Off-road biking on the Parkway

Pilot 1
Reviewing maps with County Parks staff

After years of debate, off-road bicycling could finally be allowed on the American River Parkway near Woodlake and Cal Expo under a 3-year pilot program to be implemented by Sacramento County Parks.

The program would create new recreational bicycling opportunities for residents of North Sacramento, Arden Arcade and nearby neighborhoods.

By bringing more activity into this part of the Parkway, the program could also help discourage the illegal activities that make the area feel dangerous to many recreational and commuter bicyclists and other visitors.

Off-road bicycling would be allowed between Del Paso Blvd. to Ethan Way on the north side of the American River. Off-road riding would be limited to existing unpaved fire roads and maintenance roads in that area, and continue to be prohibited on existing equestrian trails. No new trails would be built as part of the program.

Off-road bicycling is allowed along Lake Natoma.
Off-road bicycling is allowed along Lake Natoma. Photo by FATRAC

The pilot will allow Sacramento County Parks to measure impacts as the way determine whether off-road bicycling could be allowed in other areas of the Parkway. Off-road bicycling is already allowed upstream from Hazel Ave., where the Parkway is managed by California State Parks.

A citizen advisory group developed the pilot program in 2008 as part of the American River Parkway Plan, which covers management of the Parkway between Discovery Park and Hazel Ave. Sacramento County and the cities of Sacramento and Rancho Cordova adopted the plan in 2008. Local advocate Bob Horowitz deserves huge credit and thanks for spearheading this project since then.

Pilot 2
American River Parkway Advisory Committee workshop. Photo by Brian Asch

On Feb. 19, 2016, Sacramento County’s American River Parkway Advisory Committee hosted the first of several public workshops to gather feedback and ideas for the implementation plan. Dozens of local advocates for off-road bicycling reviewed maps and commented on staff recommendations for managing trails during wet weather, protecting sensitive habitat, and minimizing potential conflicts with other Parkway users.

Sacramento County Parks staff estimates that costs for the program will be minimal and have very little impact on Parkway operations, as ranger patrols, restrooms, trash collection and signage are already provided or budgeted for that area.

After concluding public workshops, County Parks staff will make recommendations for implementing the pilot program to the American River Parkway Advisory Committee (SABA has a seat on this committee), which will vote on the implementation plan. The Sacramento County Parks & Recreation Commission and Board of Supervisors will also be asked to approve the plan.








SABA is hiring Bike Valet Leads

Bike Valet - Mel Melvin
Bike Valet at the 2015 Farm-to-Fork Festival

Looking for a job that can help make our region a healthier, cleaner, friendlier and more prosperous place?

We’re currently hiring as many as six Bike Valet Leads to help us make our most visible program an even bigger success.

You’ll be a great fit if you’re an organized, confident, mechanically inclined self-starter who loves working with volunteers and delivering excellent customer service. This is definitely a physical job that involves outdoor events in all weather (mostly April into October).

We pay $15 per hour and we offer a flexible schedule with at last 4 to 20 hours a week, depending on your interest and availability.

Download the complete job description for this position

Bike Valet - TBDHow to apply

Please email with a cover letter that describes your qualifications and interest, three references, and your availability (when you can start work). We’ll start interviews as soon as we hear from qualified, motivated applicants. The positions remain open until all are filled.

About SABA

SABA was founded in 1991 and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2003 (ID #37-1474544). We currently have a 12-member board of directors, one full-time employee and six part-time employees. We operate from offices in downtown Sacramento. We work in a building shared with other great nonprofits that is located a half-block south of the 12th Street light rail station, has a secured bike room, and is the first collection site for the nation’s first commercial program to convert food waste into vehicle fuel. You’ll have access to a full kitchen and a shower.

Investing in a bike-friendly future

This is the time of year for reflecting on important accomplishments. It’s been a big year for SABA:

Freeport Blvd. near CK McClatchy High School
  Freeport Blvd. near C.K. McClatchy High School

–  We convinced the City of Sacramento to hire a consultant to help complete the first major update of its bicycle master plan in 20 years — a project still unfinished after nearly three years. Meeting Sacramento’s goals for mobility, equity, air quality and economic vitality requires a bold plan for bicycle transportation that reflects modern best practices as well as substantial community input. Robust, modern plans are guiding the boom in bicycling in cities like Boston, Minneapolis, Austin, Seattle, Oakland and San Francisco — a boom that has yet to happen in our region.

