Slow & Active Streets Sacramento

Update: October 15, 2021
The Slow and Active Streets Pilot has come to a close in Sacramento and the City’s Public Works Dept. has put out a report about the effort. Read the entire report here.
Here are our takeaways:

  1. Of the 1200 respondents to a survey put out by the City (with assistance from us at SABA), 60% of them were positive about the pilot. 26% were negative and another 14% were neutral. This is good news. Almost 3:1 people were in favor of seeing their streets used for something other than speeding vehicles.
  2. Slowed streets were calmer: 27% of respondents reported driving LESS on the Slow and Active Streets.
  3. Even though the City was slow in getting this pilot up and running (City Council gave the green light in December 2020, but the first neighborhood didn’t get started until mid February, and the entire pilot was over by the end of July), 30% of survey respondents reported an increase in walking, riding, running and scooting, then before the pilot.
  4. We heard from a number of people who thought the scarce resources allocated to the Pilot could’ve been used in a different fashion, but the respondents still wanted those dollars to go to making streets safer for all users. Good news in that their focus is in the right place – safe streets!
  5. The total amount of dollars to run the pilot was $241,000. This is a low number, if you add in the hours spent by a number of organizations like ours, who helped to advocate for, facilitate, and activate the neighborhoods who were “Slowed”.
  6. The upshot was a higher rate of engagement for the Pilot. This is also good news, because it tells us that people do care about their neighborhood, and how their streets are used or abused.
  7. In the final analysis, people want two things: Slowed traffic and comfortable places to walk, bike and scoot.

So then, what’s next for Slow and Active Streets?

Let’s start with the City. Although they are pushing for carbon neutrality by 2030, and they know that transportation is one of the highest emitters of pollutants into our air, they have been slow to prioritize bike and pedestrian travel at the top of the modal hierarchy. Funding should be proportionally allocated to make possible the mode shift targets. The promotion of cycling is not an end in itself; rather, it is a means of creating a safer, more comfortable and more functional urban environment. The more people travel on foot, by bicycle and by public transit, and leave their car behind, the greater the number of people who can efficiently move about the city.

The Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change identified a set of priorities with active transportation at the top of the hierarchy.  The report states, “To achieve a significant shift away from vehicle use, the cities will need to create an environment that enables greater use of active transportation modes by making travel by walking and rolling more accessible, safe and convenient. This strategy is focused on making active transportation a viable and attractive option by increasing the connectivity of active transportation corridors to create a seamless network, as well as by providing basic amenities at the neighborhood level so that shorter trips can be taken by walking or rolling to meet daily needs.”

Sacramento can and should do more.

Perhaps the only silver lining of the pandemic was that it gave us a chance to re-visit and re-think how our roads serve us. Cities worldwide are making significant strides in changing their roadways and transportation systems. The pandemic gave rise to the idea of the “15-minute City”, which is built on the premise of a street network that is walkable and ridable where one can access parks, food, medicine, schools and businesses within 15 minutes. Research tells us that beyond density, a walkable and ridable urban fabric is necessary to make the 15-minute city work. That implies a connected network of thoroughfares (streets, passages, trails) and small blocks knitting together the neighborhoods.

Sacramento has some of this in place, but it is missing a low stress network of routes to get in and out of town and within and around town. Low-stress routes are routes that are safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to ride a bike. Neighborhood streets are typically low stress because they have low speed limits (25 mph or less), two or fewer motor vehicle travel lanes and low volume car traffic. Busier streets can also be low stress for bikes if they have adequate infrastructure that helps separate bikes from cars, like protected bike lanes. Low-stress intersections provide safe ways for people on bikes to cross busy streets through intersection treatments like traffic signals, flashing lights and crossing islands.

In the Statehouse: A.B. 773, from Adrin Nazarian (D-Los Angeles) will make Slow Streets a permanent possibility in state law. This is wonderful as it provides an opportunity for transportation departments and organizations like us continue to find ways to show people how their streets could be used to move people not cars.

We’ll be working on a few initiatives in support of the concept of Slow and Active Streets. We want to support and advocate for slowing traffic for residents, and ways to make their street spaces more enjoyable. A low stress connected bicycle network which makes it possible for people to get anywhere around the City by bicycle remains a priority for us.

