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.

Editor’s note: A bridge to somewhere

By Foon Rhee
May 23, 2019
Sacramento News and Review

The I Street Bridge is 108 years old and rusty, and it rattles when a train passes over it. So, yes, a new span over the Sacramento River is way overdue. But the new bridge is not just another important transportation link between Sacramento and West Sacramento. It’s also an opportunity to make a design statement for the region.

The current I Street Bridge will stay open. The lower deck will continue to be used for passenger and freight trains, while the upper deck will be closed to vehicles and be converted into a pedestrian and bike path. The new bridge is just up river and will connect Railyards Boulevard on the edge of downtown Sacramento, and C Street in the Washington neighborhood in West Sacramento.

Click here to view the full article.

Some Like It Dark: Light Pollution And Salmon Survival

June 4, 2018


The interaction between light pollution and predation could deal a heavy blow to species already struggling to survive. Bridges, in particular, often have lighting that shines into rivers at night, and attraction to these stationary lights can stop juvenile fish in their tracks as they migrate downstream, making them vulnerable to predators. Fish also frequently migrate and feed at night to hide from predators in the darkness, and bright lights shining on the water eliminate their protective cover. In rivers where salmon spawn, juvenile salmon can be especially impacted by bright nighttime lights or reflections on the surface of the water because predation is a major contributing factor to the high mortality of juvenile salmon. Light pollution from the iconic Sundial Bridge in Redding, California (shown above), was a suspected factor that contributed to the near loss of Sacramento River fall-run Chinook salmon from 2011–2013.

Click here to read the full article.

City Light Impacts on Declining Salmon Populations

March 21, 2017

ECOS submitted the following letter with concerns about outdoor lighting on the Sacramento riverfront and its effects on local salmon populations, such as the endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, which are particularly important among California’s salmon runs because they exhibit a life-history strategy found nowhere else on the West Coast.

Read the full letter by clicking here.