprouts Farmers Market and Nugget Market, with the potential of Raley’s store opening in a location nearby. So, it remains to be seen what will fill in the currently empty space.

This has not been the only pie where the South Land Park Neighborhood Association’s finger can be found. Back in August, nearly 500 locals from schools, businesses, elected professionals and more attended the National Night Out event that took place on 13th Street at the Alice Birney School. There was free food (prawns, hotdogs and cookies) and performances by iYa Taekwondo and the O’Hana dance group were enjoyed by all, along with the bouncing castle. The vendor fair also highlighted what’s great in the area including the Greenhaven Bike Shop, and Detail Maniac.

Bridge Facilitating Sacramento Transport

bridgeA new bridge opened today in Sacramento that will likely seriously facilitate transportation options for the people of Sacramento. Following the completion of the bridge – that cost the state $13.5 million in construction fees – the Riverfront Reconnection Project will connect the Riverfront and Oldtown with Downtown Sacramento.

This will also be great for the opening of Golden One Center, as General Manager of Firehouse Restaurant Mario Artiz noted, it will “give Old Sacramento like a grand entrance if you will, not a back door or a side door.” Currently there are two entrances that are both awkward and hard to find; one requiring a trip down I Street past a parking lot and under Interstate 5 and the other via a turn off the Capitol Mall which is quite easy to miss.

Transport Management Structure

infrastructureThe restructuring the Sacramento Regional Transit Authority (RT) will be split into six main sections: accountability, finance, partnerships, planning, safety and transit services.  This comes after 20 management positions were eliminated and 16 people were employed to clean buses, stations and trains each day. As the new General Manager and CEO of the Authority, Henry Li explained that the RT is currently going through “some significant cultural and business transformation [adding that they] want to put [their] customers first in everything [they] do.”

The goal is to turn the RT into an accountable, effective and efficient organization. And Li has the experience given his work at the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.  While there, the authority was the recipient of various awards including: Jacksonville Business Journal’s Big Turn Around Organization Award, the White House Champion for Change and the American Public Transportation Association Outstanding Public Transportation System Award.

It is therefore Li’s intention to get the Sacramento Transportation Authority to the same level.

Basketball Goes Tech for the Kings

The Kings are getting a new basketball stadium. But it’s not just any stadium. Once its finished (by fall of 2016), it is expected to be “so outrageously technologically advanced that it will even wow fans from Silicon Valley.”

According to Ryan Montoya, Sacramento Kings’ CTO, it will be “the world’s most connected arena.” Fans will be able to upload 225,000 Instagram photos, per second or half a million snap chats, per second.