Tony Bizjak

Back-seat Driver: Sacramento plans portable mini-parks

Published: Friday, May. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 28, 2013 - 8:55 am

Soon, Sacramentans will be able to sit down to lunch – in the street!

The local air quality management district, the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates and the city are joining to bring several "street parklets" to town, probably beginning with a few temporary parks in the next few weeks in midtown and downtown.

A few cities, including San Francisco, have them. They are portable "parks" that are plopped down on top of a couple of parking spots next to the sidewalk in lively, pedestrian areas of town.

They usually are made up of a few trees in portable pots, some benches, maybe some tables, with some bike parking included.

They offer a relaxed public space out in the sun, where people can sit and eat their lunch, read or chat. In San Francisco, they typically are busy spots in front of restaurants and cafes.

Officials say they are considering setting one up briefly in front of the Golden Bear pub on K Street near 23rd Street for people to check out. Another is planned soon at Chavez Plaza on a farmers market days.

New Roseville DMV office

The DMV is permanently closing its old Roseville field office on Harding Boulevard June 6, and opening a larger office nearby at 7200 Galilee Road on June 24, officials said.

The old Harding office was too small and had gotten run-down, DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said.

So, why isn't the DMV leaving the old office open until the new one opens?

Gonzalez says the department will be using a lot of its old computers, files, security equipment and other things in the new building. It takes time to move that stuff and get it hooked up.

The DMV also wants to put the equipment through some test runs to make sure everything works right to avoid any major glitches when customers are lined up.

"It wouldn't be a good day at the DMV," Gonzalez said.

Closest other field offices are Rocklin, Carmichael, Folsom and Auburn.

Fewer fliers … or more?

In its annual Memorial Day weekend travel forecast, AAA this week said more drivers will hit the road, but fewer will fly. AAA analysts suggest people were concerned by a spate of flight delays in April, and were put off by higher prices, as well as fees and security hassles.

But just after AAA delivered its projections, another group, Airlines for America, or A4A, said wait a minute.

A4A's report looked at the summer as a whole. It forecasts a 1 percent increase in fliers nationally. A4A officials say the improved economy, improved business climate and stable fares are probably the reason.

The AAA numbers are based on surveys of AAA members. The A4A numbers are from airline data.

Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059. Follow him on Twitter @tonybizjak.

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