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With Vote by City Council, Sacramento to Become Healthier and More Bike Friendly
City Beat's Ryan Lillis writes that the call for the new bike and pedestrian infrastructure comes in part, surprisingly, from merchants who historically have not always been aligned with the cycling community (e.g., the "Save Polk Street" movement in San Francisco). Joining them were pedestrian advocates and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.
[T]he City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to launch a network of bike corrals and begin a pilot program for mini-parks to be built in parking spaces near businesses. Council members also expressed encouragement for a regional bike-sharing program that has been touted by air quality officials.
However, the improvements were pegged not only as bike infrastructure, but also in the name of the "public health benefit” they would provide to the community, according to "Councilman Steve Hansen, whose office has helped develop the programs", writes Lillis. Teri Duarte, the executive director of WALKSacramento, agrees.
We think parklets are a great idea,” said Duarte. "They provide additional destinations for people to walk to, they add life to the street and they can slow down traffic.”
A similar response came from Emily Baime Michaels, the executive director of the Midtown Business Association, who saw how parklets could enhance businesses in her district. “Midtown will support something that’s an innovative use of space", she stated.
Parklets will be "built and maintained with funding from private-sector sponsorships" unlike the corrals, accommodating up to 12 bikes, that "would be funded through a grant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District", writes Lillis. One corral will replace one auto parking space.
The lots [sic] were recommended to address a growing demand by bicycle users to have more secure places to leave bikes, city officials said.
Council also received an update on the proposed regional bike sharing program.
According to a staff report provided to the council, a study commissioned by the city and the air quality district recommended a network of 560 bicycles at 80 docking stations. Most of the docks would be in downtown and midtown, with additional sites in Davis and West Sacramento.