City opens first ‘Slow and Active Streets’ area in Midtown, Newton Booth neighborhoods

City Public Works on Friday, Feb. 12, installed the first of several “Slow and Active Streets.” This work is part of an effort to close up to six miles of Sacramento roads to through traffic and make them available for walking, bicycling and other forms of non-static activity.

The effort comes in response to the need for more outdoor recreation opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic and to help Sacramento lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Several streets in the Midtown and Newton Booth neighborhoods are included in the first phase of the project. They include: 26th Street between J and V streets; O Street between 22nd and 26th streets; and V Street between 21st and 26th streets.

The City previously closed a section of street in William Land Regional Park, known as the Land Park Loop, as a pilot to test materials, deployment and concepts.

People who live on these streets, delivery drivers and emergency responders will still be able to access the streets, and area businesses will remain open with increased signage.

The project is funded through April 2021 and could be extended pending City Council’s approval.

“Establishing a Slow and Active Streets program was one of the recommendations of our Climate Commission, and it’s great to see neighborhoods work together to develop a plan that will work best for them,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Limiting through traffic creates safer spaces for residents to stroll, exercise and play while helping us meet our aggressive goals for getting to carbon neutrality in the City of Sacramento.”

Mayor Darrell Steinberg, D4 Councilmember Katie Valenzuela and Transportation Planning Manager Jennifer Donlon Wyant unveil the first Slow and Active Streets closures.

“I’m thrilled to see Slow and Active streets happening in my district because getting outside and safely recreating is so important,” said Councilmember Katie Valenzuela. “Creating space like this for folks to do so while safely distancing themselves will greatly improve the community’s quality of life.”

City staff are working with other neighborhood associations throughout Sacramento to identify more streets to include in the “Slow and Active Streets” program.

“We are prioritizing streets in environmental justice areas, neighborhoods with multi-family homes, and areas with limited park access to help alleviate the physical and mental stress of so much time spent at home,” said Transportation Planning Manager Jennifer Donlon Wyant.

Similar projects have taken place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland and Berkeley as a way to help people get outdoors and exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Slow and Active Streets project was approved by City Council in December 2020 during a discussion on the City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, a document that outlines ways Sacramento can reduce its effects on climate change.

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