Sacramento Bike Projects in 2018
Bicycling in Sacramento hasn’t historically been the safest way to get around, but hard-working advocates and organizations have been trying to change that. In 2015, the most recent year featuring data available, 231 bicyclists in Sacramento suffered injuries or died in traffic accidents. Eighteen of these victims were children under the age of 15. Most of these collisions would not have happened with safer, smarter city infrastructure design. If you’re a local bicyclist, look at the following bike projects currently striving to reduce the risk of future accidents in Sacramento.
2018 Street Maintenance Program
The 2018 Sacramento Street Maintenance Program is a five-year plan to resurface dangerous city streets. Although this plan doesn’t directly focus on bicycle paths, it can make the roads safer and easier to navigate for bicyclists who use main streets. So far, the program has successfully improved the state of J Street, Mack Road (where they created buffered bike lanes), and 24th Street (also with new buffered bike lanes). The city has also improved the safety of Del Paso Blvd. and Jackrabbit Trail as well as Pocket Canal Trail at Pocket Road by installing new beacon crossings with crosswalks for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Carlson Corridor Safety Improvements
Where Carlson Drive crosses H and J Streets in Eastern Sacramento is a dangerous crossroads known as the “Carlson Corridor.” This is the location where three people died in four years. High traffic volume, four neighboring hospitals, bus routes, and bicycle traffic make these intersections high priority for safety initiatives. Part of why the Corridor is so dangerous has to do with street design and maintenance. Trees and shrubs obscure drivers’ sightlines, while disconnected bicycle lanes and sidewalks make traversing the area deadly for vulnerable road users.
A campaign to repair the hazards within the Carlson Corridor includes plans to repaint lane striping for better navigation clarity before larger improvement projects can get underway. Eventually, a “full improvement” campaign will completely redesign these two intersections. Carlson Corridor will receive better traffic signals, a new signal light, buffered and green bicycle lanes, high-visibility crosswalks, bicycle boxes, and better speed control. Completion of this project should greatly improve the safety of bicyclists in the Corridor.
Bell Avenue Street Rehabilitation
Bell Avenue currently does not have any designated spaces for pedestrians or bicyclists; forcing them to walk and bike on the dangerous shoulder of the road. Speeding and inattentive drivers put bicyclists at an increased risk of collisions on this road. An ongoing project with construction anticipated for 2019 would connect broken segments of sidewalk, rehabilitate the pavement, widen some parts of the road, modify signals, and install new signage to improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
Broadway Complete Streets Project
A “complete street” is one that’s just as safe for bicyclists and pedestrians as it is for motor vehicle drivers. The current Broadway Complete Streets project targets the two-mile stretch between 3rd Street and 29th Street near downtown Sacramento. The goal of the project will be to improve access for all roadway users by introducing new buffered bike lanes, a less-complex roadway, new pedestrian crosswalks and islands, and improvements at two intersections. The anticipated project start date, however, isn’t until 2021.
Completed Bicycle Projects in Sacramento
The city has already helped reduce the risk of accidents, injuries, and deaths for Sacramento bicyclists in the last couple of years with many completed street improvement projects. For example, if you’ve biked near Sacramento City College in the last two years, you’ve noticed a brand-new tied arch bridge structure connecting the college and Curtis Park Village.
This bridge includes ramps, lights, and stairs to make passage as safe as possible for bicyclists and pedestrians. Other completed projects have improved bicyclist safety on Freeport Avenue, Front Street and 2nd Street, and Sunday Street. Increased awareness and efforts toward bicyclist safety are making Sacramento a better place for bicyclists each day.