Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sacramento Streetcars

I love walking around downtown and midtown. I will take any opportunity to walk to where ever I go, but every once in a while, it sure would be nice to be able to jump on a streetcar and let it do the work for me.

About a year ago, Arranging Matches wrote about bringing Streetcars back in to Sacramento, for which I totally agreed with. I had just returned from Portland about a month earlier for the first time and was amazed at the system they had in place.

With the future increase in residence in the grid, we need to have a more efficient way to get people from place to place and keep them out of their car. The Nike Express, while my preferred method of transportation, sometime isn't very efficient when in a rush, or just plan tired. Light Rail can work at time, but not really for shorter distances

One thing they will need to accomplish is how to make it free within the central city, in Portland you can jump on and ride for free. Even if the cost would be a nominal $1, it would turn some people off to ridding.

Today's Sacramento Bee Article says the feasibility study will be done this upcoming spring time.

Key questions:
Where will the money come from? How about a combination of developers and the cities? Duh
Can the communities agree on the route and the stops? Probably not. Everyone from neighborhood associations, ADA, developers, property owners, business interests will have thier own view of where they should be.

While I am sure they can't do it all at once, and don't know what routes are feasible, I think attractive routes would be

-Capital Mall across the The Tower bridge into West Sac
-Down 16th Street
-Through R Street
- There needs to be some kind of route that takes people in the vicinity of JKL, not sure if there should be a route directly on one of those streets, or maybe a street over on maybe N or I street

This is the first community meeting I am aware of after the "Streetcar Summit" that was held at the Sheraton last year.

Monday, October 30, 2006
City Hall, City of West Sacramento
1110 West Capitol Avenue
West Sacramento, CA 956917:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m

I encourage anyone who has opinions on this topic to please attend.


jason said...

Just wanted to say thanks for listing us in your blog roll. FYI, the link isn't working: when you click on it, text comes up saying "No input file specified." Let me know if its something on our end.

TD said...

street cars running everywhere in sacramento!! that's gotta be what i want to see most from this city in the near future - as far as specific projects go.

i think it would be great if a line made a loop heading south on 15th, east on broadway, north on 21st. then west on K.

but the area i think that would be best served by streetcars is the JKL streets from about 21st to 33rd. and further down Folsom, J, and H Streets into east sac. Those areas get a lot of traffic - and not necessarily commuter traffic.

what do you think about inter-connecivity between neighborhoods like Oak Park, East Sac, Land Park, etc.???

Anonymous said...

looks like were pretty like minded post wise lately , :)

I agree with you that even though I love to walk , i never tire of options and light rail isnt always good for short hops .

This is a very attainable and complimentary transport option that I think can be done with a fair amount of ease with obvious benefits to both sides of the river.

"This is the first community meeting I am aware of after the "Streetcar Summit" that was held at the Sheraton last year."

I was @ that mtg , glad to see its past the idea phase . . .

Any clue as to whats goin on with the now vacant lot on 21st @ T ? ( Im glad that old county / city (?) building is gone . . .

wburg said...

Streetcars used to be the interconnectivity between those neighborhoods: car lines on J, K, M (Capitol) P and T Streets, as well as 3rd, 7th, 10th, 15th, 21st and 28th, with lines south of the grid on Riverside and 21st, southeast on Broadway and east on J Street--plus other companies' cars on C to Alhambra and on 8th to X and south to Stockton Blvd. and 21st Avenue.

wburg said...

central city: "Brownstone" style townhomes, three stories tall, will fill the entire block. Imagine kind of like Metro Square but with an older, more city-building feel and no yards to speak of. There will also be a row of smaller "Lil Brownstones" along the back of the lot nearest the railroad tracks. They are all going to be for-sale properties and the plans don't look half-bad.

jason said...

I'm particularly pleased that they are folding West Sac. in. Having street car access (and I agree that it should be free to use) over the river would enable both sides of the river to finally be brought together. Bridges only go so far.

reading this aleviated some of the sadness I felt reading the blurb about wburg's book. are you going to do anything locally with the book? readings? signings? public appearances?--it seems a timely publcation given the topic of this post.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

Too funny. I was walking in midtown this afternoon and stopped into that small art and bookshop on J Street between 18th and 19th...I literally had that book in my hand to buy.

Jason - I fixed the link. It should be good to go.

TD said...

question for wburg...

there is a spot in my neighborhood at 18th street and Commercial Way, where the streets are abnormally wide. there are also a couple buildings on the corners that look to be originally of non-residential use. We always wondered whether this was some sort of area where streetcars ran previously, or maybe there was some sort of turn station?

just a little neighborhood mystery i was wondering if you had any knowledge of. :)

wburg said...

td: no, so far as I know the streetcar ran down 21st Street and turned east into Curtis Park, earlier known as Highland Park.

I was at that streetcar summit last year, it was most interesting.

jason: I did a signing along with the folks who did the midtown/downtown and boulevard park books at borders. The Bee did an article about it, but then neglected to list the date, time or address of the signing!!

I do hope to have some sort of event to help plug the book, hopefully coinciding with the opening of the new light rail station at the Amtrak station. Ideally this will be a combination of signing and presentation of some material, including that was not in the book, and possibly some very rare and recently restored 8mm film of Sacramento's original streetcar system.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

Was anyone able to attend? I am really intersted to hear what was dicussed

Carl said...

LIUS - your post has been floating around in my RSS reader for months. Thanks for the plug and the usual insightful comments.