The stretch of Northeast Sacramento between NE 62nd and 77th is one of those special streets in Portland (like North Willamette, SW Fairmount, and others) that was blessed with good genes and just naturally feels safe and welcoming. It boasts a great view from the Alameda ridge, has a low volume of car users, and is in a solidly residential neighborhood.
When Covid hit in 2020 and people flocked to safe streets on bikes and feet, Sacramento St was often bustling with more human than automobile traffic. PBOT has taken notice and has used their Safe Streets Initiative to build on the popularity of the street. It was one of the first locations to receive “Local Access Only” signs and orange barrels when the Slow Streets program launched two years ago. Since then, PBOT has followed-up with concrete barricades and more permanent, “15 mph Shared Street” signage.
The latest evolution of NE Sacramento is the drastic reconfiguration of its widest expanse of pavement: The three-way intersection at Brazee and 64th.
I rolled by it the other day for a closer look:
To calm traffic down even further, PBOT has installed a “paint and post” treatment that has dramatically reduced the size of the crossings.
Before the project went in, the east-west crossing from Brazee to 64th was 112-feet. Now it’s just 32-feet.
Before the project went in, the north-south crossing from the north side of Brazee to the viewpoint path on the south side of Sacramento was 70-feet. Now’s just 48-feet.
PBOT says the project was funded through the 2012 PPS school bond to make it safer for people to reach nearby Rose City Park School. And it appears to be working. Look at how much room the pickup truck driver is giving to that group of walkers in the photo above (lowest one on the right)!
And although it’s only paint right now, PBOT has shown recently that they will go back and upgrade treatments like this with curbs and more permanent features.
It’s great to see streets evolve over time in a way that makes them safer and more pleasant for people to use. Now we need to create more spaces like this and link them up with safe crossings so we can make the “Sunday Parkways everyday” dream a reality.
Have you been on NE Sacramento lately? Any impressions to share?