Blogger reaction to Amtrak changes

Strong words of disapproval for the Amtrak station changes from Heckasac, a frequent Capital Corridor rider. Sounds like a massive fail at least for some riders.

I too was struck by spokespeople comparing the size of the new tunnel to the size of much larger stations. It’s a small train station with 2 platforms. Though it is apparently one of the busiest Amtrak stations. Seems like further expansion might be called for.

In these tough economic times, be thankful for tough economic times

The Sac Bee reports on a rare benefit in this down economy:

While Sacramento commuters spend on average 24 hours a year stuck in traffic, that’s better than in most urban areas, and it’s a smoother commute than drivers here have had since 1993, a new report shows…

Commute-period congestion peaked in Sacramento in 2005 and 2006 at 35 congested hours per year on average, then tailed off as the recession hit, according to a report published today by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.

With the economy tanking, we were able to get rid of a lot of the trafficularsclerosis clogging up our arteries:

Furloughs, layoffs, lack of construction, and fewer delivery trucks on the road are key contributors to more free-flowing commutes, local officials said.

I don’t know about you, but I blame Obama.

RT to add electronic message signs

DSC08859
Creative Commons License photo credit: freya.gefn

Regional Transit announced via their “Next Stop News” brochure that they have begun installing electronic billboards at “key light rail stations.”

Initially, scheduled train arrival times will be displayed on the signs, as well as service disruption information and other RT news. Real-time train arrival times will be displayed starting in spring 2011 using GPS to track the movements of RT vehicles.

This is a pretty nice addition to the light rail commute. If the trains could only serve more people it would make up for the thrice annual cuts to bus service. Continue reading “RT to add electronic message signs”

Free parking!

The City of Sacramento will be continuing its popular free parking program this year starting with Black Friday. Metered parking is free after 4:30 p.m. weekdays and all day on Saturdays and Sundays from Friday, November 26, through Friday, December 24. There is also free parking at the East End Garage for the first 90 minutes and $1 per hour thereafter, up to a maximum of $5. Free parking at East End is weeknights 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and all day on weekends.

The metered parking is bounded by L and I Streets and Front St. and 29th.

Free parking map (PDF)

Monday morning transit frustrations

Sacramento Regional Transit 117 Siemons U2 1993 1
Creative Commons License photo credit: jacksnell

My commute involves cycling and light rail, and for the most part this is a really smooth setup for me (especially since I haven’t been asked to show my pass since Justin Bieber* was in diapers). So after riding hard to the light rail station on Friday afternoon, looking forward to the weekend, I took my usual spot toward where the rear of the last car would be, knowing that the front cars tend to fill up.

As the train approached, I could tell it was a 3-car and not the usual commuter-friendly 4-car train. As I hoofed it up the station to the end of the third car, only to board and find 2 cyclists already on board the back of the train, it occurred to me that it was Friday at 4:15, which should still count as peak hours. However, it was Friday, and we all know that a certain segment of riders are Furloughed on Fridays (or are they still? I have completely lost interest). Either way I feel sure that the length of RT’s trains is affected by Furlough Fridays, leaving the rest of us in the dark.

Continue reading “Monday morning transit frustrations”

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.”

Sacramento: highest fatal accident rate in state

Natomas Traffic Intersection
Creative Commons License photo credit: calaggie

Fans of this here Web log were not surprised this morning to open up the Sac Bee and read that Sacramento has the highest rate of serious car accidents and drunken-driving crashes of any city in California.

Some Sacramentans say the city’s poor ranking makes perfect sense: Drivers here are plain bad.

My hunch is that this accounts for most of the problem. However, I can see how the freeway layout and traffic patterns could also be blamed. And we can’t let crystal meth off the hook. What do you all think?