The City’s first and one of the nation’s longest “Green Streets” was celebrated and opened September 15 along Dixieanne avenue in North Sacramento. With the event’s conclusion, the gateway to the Swanston Light Rail Station is now walkable and sustainable, as well as beautiful. The sidewalk/streetscape drainage project (similar to the “Green Streets” throughout Portland, Oregon) was the idea of District 2 Councilmember Sandy Sheedy. The project stretches five blocks from Evergreen Street to the Regional Transit station.

“Today is truly one of the highlights of my many years in public service. Not only has this pilot project transformed a neglected street into a street people will enjoy walking, we hope the project will be a template for creativity in streetscape projects throughout the city, county and nation,” Sheedy said at the opening day event.  “I believe this qualifies as ‘thinking outside the box.’”

The $2 million project was funded through Community Reinvestment Act Bonds designated for infrastructure improvements in Council District 2 and through redevelopment funds from the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. The City’s Department of Transportation managed the engineering design and construction.

The pilot project means sidewalks for residents and businesses in areas that have never had sidewalks; new sidewalks in others; ornamental streetlights; and planter strips featuring 100 trees, 200-plus shrubs and 4000 perennial grasses planted over a new storm drainage system, instead of a traditional curb and gutter. Also, instead of a typical mow strip, several planter strips double as detention basins for storm water runoff to collect and percolate through the soil before it flows into nearby streams and rivers. Fences were repaired or added to complement the new walkways.

The project also includes six streetscape elements of leaves indigenous to Sacramento. The metal and steel elements were designed by local craftsman Larry Meeks and range from four to six feet tall.

More project details are available at

Linda Tucker is the public information officer for the City of Sacramento Department of Transportation.