February 2021: We are pleased to announce that on February 12th, the first set of Slow and Active Streets were launched in Sacramento in the Newton Booth/Midtown neighborhood of town. Congratulations to Abby Jackson and the residents of Newton Booth and Midtown for spearheading this effort. Kudus to city transportation leaders for helping to make this a reality.

Map of the Slow and Active Streets
in Midtown Sacramento

Read more about the progress made and the work still to be done here.

May, 2020
During these unprecedented times, people need safe places to get outside and exercise. Unfortunately, the surge in people seeking outside space close-to-home is putting a considerable strain on our public spaces. Trails, sidewalks, and parks are overcrowded, making it difficult for people to safely maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others.

With dramatically-reduced car traffic due to the pandemic, we have an opportunity to create more public spaces for people to safely get out—by opening up our streets for walking, biking, and physical activity. Closing off selected streets to cars or converting some traffic lanes for biking and walking use can expand access to the outdoors, which is essential to maintaining physical and mental health.

SABA and WalkSacramento have teamed up to urge the City of Sacramento to consider fully or partially closing streets for residents to be able to safely exercise and access essential grocery stores, restaurants, and parks. We know that opening streets for exercise and active transportation is an attainable tactic to improve quality of life and promote public health during this unprecedented public health crisis. Let’s join the 30+ cities worldwide in making these changes for Sacramento.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Go to this website and SIGN the petition, LEARN more about this effort and let your VOICE be heard in City Hall by sending a letter to your City Council member. Listen here for our take in an interview with Randol White on Capital Public Radio.

We’re hiring!

This post has been filled. However, we are always looking for volunteers and hope that you’ll join us at one of our events.

We are looking for an excellent communicator who has social media skills. If you are quick with a by-line, can navigate IG/Twitter/FB and Reddit, and can also think strategically about when and how to use these channels for effective outreach and manage all of them, then we’d like to talk with you. See more about this part-time contract position here.

Bicycle Film Festival

What do Ghanian refugees, Connie Carpenter,
Women Bike Messengers, and a BLM Protest all have in common?

Bicycles, of course!

SABA (along with BikeDavis) is pleased to be hosting the Bicycle Film Festival, virtually from February 5-14th.

The 90 minute selection of short films allows you to cycle around the world from your own home! Learn about a charismatic Ghanian immigrant in Amsterdam who teaches refugee adult women to ride bikes. Experience a birds-eye view of a BLM bicycle protest ride from New York to DC. Feel the anguish of a father’s loss, or the struggle of a young woman with her beloved bike in Iran. Sense the confidence of riders who experience a reprieve from genocide through cycle sport. Learn about the awe inspiring “Major Taylor,” the first black professional bicycle racer in the US.

A ticket allows you to view the 90-minute short film format any time during the Festival window, February 5 – 14, 2021, streamed to your computer, tablet, or smart TV by simply clicking on the link provided by email after your purchase. This way you can view the content in one sitting from the comfort and safety of your home. Tickets are here, and you can watch once, or multiple times during the Film Festival.

Broaden your bike knowledge.

Get cranked on bicycle awareness.

Be inspired.

Join us.

#BikeMatchSac

Bicycles are essential transportation for many who need to get around at any time but especially now during the coronavirus outbreak. This might include traveling to essential jobs, running crucial errands, or participating in mutual aid for vulnerable people who cannot leave their homes.

Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates is connecting those who have an extra bicycle to folks in the community who need one. Whether you have a bike or need a bike, contact us via the links below, and we will match you.

We have teamed up with a number of other bike advocacy groups to create an on line platform to match up people who have a bike to donate with those who need a bike.

Here’s how it works

If you need a bike

Fill out the I Need a Bike form and tell us about yourself and what you need.

We will contact you when we have a match for you. You and the donor will be provided with each other’s contact information so that you can make your own arrangements to hand off the bike.

If you have a bike

Fill out the I Have a Bike form and tell us about the bike.

We will contact you when we have a match for you. You and the recipient will be provided with each other’s contact information so that you can make your own arrangements to hand off the bike.

