State of the Grid
Interested in the history, current state, and future of transportation within the Sacramento Grid? The “State of the Grid” discusses the strengths, opportunities, and challenges of all transportation aspects on the grid – bikes, pedestrians, transit, cars, and parking. Click the link below to learn more about the Grid and how the Downtown Transportation Study is looking to improve transportation in Sacramento.
Sacramento Grid 0.0
The history of the Sacramento Grid dates back to 1849 and serves as a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going.
Cyclists riding down J Street (1912). Most modern bicycle facilities serving the Central City came into existence within the past few decades.
Streetcar on K Street (1870). Electric streetcars operated in Sacramento between 1890 – 1947.
Construction of I-5 freeway underway (1967). Sacramento has three major freeways constructed around the Central City.
Pedestrians walking along K street during business hours (1945).
Sacramento Grid 1.0
The Grid today covers about 4 ¼ square miles. It is a transportation network that offers many benefits for different modes, but also some challenges as well. Here are some of the Grid 1.0 features:
Extensive system of east-west alleys enhances access to parcels.
Relatively flat terrain combined with mild climate increases attractiveness of pedestrian travel.
Most traffic signals within the Central City operate with short cycle lengths, resulting low crossing delays to pedestrians.
Streets with 400 foot block lengths provides high level of pedestrian accessibility.
High level of sidewalk coverage within the Central City enhances the pedestrian experience.
Fewer travel lanes results in shorter crossing distances for pedestrians at intersections.
The canopy of street trees shades sidewalks on warm days and increases level of comfort associated with pedestrian travel.
Three freeways intersecting the Central City creates barrios to access and mobility.
Select roadways adjacent to freeways lack sidewalks along both sides of the street.
Some intersections lack crosswalks on all approaches, resulting in potential pedestrian inconvenience.
Inconsistent levels of pedestrian infrastructure along select corridors varies block by block.
Sacramento Grid 1.5
Sacramento Grid 2.0 will integrate a number of planned transportation improvements and programs to further enhance the downtown grid. Below are some of the plans that help to develop the basis for the study:
Sacramento Grid 2.0
The Grid has served us pretty well for quite a while, but it needs to evolve to better serve more trips from multiple modes of travel. While in the past roadway systems focused on giving priority to cars, this study will take a broader systems view in developing a future plan for the Central City’s transportation grid that effectively accommodates more trips using multiple travel modes. The photos below illustrate the “before and after” of several improvements that project team is evaluating as part of this effort:
Converting a parking space into a bicycle corral: A Bicycle Corral is an on-street bicycle parking facility that can accommodate more bicycles than a typical sidewalk rack. Bicycle Corrals typically take up an existing single-vehicle parking space.
Streetscape Improvements: Streetscapes essentially define the character of the street. Providing street trees, landscape improvements and street furniture along the sidewalks contribute to a successful streetscape.
Class I Bike Paths provide a completely separate right-of-way and are designed for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians.
Beacons (High Intensity Activated Crosswalks) are pedestrian-actuated signals that display a yellow warning indication followed by a solid red light.
Bus Stop Enhancements: Bus stops are public transit’s “front door” and offer riders their first impression of a transit service.
Enhanced sidewalks improve pedestrian safety and mobility.
Pedestrian Bulbout: This traffic-calming measure is meant to slow traffic and increase driver awareness of pedestrians.