Chuck helped park 1,100 bikes at the 2015 TBD Fest
  Chuck helped park 1,100 bikes at the 2015 TBD Fest

–  We helped more people than ever choose bicycling for everyday travel. Through our Bike Valet program we parked some 15,000 bikes at more than 140 community events, making bicycling feasible for more people and making it relevant to the businesses and organizations behind those events.

–  We continued to expand and diversify our board of directors demographically, regionally and professionally, so that we can operate with the entire community in mind. We also adopted a strategic plan to focus our efforts over the next several years.

With our region’s big potential come big needs and opportunities. During the coming year we’ll be focusing a lot of our effort in these areas:

Improving conditions for travel by bike in underserved neighborhoods in South Sacramento. We’re working with two South Sacramento schools to set up “bike kitchens” where students can learn to maintain their own bike – this is a part of the region that has no bike shops. We’re also working with residents on a Vision Zero campaign to end collisions that kill bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers. What we’re learning in South Sacramento will guide us in other parts of the region.

Stockton Blvd. at Fruitridge Rd.
Stockton Blvd. at Fruitridge Rd.
Bike share kiosk on Market St. in San Francisco
  Bike share kiosk in San Francisco

Helping shape the regional bike share program due to launch in 2017. This program will let residents, commuters and visitors check out bikes for short trips in downtown Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis and will lead to street improvements that benefit everyone traveling by bike in those neighborhoods. It could even reduce regional commute traffic when a trip by public transit + bike share becomes a reasonable alternative to driving. Our perspective and experience will be essential to ensuring that this program delivers on its potential.

Protected bike lane in Austin, TX
   Protected bike lane in Austin, TX

Making sure that proposed projects and policies actually improve conditions for bicycle travel. Public agencies around the region have ambitious plans that include bike improvements. But they’ll succeed only if their plans are actually implemented. We’ll continue to build the community and political support needed for implementing the Sac Grid 2.0 study, the updated Sacramento Bicycle Master Plan, and the Caltrans Cap City Corridor congestion relief project, among other initiatives.

You can help strengthen our capacity to continue creating change by making a tax-deductible, year-end donation to SABA. Consider what bicycling means to you and those you care about, and how you can help make bicycling safer and more convenient for many more people. Your donation to SABA is an investment in the region’s quality of life. Click here to learn more about how to donate.

The Squeaky Wheel – Sept 2015

Velo Ball 2015 is Friday, Oct. 16
Promising changes at Sacramento City Hall
Draft sidewalk riding ordinance headed to Sacramento City Council
Bike shorts
Get involved

Velo Ball 2015 is Friday, Oct. 16

Header 9 - website - croppedVelo Ball, our big annual fundraising party, returns to Beatnik Studios near Southside Park in downtown Sacramento on October 16. We’ll be serving a delicious cocktail-party menu from the acclaimed South, along with local beer, cider and wine. The highlight will be a silent auction featuring bikes and accessories, unique experiences, and locally made treasures, including a Yuba Mundo cargo bike, a Mendocino vacation getaway, Oregon Shakespeare Festival tickets, an Urban 800 Commuter Combo light set from Light & Motion and bike accessories from Rivendell Bicycle Works. That’s just the start.

The funds we raise at Velo Ball help support our work to improve the quality of life in our region by making travel by bike safer and more convenient.

Advance tickets are on sale now through Oct. 2 for $50 (which includes the new SABA Klean Kanteen beer pint) and $40. Prices go up after Oct. 2.

We can’t say thank you enough to Teichert Construction, North Natomas Transportation Management Association, Regional Transit, Alta Planning + Design and Bike Hub for helping make this event possible! Thank you again! Sponsorship opportunities are still available – contact us for information on how your business can participate.

(Can’t attend the party? You can still enjoy supporting our mission by making a donation.)

Promising changes at Sacramento City Hall

We’re seeing some changes at the City of Sacramento that could help make travel by bike safer and more convenient for more people. Over the past several years, the City’s progress on improving conditions for bicycling has come to a near-standstill and the rate of bicycle commuting among Sacramentans remains flat, even as bicycling continues to boom in other major U.S. cities.

Photo by Tim Reese
Photo by Tim Reese

Earlier this year we convinced the Transportation Dept. to hire a consultant to help complete the first major update of the City’s bicycle master plan in nearly 20 years, a project that was only half-completed during the two years since it was launched. The consultant has been chosen and the contract is currently being negotiated.