Guidelines

  1. Participation in the Bike Match program constitues your agreement to the terms of the LIABILITY WAIVER.
  2. Donated bikes should be in “ready to ride” condition. Something that you would ride, at least in a pinch.
  3. The bike hand-off will take place between the donor and recipient in an outdoor, no-contact exchange in a public place observing social distancing guidelines.
  4. For sanitary purposes, clean the bike thoroughly before hand-off (handlebars, gear shifters, seat, etc). For the same reason, all bike exchanges are permanent.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

May is Bike Month 2020

We know that everyone is staying safe at home, washing hands, and basically doing what they can to avoid Co-Vid 19. But! Did you know that cycling has been deemed an essential activity? Yes! Biking is the perfect solo activity to get fresh air and exercise while you practice safe physical distancing. It’s great for the mind, body, and soul, and we’re here to celebrate biking in all its forms! Whether you’re riding around the block, around your neighborhood, by yourself, or with your immediate family, cycling is good for your head, good for your heart and good for everyone.

This year, May is Bike Month is going virtual! SABA will be offering a series of rides and scavenger hunts that you can do on your own to earn prizes as well as logging in your trips on the May Is Bike Month trip calculator.

Each week, we’ll post up a new set of rides and activities for you to enjoy with directions so that you can earn credit towards SABA and MiBM swag. Look for the latest information in our bi-monthly Gear’d Up, on our Facebook page and Instagram. Get out there and learn about our city, visit interesting new places and enjoy riding around our great city. Don’t forget to tag pictures with #mayisbikemonth, #sacbikerides2020

  1. Ride and Seek week one’s activities are here:

When you complete the ride, upload your answers here.

2. Ride and Seek week 2 activities:

When you complete the ride, upload your answers here.

3. Ride and Seek week 3 activities:

When you complete the ride, upload your answers here.

3. Ride and Seek week 4 activities:

When you complete the ride, upload your answers here.

End of Year Annual Appeal

Since 1991, SABA has believed in the power of community-based education and local advocacy to enable residents to make more and safer trips by bicycle. Great improvements have been made to our local bicycle infrastructure in recent years thanks to SABA and our allies’ efforts. Yet everyday obstacles — from close-calls with oblivious drivers and ill-placed leaf piles, to real setbacks, like the news of yet another fatal collision — are reminders that the Sacramento region is still behind its potential to be unequivocally “bicycle friendly.” 

In 2019, SABA’s Board of Directors and staff navigated internal transitions while reflecting on community input on how to improve engagement and advocacy efforts on behalf of our members and the public at large. And, with invaluable support from our donors, governmental and advocacy allies, and selfless volunteers, our unrelenting staff have kept SABA rolling strong while accomplishing an incredible amount of work to promote and improve bicycling for all. 

With exciting projects including the Broadway Avenue Complete Streets and I Street Bridge redesigns coming up, and a countywide transportation sales tax measure framework solidifying, 2020 is gearing up to be another busy year for SABA – and a critical year for all bicycle advocates to get involved.

But SABA needs your help in order to continue our work to make our region’s bicycle-friendly future a reality.  Please take a moment right now to make a generous, tax-deductible year-end gift to SABA.   Together we can create a safer, healthier, and more prosperous region for everyone.

Job Posting: Executive Director

SABA seeks a dynamic person in the Executive Director position to lead the overall affairs of SABA in a manner that guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director oversees the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. This position will directly supervise all staff and contractors as appropriate. This is an exempt part-time position. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors.

To apply, please visit this job posting on indeed.com. Recruitment will remain open until the position is filled.

Please visit this link for a detailed job description. 

City Council Tackles Future Transit Needs

Wednesday night, the Sacramento City Council met for a transportation workshop to dive into the myriad of transit issues facing the Sacramento region. Presentations were made by representatives from SACOG, the Public Works department, the Mayor’s Commission on Climate Change and a couple of advocacy groups: SMaRT (a regional transit advocacy group) and SacMoves (a coalition of non-profit organizations including SABA). The hope was to outline the challenges and make a first attempt at prioritization for a potential transportation funding tax measure that the STA Board hopes to get on the ballot in 2020. 

There was a lot of discussion about fixing streets that have poor pavement conditions and while working on them, to make our streets, “Complete Streets” for cyclists, peds and alternative modes of transit (scooters and Jump bikes). Safety of our streets also topped the lists of Councilmembers. This is sobering: More people die in Sacramento from traffic fatalities than homicides. While homicides are in a downward trajectory, traffic deaths are on the rise. More than one council member told a recent story of a death as a result of a car vs ped or cyclist. Doubling down on our Vision Zero plan would go a long way to stop fatalities. 

