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The online engagement survey consisted of 11 questions about the City of Sacramento transportation grid network with a focus on ways to improve the grid for those who live, work and/or visit the City.

The survey was available from September 17th to November 4th.

The survey received 310 complete responses.  The team carefully reviewed all responses and selected four to six answers for each question that represents the diversity of opinions expressed by the respondents.  The word cloud above each section is a visualization of word frequency in a given text as a weighted list.  Given that the summary captures only selected responses, the word clouds are used a graphic concept to incorporate other key words and phrases from the original questionnaire responses for each section of the survey.

The goal of this effort is to understand the needs, aspirations and priorities of community members and create a transportation network system that can create a new and improved grid (Sac Grid 2.0) that works for all forms of transportation and improves the neighborhoods and sense of community for Sacramento’s residents, business and property owners and visitors.

The following are a few comments that summarize the answers received for each question of the survey.

 


Challenges on the Grid

Challenges - Public
Walking on the Grid

  • Traffic that doesn’t stop for pedestrians at pedestrian crossings
  • Pedestrian way finding
  • Bicycles on sidewalks
  • Sidewalks are too narrow.

Parking on the Grid

  • I think there are too many cars overall in the grid on a typical business day, and it’s hard to find parking (many lots are completely full, and finding on street parking can be really tough).
  • Parking.  Since biking with the family does not feel safe, we often drive.  Parking is a challenge.
  • Parking, getting to restaurants & events when I would spend the entire evening downtown

Driving on the Grid

  • One way streets where cross traffic doesn’t have a stop sign
  • Bikes that drive in between lanes of moving traffic
  • Inconsistent speed limits, inconsistent one-way streets; inadequately marked street crossings
  • Confusing traffic diverters in Midtown

Biking on the Grid

  • Bicycling around the grid, especially in the Downtown Core, can be a challenge when main roads do not have bike lanes that go the entire length of the street, most bike lanes on main streets seem to end once you enter the business core
  • Biking feels dangerous because of excessive car traffic and too little protection of bike lanes from cars
  • More secure bicycle parking in the area.
  • Bike lanes blocked by delivery trucks, trash/recycling trucks, construction w/o a detour or warning, police cars, double parking, trash cans, etc
  • Having to stop at each stoplight when biking because the lights are timed for cars to pass smoothly.

Transit on the Grid

  • Transit Coverage – Can’t get around the grid easily on transit, limited service and coverage (system centered on bringing outsiders into the grid, not getting around the grid)
  • Cost of light rail, reach of light rail, and lack of public restrooms
  • Light rail doesn’t cover many shopping centers and office complexes
  • Lack of public transportation that is quick and easy in midtown
  • Congestion at light rail

Grid Connections & Streets

  • Getting to downtown safely from Land Park, South Land Park, the Little Pocket, the Pocket, and (soon) Delta Shores.
  • Seeing that the grid is realistically and functionally extended into the River District.
  • The one-way streets make it harder to get where you want to be and encourage and enable drivers to speed.

Additional Safety Concerns

  • Dark streets at night in certain neighborhoods.
  • Red light running cars are too frequent, especially with the mix of transportation modes the central city accommodates (pedestrians, bicycles)
  • Cars not stopping completely at stop signs
  • No street lights on grid residential areas

Grid Amenities

  • Not enough closed streets events that encourage bike/ped use.  bike/ped friendly events means more money is spent locally – people don’t feel they need to leave the city to have fun.
  • I have to leave the Grid to do any serious shopping – retail, grocery, home improvement, etc. I have a car so it’s only an inconvenience but for those using public transportation I would imagine it’s very frustrating.
  • Lack of a central location to find events, news, updates for midtown/grid

Atmosphere & Condition of the Grid

  • Street lighting can be inadequate
  • Gang graffiti covering so much of the streetscape makes it feel too dangerous to bike or walk
  • Alley network is mostly ugly, with bad pavement and is sometimes dangerous


Improvements on the Grid


Improvements - Public
Walking on the Grid

  • Wider sidewalks to create more outdoor spaces
  • Get bikes off the sidewalks
  • More signaling for pedestrians/general streetscape improvements to make drivers more aware of vulnerable road users
  • High visibility crosswalks covering the major routes across the grid (including lights, raised crosswalks where appropriate, and signage)