Following a highly critical Sacramento Bee commentary about inadequate conditions for bicycling in the Central City and a response from us in early July, the City’s bicycle-pedestrian coordinator was reassigned, and at our urging, the position has been upgraded to management level, which could help improve its effectiveness. Hiring will begin later this month.

But Sacramento still has a long way to go to catch up to the progress being made in other large bike-friendly cities like Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Oakland that devote considerably more resources to bicycle transportation. Improving the quality of bikeway planning and infrastructure remains a top priority for SABA.

Draft sidewalk riding ordinance headed to Sacramento City Council

Later this fall the Sacramento City Council will be asked to revise its ordinance governing bicycling on sidewalks as the first step toward restricting sidewalk riding in areas with high concentrations of pedestrians.

sidewalk ridingThe changes are prompted by a $3.5M claim brought against the City of Sacramento by a pedestrian who was badly injured in a sidewalk collision with a bicyclist on a downtown street in May 2014.

The hazards to pedestrians are real, but incidents like this one remain extremely rare. Sacramento Police Dept. data show that from 2008 through 2012, 927 pedestrians were hit by cars in Sacramento, including 372 in the downtown grid. During that period, 3 pedestrians were hit by bikes, all in neighborhoods outside of the grid.

State law leaves the regulation of bicycling on sidewalks to local government. Sacramento’s sidewalk riding ordinance currently allows bicycling on residential sidewalks but not in commercial neighborhoods. The City of Sacramento has done little to help people find bike lanes and avoid sidewalks where riding is prohibited.

We’ve ensured that the discussion stays focused on the role that hazardous traffic conditions play in causing most sidewalk riding in downtown Sacramento. WALKSacramento has been a strong ally in helping make the case for safer streets for bicycling as the key to safeguarding pedestrians. Data from other large U.S. cities show that installing protected bike lanes can dramatically reduce the rate of sidewalk riding.

We continue to remind City officials that punishing people on bikes for trying to avoid roadway hazards is bad policy so long as the City fails to improve conditions for bicycling on the street. The current update of the citywide bicycle master plan and the results of the ongoing Downtown Transportation Study provide two opportunities to begin correcting the deficiencies in downtown streets and should be put into effect before a crackdown on bicyclists begins.

Bike shorts

davis junction plan

Davis is home to the nation’s first Dutch-style protected intersection, located at E. Covell Blvd. and J Street. The design provides a safer alternatives for people on bikes who are turning left off E. Covell, a busy four-lane boulevard.

Steven Pas (2nd from left) of Bicycling Advocates for Rancho Cordova presented a League of American Bicyclists plaque to Mayor Robert McGarvey (3rd from left) and City Council members.

Kudos to our friends in Rancho Cordova for being named a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists! The honor recognizes the significant investment in infrastructure, policies and programs to support bicycling made by City leaders and staff as well as groups like Bicycling Advocates for Rancho Cordova and the 50 Corridor Transportation Management Association.

delta-lane-rendering 750xx5554-3124-1-0This summer West Sacramento was awarded the region’s only cap-and-trade grant for a riverfront project that joins affordable housing and transportation improvements. The West Gate Place project near Raley Field is just one of 28 projects statewide to receive state funding intended to ensure that new housing reduces reliance on driving. The project site is adjacent to a proposed network of protected and buffered bike lanes along the West Sacramento waterfront that will make travel by bike safer and more convenient.

The Advancing Bicycling in the Capital Region workshop, on Weds., Sept. 23 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Sacramento, will bring together national experts, community leaders, business owners and advocates to explore opportunities for making the region a friendlier place for bicycling. Tickets are still available — don’t miss this chance to be part of an important conversation. SABA will provide free valet bike parking during the event.

Get involved

SABA volunteer Mark Tavianini counting bikes at H & 16th streets in downtown Sacramento
SABA volunteer Mark Tavianini counts bike traffic at H & 16th streets in downtown Sacramento

On Thursday, Sept. 17, 4-6 PM, we’ll be conducting a quarterly bike count throughout the greater Central City and we could use more volunteers. We have more than 30 count locations we’ve returned to over the past seven years – having enough help is crucial to generating good data. We provide the forms and instructions, and training if needed. To volunteer, contact us at

Help us make the American River Parkway a cleaner place to ride as part of the Great American River Clean-Up on Saturday, Sept. 19. We’ll be collecting trash and debris along the Sacramento Northern Bike Trail (AKA Blue Diamond Trail) on the south side of the river near the Blue Diamond plant in Midtown. Bring sturdy shoes and work gloves. We’ll provide tools, trash bags and snacks. To lend a hand, send an email with “GARCU” in the subject line to

The upcoming TBD Fest, Sept. 18-20, is our largest Bike Valet event of the year. Last year we parked 1,200 bikes at TBD Fest and this year could be bigger! Join a fun crew and enjoy lots of music (of course) by volunteering. We have multiple shifts available. Contact us at

Take our community survey

What are the isHazel Bike Bridge over Hwy 50 bsues that matter most to you about bicycling in the Sacramento region?

