News summary October 19

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Best Foot Forward Summit – join me?

California Walks, the statewide advocacy group, is hosted the Best Foot Forward Summit in Oakland on November 8th & 9th. I’m thinking of attending, but am unsure how exactly to make use of the summit to support efforts in the Sacramento region. If a critical mass of people from Sacramento attended, then we could have very useful discussions at the summit, and come to a consensus about how we can use the experience to move things forward here. However, there are only four people from the region registered at the moment. On the other hand, those who do attend could bring back a summary and skills for working on our regional issues, and share them locally with others. At the moment, it does not appear that WALKSacramento has the capacity to implement either of these ideas. But I’m asking that every reader here will consider the opportunity, and then share what they think, either by commenting here on the blog or by responding to the @GetAroundSac tweet and using the hash tag #BestFootForwardSummit.

What we know is that the transportation agencies in the region will move at a snail’s pace to improve walkability and livability, unless we exert strong public pressure on them. In fact, I believe that the harm they do will continue to outweigh the good they do, for some while, as they cling to outmoded ways of thinking and outmoded views of the kind of place that resident want. It will take a transformative experience to get advocates fired up and moving forward, together. I’m not sure if this is that experience, but I’d like to know what you think.

I am not minimizing the work of WALKSacramento and other advocates that have made a difference, particularly in the lower income South Sacramento area. This is all good work, and the priorities identified by community participants reflect the changing needs and desires of the region, but it is a drop in the bucket of what needs to take place.

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News summary October 12

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Walk to School Day?

Today was Walk to School Day. If any schools in the region have photos or stories to share, I’d be glad to post them, or link to other sources. I think your photos and stories will be an inspiration to others, and fuel for the next major event, Bike to School Day next May. I hope that you had a successful celebration!

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News summary October 5

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Who rides e-bikes?

I have noticed, as I ride around the Sacramento region, that about 90% of the e-bikes are being ridden by young, apparently healthy males. Of course it is true that not all disabilities are apparent, and that some of these e-bikes may be the perfect solution a person with a disability. However, I wonder at the user profile. Why are young, healthy males riding e-bikes when they could be riding regular bikes? And why am I not seeing more elderly, and more visibly disabled, people riding them? It seems strange to me. Just saying…

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Walk to the grocery store

Strong Towns issued a challenge to document your walk to the grocery store. Here is my contribution.

N Street, nice crosswalk, rude drivers

N Street, nice crosswalk, rude drivers

Grocery Outlet: One-and-a-half blocks. Out the apartment complex gate, through the alley, along and then across a quiet residential street (17th), across a two-lane one-way traffic sewer (N), and a block to the store. There are good sidewalks the entire way. Both crosswalks are clearly marked. The traffic on the larger street rarely yields to pedestrians, though that is the law in California, but most of the time it is not a long wait for a gap. I visit this store 2-3 times per week, almost always walking and carrying one large bag

Safeway: Nine blocks, 0.5 miles. Good sidewalks, nice streets, two semi-traffic sewer one-way streets (P, Q, same story, drivers seldom yield but gaps are available), one block without sidewalks but on a low traffic street (R). Sometimes I walk, sometimes I ride.

Sacramento Natural Foods Coop: 1.4 miles. Good sidewalks, mostly nice streets, several one-way traffic sewers (P,Q, 19th, 22nd, 29th, 30th). I occasionally walk this, but most often ride. I could take light rail, with a two block walk on both ends, but I seldom do. Depending on route, I can have quiet streets and/or bike lanes most of the way.

Trader Joes: 2.5 miles. Good sidewalks, mostly nice streets, two more traffic sewers than above. I have walked this, but rarely. I can take light rail, and sometimes do, two blocks walking on one end and three blocks on the other end. Mostly, I ride. Quiet streets part of the way (M Street, the closest we have to a bicycle boulevard), bike lanes available but on the less pleasant streets.

Farmers markets: Saturday farmers market seven blocks, 0.6 miles; Sunday (main) farmers market, 1.3 miles; other farmers markets at varying distances

You might think, well how lucky to live close to a store, but luck has nothing to do with it. I chose this place to live primarily for its proximity to grocery stores. Other considerations were tree lined streets, close-by coffee shops, restaurants, bars, bike shops, breweries, etc. Walk score is 86, and yes, I did look at it before I moved here.

I have a bag on my bike that is perfect for carrying groceries, and I can carry quite a bit of weight that way. I am also willing to carry quite a bit of groceries when walking. I prefer to go to the store more frequently so that I can have more fresh food. No family, I’m just shopping for myself.

More photos: Transportation (collection) > Sacramento sidewalks (album) > Walk to the Grocery Store (tag)

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