Carlson’s second act starts with a new cast of characters on a warm Saturday in early May. This time, members of SABA, the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, and their partners in transportation planning and design take a walking tour of Carlson Drive between H and J Streets. They examine the intersections, take notes of cyclists’, drivers’, and pedestrians’ behavior, and interview locals and passersby, to get a rough feel of just what takes place during a day in the life of Carlson.
When the curtain next rises a month later, we’re in an elementary school auditorium, at a neighborhood association meeting. Carlson is the main subject, and an ensemble cast step up one after another to talk about it. Over a couple of hours, they recite a litany of fears and near misses at these two intersections and reiterate the tragedies we saw in Act I. City officials promise to do something, but stress the need for patience — transportation planning can be a slow process.
Behind the scenes, that cast working on Carlson changes, as some characters leave and others, including city officials, join in. Eventually, a crack technical team emerges, taking those initial assessments and working them into a series of solutions. These solutions — one a bare minimum plan, the other a complete redesign of both intersections — are presented to River Park residents, elected officials, and city transportation staff at a wonderfully supportive event on May 17, 2012.
Carlson’s second act closes with those plans done, but it’s going to take a lot of community support to see us through to the third act. Find out how you can get involved in the push to make Carlson a safer, more efficient street for everybody.