I was walking around midtown this afternoon, and riding this evening, watching the behavior of bicyclists, and wishing it was better. I saw bicyclists running stop signs without looking, failing to yield to pedestrians crossing the street, and not taking turns at intersections. Yes, we’ve all seen it before. But what struck me is that almost all of these bicyclists are also car drivers, and they are exhibiting exactly the same behavior driving their bike and they do driving their car. These are all the same thing motor vehicle drivers do. The only real difference is that the car drivers are almost all exceeding the speed limit, whereas the bicyclists are not.
Though there are some car-fee people living in midtown, and the number is growing, it is not large, and most of the people riding also drive. What they are showing is the same me-first attitude that shows up on the streets all the time, and it shows because these people are me-first whether they are riding their bike or driving their car. The problem is not bicyclists, it is attitude.
Curtis Village bridge work
Work has started on the bridge that will connect Curtis Village to Sacramento City College over the Union Pacific railroad right-of-way. The bridge supports on the Curtis Village side have been installed. I did not see any signs of work yet on the section over the tracks nor on the west side at the light rail station and campus. The bridge will be usable by bicyclists, though I am not sure whether the design really addresses bicyclists. The paucity of east-west routes over the rail and light rail corridor means that both bicyclists and walkers have rather unpleasant routes to choose from, so this will be a great improvement. The Sutterville Road bridge, though it has sidewalks and even a narrow bike lane, is a very unpleasant place to be due to the high speed traffic and poor visibility.
A recent report Segregated City: The Geography of Economic Segregation in America’s Metros indicates that Sacramento is better than most cities in economic segregation. Unfortunately the full data set has not been released, and Sacramento shows up in only two of the tables and one text location. The paper is highlighted in a CityLab post America’s Most Economically Segregated Cities.
“Interestingly, the large metros where the wealthy are least segregated (Exhibit 2.3) are mainly on the East and West Coasts and include some of America’s leading high-tech knowledge centers, which have some of the highest income levels in the nation. San Jose is the metro where the wealthy are the least segregated from other segments of the population, followed by nearby San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Hartford, Boston, Providence, Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Sacramento. The relatively high wages that knowledge and professional workers receive enable them to share some neighborhoods with the super-wealthy, even though the gap between rich and poor may be substantial in these places.” (page 17)
In Exhibit 2.3: Large Metros where the Wealthy are Least Segregated (page 17), Sacramento (Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA) is ranked number 10. In Exhibit 3.3: Large Metros with the Lowest Levels of Income Segregation (page 24), Sacramento is ranked number 6.
“You have no conceivable way of raising the money you need to build the new facilities to enhance your existing operations, much less provide for the growth.” – Mike Prandini, president of the Building Industry Association of Fresno and Madera counties (Fresno County supervisors suspend — but don’t eliminate — building fees charged to developers Fresno Bee 2015-02-10)
What he meant, I think, is that since no amount of developer fees could possibly pay for the expense to the county of greenfield development, that the county might as well just continue the practice of subsidizing greenfield development with taxpayer general funds, so as to not make the beneficiaries of new development, the developers and home buyers, pay anything at all. This is insanity.
When the ship is sinking, might as well deep-six it. Full speed ahead with development, though the iceberg looms dead ahead.
Thanks to Strong Towns for the reference.