Safe and convenient bike routes? Traveling with your bike on light rail or buses? Recreational opportunities?

We want to hear from you!

Freeport bike lanePlease take a few moments right now to complete this short online survey — it’s anonymous and confidential. The survey closes at 5 PM on Friday, March 27.

As part of our project to develop a strategic plan to guide SABA for the next 5 years, we’re asking the community to tell us about needs and opportunities, including the parts of the region we should be serving.

Your views will help us better understand what the community thinks and values, and that will help us decide how to most effectively invest our energy and resources.


Jeffery on Yuba Mundo


Join SABA’s team

We’re building our team of smart, passionate rockstars who are helping make our region a better place through bicycling.

Bike Valet Lead (4-6 positions available)
How to apply
About working for SABA

Bike Valet Lead

Bike Valet - Concerts in the Park 2013SABA’s Bike Valet program turns community events into bikeable destinations by providing turn-key valet bike parking services for event participants who arrive by bike (it’s like coat check for your bike). During 2014 we parked more than 10,000 bikes at 100+ community events for clients as varied as the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, Sacramento Republic FC, SactoMoFo, Sacramento Farm to Fork Festival, Capitol Beer Fest, TBD Fest and the Sacramento Rotary Club. Bike Valet is our most visible program.

Bike Valet - SactoMoFo7 2014The Bike Valet Lead serves SABA’s mission by coordinating the start-to-finish delivery of valet bike parking services at community events. This position will be the face of SABA to on-site event staff, Bike Valet volunteers and individual Bike Valet customers. This position is part of a team of 8 Bike Valet Leads who will run Bike Valet at individual events during 2015.

□  Organize and transport Bike Valet equipment to and from SABA’s Bike Valet storage space in downtown Sacramento, by bike + trailer (provided) or car
□  Set up the Bike Valet compound before the event
□  Break down equipment after the event and organize for transport and/or storage
□  Orient and supervise volunteers throughout the event
□  Provide Bike Valet customer service throughout the event.
□  Coordinate with the event organizer to address problems during the event (must be available by cell phone)
□  Perform post-event tasks including documenting volunteer hours, number of bikes parked and tips received


□  Interest in bicycling in Sacramento and SABA’s mission
□  Dependable, punctual, organized and detail-oriented
□  Equally able to work independently and lead a team
□  Strong logistical and simple mechanical problem-solving skills—experience with bikes is ideal
□  Strong oral communication skills—must speak clearly, persuasively and appropriately in positive and negative situations
□  Strong customer service skills
□  Solid supervisory skills, including supervision of volunteers
□  Ability to lift up to 60 pounds
□  Ability to stand for extended periods
□  Ability to work in low light situations (early morning, dusk, night)
□  Solid bike handling skills, including the ability to pedal a tow bike pulling a fully loaded 8-foot bike trailer (about 300 lb max) for distances up to 4-5 miles (we’ll train you)
□  Valid CA Driver’s License and current insurance
□  Smartphone is strongly preferred


$12/hr hourly rate. You’ll work a casual schedule with at least 2-3 shifts per month (more depending on your interest and availability). Shifts last 4-6 hours, with the possibility of occasional overtime for longer events. Shifts can cover early morning, daytime, evening and late night events.

IMPORTANT:  SABA’s Bike Valet program for 2015 includes contracts for multiple events with the Sacramento Republic FC (up to 20 home matches at Bonney Field), SactoMoFo (20+ events around Sacramento), Downtown Sacramento Partnership (14 Friday Night Concerts in Chavez Park) and the Midtown Business Association’s Midtown Farmer’s Market (Saturday mornings, May thru September, in Midtown). We want to hear from candidates who are interested in managing one of these series of Bike Valet events.