The STA Board will be developing a Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) and a first draft of this will be released in mid-November. We urge you to learn more about what SABA’s stance is on this by reviewing the SacMoves Vision and Investment Strategy. As we get closer to the STA Board Meeting (which is public), we’ll be asking members to show up and show support for safe streets, clean air, and a multi-modal transit system so that we can always choose to leave our cars at home.

May is Bike Month After Party

Close out May is Bike Month 2019 at this happy hour party at SacYard Community Tap House in East Sacramento.

Your $20 ticket gets you a SABA Silipint that we will fill with either a beer (we’ll be offering a lager and an IPA) or a tasty cider generously provided by Two Rivers Cider Company. We will be selling additional drink tickets at the party for $5. One of our local favorites, DJ Rated R, will be spinning tunes for us – so leave those cleats at home and wear your dancing shoes!

Food wlll be available for purchase at that evening’s food truck, and you can also buy drinks directly from SacYard. Ride your bike and park with SABA Bike Valet!

Tickets are available through Eventbrite on our Facebook page.

Jump on our wheel

Hey everyone, I thought I’d take a minute to say hello and let you know what’s up at SABA. I’m Deb Banks. I’m an avid cyclist, I commute by bike when I can, and am involved in a cycling sport where riders are known to ride “inappropriately long distances”. I stepped in to fill Jim Brown’s cleats this past January. Since then, we’ve continued to do good things with good people for safer cycling in the greater Sacramento Region.

Deb heading out for a ride of inappropriate distances (1200 kilometers long).
Photo: M. Behning

I thought I’d share some of the highlights of the year to date:

Want to ride a JUMP bike but are a bit intimidated by them? I got on one for the first time a few weeks ago and was amazed at how quickly they sped up once they got going. At 70 lbs, it felt heavy when stopped, but once I got through one rotation of a pedal, I was moving along at speed with a big smile on my face. SABA has partnered with JUMP to provide Urban Safety classes in West Sacramento and is providing meet-up rides at Midtown Farmers Markets on the second Saturday of each month. There will continue to be an influx of e-bikes in Sacramento’s future, so why not learn how to use them safely and enjoy the get-up and go they provide?

Also on the education front, SABA has been partnering with WALK Sacramento on bicycle clubs and bike rodeos for students in a number of West Sacramento elementary schools. What great fun to watch young people gain independence and confidence by pedaling their bike.

Bicycle sandwich at Bridgeway Island Elementary School. Photo: D. Banks
Arlete Hodel (LCI, Bicycle Club Leader) teaching right hand signals and the Power pedal position at Stonegate Elementary in W. Sacramento. Photo: D. Banks

Our Bike Valet program has continued to grow. We are at more events (over 90 currently scheduled on our calendar), parking more bikes than ever before. Our new Valet Manager, Jeremiah Rohr, has jumped on board to take the program even further. Plus, a huge shout-out to Rancho Cordova for hosting the start of Stage 2 of Amgen where Bike Valet will be available. Bike Valet is where we meet most of the public and we feel it is one of the most important pieces of advocacy that we engage in. By making a choice to ride your bike to an event and be able to leave it safely, means that one less car is on the roadway. #winning.

Bike Valet at NAHBS. The bikes we parked were as fine as some of the bikes inside!
Photo: D. Banks

Likewise, we are fixing bicycles for people in our region where there are few bike shops. Partnering with JIBE, we provide pop-up bike mechanic services in North Natomas and at Bike Rodeos in West Sacramento. Good stuff happens when people have confidence that their bicycle will safely get them from point A to B.

On other fronts, we’ve been weighing in on new developments, like the Railyards, about placement of bike paths and bike parking, talking to City Councilmembers in support of the Del Rio and Two Rivers trails, and supporting the influx of shared-rideables as long as there’s oversight that will make all of our streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians.   

It’s an exciting time in Sacramento for cyclists and those seeking alternative forms of transportation to make trips around town. We at SABA are striving to make all of our streets safe for every person, and your dollars help us do that. I’m thrilled to be a part of this organization, and am hopeful that you’ll join us as members and donors. Together, we can make a difference in creating the Sacramento Region a place where people choose to ride their bike and feel safe doing so. Jump on our wheel and let’s go!