Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I commute to work via walking and transit (and bike on Fridays), and I drive occasionally. There are definitely scofflaws in all transportation modes, but if we are courteous and wait our turn, (and act predictably) there are no conflicts. Pedestrians downtown who cross on red lights or walk 2 or 3 (or more) abreast are a hazard, as are cyclists who careem in and out of traffic on roads or sidewalks. Let's all be considerate of one another.
Drivers, please be aware that there is an "implied crosswalk" at street corners, and crossing there is not illegal. It is legal to cross the street at the corner, even if there is no painted crosswalk.
Walkers, let's be careful out there. No need to be "dead right".
If you travel, what do you remember from other cities? Do you gush about finding a WalMart downtown? Or do you spread word of mouth about sites unique to the city, for example, Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, the Embarcadero in SF, Pike Place Market in Seattle (http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/explore_the_market/market_map), to name a few?
Tourists (and residents) need something to do when downtown, and shopping in chain stores gets old quickly. Tourists and local employees alike would embrace a Boqueria--a place to buy local food, eat in local restaurants or just enjoy people-watching. To keep our downtown lively and safe, we need people there after 4 pm (that is when many downtown businesses close because the state workers go home). We need buzz about downtown!
Midtown attracts visitors from the suburbs and downtown could do the same. In addition, downtown has convenient parking garages (which midtown is lacking) to accomodate suburban folks who are accustomed to plentiful parking.
As for the architectural heritage, we should keep what we can keep, but remember that crumbling buiildings and fenced-off lots (the current status), are not a heritage to be proud of.
If there was another transit provider in Sacramento, RT would likely go out of business.
RTs lack of communication about route changes is appalling. They do not have the capability for riders to sign up for updates or service outages. (Elk Grove Transit and Yolobus allow riders to subscribe to and receive alerts via email or smartphone.)
In the meantime, the 7th Street construction has caused disruptions to downtown bus service, including stops that are discontinued, that has taken many riders unawares. While some information about the service disruptions appears on their website, if you know where to look for it, they have not updated their Routes and Schedules, which is where a novice bus rider would look for information. In addition, the service disruption information is confusing (not written with the rider in mind).
Some bus drivers verbally alert their regular riders of upcoming changes; however, it seems that the drivers themselves often do not know of the changes. And not all drivers are inclined to communicate with their riders.
RT has been financially in trouble as long as I can remember. They need a new business model and a new Board of Directors.
I really enjoyed your article! Our older suburb also has opposums, racoons and many, many tree squirrels. They began to appear after construction in a nearby area drove them out of their natural habitat.
When we had a cat and before we had dogs, we received many visits from racoons. Once the word got out that there was cat food left out, they put us on their feeding route. Racoons are very cute in the Disney movies, but when you face a full-grown animal from 10 feet away in your backyard they are large and scary, with sharp teeth and claws. You can try to chase them away but they stand their ground. My cat, an avid hunter, was terrifed of them. We put the cat food up at night but they continued to visit us and eat our garden for many months. We were glad when they finally moved on, presumably to another house with outside cat food. We love the creatures but prefer them to stay out of our yard.
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