You’ll work mostly off-site at Bike Valet events in a variety of outdoor settings (parks, plazas, parking lots, trails, etc.) in a variety of weather. You’ll also occasionally work from SABA’s Bike Valet storage space and offices in downtown Sacramento.

In instances where you may use your own vehicle to transport Bike Valet equipment, we pay the current IRS mileage reimbursement for vehicle use off-site.

Your boss will be the Bike Valet Manager, who will train you on all aspects of the Bike Valet program and SABA’s operation. Training will include staffing upcoming Bike Valet events (paid).

How to apply

Send us an email at with your cover letter, resume (including references) and availability (when you can start work) no later than Friday, May 22, 2015.  We’ll start interviewing qualified candidates as soon as possible. We’ll call your references after the first round.

About working for SABA

We’re helping make the region a cleaner, healthier, more livable and more prosperous place by enabling more people to choose bicycling for everyday travel. We serve our mission through advocacy, project review, technical assistance and community engagement.

SABA was founded in 1991 and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2003 (ID #37-1474544). We’re one of the only organizations in the Sacramento region to earn the Gold designation as a Bicycle Friendly Business from the League of American Bicyclists.

We currently have one full-time employee and eight part-time employees working on our project review, Bike Valet and bike theft prevention programs. We have fairly simple processes and we’re always striving to improve, so we will welcome your observations and common sense suggestions.

We operate from offices in downtown Sacramento, in a building shared with other cool nonprofits that is located a half-block south of the 12th Street light rail station. The building has a secured bike room and is the first collection site for the nation’s first commercial program to convert food waste into vehicle fuel. You’ll have access to a full kitchen and a private shower room.

The Squeaky Wheel – Oct. 30, 2014

Special Velo Ball Edition


Food & drink  |  Silent auction  |  Music  |  Tickets  |  Volunteers  |  Sponsors

We’re almost ready for the year’s best and biggest party for everyone who loves what bicycling does for our community. Join us to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos this Saturday, Nov. 1, 6-9:30 PM at Beatnik Studios in downtown Sacramento. Tickets are still available. Click here to buy yours right now.

Food & drink

FlautasThe ambience will be casual cocktail party, with great Mexican street food by Florez Bar & Grill in South Land Park. The buffet menu will include street tacos, tostadas, tamales, flautas, slider-style tortas and more, including freshly made churros for dessert. The menu includes vegan options. The Florez crew will be set up under tents outside the entrance to Beatnik Studios to keep the food flowing.

Bike Dog Brewing, Two Rivers Cider and Cabana Winery will be pouring at the hosted bar. We’ll also be serving Mexican Coca-Cola, waters, and other non-alcoholic beverages, including free fresh coffee from Insight Coffee Roasters. Your Velo Ball ticket comes with two drink tickets, and additional drink tickets will be on sale at the party.

Silent auction

Smokin GrOven made in Loomis, CA

Our silent auction may be the best yet, with bikes and bike accessories, bike experiences, health and fitness packages, home and garden items, travel destinations, restaurant packages, original artworks and more, including the amazing Smokin GrOven woodfired smoker/grill/oven. Spinlister and Pure Fix Cycles are donating a Pure Fix fixie of your choice. Click here to see more about the silent auction.

We make bidding really simple: Just write your name and bid amount on the bid sheet next to the item you want. Each item has a minimum bid amount, to start things rolling. And each item has a “Buy It Right Now” price, in case this is something you just can’t let get away.

The winning bidder is the last name on the list when the auction section closes, or the person who pays the Buy It Right Now price – our auction helpers will be keeping track. You can pay for your item with cash, check or credit card at the auction cashier window.

Before the evening is over, we’ll raffle off some special gift items, including an Origin-8 F7 folding bike from Natomas Bike Shop. Raffle tickets are $20 for a set of 10 and are available at the door and at the auction checkout window.


DJ Larry Rodriguez
DJ Larry Rodriguez

Larry Rodriguez DJs regularly at the Press Club in Midtown, and he also provides the music at the annual Appetite Enhancement on Thanksgiving Day. He’ll help set the right mood and get people moving once the silent auction is over.


Cabana WinesIndividual tickets are $50 and include two drink tickets (additional drink tickets will be on sale). Tickets for parties of 8 are $400 and also include two drink tickets per person.

Advance ticket purchasers simply show their ticket at the door – no waiting! Tickets may be purchased at the door with cash, check or credit card. Click here to purchase your tickets right now.

