Build Truxel Bridge for Transit & Bikes – Not for Cars

Truxel Bridge is the latest proposal to connect South Natomas with the railyards with a new bridge. Currently, the cycling routes from South Natomas into Sacramento get flooded during winter, and there is no light rail access to the 100,000 residents in Natomas. A new crossing will need to be built to get the Green Line Light Rail to Natomas. The city of Sacramento put out three designs back in January for public consideration, and unfortunately, they are all automobile oriented. SABA and I are calling for a redesign in the draft proposals to include options that do not allow regular personal vehicle travel.

Briefly, the three plans all include car lanes for travel. The first option mixes a light rail line with personal vehicles. This would negate any speed benefit light rail would have over cars and cause the light rail vehicles to go the speed of traffic, which could be stop and go during rush hour. The second and third options separate light rail from personal vehicles; however, they do not have protected bike lanes, and the current drafts show paint as the only protection. If we are building new bike lanes in the 2030s, when construction of the bridge could start, it’s unconscionable that we would continue to not protect cyclists from cars.

These options, unfortunately, do not include a transit and active transportation only design. Below is one example.

The above option would be far cheaper to build since it is smaller, would reduce environmental impacts on the American River Parkway, and would not induce demand for more car travel. The current auto-oriented proposals are projected to cost around $500M, while a two-lane proposal in 2013 was only projected for $70M.

Concernedly, Truxel Blvd would likely have many negative impacts if more car travel were induced on that road. Today, Truxel Blvd is considered part of the High Injury Network, with five people seriously injured in 2021 and 2022. Active transportation options on it are dangerous, with only paint for bike lanes next to cars regularly traveling at 50 MPH. More car travel that an auto-centric bridge would bring would risk turning Truxel Blvd from a risky road for those walking and biking today to an outright dangerous one.

It is doubtful that new car lanes will even mitigate traffic. Even if you ignore the induced demand issue, there are currently sixteen car travel lanes within one and a half miles of the proposal to cross the river via I-5. My daily commute takes only 80 seconds to 2 minutes to get from Truxel Blvd and Garden HWY to the I-5 intersection. The reduced travel time saved would be minuscule compared to the risks it would generate.

The new general plan and climate adaptation policies call for a significant increase in transit from 3% to 11% and active transportation from 4% to 6% by 2030. To achieve these goals, city leaders state that car travel should be deprioritized in favor of transit and active transportation. If we continue to build our communities where cars receive a higher priority as other options, we will fail to meet our climate goals and keep Natomas a community where the only convenient way to travel is by car.

Please complete the Truxel Bridge survey below and call for options without car travel.

Truxel Bridge Concept and Feasibility Study.

For more information on the project see:


A better Sacramento is possible. We can change our communities built as car-only options. The process for a new bridge is still very early, and your voice can help change the direction now before a car future on Truxel Bridge is locked in.

Don Gibson, Ph.D., is the Active Transportation Commissioner for District 3, South Natomas, City of Sacramento. He uses Truxel Blvd daily and regularly drops his rambunctious one-year-old son off at daycare blocks from the proposed bridge location.