Parking on the Grid

  • More closely monitor permit issuance to ensure they aren’t over-issued
  • More short term parking on streets and easy to find garage parking
  • Sweep the streets weekly, according to the parking restriction schedule, or eliminate the weekly parking restrictions for street sweeping.
  • Free 2 hour parking throughout the grid area. More people will shop and dine in downtown and midtown.
  • Limit parking to one side of street on key thoroughfares to include dedicated bike lanes

Driving on the Grid

  • Better signage – both for ‘traffic calming’ features, and indicating whether stop intersections are 2 or 4 way.
  • Traffic light sensors programed to manage fluctuating traffic flow.
  • Consistent speed limits

Biking on the Grid

  • Add “way finding” signs around the grid for bicyclist that tell them the direction, distance, and time to get to nearby attractions (i.e. train station, Old Sacramento, Capitol Mall, Crocker Museum, the parkway, etc).  This will help with placemaking throughout the grid.
  • Bike infrastructure improvements should prioritize connectivity across the grid
  • A complete network of separated bike lanes
  • I would love to see all bike lanes turned green, like it is by the capital! Such a great idea and really helps cars give bikers that space because it’s marked clearly.
  • Eliminate 3 lane one way streets, switch to 2 directions with bike lanes on either side

Grid Connections and Streets

  • While connectivity has improved it should continue to be a focus.  Easy movement between downtown, The River District, The Railyards, and Broadway will be key.
  • I would love to see streets that serve bicyclists, pedestrians, and car traffic equally by providing safe lanes for each type.
  • Road diet on J St, add bike lanes and reduce crossing distance and speed of vehicle travel

Additional Safety Suggestions

  • Install speed cameras and red light cameras for traffic enforcement.
  • Reduce all speed limits by 10 mph.

Grid Amenities

  • Tree canopy – it’s our greatest strength by far and I’d like to see it grow – particularly in the Newton Booth neighborhood.
  • Consistent street lighting installed throughout the grid.
  • More public art that is regionally themed to help forge a stronger regional identity
  • More benches to rest/stop on major grid streets (other than at bus/transit stops)
  • Better transit from surrounding neighborhoods and options for parking (perhaps more centralized garage parking).
  • Additional mixed use in the core.  More blocks worthy of “strolling” to shop, eat, and see interesting things (art, music, parks, etc.).

Atmosphere and Condition of the Grid

  • Create a more attractive streetscape in order to encourage pedestrian traffic and build greater safety into the streets
  • Spend our resources on keeping our city clean and safe: more street lights, garbage and recycling receptacle etc.
  • I would like to see the removal of healthy street trees ended and canopy trees planted on every block.
  • Signage and lights. Lots of it on all the streets. This goes a long way to making area safe, desirable destination to navigate.

Strategies to Improve the Grid

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Why is it great?

  • Sacramento can’t be completely livable in the grid until residents and businesses find it safe and walkable. That means enhancing curb appeal and slowing down traffic for pedestrians, not creating uninterrupted conduits to the freeways.
  • Almost every street must be bike friendly. Converting more streets to two-way streets will actually improve conditions for cars and bikes by eliminating the confusion that occurs with multiple one-way streets.  Limit one-way streets to a few thoroughfares (e.g., 15th and 16th Streets), with a parallel route for bicyclists.
  • The one-way streets are confusing for folks visiting Sacramento and for new residents.
  • Existing experience in Sacramento and nationally shows the ability for road diets to continue to meet the needs of motorists while greatly improving safety and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

What’s wrong with this solution?

  • There is currently plenty of room on the one way streets within the grid.  Better striping, and highlighted crosswalks are better than removing lanes or making them two way streets.
  • Reducing auto lanes will only cause more traffic resulting in more traffic lawbreakers of all modes.
  • Will push traffic onto more residential neighborhood streets.

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Why is it great?

  • Make transit faster than driving a car and more people will use it.   So, yes, give transit priority, including giving buses their own lanes! A bus lane can be shared with bicyclists.
  • I don’t own a car and having an improved transit system would be great. I rarely use the bus/light rail because it takes too long compared to cycling.
  • Make it easier and faster for riders to use mass transit – then more people will hopefully use it. Also, dedicated transit lanes keeps them out of the flow of regular traffic

What’s wrong with this idea?

  • The system in place works well where the trains use a lane that cars can use as well.
  • Dedicated bus lanes and/or improved bus service is much more cost-effective and flexible over the long term.

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Why is it great?

