Back-Seat Driver

Back-seat Driver: Connecting the dots with Sacramento’s newest roads, walk paths and train lines

Tony Bizjak
Tony Bizjak

Transportation planners often talk about improving “connectivity.” That’s their word for finding ways to get people from point A to point B without having to zigzag past point C. Here’s a quick list of notable connections they’re making out there now:

• Sacramento International Airport is planning a pedestrian path from the daily parking lot to both terminals (Literally, a route


A and B.) Some fliers who don’t want to wait for a shuttle already are wending their way to the terminals on foot. Airport officials want to make it an official, and safe, route. They expect to have the walkway in place this fall.

• The east entrance to Cosumnes River College is blocked for now as crews build a Regional Transit light rail Blue Line terminus there. The entrance will reopen Aug. 20 before the fall quarter. The 4.3-mile light rail line to Meadowview Road, and on to downtown, is planned to open in September 2015.

• Nearby, another big connector, the 3.5-mile Cosumnes River Boulevard extension between Franklin Boulevard and Interstate 5, is scheduled to open late next year, too. A new interchange at I-5 will open this fall, allowing the Delta Shores developer access to its land to start building a retail and commercial area. Another bridge over Morrison Creek near the east end of the road project also will be finished this fall. Road paving between the two bridges and other work begins next spring.

• Night work crews are practically buzzing up on Interstate 80 in Natomas on a 10-mile freeway widening and rebuilding project. They’re using impact vibrators to demolish outside lanes on the eastbound side, starting at the west end near the Sacramento River bridge. It’s led to a few complaints from nearby residents about vibrations in the night.

• In downtown Sacramento, Sixth Street has been extended into the railyard, and Fifth Street will be done soon. The streets likely will open in spring, finally allowing drivers into the heart of the railyard to see what some say is the biggest urban redevelopment opportunity site in the West. (West Sacramento, which already is building housing in its formerly industrial Bridge District, may beg to differ, though, about who has the best riverside development site.) Next, the city plans to punch streets through the railyard’s west and north side to provide an alternative route to I-5 at the Richards Boulevard interchange. The goal is to get it done before the downtown arena is built in 2016.

• The newish crosswalk at Fourth and I streets in front of the Sacramento Amtrak station appears to be succeeding. Train commuters no longer have to walk up to Fifth Street (that would be Point C) to cross I Street if they don’t want to. And the historic depot entrance has itself a front walk, returning a bit of its original feel. Commuter Jeffrey Callison says it’s popular among travelers. “A change for the better.”