ECOS Support for the Sacramento River Parkway

On January 17, 2023, ECOS submitted a letter of support for the the completion of the Greenhaven/Pocket section of the Sacramento River Parkway project.

Below is our letter.

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) strongly supports the completion of the Greenhaven/Pocket section of the Sacramento River Parkway project. The project will advance the implementation of the American & Sacramento River Parkway Plans Implementation Program, which envisions an interconnected trail system adjacent to the region’s defining rivers. Like the American River Parkway, construction of this parkway trail would support regional use and tourism and provide equitable access to Sacramento’s river and open space resources to residents of the Pocket and nearby South Sacramento neighborhoods.

The completion of the Sacramento River Parkway will be a boon to bicycle commuting, offering miles of riding with complete separation from motor vehicle traffic for most of the Parkway’s length. The Sacramento River Parkway is the first eastern link in the Great California Delta Trail, a trail that will connect Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay Trail. The American River Parkway has already made Sacramento a lure for bicycle tourism. Completing the Sacramento River Parkway will enhance the draw for tourists, especially with the promised completion of the Great California Delta Trail.

The City’s Bicycle Master Plan recognizes that “the Sacramento River Parkway should be considered as backbone improvements for a City-wide low stress bicycle network.” Without the Parkway’s completion, the city will continue to lack that low-stress bicycle network.

The Sacramento River Parkway project is consistent with the City of Sacramento’s 2035 General Plan which recognizes the importance of developing a first class, multi-modal transportation network that includes supporting short- and long-distance bicycle trips. Goal M 5.1 outlines policies for an integrated bicycle system that encourages bicycling and achieves the City’s goals for bicycle mode share as documented in previous planning documents. Specific policies and goals in the General Plan include updating and maintaining the Bicycle Master Plan (BMP), providing a continuous bikeway network throughout the City, improving bicycle routes to minimize conflicts with pedestrians and motorists, supporting bicycle connections to new developments, converting underused facilities to bicycle routes, and promoting bicycling education and safety to the public.

ECOS was founded in 1971 as a visionary and action-oriented coalition for the region. Today the organizational and individual members of ECOS work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, promote smart growth land use and transportation principles, promote equity in housing, promote sustainable regional water supply for all users, public health and opportunities, and promote regional habitat conservation.

Please consider completion of the Sacramento River Parkway project for its local, regional, and national benefits.

Sacramento votes to use eminent domain on properties for Pocket-area bike trail

The Sacramento City Council has finally started the process of eminent domain to acquire recreation easements necessary to complete the Sacramento River Parkway.

Learn more about it in this May 22, 2019 article from The Sacramento Bee. Within that article is a reference to $210,000 that comes from a settlement agreement with Caltrans.

In 2013, ECOS obtained a commitment from Caltrans to the parkway in our lawsuit demanding mitigation for planned carpool and bus lanes on I-5. Caltrans was not obligated to pay the settlement until it was ready to award a construction contract. I believe the City of Sacramento now has those funds and is able to use them to take this critical step toward the Parkway’s completion.

We are excited to see this success in which ECOS played a role! The Friends of the Sacramento River Parkway has sent ECOS a note of thanks in light of the new vote taken by Sacramento City Council on this, which we greatly appreciate.

Unfortunately, Friends of the Sacramento River Parkway says that although voting for resolutions of necessity to start eminent domain proceedings in the Pocket, Councilmember Steve Hansen made it clear at this week’s meeting he will continue to oppose the completion of the Parkway in the “Little Pocket” area. He also convinced the city recently to seriously impede public access to the levee and to Chicory Bend Park in the Little Pocket.

Contact the Friends of the Sacramento River Parkway for ways you can get involved.