  • Letting people know where parking is available will prevent driving around looking for parking spaces.  And definitely make it easier for people to pay for parking with credit cards or pay by phone.
  • The city should continue to invest in smart technology. Not only does it help the city manage its resources, it raises revenue, is more convenient, and is a good marketing tool for the city as a place that embraces technology and is innovative.
  • YES!  I love this.  When I drive downtown, I struggle to find meters for short errands, often circling the block.  I don’t want to pay for a garage when I’m only running into my favorite candy store for 15minutes.  Another option is offering some short-term, inexpensive parking inside some of the major garages.

What’s wrong with this idea?

  • Parking needs to be restricted or “taxed” to support more transit, bikeways and pedestrian access.
  • Keep parking as cheap as possible. Not everything needs a tech upgrade.
  • Parking isn’t impacted enough to need this technology at this time, though the wayfinding idea is interesting. Instead of making parking easier let’s make taking transit into the Grid easier and safer.

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Why is it great?

  • Maximizes the use of parking areas, and hopefully limits the number of parking spaces needed.
  • Parking lots are a great waste of space.  To activate our downtown and make it safer, we need to make the best use of every square foot.  This greatly increases efficiency.
  • Reusing spaces throughout the day is a win win for everyone.
  • Smart, efficient use of land will enable us to build more housing, shops and reduce dead space of parking.

What’s wrong with this idea?

  • Too complicated
  • What purpose would this serve? It would only further confuse people.

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Why is this idea great?

  • More bicycles means less cars, pollution, etc. Better use of energy. Personally, it makes me safer during my commute to work or cruising downtown on the weekends
  • We need to encourage bicycling.  It reduces the number of cars on the road and reduces the production of greenhouse gases.  Most people won’t ride if they feel unsafe in traffic.
  • The grid is already a great area for biking, and I think this idea will increase bike safety and encourage more people to bike to work, which I think would be great!
  • Biking is great for health, the environment, and the personal budget.  Anything we can do to enhance safety will get more bicyclists on the roads, since many people don’t bike downtown solely because there aren’t safe places on the streets to do so.

What’s wrong with this idea?

  • Let’s not pull too much space away from cars and pedestrians with buffered bike lanes.  Please put letters in the green pathways letting bikers know that they too have to stop and yield just as every other motor vehicle.
  • Biking is already very easy in the grid.
  • I just want people to respect the bike lanes we have now.  Doors open, cars turn without looking both ways, bicyclists ride the wrong way endangering others.  We have limited resources.  In a utopian world we would have well marked bike lanes.  The reality is that debris, garbage cans, doors, and oblivious drivers will always fall in our path, and we must be vigilant to avoid being victims.

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Why is it great?

  • I think this would be great!  I love walking in the downtown and midtown area, and I think making it even more pedestrian friendly would encourage even more people to walk.  I think adding additional streetlights, wider sidewalks, and plaza areas would be great for the grid!
  • Sacramento could do more to make better public spaces where people feel comfortable walking, meeting, or enjoying the outdoor space. Parklets, street furniture and other improvements throughout the grid can expand the public spaces where people can meet, and add economic value to existing and prospective businesses. Illuminated crosswalks (with overhead or in-street pedestrian-activated lights) or other high-visibility treatments are important for safety.

What’s wrong with this idea?

  • Additional pedestrian facilities in the downtown area will only give way to more vagrants using them all day.  Take care of the homelessness problem first, then enhance the pedestrian facilities.
  • I think it’s a nice thought, but a less costly sidewalk solution that’s easier to replace seems better to me. ADA compliance is important, don’t get me wrong- but our sidewalks are constantly warping, cracking, etc. due to the rising roots in our urban forest. I would only agree to this if it meant our streetscapes could be less costly to maintain. As-is, it’s bad.

image7

Why is it great?

  • Better pedestrian & bicycles routes to North Sac could lead to massive improvements in the Del Paso corridor; it’s so close to downtown but you can’t access it without driving on a freeway, and the bicycle route is always unsafe and completely unusable after dark.  A new bridge would help tremendously.
  • Agree that more bridges provide better connections for more people and shorter trips.   Fewer bridges feels like we don’t want to be connected to other areas.
  • This is great if it is done with easy, low bridge design, pedestrian and bicycle access.  I live near the Tower Bridge and enjoy walking to West Sacramento.

What’s wrong with this idea?

  • People are able to cross the rivers fine right now, this will only increase traffic in places that are currently nice to live.
  • Too expensive, the new bridge will just get congested once it’s built, and ramifications for midtown and downtown residents would be concentrated in certain areas and negative.
 

For the complete list of responses, please click below:

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Online Tool Responses – Challenges & Improvements on the Grid
 
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Online Tool Responses – Strategies to Improve the Grid