The Sacramento Press is about providing an outlet for everyone in the community. We hit the street recently to get people’s opinions about downtown’s K Street Mall, which was created in 1969 when vehicles were banned from 7th to 13th streets.
This week’s question: Should vehicles be allowed back on K Street Mall?
Satapana Buthken, 23
California Air Resources Board Student Assistant
Graduate of California State University, Sacramento,
"I frequent K Street Mall a lot. I don’t think it should be opened to vehicle traffic. That section with light rail and pedestrians only — it feels nice. Just to be able to walk around with no car traffic. It feels like a little sanctuary."
Lanette Gardner, 29
Heald College Student
"They should. It’ll make it easier for cars and tourists coming from outside Sacramento to find a parking space. They’d want to come down here. It just looks like a mess with all the construction. It looks like they just partly did it and left it there. I used to come down here when I was younger. But I just stopped. It doesn’t look like downtown. I saw a picture of it from the late 1800s or early 1900s. It looked wonderful — like Seattle. Now it just looks like they let it go."
Charlene Syravong, 44
"I don’t think that’s a good idea. It’s not safe. Driving traffic might not be such a good idea for safety concerns for the general public — everyone that uses the area. Before someone decides to open it, please do a study. By opening it to driving traffic, I’m not sure if it will bring in more business or drive business out. If you make it more attractive, that will bring in more foot traffic. I don’t want to discourage anything. Just do it carefully."
Andre Algazi, 45
California Department of Toxic Substances Control
"I think it’s a good idea. It’s basically a wasteland between 7th, 8th and 9th. I’ve always thought Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica was successful and could be a model for our K Street Mall. Partly, it’s just a different town with different demographics, but partly, the city (of Sacramento) doesn’t let music performers play at random. On Third Street Promenade, the Red Elvises would play; it’s this cool, Russian rockabilly band. There’s just people doing entertaining things. Really, there needs to be a critical mass of people and activity (on K Street). Just opening it to traffic isn’t going to be enough. It’ll just be vehicles on a deserted street. People are going to have to invest."
Leticia Beltran, 45
Social Services Worker
North Sacramento Suburb
"I think whoever’s planning the idea should try riding the light rail and walking around downtown — in the daytime, so they can get a feel for the foot traffic and light rail. If you work down here and you’re trying to get to the light rail, it’s already busy."
Peter Cooper, 43
Green Job Researcher for Trade Unions
"The city needs to take significant steps to make it pedestrian-friendly and bring foot traffic back. Obviously, the pedestrian zone hasn’t worked. So opening up two blocks is a good first step in figuring out how to make downtown more livable. I hope they fix things because it’s been an eyesore for so long."
We welcome your suggestions for future "Street Interview" questions. Suzanne Hurt is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-804-2856.