Our name is Sacramento, and we have a problem.

When I first moved to these fair parts several years ago, one of the things I took note of was the casual attitude where DUI was concerned. People here don’t take drinking and driving very seriously compared to where I’ve lived before. It’s so commonly done and accepted that I’ve seen off duty cops do it (and even a certain coach of your Sacramento Kings). I’ve had difficulty understanding how unconcerned people here are with impaired driving and the risks that come with it.

It’s no surprise our region is rife with buildings crashing into our moving vehicles.

I felt some vindication about my feelings on this issue when I came across Marcus Breton’s article in Bee today:

Continue reading “Our name is Sacramento, and we have a problem.”

Democratic Parties

This weekend, the California Democratic Party is holding their 2009 State Convention. For the next three days, more than 3500 suspected carriers of a new disease will be clustered in Downtown and Midtown. Epidemiologists have observed a localized outbreak among conventioneers of a disease they are dubbing “Obama Fever”. Symptoms include leftward-leaning, habitual recycling and involuntary muscular reactions to seeing another conventioneer, where both will sound a celebratory “whoop” followed by a ritual sign of camaraderie, notably a variation of the high five.

More serious cases of OF are identifiable by the “Flair Count” observed in the patient. A mild case is defined by 5 or less pieces of flair (button, hat, t-shirt, etc), with a moderate case having a Flair Count of 6-15, and a serious case having a 16+ Flair Count. Uninfected parties are not in any serious danger of catching OF as patients need to be exposed to OF vectors for at least two months, and average media exposure has not been shown to be infectious. If you are concerned that you may have OF, even if you are not exhibiting flair, please click on this link for additional medical advice.

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Request to radio traffic reporters

As I’m driving around, slightly zoned out (but not so zoned out to be a danger to myself or society), the traffic reports are usually the same, so I don’t pay too much attention.

There are, however, instances where a reporter will give information on a major accident or hazard that is sure to clog up the roads for some time, and the reporter rarely repeats where this incident is located. He or she will just say, “So stay clear of THAT area!” and move on with the rest of the scoop from the (insert sponsor’s name here) traffic center.

All I ask is that they simply wrap it up by saying, “Again, that’s on northbound Watt near Folsom” or wherever the incident is.  I find myself having a DVR reflex, like I’m reaching for a phantom remote to hit the back-up-15-seconds button to hear the location. Alas, there is no such technology in my rig.

Am I just being picky?

Hiding in Plain Sight

Seen today: one of the craftiest law enforcement vehicles ever on I-80 at Truxel, a dark blue late model Nissan Maxima, with grill and rear window flashers, pulling over another vehicle.

Now, when I think non-descript police vehicle, I think Crown Vic. But a Nissan Maxima? That’s brilliant. I’m not sure whether the car was police or CHP, but it was totally bizarre to see a common suburban four-door import change before one’s eyes into an enforcer. It was like watching real live Transformers.

All I know is that when the cops start using Camrys, the criminals will have nowhere to hide.
Afterthought: Is the plural of Camry, “Camries”?

We’re not the only ones who report old news

“When coming here today someone hit a pole on Marconi. On Marconi, people just don’t pay attention and it’s foggy. They don’t care if it’s 50 mph in a 30. People don’t care,”

…so is quoted in a story from KCRA on CalTrans’ newly released 2008 California Highway Safety Improvement Program 5 Percent Report (don’t read that title while driving).

According to the study, Sacramento ranks number two (behind Los Angeles) in the number of traffic accident hot spots in the state. The worst spot in Sac? It probably won’t surprise anyone:

Over the past 10 years, Watt Avenue has been the site of 7,800 crashes, according to the California Highway Patrol, while Highway 99 near 12th Avenue hosts three accidents a month. Also, the link between Interstate 5 and 50 averages a crash almost every other day.

Who could have guessed?

Tripping the light fantastic

Why is it that we can be out in public, hear a song we like, and purchase it instantly from our iPhone, but it still takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get a green light at certain intersections? I know of at least one awful light, perhaps the worst intersection ever: Sierra Boulevard and Howe Avenue.

The greater Sierra Boulevard area was the haven for many of my friends way back in our single days (including the more-than-a-friend sac-eats) so there have been countless hours lost while sitting on Sierra, waiting to turn left onto Howe. The poorly timed signal almost threw off the benefit of the location’s close proximity to our leisure activities like the bike trail, Thursday nights at Mace’s, and the formerly quintessential singles’ joint: the Lucky supermarket at Loehmann’s Plaza.

It’s practically more time conscious to drive east on Sierra, turn right on Fulton (no right turn on red, mind you), and go west on Fair Oaks, rather than wait for the left at Howe.

There have got to be other lights like this in the region, so do us all a favor and let us know the ones to avoid and any recommended alternative routes.

Sac’s up on Google Street View

Via David Watts Barton’s awesome Sacto/music blog Blogging the Grid, and as blogged previously by RT Rider, it turns out Sacramento was added to Google Street View last week. Neato Speedo! Check it out here. Or follow the jump to see the most blighted block of the grid…

Continue reading “Sac’s up on Google Street View”