And if you can’t attend, but like the idea of supporting our mission, please feel welcome to make a donation.


So many people are helping us make this party happen! We can’t thank you enough! And we could still use a few more hands during the daytime set-up. If you can help out, please contact us ASAP at We’re providing lunch for everyone from Shine Café in downtown Sacramento, among other treats. All volunteers get free admission to the party.


NNTMA logoWe couldn’t put on Velo Ball without these organizations, businesses and individuals committed to a bike-friendly future for the Sacramento region:

North Natomas Transportation Management Association

Alta Planning + Design
Kittelson & Associates Inc.
Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen
Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Cohn
Sacramento Regional Transit

AltaLogo1Kai_sign_2RT logo

Beatnik Studios
Bike Dog Brewing Company
Two Rivers Cider
Capital Public Radio
Insight Coffee Roasters
Cabana Winery & Bistro

Beatnik Studios public radio logoInsight Coffee
Cabana Winery logo

Project review

As private development and public works projects continue to change the face of our region, we work hard to ensure that traveling by bike becomes more — not less — convenient and safe.

We do this in a number of ways:

The Railyards

– Meeting directly with developers and public agencies about proposed projects. These meetings let us ask questions, identify potential impacts on people traveling by bike and suggest improvements.

– Commenting and testifying on the scope and content of the environmental review for proposed projects. To ensure that the environmental review process adequately addresses the needs of people traveling by bike, we have an environmental planner on staff and we also maintain strong relationships with engineers, planners and other consultants who advise us when needed. We also regularly testifying before planning commissions and city councils about these projects.

– Working with strategic allies to support or fight significant projects. We led a coalition campaign for crucial safety improvements on Carlson Drive near the Sac State University campus in East Sacramento. We also worked closely with groups supporting the Freeport Blvd. bike improvements in Sacramento’s Land Park neighborhood and opposing the disastrous Cordova Hills development east of Rancho Cordova.

logoWe’re also routinely invited to participate as a stakeholder in the early stages of major proposed projects. We represent people on bikes in forums organized by public agencies to help shape such major long-term projects as the Capital SouthEast Connector, Green Line to the Airport and Plan Folsom Blvd., as well as the proposed bike share system. And we represent people on bikes on advisory committees and working groups such as the SACOG Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee and Sacramento State University Bicycle Task Force.


Bellingham, WA
Devils Teeth Baking Company
San Francisco

Repurposing parking spaces into a friendly place to hang out is enlivening the streetscape in a growing number of U.S. cities and Sacramento is about to join the list. Last October the Sacramento City Council directed staff to develop a pilot program for parklets to begin this spring.

A parklet is a low deck installed in two or three adjacent parking spaces, with seating and decorative elements and often bike parking, too.

Parklets make neighborhoods more inviting, relieve sidewalk congestion, and make businesses more visible from the street. By serving as an attractive destination, they give people yet another reason to get out of their cars, which helps reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and safeguard people traveling on bikes and on foot. A parklet signals to the community that the street is a place for people, not just cars.

Pirate ship-themed parklet planned for Blackbird Kitchen & Beer Gallery in downtown Sacramento.
Pirate ship-themed parklet planned for Blackbird Kitchen & Beer Gallery in downtown Sacramento.

In cities like San Francisco and Portland, parklets are a valuable tool for helping make neighborhoods more bike-friendly — in fact, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Great Streets Project was a primary catalyst for introducing parklets as a tool for livabililty.

What do parklets have to do with bicycling? When we help public officials and business owners recognize that public streets are places for people and not just cars, we create the conditions that are friendlier for people on bikes. By replacing parking places, parklets reduce the hazards people on bike face from cars entering and leaving a parking space and from dooring.

Under a pilot program launched in 2014, Sacramento has already issued two permits for parklets in downtown and Midtown Sacramento. The city’s program resembles San Francisco’s, which treats parklets as public spaces, and uses its planning department to ensure appropriate design review, so that parklets are well-suited to their surroundings.

Parklet planned for the 1800 block of L Street in Midtown Sacramento
Parklet planned for the 1800 block of L Street in Midtown Sacramento

Parklets are already happening in our region — in Nevada City, where a parklet (below) is helping the city regain a lost piece of its identity.

Read more about San Francisco’s parklet program and see pictures of the many great parklets there.

Read about Park(ing) Day, an annual international celebration of parklets launched in San Francisco and that inspires creativity and bold action.

Boardwalk Nevada City
Nevada City