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  • WTS Sacramento

Recap - April 2022 Lunch Program

The City of Sacramento has made big strides with a small transportation improvement project near Broadway in Oak Park. On Thursday, April 28th, 2022, WTS Sacramento virtually welcomed Leslie Mancebo with the City of Sacramento to discuss this project and the unique community engagement involved in making it a success. Mancebo is a transportation planner for the City of Sacramento who manages the Vision Zero safety program and works for the team responsible for delivering complete streets plans, neighborhood transportation studies, and citywide transportation policies.

Transportation projects traditionally require large budgets and long periods of time, sometimes 10-20 years from the start of planning to final construction. The city of Sacramento envisioned and implemented an alternative way to test roadway designs and show large scale project progress as part of the planning process. The City of Sacramento piloted and has made permanent a small project in Oak Park with big safety and mobility impacts near Broadway at the intersection of 34th Street and 2nd Avenue.

In 2018, the city adopted the Vision Zero Action Plan and identified a high injury network, which included a disproportionate amount of street segments along Broadway in Oak Park. The Broadway corridor is unique because it cuts diagonally across a grid pattern, creating many uncomfortable intersections with high crash rates. The city has a long-term plan for making significant improvements along the entire length of Broadway, however, the adopted plan will cost millions of dollars and take more than a decade to complete. With the project spread out over so many years, the community can feel forgotten between engagement and implementation. In order to demonstrate progress and engage with the community in the near-term, the city of Sacramento worked to implement a short-term interim project.

In analyzing crash data, it was discovered that a high percentage of the crashes occurring is between vehicles traveling northbound on 34th Street and eastbound on 2nd Avenue. Restricting vehicle access while maintaining pedestrian and bicyclist access for the segment of 2ndAvenue between Broadway and 34thStreet would decrease the amount of vehicle conflict and improve safety for all modes of transportation. In 2018, the city kicked off a small project to resolve this safety problem, with community engagement built into every part of process.

In 2019, the city applied for and won a mini grant from SACOG which provided just under $10k for improvements. The city used this tight budget to rent temporary barricades, make temporary signs and install temporary tape pavement markings to create a low-cost demonstration. The segment of 2ndAvenue between Broadway and 34thStreet was temporarily closed to vehicles for four days, and an outreach booth was set up to engage with community members.

This unique community engagement allowed the city to talk with a variety of community members, including students, business owners, and neighbors, who wouldn’t typically attend a workshop to receive feedback on this small project and garner support for the entire Envision Broadway Plan. The demonstration allowed the city to observe behaviors of drivers and cyclists and tweak the final design accordingly. Following the temporary demonstration, the city received funding to install a more permanent solution for this segment of 2ndAvenue, and have continued to check-in with homeowners and business owners to receive feedback on the improvements.

This innovative project implementation demonstrates that transportation improvement projects can be realized in shorter timelines with smaller budgets and still have a big impact. It also highlights the benefits of working closely with the community to make improvements that are meaningful to them. The city of Sacramento is hoping to use this pilot project as an example moving forward, and to keep the conversation going with the community of Oak Park throughout the remaining implementation of the Envision Broadway Project.

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