Bicycling advocates are wheelie excited
The City of Sacramento plans to install parking-protected bike lanes on J Street from 19th Street to 30th Street this summer.
J Street Safety Project is designed to calm traffic, improve pedestrian crossings and make the street more inviting for travel and spending time on the corridor.
The one-way street connects downtown and midtown Sacramento to Capital City freeway to the east. The project will bring the street down from three car lanes to two.
The J Street project is a part of an ongoing effort by the City of Sacramento to make its streets safer and more convenient for bikers and pedestrians.
“We are taking traffic safety very seriously, and we’re going to do whatever we can to improve conditions on the high-injury network,” said Jennifer Donlon Wyant, the active transportation program specialist for the City of Sacramento. “J Street is on the high-injury network.”
The project is funded by Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which provides funding and encourages transit and safety for roads, bridges and freeways across California.
“Thanks to SB1, Sacramento can make safety improvements to a commercial corridor during a maintenance project,” said Drew Hart, the active transportation program analyst for the City of Sacramento.
Kirin Kumar, the executive director of Walk Sacramento, expressed his excitement over the J Street Project and other active transportation projects being conducted by the city.
“The City is continuing to move in the right direction toward making walking and biking safer and more accessible, not just in the central city but throughout Sacramento with its Vision Zero initiative and updated Bicycle Master Plan,” Kumar said. “Making active transportation more of a priority here in Sacramento is critical to elevating the city’s profile in a way that advances our public health, economic development and climate change goals. Projects like these get us there.”
“Great news,” said William Burg, a local historian and author. “This will make life easier and safer for pedestrians, cyclists and commuters too, with beneficial effects for stores along J Street, too.”
Since the construction of parking-protected bike lanes in 2016, the City of Oakland has seen a 40 percent decrease in collisions and no pedestrian collisions on Telegraph Avenue despite a 78 percent increase in biking and 100 percent increase in walking along the street.
Some commuters are worried about what the reduction in car lanes will mean for rush-hour traffic.
“I just want to get home for dinner on time,” said Shane Ramos, a frequent J Street commuter. “I don’t see how traffic is going to get any better with this project.”
According to WalkScore.com, Sacramento has a bike score of just 69, compared to Davis and Berkeley’s bike scores of 89.
J Street is home to restaurants such as Centro Cocina Mexicana, Jungle Bird and Tank House; venues such as Sacramento Memorial Auditorium and Sacramento Convention Center and parks such as James Marshall Park and Cesar Chavez Park. UC Davis’ midtown Sacramento extension campus borders J Street. The street stretches from Old Sacramento to Sacramento State University.
Repavement of J Street is expected to get underway early summer of this year.
Written by: Dylan Svoboda — firstname.lastname@example.org